Apple's Haswell-Powered 13-Inch MacBook Air

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary:  Overall, the new for 2013 Apple MacBook Air offered better performance versus last year's model, especially when it came to graphics and storage subsystem throughput.  Apple's super-thin notebook also placed near the top of its class in terms of performance versus a number of competitive Ultrabooks currently in the market, especially when it came to boot-up times, handling multimedia, graphics performance and battery life.


The original "Unibody" all aluminum frame

You can't look at what Apple was able to achieve with the current generation of MacBook Air products and not be impressed.  From significantly improved graphics and file system performance, to dramatically longer battery life; you might say one of the top "Ultrabooks" on the market currently isn't actually an Ultrabook - it's a Mac. We do have a small reservation about some WiFi instability we encountered that others are reporting in Apple's support forum as well.  However, word of Appleseed invites going out to owners of an impending software update that should be rolling out to the masses soon, allay most of our anxiety there.

Beyond that small hiccup, the new MacBook Air is a slam-dunk.  The machine we tested is priced a solid $100 less than last year's 13-inch model, currently at $1099 ($1044.99 for Amazon Prime subscribers).  This still puts the MacBook Air 13 in the upper echelon of premium ultralight notebooks, cost-wise, but Apple's offering is otherwise competitively priced when you consider offerings from Lenovo, Dell and others.  Sure, with a native resolution of 1440X900, the MacBook Air still technically doesn't have a full HD display, never mind Apple's high-end Retina panel, but in a 13-inch machine 1440X900 still cuts the mustard just fine for most folks.

We like the new Intel Haswell-powered MacBook Air 13, with its PCI Express SSD serving up data at over 700MB/sec and its almost unbelievably-good battery life.  That just gets our geek on in the nicest of ways; so we're giving it an Editor's Choice.


   
 
  • Hello Haswell! Great performance
  • Sleek, light-weight design
  • Thin, sturdy and smudge-resistant
  • Wicked-Fast PCIe SSD
  • Impressively-long battery life
  • Priced $100 less than previous gen
 
  • No HDMI output
  • Still a premium price


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