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Apple's MacBook Air 13-inch (Ivy Bridge) Review, The Air Versus Ultrabooks

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News Posted: Mon, Oct 1 2012 12:33 PM
So here it is, the mid-2012 refresh of Apple's trend setting MacBook Air line.  In all likelihood, the MacBook Air inspired Intel's Ultrabook specification, created so that Windows users would have access to the same overall experience on their platform of choice.

The MacBook Air is the real McCoy, so to speak, and though technically not an Ultrabook, the newest models cross over to Intel's 3rd generation Ivy Bridge Core processor microarchitecture. In fact, Ivy Bridge is at the heart of Apple's mid-2012 refresh, bringing with it not only greater processing power, but a graphics speed bump from Intel HD Graphics 3000 to Intel HD Graphics 4000, topped off with DX11 compatibility and improved power efficiency to boot.

But how does the new MacBook Air compete versus the current crop of Ultrabooks and is it enough to warrant an upgrade?

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If you want a windows machine, I can't see how this will be of comparable value to an ASUS Zenbook UX32VD-DB71. Granted the Zenbook costs $100 more, but you get a lot for that money over the Air: IPS @ 1920x1080, i7 processor at 1.9GHz, nearly identical dimensions, and a dedicated NVDIA 620M graphics card. You sacrifice a bit of speed on the hard drive 500gb + 24GB caching SSD and it weighs a little less than 4oz. more than the Air.

If you are invested in iOS, of course you would opt for the Air. But if I'm a windows user, how can I justify not spending the extra $100 to eliminate Boot Camp and/or virtualization? If you don't have a spare one, you'll have to purchase a copy of windows for installation with Boot Camp bringing the price points to about even.

Since ASUS is relatively new to the Ultrabook game I guess my only area of concern is how the system holds up to the portable lifestyle and durability, something the Air gets high marks for. Based on the ASUS transformer infinity tablet I own, I think ASUS will be up to snuff.

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Oct 1 2012 3:04 PM

thebitdnd, if you want a Windows machine, there is no reason to look at the MacBook Air at all. However, if you want the benefits of OS X and the build quality of this notebook, with the flexibility to boot both, then this is an obviously better option.

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holman replied on Mon, Oct 1 2012 8:33 PM

Thank you so much for this informative and reliable information.i sure have learned many things.

Jennie McCloud

CEO of Macbook Prox

for more info visit me at http://www.macbookprox.com

 

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I have this macbook air, obviously I am writing down this comment with my macbook air.

I am a value-minded person, but this macbook air is such a machine. First stop, Ultrafast! This machine handles all my applications at the same time well without getting hot (Browsing Safari, Video-chatting on Skype, Editing iPhoto, Sending e-mails with attachments via mail). This is a great performer. Battery life, when I do a lot of stuffs, it's not n the level of 5 hours 4 hours and 30 minutes to be exact. When I do just simple things, typing, and browsing, battery life is astonishing. I've got 7 hours and 20 minutes. I think the design is rather..beautiful. This is thin yet really feels nice in our hand and solid. It becomes one of the part of the design in my house. I bought the 256 gb, because 128 gb is rather too small.

Things I don't like:

1.There is no cd drive, yes I have to admit that is rarely found on ultra books

2.Thunderbolt peripherals are ...shall we say next to none, because If I can find it,the price will not be justifiable

3.Still searching

Conclusion:Great, not perfect. This notebook may not have the bargain of the century, you can have a super desktop, or a superb standard notebook for 1500 bucks. I have no regret spending my 1500 on this apple machine

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Oct 3 2012 10:17 PM

Eclass, good to hear. I think we agree. You get what you pay for with respect to quality and performance when it comes to this machine.

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