Ars Technica reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Big boosts to storage, GPU, and battery performance

“For the bulk of this review, we’ll be comparing the entry-level 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air to the equivalent 2012 MacBook Air,” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica. “Both laptops’ 4GB of RAM have been upgraded to 8GB of RAM—$100 is a bit steep for this sort of upgrade, but since the MacBook Air’s RAM is soldered to the motherboard, this is an upgrade most of you will probably want to make. The 11-inch MacBook Air shares all of the same internal specs as the 13-inch model (with the exception of the battery), so most of the observations here will also apply to the smaller model.”

“This also serves as our first hands-on look at Intel’s new Haswell CPUs, the new integrated Intel HD 5000 GPU, and 802.11ac (aka Gigabit Wi-Fi), so it will be a bit more benchmark-heavy than some of our other laptop reviews,” Cunningham reports. “The stories are true! Under light-to-medium usage, the 2013 MacBook Air is in fact capable of 12 hours or more of battery life. For heavy usage, these sky-high numbers will drop a bit, but you’ll still get more runtime than in the 2012 Air.”

Advertisement: Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air dual-core Intel Core i5 1.3GHz (Haswell processor), Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5000, with OS X Mountain Lion. Only $1,094.00

Cunningham reports, “Owners of 2010 and 2011-model Airs who are looking to upgrade will see big boosts to GPU and storage performance, respectable boosts to CPU performance, and amazing boosts to battery life.”

Much more in the full review – recommended – here.

Related articles:
AnandTech reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Really quite awesome – June 24, 2013
TIME Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Pushes battery life to new, productivity-changing heights – June 19, 2013
ZDNet reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: The new standard for laptops, a stunning achievement – June 14, 2013
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Astonishing, astounding; Editors’ Choice – June 14, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air: Stunning 12+ hour battery life – June 13, 2013
Hands-on with Apple’s new MacBook Air: True all-day battery life – June 13, 2013
Why the MacBook Air didn’t get a Retina display – June 12, 2013
Apple brings all day battery life to MacBook Air – June 10, 2013


    1. When they beat the battery life issues of retina displays in the MBAir, they will use them; for now, it’s a trade-off between battery and resolution, and Apple made the right call… as usual.

  1. Wait until Mavericks is on these new Airs as well as the older models. I think my aging MacBook Pro will probably see some nice improvements in battery life. Mavericks is shaping up to be sweet!

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