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Initial Hands-On Impressions of the New MacBook Air

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Those in attendance at today's media event on Apple's campus had the opportunity to spend some time with the new MacBook Air models, and early hands-on impressions and reviews are beginning to roll in.

Ars Technica calls both the 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch models "incredibly thin and light" and is particularly taken with the smaller version.
Both devices are incredibly thin and light, but the 11.6" version stole the show. The machine is practically netbook-sized (but don't tell Steve Jobs or Tim Cook we said that, as they seem to have a seething hatred for netbooks), but has a full-sized keyboard and almost-full-sized trackpad. The 13.3" model seemed like a monster by comparison, though as a previous MacBook Air owner, I really like the new design.
Several outlets have commented on the snappiness of the new MacBook Airs when waking from sleep, with the machines ready to use nearly instantly upon opening the lid. While not quite instant, a full boot take only about 15 seconds according to Forbes.
The most remarkable feature, however, isn't cosmetic, it's these machine's boot time.

Bootup takes less than 15 seconds, according to my watch. That's a good deal less than the roughly 50 seconds it takes my trusty Windows laptop to come to life.
As Apple notes in a support document, the 30-day standby battery life for the new MacBook Airs is achieved with a new mode that activates after an hour of regular sleep, saving the entire system state to flash memory and turning off hardware systems.

Engadget has also posted a video of an unboxing of the two new MacBook Air models.

Article Link: Initial Hands-On Impressions of the New MacBook Air
 

Maximillian

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
290
0
Putting a SSD in my Macbook Pro was the best investment I ever made. Boots up in seconds and apps launch in 2-3 seconds. I fire up the entire Adobe suite in about 5 seconds.

Awesome.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
Hmm, so $1000 for 1.4ghz 11.6" screen.

Sorry Apple, but I'd much rather get a Macbook (white).

Yeah yeah, I know it has flash memory and all that good stuff, but I'm saying what I would buy.
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
Ads. This one thing might make me start avoiding any future Engadget video for good.
 

Yr Blues

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,240
276
cross-posted

I've been waiting for the 12" PowerBook void to be filled for so *********g long.

Cons:

1. battery life is half of a basic MacBook, even with solid-state memory
2. no black bezel
3. no SD card on the 11"
4. no more backlit keyboard as with the original air

Pros:

1. the death of CD/DVD in favor of less fragile thumb-drives and SD cards
2. 11"
3. no more swivel port/door
4. instant on
5. $999
 

mohrt

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2008
107
7
Both devices are incredibly thin and light, but the 11.6" version stole the show. The machine is practically netbook-sized (but don't tell Steve Jobs or Tim Cook we said that, as they seem to have a seething hatred for netbooks)

Steve said "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." That's all a netbook is, a cheap laptop. Evidently size is not the problem. You just need a full sized keyboard and display on a small device with a great user experience, and the Air delivered. And it's not cheap :)
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,388
1,506
...

So it achieves it's long life by going into hibernate...not exactly magicalnbut I hope the instant on applies after hibernate as well...any macbooo is instant on waking from sleep and even my MacBook pro with an owc mercury ssd was quite slow at waking from hibernate it almost took as long as a full boot.
 

adamw

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
349
324
I am really impressed with both of these. I especially like the smaller one. Thanks for sharing the unboxing video!
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,807
79
Gee, could he manhandle those beauties any rougher??!! :mad:

Not like he cares, Engaged is paying for it and for someone like Josh who's dealt with thousands of gadget its unsurprising he's apathetic.

cross-posted

I've been waiting for the 12" PowerBook void to be filled for so *********g long.

Cons:

4. no more backlit keyboard as with the original air

Is this really true? if so thats a massive letdown.
 

Edgejr

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2008
25
0
MBA Startup Times

Several outlets have commented on the snappiness of the new MacBook Airs when waking from sleep, with the machines ready to use nearly instantly upon opening the lid. While not quite instant, a full boot take only about 15 seconds

For those of us who sprung for the SSD drive in the old MBA, we've already experienced 25 second boot times and instant-on wake from sleep. Even though the MBA is considered a slow machine, the SSD makes it substantially faster than my Core i7 iMac with standard HD for startup functions and some application launching. It's an amazing difference.

The flash memory/SSD is the only way to go, folks.
 
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