Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Android Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "macbook air"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 03:00 PM

"Four years ago today, Apple introduced the MacBook Air, then the world's thinnest notebook. It was Steve Jobs's last Macworld appearance and the next to last Macworld keynote for Apple."

And it's only gotten better since the first year they were introduced. i5 or i7 processors, SSD storage and the Intel HD 3000 graphics processor (along with the backlit keyboard return) are some of the details on the mid-2011 model. I wonder what next for this amazing device? Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MacBook Air, Now With More Speed!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"The 1.8GHz Core i7 is offered as an upgrade to both the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air. With much higher max turbo speeds and another megabyte of L3 cache, it's clear this is going to be a big upgrade over the standard 11-inch Air. Last week we got our hands on one of these upgraded 11-inch models to find out just how much faster it is."

The MacBook Air is a well designed notebook and faster speeds are always appreciated. What impresses me is that the 11" model gets a Core i7 model and how there could be a perceived need for someone using a notebook that small needing that much number-crunching mojo. Still, no real compromises seem to have been made, so the more powerful, the better! If you need a slick, high end cake slicer, the updated MacBook Air definitely seems like one of the top choices around.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Only Out a Day and Already 5 Stars for the 13-Inch MacBook Air

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 06:30 PM

"'It's kind of hard to improve on a 4.5-star rating. And yet Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Air (starting at $1,299, $1,599 as configured) is better than its predecessor in some key ways,' Mark Spoonauer reports for Laptop Magazine."

Well this didn't take long, saying that "when you combine a sleek ultraportable design with a great display and touchpad then nearly double the performance-without sacrificing battery life-you're left with a winner." I really do love these laptops (once they put in the SSD that is), but can't everything be improved at some level? Then again, when this beauty outperforms the MacBook Pro, what other rating can you give it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

New MacBook Air To Be at the Center of the iCloud Universe

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 03:00 PM

"Apple’s refresh of the MacBook Air last fall did much to improve the fortunes of the company’s ultra-slim notebook. With its next iteration, it could be getting ready to step into the spotlight as the quintessential Mac computer. That update is on the way soon, according to a new report, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see it arrive right alongside the operating system that seems tailor-made for it: OS X Lion."

According to unconfirmed reports, Apple has ordered at least 400,000 new MacBook Air models, with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors inside. Sounds like Apple is not content to let a handful of Windows manufacturers offers a MBA-like footprint, far superior capacity and performance, and comparable prices. The new platform will offer Sandy Bridge processors, potentially thunderbolt port(s), upgraded storage capacity, and faster (and larger?) SSDs. Expectations are that the Air will be the platform to highlight the capabilities of the Lion OS. I've also heard other unconfirmed rumors that the new generation will be announced sometime this week. Now we wait and see ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

OWC MacBook Air 480GB Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD Upgrade

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

I haven't seen anyone crack open a Macbook Air before - not that I've gone looking for it mind you - but I'm still impressed by the fact that this product is almost all battery and they managed to fit the guts of the laptop in basically 1/4th of the total space. This video shows how surprisingly easy it is to swap out the SSD in the Macbook Air. I had to chuckle though when I saw the price of the 480 GB SDD: a mere $1579.99 USD. I wonder how many dozens of these they'll sell this year? Yikes. SSD prices aren't free-falling like I keep hoping they will...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laptop Magazine Reviews the Samsung Series 9

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 AM

"Ever since Steve Jobs pulled the original MacBook Air out of an envelope, Windows laptop makers have been trying to beat the thinnest, lightest notebook in town. We've seen some notable efforts, such as the sexy but underpowered Dell Adamo series and the powerful but unsexy ThinkPad X301. Others have tried, too, but no one has been able to pair an ultra-slim and ergonomically sound design with an uncompromised computing experience. Now Samsung has taken up that challenge with the Series 9, a machine that rivals the latest 13-inch MacBook Air not only on in terms of design but performance. It also has a brighter display than the Air and a backlit keyboard, which you only get on the MacBook Pro. The Series 9 definitely has the air of an Air killer, but is it worth $1,649?"

