Apple MacBook Air (2017) Review

Apple MacBook Air Review
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Apple MacBook Air















  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Nippy storage
  • Thin and light
  • Multiple USB ports
  • Convenient MagSafe power port


  • Lackluster display
  • Very limited upgradability and maintainability
  • Low resolution
  • Dated design
  • Older Intel Core i5 CPU
Apple MacBook Air Review. Make big things happen. All day long.

Apple MacBook Air lasts up to an incredible 12 hours between charges. So from your morning coffee till your evening commute, you can work unplugged. When it’s time to kick back and relax, you can get up to 12 hours of iTunes movie playback. And with up to 30 days of standby time, you can go away for weeks and pick up right where you left off.

Whatever the task, fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel HD Graphics 6000 are up to it. From editing photos to browsing the web, everything happens ultrafast. And all that power is encased in an incredibly thin 0.68-inch unibody design that weighs only 1.35 kilos.

Whatever the task, fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel HD Graphics 6000 are up to it. From editing photos to browsing the web, everything happens ultrafast. And all that power is encased in an incredibly thin 0.68-inch unibody design that weighs only 1.35 kilos.

The SSD storage in MacBook Air is up to 17x faster than a 5400-rpm notebook hard drive. So everything you do is snappy and responsive. MacBook Air even wakes up fast, thanks to SSD storage and fifth-generation Intel Core processors.


DisclaimerIf you see any error or incomplete data, please Contact Us.
Announced2017, August
Dimensions32.5 x 22.7 x 1.7 cm
Weight1.35kg (2.96 pounds)
LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
1440 x 900
CPU1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
GPUIntel HD Graphics 6000
Memory256GB PCIe-based flash storage (configurable to 512GB flash storage)
8GB 1600MHz DDR3
Camera720p FaceTime HD
LoudspeakerStereo speakers
PortsTwo USB 3.0 ports (up to 5Gbps); Thunderbolt 2 port (up to 20Gbps); MagSafe 2 power port; SDXC card slot
3.5mm jackyes
WLAN802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth4.0 wireless technology
Battery54‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery

The Apple MacBook Air may be going gray (well, silver) as it ages, but we still love its long battery life, solid performance and safety-first MagSafe 2 power port. You also don’t have to worry about schlepping any dongles to plug in peripherals. Two downsides, however, are that its display is stuck in the past decade, and it’s up to a pound heavier than competitors.

Platform-agnostic users can save $300 with a similarly configured Asus ZenBook UX330UA, which boasts a brighter, more colorful panel. If you’re partial to the Apple experience and want to keep the cost reasonable, you’ve got two options. If you plan to watch a lot of video and are constantly on the move, the 12-inch MacBook, which costs $300 more, will be best. Writers and other keyboard jockeys, though, will get the best experience on the 13-inch MacBook Air.

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The 13-inch MacBook Air is Apple’s entry-level laptop, starting at £949 (US$999). It might lack the super-sharp Retina screen of the Macbook and MacBook Pro models but its display and performance is fine for most everyday uses. It boasts enough USB ports and other slots to make it more useful out of the box than the more limited, USB-C-only 12-inch MacBook or Pro. And its Wi-Fi is the same high standard as even the top-of-the-range MacBook Pro. If you need raw power go for the Pro. If you need the smallest Mac laptop there is, look at the 12-inch MacBook. But, all in all, despite it not changing much year after year we still love the MacBook Air for its design, price, size and features.

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Years go by, yet the Apple MacBook Air remains unchanged year after year after year. The most significant changes in notebook design of the last few years, such as higher display resolutions, thinner bezels, and larger displays in similarly sized cases, have all gone unnoticed by the Air. Accordingly, it did not surprise us that unlike the MacBook 12’s updates, Apple has decided to perform the Air’s updates on the quiet. Apparently, the MacBook Air is not deemed “presentable” anymore, and somehow it does not really fit into Apple’s current portfolio.

