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MacBook Air (Mid-2013) Review Roundup
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 8:00 PM EST
Posted by: Staff

Here's a roundup of the best reviews we've seen around of the new Mid-2013 MacBook Air. This includes reviews from Engadget, Macworld, CNET, Laptop Magazine, PC Magazine, Geek, Forbes, and TechRadar. And most of these reviews have been extremely positive, noting the system's improved battery life, Intel HD 5000 graphics, faster flash storage with PCIe, 802.11ac networking, and new dual microphones. So, check them out if you're interested in learning more about the new MacBook Air.

Engadget "So, is this a case of a great thing getting even greater, or an aged product getting the bare-minimum upgrade required to keep it relevant? The truth lies somewhere in between, but it goes without saying that the MacBook Air isn't quite the straightforward buy that it has been in the past. While I/O performance and battery life definitely set it ahead of the crowd, and its overall design and keyboard / trackpad combo are as good as ever, that middling display resolution is evolving from an excusable omission to a proper handicap," writes Tim Stevens.

Macworld "The new MacBook Air has a lot in common with its predecessor in terms of features and look and feel. While the improvements are mostly subtle, they succeed in making an already excellent product even more desirable. Under the hood improvements to the integrated graphics and flash storage help boost performance, while improvements found in the new Haswell processors help to improve battery life. Some may find the 128GB of the lower-priced system confining and I'd recommend the upgrade to 8GB of RAM for all users," writes James Galbraith.

CNET "Apple keeps the latest MacBook Air updates on the inside, but greatly improved battery life and a less-expensive starting price make up for a lack of flashy design changes," writes Dan Ackerman.

Laptop Magazine "The MacBook Air 13-inch is a marathon runner of a notebook, offering all-day battery life in a design that's just as sleek and ergonomically perfect as before. For $1,099, you also get blazing fast flash memory and much improved graphics performance. The only thing missing is a sharper display, although the Air's screen is still as bright and colorful as before," writes Mark Spoonauer.

PC Magazine "The MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2013) is the system you want to be using if you need to deliver real work away from your desk. The fact that it can return such a long battery life while still using a mainstream processor is astonishing. Make no mistake, this simple score shows that laptops haven't conceded the battery life prizes to the mobile OS tablets yet. The MacBook Air 13 is close, but not quite perfect, since it lacks a built in HDMI-out port and the slower-clocked processor returns slower multimedia performance on benchmark tests than rivals. That said, due to its excellent battery life, portability, and its very good day-to-day performance, we have no qualms in giving the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2013) the Editors' Choice for ultraportable laptops," writes Joel Santo Domingo.

Geek "As for the MacBook Air 6,2, so far everything is looking very good. The Air has been a no-brainer purchase for years now. It's been a great choice for anyone who needs a lot of battery life and doesn't want to carry around too much computer with them, and that's still true today," writes Sal Cangeloso.

Forbes "The new MacBook seems at least as peppy as the 2012 model despite its more energy efficient Haswell processor. The new processor actually has a slower clock speed, but there is no hit in system performance. One reason is because the new Mac's solid state drive has faster flash memory and a faster PCIe connection between the memory and the rest of the system. This not only means faster disk access but has an impact on overall performance including speedier memory caching if the system runs low on standard random access memory and needs to offload to the disk. That process can be painfully slow on standard disk drives but extremely quick on the new MacBook's Air's solid state drive," writes Larry Magid.

TechRadar "The 2013 MacBook Air has got cheaper (for the 13-inch), faster and will last longer. It's an improvement on an already terrific laptop and, though we always love to see a new design, the only thing we'd like to see dramatically different is the screen resolution. The specification is stunning and we're really looking forward to seeing how it copes in our battery life and performance tests," writes Dan Grabham.

Update: We added a new review from The Verge to the roundup.

The Verge - "We've been recommending the MacBook Air for three years straight now, so this is pretty simple: if you're a normal person shopping for a laptop, you should buy a MacBook Air. It does all the things you want a laptop to do, it does them well, and now it does them for 12 hours at a clip. At $1,099 for the base model, $100 less than last year, it's even a solid value compared to its best competition from Sony, Toshiba, and others - I'd jump up to the $1,299 model for the extra storage, but that's about it. Every other complaint about this machine feels like a quibble (sigh, Ethernet adapter) or longing for spec-bump upgrades that don't feel all that necessary yet (touchscreen Retina display, anyone?) But it's pretty hard to value any of those things over 12-hour battery life," writes Nilay Patel.

Update 2: We also added a new reviews from TechCrunch and Pocket-lint to the roundup.

TechCrunch - "The new MacBook Air isn't a dramatic change, but it is a very good one. I've fallen in love with Apple's Retina displays, so if I have one complaint about the computer it's that there's no ultra-high resolution display, but incorporating that kind of screen in this generation would've likely meant trading a big chunk of that new battery life away, and also increasing the price tag by around $400-500. For those who value the portability, flexibility and economy of the Air above all, the 2013 edition definitely hits all the right notes," writes Darrell Etherington.

Pocket-lint - "New internal hardware helps the MacBook Air maintain its position as one of our favourite notebooks. We're still happy with the 2012 MacBook Air, but there's enough here to make us want to upgrade: the improved performance and particularly that battery life, is a real driver to keep the MacBook Air in favour," writes Chris Hall.



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