Review: Mid-2013 MacBook Air | TheTechN
Apple’s mid-2013 MacBook Air refresh brought us four new models, all promising longer battery life and featuring Haswell 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processors. Having thought hard whether the new Air suited my needs, I took the plunge and bought my first Mac earlier this month. Fast forward three weeks and I now know the laptop inside and out, as well as having a solid opinion on the device. Was it good a buy? Should you buy it? Read on to find out!
Design & Build
If you were hoping for a drastic redesign then you might be disappointed, as the MacBook Air looks the same as last year’s (and the year before’s) model. In terms of weight, the 13-inch model comes in at 1.33kg. This is noticeably heavier than the 1.05kg Sony VAIO Pro 13, but build quality is fantastic — the aluminum unibody looks sleek, feels premium and the fact that Apple didn’t introduce a Retina Display this time round can be overlooked.
The ports and sockets on the new Air are identical to last year’s model: MagSafe 2, one USB 3.0 port and a headphone jack on the left; one USB 3.0 port and one Thunderbolt port on the right (plus an SD card slot with the 13-inch model). There is one slight difference though — the extra teeny-tiny hole on the left edge. This is a second integrated microphone designed to help with noise cancellation. As usual with the Air range there’s no Ethernet connection. To wire your laptop in to the internet, you need a USB adaptor. In this age of Wi-Fi though, who connects their portable laptop via ethernet anyway?
Talking of Wi-Fi, Apple’s improved the onboard network chip to 802.11ac. What does this mean? Well, in simple terms, faster internet!
Functionality & Usability
There’s not too much to elaborate on when it comes to these two criteria. Usability is great. Before buying my MacBook Air I had very little knowledge on OS X and all its functions, but three weeks in and I can confidently say I know it pretty much inside and out. Hand gestures are intuitive and using the system is very easy.
Functionality is good too, but I’m often faced with a little problem where the laptop screen flickers off if I move it into a certain position, resulting in a force restart being needed. I’ve found the problem frequently mentioned on Apple’s forums, and it means that I’m going to have to haul the Air into my nearest Apple store next week (it weighs 1.35kg though, so maybe “haul” is a bit of an exaggeration).
For Performace, Battery Life & Verdict, see the Next Page