MacBook Air Overview Updated June 21, 2016

MacBook Air

Introduced in 2008 and last redesigned in 2010, Apple’s MacBook Air ($899 and up from the Apple Store) started out as a significantly slimmer, lighter, and more expensive alternative to the 13″ MacBook and MacBook Pro. Currently available in 11.6″ (1366×768-pixel) and 13.3″ (1440×900-pixel) models, the MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop, featuring non-Retina screens, 9- to 12-hour battery life, and 128-512GB of flash storage. To reduce their size, they use low-power Intel Core i5 processors, two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt 2 port; only the 13.3″ model includes an SDXC card reader. They remain top choices for many students and casual computer users.

In March 2015, Apple refreshed the MacBook Air with slightly faster Intel Broadwell processors and superior Intel HD Graphics 6000 GPUs. The MacBook Air line currently includes 1.6GHz processors across the line with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7GHz. All four models ship with 4GB of RAM standard, and built-to-order versions can go up to 8GB. 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 wireless are standard on the Air, as is a 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Although Apple introduced a thinner 12″ Retina MacBook in March 2015 (with an April 2015 release date), the new model lacks almost all of the MacBook Air’s ports, has a lower-resolution FaceTime camera, and reduces the horsepower significantly – all at a higher price. Unless you really want the higher-resolution screen, which is also available on the Retina MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air is a better choice.

378 MacBook Air stories

October 2010 - April 2016

MacBook Air Stories April 29

AAPL: 93.74

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MacBook Air Stories April 26

AAPL: 104.35

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Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade. expand full story


MacBook Air Stories April 25

AAPL: 105.08

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As an owner of a Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it’s slowly beginning to show its age. However, I find that this machine, an i7-powered rig with 16GB of RAM, is still plenty powerful for the applications that I run on a day-to-day basis. For example, with Final Cut Pro X, it’s not the fastest machine in the world (it lacks dedicated graphics), but it’s still plenty competent when it comes to editing and exporting 4K videos.

The biggest bottleneck that I’ve encountered with this computer is its storage capabilities, and that’s something I’ve been trying to deal with since the day I purchased it. With only 256 GB of flash storage, space has been hard to come by since day one. That wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to upgrade the amount of internal storage, but sadly there has been no upgrade solution…until now.

Back in early March, OWC made a splash by announcing the very first flash storage upgrade solution the MacBook Pro as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and the MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle. Yes, finally! MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners with qualifying machines can come out of the storage dark ages with OWC’s new Aura PCIe flash storage upgrade. expand full story

MacBook Air Stories April 22

AAPL: 105.68

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