88

conclusion:We like it

88

It's not the most powerful, or the most expandable laptop in the world -- but it doesn't need to be. Every computer has its tradeoffs, and the 13-inch Air's balance of performance, price, size, battery life, and build quality makes it our hands-down top pick in laptops. Small wonder computer makers everywhere are racing to catch up.

Critic reviews

8.8
7 reviews
  • Speed and features
    8.8
  • Design and form factor
    9.3
  • Battery life
    8.0
  • Display
    7.7
  • Durability
    10
  • Expandability
    6.5
  • Noise
    9.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    10

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User reviews

9.1
89 reviews
8.0
Engadget Jul 25, 2011

The 2011 MacBook Air addresses nearly every concern anyone could lob at its predecessor. It's still light on ports, the missing SD slot on the 11-inch model is a drag, and no, it isn't cheap, but this machine is fast, efficient, and not to be underestimated.

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10
Laptop Magazine Jul 20, 2011

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. You also get an improved backlit keyboard, Thunderbolt support, and the more powerful and versatle Mac OS X Lion.

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9.0
AnandTech Jul 28, 2011

You get a nice chassis with excellent build quality, decent displays that trump every budget laptop we've looked at, and reasonable battery life. If you like thin and light ultraportables, the MacBook Air continues to be one of the best options around.

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9.0
Macworld Aug 1, 2011

Apple has built the MacBook Air for what it believes is the sweet spot of the laptop market: people who are over the optical disc, who don't need any more processing power than an Intel Core i5 processor can provide, and who don't need massive amounts of disk space.

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8.0
PC Mag Jul 21, 2011

The Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Thunderbolt) is a formidable player in the ultraportable space, thanks to a Core i5 processor, backlit keyboard, and Thunderbolt port.

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9.0
SlashGear Mar 18, 2012

In short, that ... decision between prioritizing portability and performance has ... been made for you: the MacBook Air grants you both. Build-quality is reassuringly strong, speed and performance are sufficient for most users, and the ability to drop the Air into a bag ... is a huge advantage.

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9.0
cjtylr cjtylr

I didn't really know whether it was worth getting this computer over my current MacBook Pro 13" from 2010. I didn't think the upgrade would justify the cost. Boy was I wrong. I thought my MBP with a 128 SSD was pretty quick - the new MBA is even quicker. It outperforms even the i7 models of the...

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9.0
Ktulu1 Ktulu1

I'm a PC guy. Not only that, while I routinely recommend them, I've never owned an Apple product before this MacBook Air. Hands down, this is one of the best computers I've ever used. I'm not completely enamored with Mac OS X Lion, but I do love this hardware. I'm forcing myself to become...

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7.0
frankspin frankspin

I wanted a laptop that would be more portable and lighter than the current precision 4500 I have so I requested a Macbook air. I have no complaints about the speed and design of the device. Everything is laid out well and the track pad doesn't take up too much space from the keyboard. I've only...

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9.0
nitehawk nitehawk

My wife loves it so far. She (and I) are still getting used to it since it's our first Mac, but so far it's awesome. So light, so quiet, doesn't get hot, starts up in like 5 seconds, looks awesome. The processing speed is much better than I thought it would be. I was able to cut a HD video and...

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9.0
matbush matbush

I bought this laptop for college and general surfing while at home and well it fits this bill perfectly. Does exactly what it is supposed to and looks great as well. Some times I just like to look at it! I also like the fact that with the SSD the difference between sleep and shut down is so small...

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10
ScottFrancis ScottFrancis

GREAT It flies. It starts up in about 15 seconds and resumes from sleep almost instantly. It runs for hours without a charge. It's gorgeous, and the case is subtly more functional than the previous design Lion feels great on this device. Navigating the OS with the trackpad is a real pleasure....

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9.0
trivialmonroe trivialmonroe

This machine has been in our family for a little over a week and I can say that it was the best decision that we ever made. We opted for the Core i7 256gb SSD option as it will be my wife's primary laptop and my "home from work" laptop. I have been very pleased with the speed of the laptop and it...

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10
eckspeck eckspeck

After the first few days with my new 13" MacBook Air I'm very impressed by it. I've had a 2007 15" MacBook Pro before with a Core 2 Duo Processor and a 120 GB Hard Drive and I thought that the new Air with it's Core i5 would be perfect to replace the 'old' MBP. Don't get me wrong: the old MBP...

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9.0
Jamez Jamez

Highly recommend, though if you're looking for a Windows machine its so-so. I have Win7 running on Parallels and it's fine, but it crashes periodically and so far there's been no fix. I'm happy with buying it, but not entirely satisfied that it's as good as it could be. Still would rather have...

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9.0
abundy abundy

My first apple machine and i love it. We were tossing up between an iPAD on this, and i am very glad i went with the macbook. It is so much better than any windows machine i have used. Everything works when attached ie, video cameras, cameras etc...seamlessly. Really like the track pad and now...

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10
berning berning

Got the high-end Core i7 model and am using it as my primary system along with a Thunderbolt display. Amazingly versatile!

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