The smaller MacBook Air is now just 0.3cm thick at its thinnest edge and there’s an 11.6-inch model arriving to sit alongside the re-engineered 13.3-inch baby.
We took one of the 13.3-inch versions with us and here are our first impressions of the diminutive lappy.
The new 13.3-inch Air features a 1440×900, LED-backlit screen which is stunningly bright. Apple promises you can have the new MacBook Air on standby for up to a month, though we note in the small print that you’d need to have the screen at 50 per cent brightness to do this.
The basic look is similar to the old Air, but there are some notable improvements – most importantly Flash storage – 128GB in this model, 64GB in the 11-inch.
While our first impressions of the MacBook Air are decidedly favourable – this is a superb feat of craftsmanship and technology – there is one small problem. And it was the same problem with the original. It’s just so expensive. £1,100 for this 13-inch variant with 128GB of flash storage, and £1,350 for the 256GB version. The 11-inch starts at £849, but still it’s a lot of money.
There’s also the question of power. The Airs retain a Core 2 Duo processor from Intel rather than one of the company’s newer Core i3 or i5 variants.
Why? Because Intel developed a flat version of the Core 2 Duo especially for the MacBook Air originally and presumably the Core i3 can’t sit within the same thermal envelope – the processor is passively cooled remember, there’s no fan. That’s not to say the MacBook Air isn’t powerful.
It certainly zipped through apps when we looked at it today, but remember we’re using a brand new machine – not one loaded with third-party software or one trying to run Photoshop.
We remain sceptical of its ability to perform at high levels – especially for things like video editing. But if you want that, then you’re looking at the wrong Mac.
It’s certainly a whole lot more polished and powerful than a netbook, but you sure pay through the nose for it.