Macbook Air

Curious About the New Macbook Air's Performance?

The 11-inch MacBook Air's 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo has an Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) processor. The only issue I have with this processor is that it's based on a previous-generation Intel technology. Meanwhile, the Acer 1830T (Core i5-430um) and Asus UL20FT-A1 (Core i3-330um) run on Intel's latest Core processors-also of the ULV variant, but much faster. The two MacBook Air configurations start with 2GB of DDR3 memory; doubling memory to 4GB will cost more money. Meanwhile, most of the MacBook Air's peers are standardizing on 4GB of DDR3 memory. These two components (processor and memory) were drags on performance.

Rankings are established with performance benchmark tests, but keep in mind, operating performance benchmark assessments doesn't determine whether a certain task can be carried out; it's how fast it can be done in contrast to various other laptop computers in its class. In this instance, the MacBook Air is not the quickest laptop computer. It took nearly four times as long to encode a video clip than a similar laptop computer. Because the Photoshop test is memory intensive, the MacBook Air trailed against equivalent Asus and Toshiba laptop computers.

The key reason why Apple made a decision to stay with a Core 2 Duo was so that it could reap the benefits of a much better graphics environment, particularly Nvidia's integrated one. The Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics chip is the MacBook Air's one redeeming characteristic with regards to overall performance. I tried many 1080p and 720p high-definition videos, at high bit rates, and the 11-inch MacBook Air played them magnificently. For individuals who are worried about temperature, the base of the machine measured 83-87 degrees Fahrenheit while playing back an HD movie and rendering a photo with Photoshop CS5. Abnormal heat is not a concern from what I've seen so far. Let's check out the battery now.

The 11-inch MacBook Air's 35WH electric battery is the element that occupies the majority of the space internally, yet the capacity is equivalent to a 4-cell. That isn't a lot, but Apple made the most of it. According to the company, the 11-inch MacBook Air can get you approximately 5 hours of Web browsing time. It was analyzed running down a MP4 video file in Mac OS 10.6.4, a far more intense way of running down the battery than web browsing. The 11-inch MacBook Air completed in 3 hours, 44 minutes. We also did a battery rundown in Windows 7, using MobileMark 2007, which doesn't make use of MAC OS 10's power management technologies. The 11-inch Macbook Air completed in 3 hours 52 minutes, and that is well shy of Toshiba's and Acer's 8 hour scores. It also helps that the Toshiba and the Acer notebooks have much larger batteries.

Overall, the laptop's functionality isn't the best, however it shouldn't disappoint you. You could surely do a lot worse, particularly when it comes to small and easily transportable laptops. This new Macbook Air is still miles in front of netbooks. Feel free to still check out another Macbook Air review (at, however, before making a definite decision.