APPLE MACBOOK AIR "CORE I5" 1

Pros

Good screen (for TN) with 1440 x 900 resClass-leading connectivitySleek, attractive designRelatively powerful specificationsExcellent usability

Cons

No (Retina) upgrade khổng lồ the displaySame old chassisNo Gigabit Ethernet or HDMINon-standard screen resolutionNoisy under load

Key Specifications

Review Price: £999.0013.3in 1440 x 900 TN displayIntel Ivy Bridge vi xử lý core i5-i7, HD 4000 graphics4-8GB RAM, 128-512GB SSDWhite-backlit keyboardUSB 3.0, Thunderbolt, DisplayPort
MacBook Air 2012 IntroThe laptop macbook Air remains an iconic product in the máy tính xách tay market. Not because it was the first premium ultraportable to lớn be thin enough to fit in an envelope – Sony did that years earlier with its VAIO TZ1, among many other models – but because it achieved a higher màn chơi of market penetration và public awareness than others.

– Looking for the best macbook Air rival? Have a read of our: laptop macbook Air Versus Samsung Series 9 showdown.

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Even till early last year, the 2011 laptop apple macbook Air was one of the best ultraportables around, until the Samsung 900X3B came along và stole its crown. However, now hãng apple has upgraded its entire máy vi tính range, so we’re testing the 13 inch laptop apple macbook Air 2012 lớn see how the new and improved model holds up.

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Let’s start things off with a quick summary: the new laptop macbook Air is a relatively minor upgrade from its predecessor, especially when compared to lớn the stunning overhaul that is the macbook phiên bản pro with Retina Display. In stark contrast, the 2012 Air has the same chassis, layout & screen.

What’s new is that the internals have been upgraded to lớn Ivy Bridge, which provides a modest CPU bump and a very noticeable GPU one. In other words, the new laptop apple macbook Air is better to trò chơi on, but of course the same goes for all its competitor Ultrabooks. Connectivity has also been given a major boost by the long-overdue addition of USB 3.0.

SEE ALSO: Best Laptops, Ultrabooks & Hybrids

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MacBook Air 2012 Design and BuildAt first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking this is the same machine as its predecessor – hãng apple simply hasn’t fixed what wasn’t broken. The 2012 macbook Air 13 inch is still a gorgeously minimalist unibody affair sheathed in anodised aluminium, that’s just 17mm thick & weighs a mere 1.35kg. If it wasn’t made by Apple, it would be called an Ultrabook.

The same angular lines, glossy black screen, matt black keyboard và huge silver touchpad are all present khổng lồ greet you, while build chất lượng is just as superb. In fact, the only way you can tell anything’s different from the outside is by looking at its connectivity, và specifically at the slightly more elongated MagSafe 2 connector (and no, your old MagSafe kit won’t fit unless you buy an adapter).

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Aside from softening a few edges, there’s really not too much we wanted to see changed, so we’re not complaining. Of the non-Apple ultraportable crowd, only the Samsung 900X3B, Dell XPS 13 and, to lớn a lesser extent, hãng asus Zenbook are playing in the same field when it comes khổng lồ the combination of premium looks, sleek lines and superb build on offer.

MacBook Air 2012 ConnectivityThough it might look identical, connectivity has seen a very significant update. Even if they haven’t changed their appearance, the USB ports are now of the speedy 3.0 variety, finally letting you plug in the multitude of high-speed memory sticks và other external storage on the market. This is the one area where Apple’s machines were lagging most when compared with their Windows PC competition, và we’re glad to see it finally rectified. Oh, incidentally, those on their way lớn Hell may wish lớn consider purchasing a pair of ice-skates.

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Twin USB 3.0 ports aside, there’s the same SDXC card reader & headphone jack. Of course the Thunderbolt/DisplayPort connector also remains in place, along with bluetooth không dây 4.0 and Wi-Fi N – all helping to lớn make the 13in laptop apple macbook Air one of the best-connected ultraportables on the market. If it had a Gigabit Ethernet jack and maybe HDMI, it would be in pole position. As is, it joins the Sony VAIO Z at the front of the ranks.

MacBook Air 2012 Keyboard and TouchpadUnsurprisingly, usability is eminently familiar. The macbook Air 2012’s chiclet keyboard is well laid out even if keys are spaced just a tad too far apart for ideal comfort. Travel is good and there’s not a hint of flex, making it mostly a pleasure khổng lồ type on; only the Lenovo IdeaPad U300 tops it by offering firmer kích hoạt and ergonomic keys. Adjustable trắng LED backlighting is the cherry on the Apple-cake.

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The massive frosted glass touchpad is still đứng đầu notch, and though it’s been matched on some non-Apple laptops it has yet lớn be bettered. This is especially true since, unlike Windows 7, MacOS makes extensive use of its multi-touch capabilities in a way that’s intuitive và genuinely useful. Mind you, for just moving your pointer about this touchpad is easily matched by the likes of the Samsung 900X3B.

MacBook Air 2012 Screen When it first came out, apple was ahead of most 13in competitors with the Air’s screen resolution of 1,440 x 900. However, with the 13-inch apple macbook Air 2012 we’re seeing more & more rivals offering 1,600 x 900 or even Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at the same screen size. On top of that, while the panel táo bị cắn has used is certainly one of the better examples of TN, it’s still inferior lớn the IPS and PLS we’re beginning lớn see in premium laptops from other brands, such as the Samsung Series 9 900X3B and hãng asus Zenbook Prime.

