MacBook Air's Modest Upgrade Is Still Worth the Money: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-06-17 Print this article Print

Apple was awfully busy at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10. In addition to announcing updates for both OS X and iOS, the company showed off enhancements to several of its applications, and even provided a sneak peek at the next generation Mac Pro. But it wouldn't have been an Apple event without at least one hardware launch. And this time around, that hardware launch was none other than an update to the company's MacBook Air. For years, the MacBook Air has been a key driver in the company's notebook sales. The computer is somewhat underpowered compared with its larger counterpart, the MacBook Pro, but it makes up for that with ultra-mobility and a design that created an entirely new product category to take it on—Ultrabooks. The latest update to the MacBook Air wasn't a major one. The company announced a better battery, improved processing power and a bit more value for the price. Still, the MacBook Air has solidified its position once again as one of the best notebooks on the market. The company's latest version is definitely worth buying. Take a look at the details in this eWEEK slide show.

  • MacBook Air's Modest Upgrade Is Still Worth the Money: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - MacBook Air's Modest Upgrade Is Still Worth the Money: 10 Reasons Why
  • The Same, Great Design

    Apple didn't change a single thing with the MacBook Air's design, but that's just fine. The computer was already a well-built machine, featuring an aluminum finish and an impossibly thin edge that makes it easy to slip into any bag. Whether it's the 11- or the 13-inch model users are after, the MacBook Air's design delivers.
    2 - The Same, Great Design
  • A True Winner on Mobility

    The MacBook Air has won the mobility game. Both the 11- and 13-inch models are just 0.68 inches thick at their highest point, and trim their way down to 0.11 inches. Both computers weigh less than 3 pounds. If users want to be mobile and get around town without being bogged down by a heavy machine, the MacBook Air is right for them.
    3 - A True Winner on Mobility
  • Improved Battery Lives

    One of the main enhancements to the MacBook Air was an improved battery design that the iPhone maker says will ensure it will stay on all day on a single charge. On the 11-inch model, that means the computer will last nine hours on a single charge. When it comes to the 13-inch version, users can expect 12 hours of battery life.
    4 - Improved Battery Lives
  • A Solid Processor

    Apple has bundled fourth-generation Intel Core processors in the MacBook Air. Those chips are actually systems on a chip, since they feature an integrated HD Graphics 5000 GPU. The processors deliver both better performance and enhanced battery savings.
    5 - A Solid Processor
  • Ultrafast WiFi Support

    So long, outdated WiFi. The new MacBook Air comes with the latest WiFi standard, 802.11ac. With 802.11ac bundled with the computer, users can expect three times the performance of the previous N-based standard and a wider range to connect to the network. That will come in handy in office environments.
    6 - Ultrafast WiFi Support
  • Flash Storage for All

    Flash storage has long been a staple in the MacBook Air. The latest MacBook Air has flash storage that performs up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation, according to Apple. In addition, Apple has upped the capacity on the 11-inch model from 64GB to 128GB. That was awfully nice.
    7 - Flash Storage for All
  • A Better OS Than Windows 8

    Looking around for a mobile-friendly notebook and choosing between a device running Windows 8 or the MacBook Air? Don't waste your time. Windows 8 is still very much a question mark, and quite a few people have criticized it for a steep learning curve. What's worse, vendors are only dipping their toes into the Windows 8 waters, meaning their full efforts are not necessarily behind the operating system. At this point, OS X is simply a better option.
    8 - A Better OS Than Windows 8
  • The Mac App Store Keeps Growing

    One of the nice things about buying a Mac is that all the applications that users might want are available digitally through the Mac App Store. Even better, a massive number of applications are being added to the store each day. That's good news for developers looking to score some cash on the Mac, and even better news for users who want the latest and greatest programs.
    9 - The Mac App Store Keeps Growing
  • A Better Value for Your Dollar

    As noted, Apple upped the storage in the 11-inch model from 64GB to 128GB. However, the company's product still starts at $999. In other words, it's a much better value. Furthermore, Apple didn't change the price on its higher-end 13-inch MacBook Air, despite bundling a better processor and flash storage. It's a win-win.
    10 - A Better Value for Your Dollar
  • It'll Work Just Fine With Mavericks

    Worried about Apple's next OS X launch, Mavericks? Don't be. Apple has already reassured all customers that the latest MacBook Air will work just fine with its upcoming desktop operating system. So, when Mavericks launches this fall, MacBook Air owners will be able to download the update and get all the benefits of that software without any hardware conflicts.
    11 - It'll Work Just Fine With Mavericks

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