Over the last year or so, Apple has done some “remodeling” to their Mac lineup. In the midst of the reshuffling, the MacBook Air has taken a backseat and continues to be overlooked by consumers. For its price, performance, and portability, the MacBook Air could be just what you’re looking for! Here’s what you need to know!
Apple has continued to focus on its MacBook Pro and 12” MacBook lineup for about a year. At WWDC in June, however, Apple quietly updated their 13” MacBook Air. The updated MacBook Air starts at $999, and comes standard with a dual-core i5 (configurable up to a dual-core i7), 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD (configurable up to 512GB SSD), Intel HD Graphics 6000, two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps), a Thunderbolt 2 port (up to 20 Gbps), a MagSafe 2 power port, a SDXC card slot, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a fully backlit keyboard.
Let’s talk about design. With a variety of I/O ports, the 13” MacBook Air does not require a variety of dongles to take advantage of external accessories, unlike the 12” MacBook or the MacBook Pro. However, it should be noted that dongles can be purchased to be able to use the Thunderbolt 2 port. The screen is, decent. It is not a retina display, but is still relatively sharp and offers good colors, but the viewing angles could be better. The Air continues to be very thin, light, and portable, making it a great laptop for those that are traveling often, or for students that are going to and from class. If you do not like the new style of keyboard keys the new Mac’s have, then you will be happy to know the Air still has the older chicklet style keys, which I am a big fan of.
So, who is the 13” MacBook Air for? Well, that depends. If you know you are going to be doing, web development, programming, video editing, or anything else where you are going to need the most power possible, I would NOT recommend the MacBook Air, that is where the MacBook Pro comes in. If you are looking for less power, and an even smaller form factor, the 12” MacBook is your choice. However, if you are looking for a nice in between choice with great portability, and enough power to do more than simple web browsing, email, and entertainment consumption, the 13” MacBook Air is your choice. It has up-to-date hardware, and is a good choice for a pretty capable machine. At $999, it is a bit over price, but keep in mind it is an Apple device. Before you make a purchase, shop around and compare prices as the MacBook Airs have been on sale fairly frequently. If you do purchase a new MacBook Air, let me know (and other readers) what you think below!