MacBook Air 2011 Reviews

radiohead14

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2008
873
42
nyc
Thank you to everyone who contributed! :)


MacBook Air 11"

7/20/11

-Laptop Mag: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/apple-macbook-air-11-inch-2011.aspx

7/21/11

-Storage Review (mini review with teardown): http://www.storagereview.com/apple_macbook_air_july2011_ssd_dissected

-GottaBeMobile: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/07/21/macbook-air-review-1st/

7/22/11

-GottaBeMobile (video): http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/07/22/11-macbook-air-review-out-of-box-experience-video/

-CNet: http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/apple-macbook-air-11/4505-3121_7-34850077.html#reviewPage1

7/24/11

-Chip Chick: http://www.chipchick.com/2011/07/macbook-air-review-2011.html

7/25/11

-PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389068,00.asp

7/27/11

-Apple Insider: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/27/review_apples_2011_thunderbolt_11_inch_and_13_inch_macbook_airs.html#dev

-CNN: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/27/macbook-air-finally-a-buy/

-MacWorld (benchmarks): http://www.macworld.com/article/161362/2011/07/macbookairbenchmarks.html

7/28/11

-AnandTech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review

-PC Pro: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/368917/apple-macbook-air-11in-2011

7/29/11

GigaOM: http://gigaom.com/apple/11-6-inch-macbook-air-review-petite-powerhouse/

7/30/11

-MacWorld (i7 benchmarks): http://www.macworld.com/article/161424/2011/07/bto_macbook_air_2011.html

8/1/11

-MacWorld: http://www.macworld.com/article/161434/2011/08/macbook_air_2011.html?lsrc=top_1

-AnandTech (update w/ display panel benchmarks): http://www.anandtech.com/show/4554/apples-11inch-macbook-air-core-i7-18ghz-review-update


MacBook Air 13"

7/20/11

-Laptop Mag: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/apple-macbook-air-13-2011.aspx

-TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/20/updated-macbook-air/

-Computer Shopper: http://computershopper.com/laptops/reviews/apple-macbook-air-13.3-inch-2011-version

7/21/11

-PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388836,00.asp

-iFixIt: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Air-13-Inch-Mid-2011-Teardown/6130/1

7/22/11

-CNet UK: http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/laptops/apple-macbook-air-13-inch-review-50004509/

-This Is My Next: http://thisismynext.com/2011/07/22/apple-macbook-air-13-inch-mid-2011/

-CNet: http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/apple-macbook-air-13/4505-3121_7-34850080.html?tag=latestReviews

-Bare Feats: http://www.barefeats.com/mba11_02.html

-Mobile Tech Review (video review): http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Number=41033&page=0

7/24/11

-Electronista: http://www.electronista.com/reviews/macbook-air-13-inch-2011.html

7/25/11

-Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/25/macbook-air-review-mid-2011/

-Gadgetsteria: http://gadgetsteria.com/2011/07/25/review-13-macbook-air-2011/

-Pocket Lint: http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/5506/apple-macbook-air-2011-review

7/26/11

-Reg Hardware: http://www.reghardware.com/2011/07/26/review_macbook_air_13in_mid_2011/

-ZD Net: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews/ultraportables/2011/07/26/apple-macbook-air-2011-133in-40093522/

7/27/11

-Apple Insider: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/27/review_apples_2011_thunderbolt_11_inch_and_13_inch_macbook_airs.html#dev

-MacWorld (benchmarks): http://www.macworld.com/article/161362/2011/07/macbookairbenchmarks.html

7/28/11

-AnandTech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macbook-air-11-13inch-review

-Gadget Review: http://www.gadgetreview.com/2011/07/apple-macbook-air-13-20111-8ghz-review.html

7/29/11

-PC Pro: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/369001/macbook-air-13in-2011

7/30/11

-MacWorld (i7 benchmarks): http://www.macworld.com/article/161424/2011/07/bto_macbook_air_2011.html

8/1/11

-MacWorld: http://www.macworld.com/article/161434/2011/08/macbook_air_2011.html?lsrc=top_1

8/3/11

-Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/08/thunder-in-the-air-ars-reviews-the-mid-2011-macbook-air.ars/1

8/4/11

-Cult of Mac: http://www.cultofmac.com/fourteen-days-with-apples-powerful-ultra-portable-13-inch-macbook-air-review/107227

8/5/11

-PC World: http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/review/notebooks/apple/macbook_air/396055?pp=1#cb

8/8/11

-PC Advisor: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/laptop/3295858/apple-macbook-air-133in-mid-2011-review/


i'll update as more comes in :)
 
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radiohead14

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2008
873
42
nyc
Hm, worse battery life. Loaded refurb 11 it is.
yea that stuck out like a sore thumb for me too.. but i'm gonna wait until AnandTech has their review up. it's a toss up between battery life and backlit keyboard on the 11" for me.
 

Ridley

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2011
111
0
Hm, worse battery life. Loaded refurb 11 it is.
lol there is no way you are being serious! Its more than twice the performance, backlite keys, thunderbolt, and the upgrades are cheaper ($200 upgrade for 128 gigs AND 4gigs RAM) which would negate any savings you might get with the old loaded 11 inch.

And why are you getting the old loaded 11 inch... because you care about the performance and speed? When that is more money at half the speed of the baseline new model...does...not...compute..

If the battery life is so important maybe consider getting the baseline 2010 to maximize your savings?

