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Review of the MacBook Air 2010

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User Rating 3 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Review MacBook Air 2010 – Review of the 11-inch and 13-Inch MacBook Air

MacBook Air Family

Courtesy of Apple

The Bottom Line

The 2010 MacBook Air from Apple is now available in two different sizes, with 11-inch and 13-inch displays, and four standard configurations. With the latest MacBook Airs, Apple has lowered prices while providing new features and capabilities that road warriors, who are the target audience for the MacBook Air, will enjoy.

New to the MacBook Air is flash memory (SSD) in place of a standard hard drive. Storage ranges from 64 GB to 256 GB, and provides some interesting improvements, including almost instant-on and vastly superior data access speeds. It’s also incredibly rugged compared to hard-drive-based storage.

Pros

  • Small and lightweight; easy to take on the road.
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics offer better performance than Intel embedded graphics.
  • Flash-based storage provides instant-on, power savings, and high-performance access.
  • Available in two sizes: 11-inch and 13-inch.
  • Less expensive than previous MacBook Air.

Cons

  • Maximum RAM is only 4 GB.
  • Flash storage isn’t user replaceable.
  • Uses older Intel Core 2 Duo processors.
  • Lacks a wired Ethernet port.

Description

  • 11-inch and 13-inch displays
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processors at 1.4, 1.6, 1.86, and 2.13 GHz
  • Up to 7 hours battery life and 30 days standby time
  • Large Multi-Touch glass trackpad
  • Lightweight: 2.3 pounds (11-inch model); 2.9 pounds (13-inch model)
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • 2 USB ports, SD card port, headphone, microphone
  • Full-size keyboard
  • AirPort extreme Wi-Fi (802.11n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

Guide Review - Review of the MacBook Air 2010

The 2010 MacBook Air offerings from Apple comprise four standard models, two with an 11-inch display and two with a 13-inch display. All MacBook Air models have a small, easily toted form factor that is also incredibly rugged, thanks to the aluminum unibody construction and the lack of delicate moving parts, such as an optical drive or a standard hard drive.

SSD No Longer an Option

In their place, Apple has equipped the MacBook Air with a solid-state drive (SSD). But unlike the usual SSD options, Apple chose to go with a bare component implementation of an SSD, using flash memory and a controller on a single card that somewhat resembles a memory module. This means you probably won't be able to easily upgrade the SSD in the new MacBook Air, at least not without voiding the warranty.

The tradeoff is a very fast storage system that is so easy on power consumption that the flash memory can stay in standby mode for up to 30 days, letting you instantly access your MacBook Air just by opening the lid.

Battery Life

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air will provide up to 30 days of standby time. This is the time where memory and SSD storage are kept in a low-power standby mode, so you can wake the MacBook Air instantly from sleep and get back to work. In continuous use, the 11-inch models will provide up to 5 hours of battery time; the 13-inch models up to 7 hours.

CPU and Graphics

All models of the MacBook Air use an NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor. This is the same graphics chip used in the current MacBook and Mac mini.

Apple chose to use an Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 1.4/1.6/1.86/2.13 GHz (depending on model and configuration), making the MacBook Air probably the last Mac model that will use the older Core 2 Duo processors. If Apple had chosen a new Core i3, it would have been forced to use the Intel on-board graphics options, which aren't the best in graphics performance. By staying with the Core 2 Duo, Apple was able to use the much speedier NVIDIA graphics.

Display

Apple is using high-resolution displays in both the 11-inch and 13-inch models. Coming in at 1440x900 pixels, the 13-inch MacBook Air has the same resolution as the bigger 15-inch MacBook Pro. The 11-inch display has a 1366x768 resolution, which is larger than many competing 13-inch notebooks.

Both displays are 16x9 widescreen formats, with the always-present Apple glossy glass panel.

Standard Configurations

11-inch

  • 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 64 GB flash storage

$999.00

  • 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 128 GB flash storage

$1,199.00

13-inch

  • 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 128 GB flash storage

$1,299.00

  • 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 256 GB flash storage

$1,599.00

Custom configurations allow for faster processor choices and up to 4 GB of RAM.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Very good stuff but with some thing to improve, Member Joris777

I-movie takes two hours every time when I want to use it (lots of H-264 films on it). Uploading to I-photo: the mouse-arrow as I call it stands on quit when I've put my SD-card in the Macbook-Air. Removing the SD-card is simple, but there's false information from the computer itself. Once on the Macbook-Air the H-264 films cannot be put on SD-card so that my kodak sport with remote control could have been used, now it's changed, why? Please leave the bits and bites as they are!!! I had a good idea: create USB or SD flash memory (500 GB or more to create more memory. Than you could save the most important things on the Macbook-Air itself and plug in the portable memory. If you (Apple) can make such an SSD-flash memory that speaks the same language as the Macbook-Air itself than you get Platina in stead of gold!!! Than there is no limit anymore. Good luck, for the first time I use a laptop because it's almost perfect, congratulations!!!

1 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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