MacBook Air review
by Tricia Marie Villaluz
Saturday, January 20, 2018
‘’Thin. Light. Powerful. And ready for anything.’’ Is Apple’s slogan for the 13.3 inch MacBook Air launched in mid-2015. So, is it really all that they advertise?
The MacBook Air features a full machined aluminum case and a full keyboard which makes the laptop give out a true premium quality feel, both, when you see it and when you feel it. Along with the high-quality casing, it features a backlit keyboard which makes writing in any light conditions with an ease. The backlit keyboard’s brightness can be adjusted to one’s need and even set to change during certain hours, which is great when you don’t need it lit in the day, yet need it in the evening when writing or browsing the web.
It is indeed thin, while it is not the same height all around, as it gets thinner from the screen to the keyboard. This gives the laptop an elevated, tilted feel for they keyboard, which in turn, makes it easier to type than it would be if it was just a horizontal surface.
The laptop features a 13.3-inch glossy display which is clear but also has very good viewing angles. You can find also a smaller version, which is 11.6 inches, but I find that the 13-inch variant is the best size as it is well fit for movie watching, writing and even video editing without the need for a second monitor.
And lastly, but not least, it, of course, features Apple’s famous “Apple logo” design behind the display, which lights up, which the newer MacBooks do not. This looks great, and if you like modding things or using decals, you can play around with this.
Battery life and usage
There are many things Apple can be praised for, but one consistent thing they always get right is the battery life. From iPhones to MacBooks, the battery life is always superb. A lithium-ion polymer battery is installed, which can be removed if the need arises, though you would need to use a screwdriver to do so, and it is not yet certain if it voids the warranty.
MagSafe is used to charge the MacBook Air, which is probably one of the best connectors in the market, usability wise. MagSafe allows to put the connector in any way, similar to a USB-C connector, but with the added benefit of it snapping into place with the help of magnets. While it is understandable that the new USB-C type charging might be advantageous as seen in the newer MacBooks, MagSafe is still one of the best solutions regarding laptop charging and I would prefer it over USB-C any day of the week.
Apple advertises up to 12 hours of battery life on the MacBook Air. And it delivers. The MacBook air can easily last for more than 10 hours on a full charge, whether you are browsing the web or watching movies all the time, it will last you the whole day. It also features 30 days of standby time in which the battery does not drain which is great if you are not a heavy laptop user. Overall, the battery life is one of the strongest points of getting a MacBook Air. Having compared both the MacBook and my other, similarly priced laptop, I’d say, the MacBook wins, just because it allows for more usability.
Is it ready for anything as Apple advertise? Mostly. It features an Intel I5 processor, however each iteration of the MacBook Air has a different generation of the processor, so you should double check if it is indeed the one you need and want before buying. Power wise, it delivers, as it can perform day to day tasks, such as browsing the web, movie playback, programming and compiling. It also gives very good results on video editing. The best results I’ve gotten was when using iMovie and Final Cut Pro. It is a great solution to when you need to edit videos on the go and with the long-lasting battery life, you are sure to get your video rendered and not have your laptop die on you.
The only thing you cannot do is gaming. There is a saying that if you want to do gaming, you do not buy an Apple computer. This is because most games are made for the Windows operating system and not MacOS. But it can run browser games and games, that are not GPU intensive, as it only features an Intel HD Graphics processor and not a dedicated video card. So, if you do not have high hopes for gaming, you’re in the clear!
Storage is a tricky thing. While it does feature a fast flash storage, similar to a USB thumb drive, it has its downsides. For one, the flash storage is expensive, and at the time of making these laptops, the storage capacities of flash drives were fairly small. The MacBook comes with the options of either 128GB or 256GB. It is enough and you can always buy an external HDD or use cloud-based solutions if you need more space, but many might see it as a burden. This does, however, allow for faster processing times, up to 17 times faster in fact. You also do not need to worry about the hard drive breaking as it does not have any moving parts, which not only improves performance but also removes any additional sounds.
With all of this processing power and the possibility of video editing, you might wonder if it suffers from the same problems as other laptops, such as overheating, throttling due to said heat and what about the noise? To which the answer is, do not worry. It does not heat up at all, there is no throttling and it is as silent as it is when turned off. The aluminum casing always gives you a nice cool feeling that makes it a joy to work with.
The MacBook Air is an amazing device for a decent price. Featuring a slim design, aluminum casing, incredible battery life and good processing power, it is the laptop to have for either a regular user or more of the creative type that loves writing, video editing, and movie watching. The pricing starts from 999$ for the 13.3-inch model, but you can find it even for a cheaper price during sales or specials. If you are looking for a laptop, this might be a good choice.