MacBook Air 11 Mini Laptop Review

34 User Reviews

4.4 out of 5 Stars

4.4 out of 5
8 Expert Reviews

3.9 out of 5 Stars

3.9 out of 5
Overall Rating

4.15 out of 5 Stars

4.15 out of 5
Macbook Air 11 Conclusion

The 11.6-inch Macbook Air is a beautiful, solid and eye-catching mini laptop which feels premium all over. It delivers much higher performance than the typical netbooks, and thanks to its SSD storage this mini laptop never keeps you waiting. Keyboard and touchpad are extremely well-designed, just like every other Apple laptops out there. The only thing that will hold most people back is the high price of this mini laptop ($999 for 64GB version and $1199 for the 128GB version). As some reviewers pointed out, other mini laptop like the Acer Aspire Timeline 1830T offers a much faster Core i7 processor and longer battery life at a lower price of $899. But if you want the thinnest, lightest Mac experience ever, and price is not your concern, then the 11 inch Macbook Air is possibly the best ultraportable laptop you can get.


Macbook Air 11 Review Summary

Design
The 11.6-inch Macbook Air is incredibly thin and light. It measures 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68 inches at its thickest point, and weight just 2.3 pounds. The full unibody aluminum chassis is solid, beautifully designed, and feels premium all over. Despite the super slim design, the manufacturer still manages to include two USB ports (one on each side), a headphone jack on the left, and a mini DisplayPort on the right. The only thing missing is the SD Card slot, which can be found on most 10-inch netbooks.

Keyboard and TouchPad
Both the full-size keyboard and extra-large glass touchpad on the Macbook Air 11 are excellent. The chiclet-style keyboard provides crisp feedback, and multitouch gestures perform extremely well on the touchpad. If we were to find something to complain about them, it will be the lack of backlit for the keyboard, which is available on the Macbook Pro.

Performance
The 11-inch Macbook Air runs on the 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor, which is a previous-generation Intel technology. In the GeekBench test, the Air scored 2,159, which is lower than some cheaper ultraportable laptops that run on Intel’s latest Core processors. For example, the $899 version of the Acer Aspire Timeline 1830T that runs on Intel Core i7 CPU scores a whopping 3,742 in GeekBench. Having said that, the 11-inch MacBook Air still feels very fast, especially when it comes to booting up (15 seconds) and waking up from sleep mode (instantaneous), thanks to the SSD storage which is significantly faster than the hard-disk.

In terms of graphic performance, the 11-inch Macbook Air running on nVidia GeForce 320M averaged 30 fps when playing WoW at native resolution which is a bit behind the Asus Eee PC 1215N‘s 37 fps. Higher-end games like Call of Duty is not recommended on the 11-inch Macbook Air.

Battery Life

Laptop Magazine gets 5 hours and 18 minutes of battery life in their battery test which involve continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 40 percent screen brightness; PC Mag gets 3 hours 44 minutes from their continuous MP4 video playback test; and CNet Australia gets 4 hours 23 minutes from their video playback battery drain test. Based on the test results above, it’s save to say that you will get at least 4.5 hours of battery life under normal usage.

Macbook Air 11 Customer Reviews


Macbook Air 11 Expert Reviews

Dan Ackerman from CNet says:
Given Rating:

Apple makes the MacBook Air both smaller and less expensive, creating an excellent ultraportable, but leaving out a few features along the way.

Cisco Cheng from PC Mag says:
Given Rating:

Rest assured that despite its size, the Apple MacBook Air (11-inch) is not a netbook. It will share the spotlight with the 13-inch MacBook Air as two of the prettiest, and certainly thinnest, laptops ever made. However, the stratospheric standards that Apple places on aesthetics comes at the cost of features, speed, and battery life—all three areas where the 11-inch MacBook Air trailed rather than led. On top of that, it’s a pricey system and pricier still once you start piling on the extras—the 128GB SSD, upgrade to 4GB of memory, and adding-on the SuperDrive, bringing its final price tag to as high as an Apple MacBook (Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz) or a MacBook Pro 13-inch (2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo). If I based this laptop’s success merely on its features, hardware specifications, and price, the 11-inch MacBook Air would have fared a lot worse.

Mark Spoonauer from Laptop Magazine says:
Given Rating:

Apple said it would never make a netbook, and it hasn’t. The 11-inch MacBook Air is a powerful ultraportable that makes other systems in its class look positively bloated. More important, this machine never keeps you waiting, thanks to the way it uses flash memory. We just wish the hinge for the display were a bit tighter to prevent unwanted movement. Some may prefer the new 13-inch MacBook Air ($1,299), which offers a higher-resolution screen, faster CPU, and a SD Card slot. If you’re torn between Windows and Mac, the $899 Acer Timeline 1830T offers a much faster Core i7 processor and longer battery life but integrated graphics and a much less compelling design. But if you want the thinnest, lightest Mac experience ever, this Air will leave you elated.

Vincent Nguyen from Slash Gear says:

The MacBook Air is not the laptop for every user. Those looking to frequently edit HD multimedia will find its ULV processor limiting, while the downside to the speed and frugality of its flash storage is reduced capacity versus the 320GB and 500GB HDDs we’re seeing as standard on rival machines. Still, it’s not intended to be the notebook for all seasons. The upcoming Mac App Store will further blur the line between MacBook Air and iPad functionality, without giving up OS X in the process, but even as it ships today there’s plenty to appeal about its extreme portability and surprising degree of usability. As with the previous MacBook Air, the style will win hearts in the Apple Store; what makes the difference is that the day-to-day experience is strong enough to win over your head and wallet, too.

Matt Buchanan from Gizmodo says:

The 11-inch Air might be the first computer you can seriously take with you everywhere and almost never regret leaving your beefier machine at home. The pain of dropping a thousand dollars won’t last for very long, either. At least, not after I sell my iPad.

Macbook Air 11 Specification

Weight (lbs)2.30
Display Size11.6
Resolution1366 x 768
Display TypeGlossy
CPU1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM2 GB DDR3
Hard Drive128GB SSD
Graphic CardNVIDIA GeForce 320M
Battery4-cell (35 Wh)
Max Battery Life5 hours
Webcam1.3MP
BluetoothYes
Operating SystemApple MacOS X 10.6