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However, judged on its own merits the screen has good horizontal viewing angles and even looking from above can still get you an acceptable picture. Furthermore you get deep blacks, good dark detailing and rich colours. Our only major negative is reflections from the glossy finish, but these are not as bad as on a glass-fronted laptop.

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What all this adds up to lớn is that, while perfectly usable và in fact superior khổng lồ the majority of slim và light laptops on the market, the 13-inch apple macbook Air 2012’s screen simply doesn’t match up to some of the similarly priced premium competition, & the absence of the high resolution & IPS panel chất lượng synonymous with the Retina branding seriously disappoints.

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MacBook Air 2012 SpeakersThe hidden stereo speakers are good by 13in ultraportable standards. They offer decent volume levels albeit with slight distortion at maximum. They also manage to lớn project more depth & clarity than we’re used khổng lồ from laptops this slim, though bass is inevitably absent. Certainly, the 13 inch apple macbook Air 2012’s audio is on a màn chơi with the best of the rest.

MacBook Air 2012 Performance

PCMark 07General: 4284Entertainment: 3278

Along with its connectivity, specifications is the other area where the 2012 apple macbook Air has received a major update. The biggest news here is of course Intel’s Ivy Bridge, its third-gen processor và integrated graphics architecture. The Air comes with your choice of dual-core core i5 or i7 CPUs. Our nhận xét sample sported the standard low-voltage dual-core core i5-3427U, which runs at 1.8GHz but can Turbo clock up lớn 2.8GHz. This is similar khổng lồ the kind of processing nguồn you’ll find in most premium Ivy Bridge ultraportables.

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Graphics are handled by the HD 4000, which increases performance over Intel’s previous HD 3000 effort. Intel claims an improvement of up to 40 percent, và indeed we found results in Stalker to not be far off that, with a comfy 26.8fps average in the same 720p, Medium Detail chạy thử where last year’s Air only just managed 20fps.

While we wouldn’t go so far as to lớn say it’s a gamer-worthy chip, at least a few demanding titles are now actually playable, even if you still have to lớn make significant sacrifices in detail & resolution.

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Pretty much every premium consumer máy tính on the market comes with 4GB of RAM as standard; the one exception was the Air, which started you off with an anaemic 2GB of 1,333MHz DDR3. Thankfully, hãng apple has now upped that khổng lồ 4GB và increased the 2012 laptop macbook Air 13 inch’s maximum khổng lồ a generous 8GB of 1,600MHz RAM, which should be plenty for even the most demanding user. Better yet, the £80 it demands for the upgrade is actually somewhat reasonable. With many Ultrabooks only coming in one configuration và thus sporting a 4GB maximum, this can be a significant advantage for nguồn users on the go.
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With a baseline 128GB SSD, minimum storage remains the same but the largest capacity choice has increased from 256GB lớn 512GB & the actual 6Gb/s drives used are faster than the 3GB/s ones used before. At time of writing there are very few other ultraportables available offering this much memory & solid state storage capacity, putting the 2012 Air at the đứng đầu of its game – for now.

On a different note, it’s worth pointing out that the laptop apple macbook Air gets a tad noisy and hot around the hinge when running CPU/GPU-intensive content, but this is common with performance machines this thin.

MacBook Air 2012 Battery

MobileMark(40 percent screen brightness, wireless radios disabled, mixed productivity)321 minutes

Unfortunately, táo bị cắn claims the exact same 7-hour battery life figure for its new 13in Air as on the old mã sản phẩm – despite the slightly more efficient processor & graphics chip. This is a shame as, in our light productivity test, the previous 13in macbook Air only managed five hours 41 minutes – though admittedly this was running Windows 7, which will have had an impact.

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Bizarrely, we actually got a slightly lower score of five hours and 21 minutes this time around. Using the máy vi tính with Apple’s OS as intended delivered closer khổng lồ the claimed figure, but we would still say it’s the one other area where, together with its screen, the 2012 laptop apple macbook Air isn’t quite the king of the ring.

MacBook Air 2012 ValueWith a starting price of £999, the new 2012 laptop macbook Air 13in is solidly positioned at the premium end of the market, but is better value than ever before thanks lớn its upgraded bits. Frankly, it doesn’t appear to carry too much of an apple premium. There are cheaper Ultrabooks available, but most don’t match up in either the screen or connectivity departments, not to mention design & build.

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However, some do, và the Air is about khổng lồ face some tough times due khổng lồ its lack of upgrades – especially where the screen is concerned. In this regard, it’s already outperformed by the Samsung Series 9 900X3B with its matt 1,600 x 900 PLS panel, và will be absolutely annihilated by the 1080p IPS Zenbook Prime UX31a.

Once the former receives its Ivy Bridge update và the latter makes it to lớn the UK market, only the Air’s Thunderbolt connectivity will still give it an edge, but we’ll cross that (Ivy) bridge when we come khổng lồ it. In the meantime, if you desire MacOS the easy way or must buy now, the 2012 Air is well worth considering. Otherwise, we’d recommend holding off just a little longer lớn see what others will bring against it.

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MacBook Air 2012 VerdictApple has updated what was already one of the better ultraportable laptops on the market lớn keep it competitive, with a downright impressive mix of specification upgrades and (in theory) some of the best connectivity going thanks to its dual USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt combination. However, we can’t say we’re not disappointed to lớn have the same old 1,440 x 900 TN screen rather than an IPS-panel Retina display, especially since some of the competition will be packing 1,600 x 900 or even 1080p IPS screens on their premium 13in Ultrabooks.