Certainly it is common knowledge by now that the 13-inch MacBook Air is both powerful and thin, but no matter how narrow the laptop, some people are just not satisfied. So the 11-inch is a two-inch compromise to fulfill these needs.
At first sight, the 11-inch model is just a smaller rendition of the 13-inch, even matching the appearance of last year’s. The unifying feature in the design is the uni-body casing. The material is aluminum and the slim profile bestows an elegance on the machine that is unparalleled. It quite clearly is a solid laptop made for toting.
Although the smaller the machine the tighter the working space and the stronger the feeling of being cramped, the 11-inch MacBook Air does not suffer from this air. The casing matches more closely the 13-inch than the screen does.
The keyboard is a pleasant size, allowing for full speed typing in no time. The responsiveness is well-balanced and the backlighting that had been such a joy has been brought back with this model. It detects when the environmental light level is low and turns on to allow typing in the dark. Although there are shortcut keys to allow you to enable or disable the feature, you won’t want to. For example, when you are on a flight the backlighting is indispensable.
Another fine feature is the gigantic touchpad that yields to three simultaneous touches. The diversity of features that can be enabled through this sophisticated communication is unbelievable, and only available in OS X Lion. The smoothness of it in OS X contrasts with the clunky feeling it has in Windows, which is due to its tight integration into the OS.
The other key advantage of the touchpad is that, by default, you have to press it in to click (two-fingers activates a right-click). This means that if you’re typing and accidentally brush against the touchpad, it doesn’t move your cursor to a different part of the document.
The 11-inch screen has a resolution of 1,366 x 768, and we found it to be sharp and detailed. It helps that OS X is designed to make the most of the screen, with the Dock slipping out of view when not in use and multi-touch gestures the easiest way to switch between open tasks. It means that you don’t need an ever-present task bar taking up room, as you do with Windows computers.
The viewing angles are great, with brilliant colors, even though the overall effect is a glossy finish that does not hold up well under office lights. Simply tilting the screen remedies this to some extent.
This model of MacBook Air has overcome a previous complaint that they were using an antiquated Core 2 Duo. You won’t have to worry about that any longer, since this one packs a 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M processor. As for memory, it is best not to buy the cheapest model or you will end up with only 2GB Ram and the 64 GB SSD. Opt for the 4GB Ram and 128 GB SSD for an additional small price.
This time Mac beats equivalent Windows laptops in bang for your bucks.