When I first saw the Samsung Series 9 laptop at CES 2011, I was more than a little excited: only weeks before I'd purchased, then returned, the 13 inch Macbook Air. There was a lot that I liked about the Air, but at heart I'm still a Windows guy. If found it kind of clunky to use Windows 7 on the Air, though I might have gotten used to it after a while. The Series 9, however, represented to me the potential of what a top-tier OEM like Samsung could do when they put some real effort in. The Series 9, while not exactly a home run, delivers a top-notch experience...if you can afford the entry price. I was wondering if this was going to be my next laptop, and while I'm tempted, I'm not so sure. I feel like the Sony Vaio Z might be a better choice for me if they release one with a Sandy Bridge Core i7. Read more...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Battle of the Blades! Laptop Style!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Apple really upped the ante with the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, slimming down its iconic design even more while adding a higher-res display and a lot more battery life. Just as important, the 13-inch Air ($1,299) integrates flash memory in a way that gives the machine an instant-on feel. Well, now there’s a Windows laptop that’s ready to take Apple’s star ultraportable head on. The Samsung Series 9 ($1,649) features a super-sexy and sturdy aircraft-grade metal chassis, a more powerful processor, backlit keyboard, and gesture-tastic clickpad. Is this machine you’ve been dreaming of, or is Apple’s slim marvel still the champ?"

Thin is in. The evolution of the laptop has generally tended towards thinner and lighter models. There are models that fit the desktop replacement motif and those that are on a tight budget. But the real hotness comes to laptops so thin that they can split atoms with their lids. They are so thin that you would swear they only exist in two dimensions. The Air captured a lot of people's attention when it was first released, and other manufacturers have been trying to get the same kind of media darling status that the Air produces. Is the Samsung Series 9 the new ultra-thin to beat, or does the Macbook Air remain king of its domain?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Magnets and MacBook Air Computers Don't Play Well Together

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 PM

"We all know to keep powerful magnets away from traditional hard drives, but we recently found out that you should also keep magnets away from your MacBook Air, something that could get harder now that the iPad 2 has magnets built right into it."

It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that magnets and laptops don't play well together. This is a good example where a small magnet in an iPhone case causes the MacBook Air screen to shut off, and wifi connections to disappear. Remove the magnet, the screen comes back on, but the wifi connections (presumedly) must be reestablished. After some discussion, it appears that the external magnet causes the computer to think that the laptop has been closed - so it goes into sleep mode. It would be interesting to see if this can be replicated with non-MacBook Air laptops.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Intel SSD 310: Honey, I Shrunk The Hard Drive!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:01 AM

"The 310 isn't about performance, rather form factor. The SSD in Apple's new MacBook Air is just the beginning - OEMs are beginning to shed the limits of traditional hard drive form factors as SSDs don't need to house a circular platter. The mSATA interface is physically a mini PCIe connector (similar to what you'd see with a WiFi card in a notebook) but electrically SATA. The result is something very compact. The full sized mSATA 310 measures 50.8mm x 29.85mm and is less than 4.85mm thick. Total weight? Less than 10 grams."

This is fantastic to see - one of the most impressive things about the Macbook Air that I was testing is that Apple managed to cram a 50 Watt Hour battery inside that incredibly slim chassis. One of the reasons they were able to do that is because they crammed basically the entire laptop other than the battery in the upper-third portion of the bottom chassis; the rest was left for the battery. And how did they accomplish that feat? By taking the SSD out of the traditional 2.5" chassis and putting the chips into a small daughterboard. It looks like other laptop vendors are going to be following in Apple's path, which is great. Bring on the choice!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Apple's Macbook Air 13 (2010 Model) Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 07:00 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Macbook Air 13. This is the maxed-out model has a 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi. It has no CD/DVD drive, two USB ports, no Ethernet port, a built-in microphone and Webcam, and a headphone jack. The slender (0.11-0.68 inch) profile weighs in at 2.9 pounds. The full specs can be found on the Apple site. Read more...

Monday, November 15, 2010

MacBook Air: Best Laptop Ever!?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 PM

"I picked up a new MacBook Air a few days after it was first introduced and have been using it as my primary mobile computer since then. If you want to skip reading a long block of text, I'll get to the point. The new MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever purchased or used."

Can't really say that I disagree here. My experiences with my smaller (11.6-inch, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) MacBook Air are pretty similar. Astoundingly easy to carry around, although I don't think I'd get as extreme as the author - I don't want to carry it in a jacket pocket. Powerful? I've done some admittedly non-scientific performance tests against my new MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor: simultaneously installing MS Office 2011 for the Mac, the MBA finished far ahead of the MUCH faster processor-equipped (but standard hard drive equipped) MBP. Of course, your mileage may vary. I expect that it'll be a great travel companion as well, but I haven't had a chance yet to test it out on an airplane tray table. Despite all the gnashing of teeth when the (only) 64GB SSD is mentioned, after installing everything that I need for (business) travel, I still have 40GB free. Even throwing on a movie or two and some music will not tax storage capacity. Coming from the days of floppy-only laptops, I find it a (fun) challenge to manage storage. This may not be everyone's best laptop ever, but it is for me! So far ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Don't Particularly Want to Buy a Macbook Air: What Other Options Do I Have?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 AM

