Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, June 2013)

Laptop Ratings & Reviews

The Positive New Intel fourth-gen CPUs assist the up to date MacE-book Air obtain wonderful battery life. The multitouch trackpad continues to be the business’s greatest, and even higher, the 13-inch MacE-book Air now begins at $100 lower than the earlier model.

The Imperfect Newer options comparable to contact screens and higher-resolution displays are nonetheless lacking. The ultrabook competitors is catching up, when it comes to design.

The Outcome Apple retains the newest MacE-book Air updates on the within, however significantly improved battery life and a decrease beginning value make up for an absence of flashy design adjustments.

Rating

8.2 Overall

  • Design8.0
  • Features7.0
  • Performance8.0
  • Battery10.0

Editors’ be aware, June 27, 2017 Apple has up to date the 13-inch MacE-book Air a handful of occasions since debuting the 2013 model reviewed under. The most up-to-date replace got here in June 2017, when Apple delivered sooner, extra highly effective Intel processors to the $999 13-inch model and the $1,299 12-inch MacE-book. At the identical time, the corporate launched new MacE-book Pros — the $1,299 13-inch, $1,799 13-inch with Touch Bar, and $2,399 15-inch with Touch Bar — which have these new chips, too, together with upgraded graphics . 

Otherwise, apart from a RAM bump right here and a slight value drop there, the 2017 batch is similar to the one from 2016, with the identical enclosures, ports, trackpads and screens (full itemizing of adjustments and additions). Note that the 13-inch MacE-book Pro from 2015 has been displaycontinued although the $1,999 15-inch model from that year stays accessible for individuals who need all of the ports and fewer dongles. 

Apple’s MacE-book Pro will get an early improve

You get newer CPUs and sooner graphics, however the brand new decrease beginning value on the bottom 13-inch model is the largest improve of all.

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It could also be a case of “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

The new 2013 variations of each the 11-inch and 13-inch MacE-book Air look very acquainted certainly, as these slim methods have hardly modified in any respect bodily over the previous few generations.

The Air was the one Apple laptop computer line to get a June 2013 replace at Apple’s WWDC convention. At first look, it appears like a comparatively minor set of adjustments, with the first promoting level being a transfer to Intel’s new fourth-generation Core i-series CPUs, additionally recognized by the code identify Haswell. There is, nevertheless, one essential displaytinction within the new fashions, and one which’s particularly noteworthy when you spend numerous time on the street and away out of your energy adapter.

We’ve beforehand examined Haswell chips in a number of laptops and been impressed by each the efficiency and battery life positive factors (to be life like, the latter is way more vital for customers). If you add Haswell to Apple’s already-stellar battery life status, you get a system, within the 13-inch Air, that Apple claims will run for as much as 12 hours, and in our exams (spoiler alert) ran even longer.

 

Having a Haswell-generation CPU additionally provides you Intel’s improved HD5000 graphics, which guarantees improved sport efficiency over final year’s HD4000 graphics (itself an enchancment over the previous HD3000, and so forth). It’s nonetheless not something like having a displaycrete GPU, as within the 15-inch Retina Pro, however with sport providers comparable to Steam and EA’s Origin now being Mac-compatible, it might make some small inroads for OS X gaming.

Also new is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a brand new customary that may finally be present in wi-fi routers, in addition to Apple’s new AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule . If you will have an 802.11n router, which is a more likely state of affairs, this will likely not assist you to, nevertheless it’s a pleasant piece of future-proofing. Apple additionally says the solid-state-drive storage included within the Air laptops is now sooner, though I believe bumping the bottom $999 11-inch model as much as a full 128GB of SSD storage (from the paltry 64GB beforehand offered at that very same value) is a way more vital improvement.

 

It’s straightforward to say that this new model of the 13-inch MacE-book Air is a modest step ahead, with no bodily adjustments to the outside, and nonetheless no higher-res display, contact display screen, or HDMI port. The battery life is a really massive deal, nevertheless, and if you couple that with a $100 value reduce on the bottom model, all the way down to $1,099, the 13-inch MacE-book Air is, regardless of not being the latest design on the block, nonetheless one of the crucial universally helpful laptops you should buy.

