Apple MacBook Air 13 (Ivy Bridge) vs Ultrabooks

Apple's Included Software

Our MacBook Air is running Mac OS X 10.8.2, which is the latest version of Mountain Lion (at the time of this writing), Apple's newest operating system. We already covered Mountain Lion in depth when we reviewed the OS back in August so we're not going to spend too much time rehashing those features, but we will point out some of the highlights that ship with the MacBook Air.

To quickly recap, OS X 10.8 introduces over 200 new features to the OS X platform and represents a synergy of sorts with Apple's mobile iOS platform -- master one and you'll feel reasonably comfortable poking around the other. It's just as easy to use, and if this is your first rodeo with an Apple notebook, you'll quickly fall in love with the Dock, which is where your favorite applications reside (assuming you take the time to customize it with your favorite apps).

Facebook integration plays an prominent role in the OS X experience, if you want it to. Linking your Facebook account to OS X merges your online friends into your Contacts, adds profile photos for contacts, delivers Facebook notifications on your MacBook Air, and generally makes the social experience more accessible.

Apple opened its Mac App Store back in January of last year, further reinforcing the fact that that Mac OS X and iOS are on a convergent path. That's especially true of the MacBook Air, which isn't much larger than an iPad, albeit with a keyboard permanently attached.

FaceTime isn't new to the MacBook Air, but the integrated webcam -- *ahem* FaceTime HD camera -- is improved to 720p. It's still not fantastic, but it's a definite improvement over last year's model. You can make out more detail, which is always a bonus when you're FaceTiming your significant other while you're stuck in a hotel room. How you take advantage of the higher resolution is up to you...

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