Initial Hands-on Impressions of New MacBook Air

Submitted by lalit on October 21, 2010 - 10:31am.

Yesterday, Apple released their new completely redesigned MacBook Air, featuring solid-state flash storage in place of hard drive and instant-on capability. The new MacBook Air comes in two models with 11-inch and 13-inch screen and up to 7 hours of battery life. Hardware configuration of 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) model is 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA 320M graphics and 64GB or 128GB storage. The 13.3-inch (1440 x 900) model comes with 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA 320M graphics and 128GB or 256GB storage. Many blogs and tech websites have posted their first impressions of the new MacBook Air and here’s what they have to say:

The most remarkable feature, however, isn’t cosmetic, it’s these machine’s boot time. Bootup takes less than 15 seconds, according to my watch. That’s a good deal less than the roughly 50 seconds it takes my trusty Windows laptop to come to life.

We got some hands-on time with the new 13.3” and 11.6” MacBook Air following Apple’s "Back to the Mac" event. Both devices are incredibly thin and light, but the 11.6" version stole the show. The machine is practically netbook-sized (but don't tell Steve Jobs or Tim Cook we said that, as they seem to have a seething hatred for netbooks), but has a full-sized keyboard and almost-full-sized trackpad. The 13.3" model seemed like a monster by comparison, though as a previous MacBook Air owner, I really like the new design.

11.6-inch MacBook Air: Look, all we can tell you is that this is one of the tiniest, thinnest, most lust-worthy laptops we've ever seen.
13.3-inch MacBook Air: It certainly seems like a worthy upgrade. It definitely feels significantly bigger than the 11-incher, and we noticed the function keys are standard MacBook size, as opposed to the shrunken ones on the 11. We also noticed that it was seriously instant-on -- we popped the lid open and closed several times while taking photos, and it was ready to go the second we opened it.

We’ve just gone hands-on with the pair, and they’re slick, beautiful machines that will likely persuade many Apple store shoppers just from a quick play in-store. The 11.6-inch Air is incredibly thin, just like an iPhone 4 at its narrowest point at the front. Nonetheless, it’s also solid and bend-free, and the keyboard is as easy to use as a regular MacBook Pro. The display is Apple’s first 16:9 aspect panel, as is the 13.3-inch model.

The new 11.6-inch MacBook Air is a notebook that many Apple users have long been waiting for. While it might not have the most impressive overall specs, it delivers snappy performance for use with everyday apps. Mail, Safari, iChat, and iTunes all work smoothly and load quickly, making it a very useable device for users who need mobility and functionality on the go. On first impression, the new entry-level Macbook Air is a winner, and one would expect that Apple will have yet another runaway hit on its hands.

The New MacBook Air is available on Amazon. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air has starting price of $994 for 64GB, but we would suggest you to get the 128GB 11.6-inch MacBook Air priced $1,194. The 13.3-inch MacBook Air has starting price of $1,294 and we believe it’s a better deal than the 256GB Air model priced $1,599. Check out the introductory video below highlight the technology behind the sleek MacBook Air.