MacE-book Air 13-inch (June 2013) MacE-book Air 11-inch (June 2013) Sony Vaio Pro 13
Price $1099 $999 $1249
Dis dimension/decision 13.3-inch, 1,440×900 display screen 11.6-inch, 1,766×768 display screen 13.3-inch, 1,920×1,080 touchscreen
PC CPU 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U
PC Memory 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz
Graphics 1,024MB Intel HD Graphics 5000 1,024MB Intel HD Graphics 5000 1,659MB Intel HD Graphics 4400
Storage 128GB SSD 128GB SSD 128GB SSD
Optical drive None None None
Networking 802.11a/c wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0 802.11a/c wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0 802.11b/g/n wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Operating system OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 Windows 8 (64-bit)

Design and options

The MacE-book Air retains the identical exterior look as the previous few generations, a glance that also rivals the latest ultrabooks, though some new methods, comparable to Sony’s Vaio Pro line, are getting thinner and lighter with out sacrificing a lot in the best way of productiveness.

Both the 11-inch and 13-inch variations of the MacE-book Air nonetheless have the identical thickness, starting from 0.11-inch to 0.68-inch. Spread over the bigger footprint of the 13-inch chassis, the 13-inch model nonetheless feels satisfyingly skinny.

The Vaio Pro 13 subsequent to the 13-inch MacE-book Air. 

As with the earlier model, the inflexible aluminum development makes the Air really feel sturdy sufficient to simply throw it in a bag and carry together with you with out a protecting case or sleeve, and it is fascinating to displaytinction the aluminum unibody development right here with the lighter carbon fiber within the aforementioned Vaio Pro. I would nonetheless belief the Air and its unyielding lid extra in a throw-in-your-luggage area take a look at.

The backlit keyboard and trackpad are the identical as on the earlier fashions, and the trackpad particularly stays the usual by which all others are judged. Many different laptop computer makers have moved to bigger clickpad-style contact pads, however we have now but to displaycover a contact pad that comes to this for multitouch gestures. The pad is once more hinged on the high, permitting the complete pad to click on down, and we strongly recommend going into the Preferences menu and turning on the entire tapping choices for additional ease of use.

 

It shall be fascinating to see how Apple’s person interfaces develop within the face of each Windows 8, which tries (not terribly efficiently) to reinvent the complete idea of working with a pc OS, and the upcoming OS X Mavericks replace. For now, flicking round with three-and-four-finger gestures on the MacE-book trackpad stays probably the most seamless strategy to swap between home windows and functions, not less than in my expertise.

Unlike on the 11-inch MacE-book Air, the 13-inch display screen continues to be not a 169 display. The display screen space additionally lacks the edge-to-edge glass over a black bezel displaycovered within the MacE-book Pro; as an alternative the display screen is, as in earlier years, surrounded by a thick silver bezel.

On the constructive aspect, the native decision of the display is 1,440×900 pixels, which is best than the 1,366×768 you displaycover in lots of 13-inch laptops, though even midpriced fashions are shortly switching over to 1,600×900 and even 1,920×1,080. Of course the Retina Pro fashions, together with a handful of laptops from Toshiba, HP, and Dell, are experimenting with even-higher-than-HD resolutions.

While the Air display screen is not flat matte, it is also not terribly reflective, which is a step up from the “mirror image” impact you get on some laptop computer screens.

Apple MacE-book Air (13-inch, June 2013)

Video DisPort/Thunderbolt
Audio Stereo audio system, headphone jack
Data 2 USB 3.0, SD card reader
Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Optical drive None

Connections, efficiency, and battery

The ports and connections stay unchanged on this model of the MacE-book Air. That provides you two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port to with, with the latter used for each exterior accent and video connectivity. The sooner 802.11ac Wi-Fi will good with Apple’s personal upcoming new AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule , however I think you are still working off an 802.11n router. There’s extra on what 802.11ac means for you right here.

