The original MacBook Air was nicely sized, lightweight and spectacularly styled, but was by no means perfect. It sold well initially but as various issues came to light, those sales tailed off.
There were complaints about the CPU power, lack of option to upgrade the memory, and a distinct dearth of ports for connecting to the outside world. Oh, and there was no internal optical drive, so disc related tasks required the purchase of the optional external USB SuperDrive. This brought the cost up to just over £2000, right at the top of the MacBook pricing.
Thankfully, Apple have listened to these grievances, and new MacBook Air is an big improvement, and it’s now available in 11 inch and 13 inch configurations and the CPU power has been boosted.
The need for the optional external SuperDrive is lessened in these new machines now come with a solid-state USB Software Reinstall Drive, allowing you to restore the operating system and bundled iLife software without having to resort to an drive. The new AirBooks also now all come with two USB ports - one on each side - and also have a real Mini DisplayPort, a headphone mini-jack, and the 13-incher comes with a SD Card slot.
The 11.6-inch MacBook Air's 18-bit display has 1366 x 768 resolution, making it the first MacBook with 16:9 aspect ratio screen. The 13-inch model retains the previous model's traditional 16:10 aspect ratio, but ups the display resolution from 1280 x 800 to 1440 x 900.
Both MacBook Air models still have full-size keyboard and glass Multi-Touch trackpads, and with their aluminium unibody construction, these new machines are, incredibly, even thinner than the original Air: 0.68 inches at their thickest point, tapering to 0.11 inches.
The new MacBook Air looks like it could well be the machine we were hoping for the first time round.
Price from £850 11” and £1100 13”
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