The biggest issue we have with the new MacBook Air 13 is its display. With its low-resolution TN panel, it certainly feels very outdated overall. In 2017, our expectations of a $1000 notebook include an IPS panel with at least FHD resolution. Its price tag of $999 for the 128 GB base model is quite hefty, and the extra $200 that Apple charges for a 256 GB SSD instead is, quite frankly, daylight robbery.

Nevertheless, even after all these years the Air’s basic concept still shines through all this gloom and dust. A very well-built and high-quality aluminum case combined with decent input devices; more than decent Wi-Fi performance; overall very good system performance that is well suited for its intended use scenarios; more than 10 hours of battery life; and last but not least a dead silent user experience. Even in 2017, all these aspects are worthy of praise.

With each year passing by, the Air’s high price is getting harder and harder to justify. Still, all things considered the MacBook Air 13 2017 is still a very decent notebook. Mind you, it is the entry-level model for entering the Apple universe, and therefore the cheapest alternative if you prefer MacOS to Windows. And while it is highly unlikely that the MacBook Air is going to get yet another update in 2018, Apple has managed to surprise us quite often already …

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Much faster storage and a better performing processor/graphics combo make this year’s 13-inch MacBook Air a technically better machine than its predecessor, but unless you really need those gains it’s not worth the upgrade. That’s particularly so in the absence of any new features – such as the Retina MacBook Pro’s Force Touch Trackpad.

Elsewhere, it’s business as usual: while the MacBook Pro with Retina is a faster than the Air and packs more features, Apple’s lighter machine is no slouch. And while the Retina model is chunkier than the Air, it’s not a great deal heavier and has a smaller footprint. With both machines residing in the same price bracket, the deciding factor is more likely to be how prepared you are to put up with the MacBook Air’s outdated display.

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I know it sounds like I’ve judged the Apple MacBook Air harshly for not keeping up with the times, but there’s an important mitigating factor that could still make it the right choice for a great many shoppers.

The original MacBook Air launched in 2008 (with a single USB port and a slow non-SSD hard drive!) at $1,799 in the US. Over time that came down to $999 for the base 13-inch Air, which is where it still sits today. That’s $300 less than either a 12-inch MacBook or the lowest-end 13-inch MacBook Pro (both start at $1,299, £1,249 or AU$1,899), making this the most affordable MacBook by a wide margin.

Spending around the same on a new Windows laptop will get you a better display, newer processor and probably more RAM and SSD storage (and even a hybrid hinge and touchscreen) — but if you’re determined to buy a MacOS laptop over a Windows 10 one, this is the least expensive option.

Even better, while Apple sells the 13-inch MacBook Air for $999 and up, it’s often easy to find at many US retailers for $899 or less, or $100 off the higher-end 256GB SSD configuration. Pre-2017 models, which are essentially identical in almost every way, can be found for as little as $799.

Years ago, I called the Apple MacBook Air the most universally useful laptop you could buy, because of its great design, long battery life and decent specs. Today, its appeal isn’t quite as broad, and the design is definitely showing its age. But the lower prices available from some retailers, plus performance that’s decent enough and battery life that still tops 10 hours, has given the Air another shot — perhaps its last one — at avoiding the old laptop retirement home.

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The Apple MacBook Air arguably started the ultrabook party, and it’s still there even as a younger, thinner, and better-equipped crowd has arrived. But it has yet to overstay its welcome. For macOS fans—especially note-taking, paper-writing college students—who just need a capable computer to tote around all day without plugging in, the Air will not disappoint. It’s also a good choice if you have a mix of older peripherals and can take advantage of its relatively generous complement of ports. To other users, however, especially creative professionals looking for more computing power, the lack of a seventh-generation Intel processor and resulting good-but-not-great performance results will stick out like a sore thumb. Those people would do well to consider a MacBook Pro, which starts at $300 more than the Air, or one of several faster and comparably priced Windows machines like the Dell XPS 13.

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