The review also mentioned the screen brightness... has it increased? And also the backlite keys. Not sure when testing battery life if they turned off the keys and turned brightness down to match the 2010 model. It wasn't clear ... like is 40% brightness on the 2010 MBA = 40% brightness on 2011 MBA. I reckon the screen is the biggest battery drain for web surfing
 
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Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
As much as I'd love the bigger SSD, the significantly worse battery has utterly killed it for me.
 

Sinnthetic

macrumors member
Jun 12, 2011
38
0
Theres a way to turn off the Backlit Keyboard right?

I'm assuming that is what is draining the battery.
 

Duke15

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2011
332
0
Canada
Why does it say for the 13inch model that it was 1599$ when they reviewed the i5 model not the i7, did they get the price wrong or the processor wrong
 

blabu

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2008
3
0
lol there is no way you are being serious! Its more than twice the performance, backlite keys, thunderbolt, and the upgrades are cheaper ($200 upgrade for 128 gigs AND 4gigs RAM) which would negate any savings you might get with the old loaded 11 inch.

And why are you getting the old loaded 11 inch... because you care about the performance and speed? When that is more money at half the speed of the baseline new model...does...not...compute..

If the battery life is so important maybe consider getting the baseline 2010 to maximize your savings?

The review also mentioned the screen brightness... has it increased? And also the backlite keys. Not sure when testing battery life if they turned off the keys and turned brightness down to match the 2010 model. It wasn't clear ... like is 40% brightness on the 2010 MBA = 40% brightness on 2011 MBA. I reckon the screen is the biggest battery drain for web surfing
Let´s wait for "real world" reviews, who will compare the MBA 2010 series vs 2011...
 

fyrefly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2004
597
29
Yeah, I would wait for more reviews to come in, and see what people are saying about the battery life. It could also easily be attributed to the fact that the 2010 model was running SL and the 2011 model is running Lion. Add to the fact that Lion is a 10.7.0 release and the battery life could easily get better with 10.7.1 or 10.7.2.
 

Maziar

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2010
383
4
I'm also waiting for more reviews but I've always liked laptopmag's reviews
The 13" high-end model sure looks impressive and tempting :D I may consider one of these
 

Bob Coxner

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2011
796
25
I'm also waiting for more reviews but I've always liked laptopmag's reviews
The 13" high-end model sure looks impressive and tempting :D I may consider one of these
They gave it 5 stars. Has that ever happened before?
 

MattZani

macrumors 68030
Apr 20, 2008
2,552
103
UK
People are complaining about a 15 minute drop in battery life? I'm sure the battery will be nearly identical when compared to the previous MBA running lion and with the new ones keyboard lights off.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
I can't remember which review, but they mention that Apple apparently sent review models late last week.
Plenty of products need to be sent out earlier to reviewers. It's weird they got it and no one else did but it's standard for any review publication.
I write for AnandTech and as far as I know, we have never received anything from Apple before they were released. That is why I'm wondering.
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
4,416
167
U.S.A.
These "reviews" are the problem with believing what we read on the Internet. This reads exactly like Apple's own marketing. I have the impression that everyone that gets an Apple product early is so thankful that they just go along with what Apple wants of them - a great review.

I like the real world reviews on websites like MacRumors.com. I know there are many fans that get butthurt when someone says anything negative but the honesty is what I am looking for. It is difficult to get an objective opinion from anyone in the media or creating a website who wants to draw in traffic for their advertisements.

I hope a bunch of you will share your objective opinions about this MBA. I have shared my positive results with the MBA and the serious frustrations too. The good and bad are the truth. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. That is how I feel about everything I have read so far.

The complete omission of graphics performance on apple.com was to be expected but that is why we need some real world results from prior generation MBA users to know the truth.
 

stevenpa

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2011
291
0
I write for AnandTech and as far as I know, we have never received anything from Apple before they were released. That is why I'm wondering.
Maybe they had a connection within Apple? TC got one as well...
 
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andmm

macrumors newbie
Jul 20, 2011
28
0
"just as impressive, this flash memory achieved an off-the-charts file transfer rate of 127 MBps."

So the SSD has not been upgraded too the rumored 400MBps?
 

Ridley

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2011
111
0
Was the test done on the same operating system? Yes? No? I didn't think so.
That is a really good point. To add to it, as I thought about the battery life test they did... surfing the web over wifi. I reckon the new Sandy Bridge processor (while being much more efficient and powerful clock for clock) uses more power overall than the C2D. The total power consumption of the old MBA was split between the CPU and GPU... the GPU is likely not every engaged in a web surfing battery life test.

If you were to run the test with a scenario that did engage the GPU I would be curious to see what the results where. I would suspect that the Sandy Bridge would beat it. Such a test may not be that applicable... like are you really going to do a GPU related task for 5 hours, i don't know.

At any rate I feel like to pass up the new MBA for this battery life difference is a little short sighted for a number of reasons that we have brainstormed here, OS diff, screen brightness, backlit keys, task execution time, performance, GPU, etc. Also if Apple's claim of double the performance is true, you could always play devil's advocate and say that a task that took 2 hours on the old machine (maybe encoding an iDVD project or something) might only take 1 hour on the new one. That could be considered better battery life too. haha not saying the such a scenario would or does play out like that, i'm just writing about the alternative viewpoint concept sort of thing.
 
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