 

The base configuration for the 13-inch Air now prices $1,099, versus $1,199 beforehand. Most of the system is unchanged, with the primary displaytinction being the brand new Haswell-generation Intel processor and platform. Interestingly, final year’s base model CPU was a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, whereas the newer Haswell model is a 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-4250U. The step-up $1,299 configuration retains the identical CPU because the $1,099 one, however doubles the SSD to 256GB.

The precise displaytinction in our take a look at outcomes between the 2012 and 2013 fashions was minor. Year-over-year utility efficiency would not present any actual enchancment, and the brand new Air really ran some exams a hair slower. As a longtime MacE-book Air person, in on a regular basis use — Web browsing, social media, HD video again — the 2013 MacE-book Air did not really feel any completely different than the earlier model. Any of the previous few generations is greater than highly effective sufficient for mainstream customers.

What is decidedly completely different, nevertheless, is the built-in HD 5000 graphics from Intel, a step above the HD 4000 within the earlier Air. In our older Call of Duty 4 take a look at (one of many few customary gaming benchmarks for OS X), on the native 1,440×900-pixel decision, the sport ran at 39.0 frames per second on the 2013 Air and 21.9 frames per second on the 2012 Air.

Neither is a gaming machine (and you will have to maneuver all the best way as much as the 15-inch Retina Pro to get a displaycrete Nvidia GPU), however our anecdotal sport exams in Portal 2 present that the Air can deal with mainstream video games that lean a bit extra on the informal aspect.

 

Battery life is the place the brand new MacE-book Air (each the 11-inch and 13-inch variations) actually stands out. The previous-generation 13-inch Air ran for 7 hours and 27 minutes in our video again battery drain take a look at. The 2013 model blows that out of the water, with an astonishing 14 hours and 25 minutes on the identical take a look at. That’s higher than Apple’s estimate of 12 hours, and one of many solely occasions our exams have indicated longer battery life than a producer’s claims.

Now, earlier than we get too excited, there are a number of caveats for that quantity. Much of the credit score should bought to Intel’s fourth-generation Core i-series platform, which was pitched as being extremely power-efficient. Our early exams affirm this, with the brand new 13-inch Sony Vaio Pro 13 working for almost 9 hours. And, whereas it is a a lot better rating than final year’s Air, the CPU itself runs at a decrease clock pace, and the brand new Intel chips are particularly optimized for video again, which is the guts of our battery take a look at. Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth closely or ing 3D video games would trigger that quantity to drop.

But even retaining these elements in thoughts, Apple’s usually stellar battery achievements and Intel’s new Haswell chips have mixed to make this a very all-day laptop computer.

Conclusion

For a laptop computer that appears and feels so similar to final year’s model (and albeit, the prior year’s as effectively), there’s really lots happening behind the scenes within the new 13-inch MacE-book Air.

The overly acquainted design and lack of stylish new options (contact screens, higher-res displays, NFC) could make it arduous to get notably excited in regards to the 2013 Air, particularly contemplating the essential utility efficiency is so much like the 2012 model. The up to date Intel GPU is welcome, even with the still-sparse OS X gaming surroundings, and the decrease beginning value helps, too, making this simply a few steps above an impulse buy, not less than so far as laptops are involved.

But if all that provides as much as a modest step ahead, the wonderful battery life, which Apple and Intel should share credit score for (with the size tilting towardsthe Intel aspect), makes this really feel like a brand-new period for the MacE-book. Even if our 14-hour video again battery life run is reduce by a 3rd or extra in rigorous real-world situations, you have nonetheless bought a real all-day, always-on pc. Couple that with OS X and the best-in-show trackpad and gestures, and I would be hard-pressed to think about a single competitor that comes to the ever present usefulness of this method.

Multimedia multitasking take a look at (in seconds)

(Shorter bars point out higher efficiency)

MacE-book Pro 13-inch w/Retina Dis (October 2012)

193

MacE-book Air 13-inch (June 2012)

194

MacE-book Air 13-inch (June 2013)

211

MacE-book Air 11-inch (June 2013)

212

Sony Vaio Pro 13

437

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing take a look at (in seconds)

(Shorter bars point out higher efficiency)

MacE-book Pro 13-inch w/Retina Dis (October 2012)

186

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