OK readers, here's the deal: I'm on the hunt for a new laptop, and I have certain specs that I want the laptop to have. Shockingly, the new 13.3" Macbook Air seems to come closest to the mark...but, given a choice, I'd prefer to not give Apple more of my money. I have no plans to run OS X regularly on it, so something that's built specifically for Windows 7 is more to my liking (rather than using Boot Camp on the Air). Read more...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 PM;inTheNewsNow

"Ordinarily, the release of a single ultraportable Mac should not be reason for Redmond to quake in its boots, but yesterday's announcements by Apple should give the Windows team plenty of reason to fear. It's not that the product itself will put that much of a further dent in Microsoft's still-massive share of the PC market. However, the product demonstrates some capabilities that the Mac now can offer that Microsoft would seem to have a tough time matching."

My guess is, no, they're probably a bit sorry that they didn't push harder (and sooner) on the SSD concept, but their market share remains overwhelming, so worry, probably not. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There -are- Windows-based laptops that match-up well with the new MacBook Air, when hardware is compared (the Sony Vaio X is mentioned). But, Mac OS X really gets a boost when run on an SSD. The instant-on (from sleep mode) really is instant. When I'm done with Windows, close the lid. Ditto for the Mac. Open the lid, both come back, the Mac almost immediately, Windows needs a bit more time to awaken.

As for building more 'iPad-like' features into the Mac, it's a good idea as long as the 'old ways' continue to work. Windows has had touch capabilities going way back as well, so as operating systems evolve, we can expect the distinctions to blur a bit. Witness BootCamp and virtualization. Admittedly one-way to this point, but maybe the Hackintosh community will succeed (and/or be commercialized).

The concept of an App Store for the Mac is intriguing. Anyone who has ever searched for software for the Mac or Windows (or Linux) knows how iffy the whole process can be. Bad code, Viruses, Spyware, Keystroke Loggers, ad nauseam, are rampant. A "trusted" source is really the Holy Grail of software, so of course Microsoft will follow. Again, who benefits besides Apple and Microsoft? All of us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could This Be Your Next MacBook?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Laptops" @ 08:30 PM

"They're a dynamic duo indeed. We just went hands-on with the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air and wanted to share our first impressions. At 2.9 pounds, the 13-inch Air is about 1.5 pounds lighter than the MacBook Pro with the same size display and it comes with a higher-resolution 1440 x 900 display.The 11-inch Air weighs just 2.3 pounds and goes with 1366 x 768 pixels. Both models measure from 0.16 to .68 inches, which is very svelte. You now get a glass trackpad for gestures and you still have a full-size keyboard, but it’s not backlit."

Could this be near-perfection in a less than 3-pound package? Apple is getting very, very close. In my opinion, the only thing lacking is a backlit keyboard, the tradeoff: much better battery life (5-hours on the smaller, 7-hours on the larger). And, the little annoyances are gone, the power connector is normal, and there are two USB ports. Oh, one other little nit to pick, no internal SD drive on the smaller model, but I have a whole drawer full of USB SD readers. For my frequent work travel, lightness and travel-ease trumps almost everything, so I will be replacing my Lenovo Thinkpad X100e with the 11.6-inch model. In fact, it's already ordered. Being an old-timer in computing, I can live with a 64GB SSD. Thoughts, readers? Is this a compelling laptop?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is This the New $999 MacBook Air?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 01:00 PM

"A refresh of the now aged MacBook Air line is almost a foregone conclusion at this point, with Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event scheduled to take place later this week. Now, more purported specs are making the rounds by way of Cult of Mac, and they definitely look appealing."

The rumors are swirling today. Speculation is rife that both 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models will be announced by Apple, with the smaller lighter, netbook-sized model starting at $999, and, the best news to me, both will support more memory, at least 4GB (that 2GB limit in the current models has kept an MBA out of my office). Other speculation is that some of the hardware quirks (annoyances) will be gone, like the angled power connector (replaced by a magsafe connector), and that battery life will effectively be doubled to 8-10 hours. I guess that Apple has seen that the iPad (and tablets in general) are not totally killing the netbook market, and have decided to try to get in on the action. With Office 2011 (with Outlook) for the Mac available in another week, this may become *the* work travel computer for me.

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Sponsored links