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3 thoughts on “Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)

  1. E. Kim says:
    155 of 159 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Beautiful and Fast, July 26, 2011
    By 
    E. Kim
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    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
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    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    INTRODUCTION
    I had considered buying the previous generation MacBook Air (pre July 2011) but just couldn’t quite force myself to spend the money on machine that still used Intel’s Core 2 Duo CPUs (despite the fact that the older Airs were still actually quite speedy). Apple was using the then newer generation Core i5/i7 CPUs on their other computers.

    So when Apple updated their Airs with Intel’s significantly faster Sandy Bridge i5/i7 CPUs, I became interested again. But, which size would be best for me?

    11″ VERSUS 13″
    I’ve been struggling over this decision on which size 2011 MBA would be better. It’s the usual dilemma with the 13″ boasting pretty much better specs and battery life than the 11″. Then I thought, well, the 13″ is ONLY 2″ larger diagonally, and ONLY weighs a “little” more (and ONLY costs a “little” more).

    But the reality (for me) is that for a truly mobile device, like an iPad, only the MBA 11″ has a shot at being mobile. The MBA 13″ is great and certainly more mobile than a conventional MacBook Pro 13″, but the MBA 13″ is still IMHO more of a portable, than a mobile laptop.

    The MBA 11″ is actually mobile.

    Once I realized this, there really was no longer a comparison to be made. They are two different devices. One being mobile and the other very portable. I have a 2011 MBP 17″ which is my ultimate portable, and now my 2011 MBA 11″ is my mobile computer.

    PROS
    1. Extremely fast CPU – The MBA 11″ comes with a Sandy Bridge 1.6 gHz dual-core Core i5 CPU (or a 1.8 gHz dual-core i7 directly from Apple). Despite rumors to the contrary, the Turbo Boost and hyper threading capabilities were NOT turned off in the Core i5 CPUs. Geekbench benchmarks show extraordinary speed increases. The previous generation MBA 11″ 1.4 gHz Core 2 Duo produced 2024 on Geekbench, while the 2011 MBA 11″ now produced 5040 for a 149% increase. This speed even rivals the 2010 MacBook Pro 17″ which scored 5423! The 2011 MacBook Air 13″ uses a slightly faster 1.7 gHz dual core i5 which scored 5860.)

    2. Extraordinarily small! The MBA 11″ measures 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68 inches, while the MBA 13″ is 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches. This means that the 11″ is “only” 1 inch shorter and “only” 1.3 inches less deep, but in reality, when you hold up both machines, the MBA 11″ feels like a completely different machine. My wife uses a 2011 MacBook Pro 13″ which has a similar footprint to the MBA 13″. The MacBook Air 13″ still felt too much like a laptop, albeit an extraordinarily thin and light one.

    3. Extraordinarily light! The MBA 11″ weighs 2.38 pounds (while the MBA 13″ weighs 2.96 pounds and an iPad 2 weighs 1.35 pounds I actually sometimes hold the MBA like an iPad while reading in bed because it’s so light. If you are seeking just a light, portable laptop, then the weight of the MBA 11″ or 13″ would be great, but if you (like me) are seeking a truly mobile device, then even fractions of a pound matter. The MBA 11″ weighs less and is consequently the better choice, but as amazingly light as it is, even lighter would be better. Its doubtful that a mobile device will ever exist that would be considered too light.

    4. High-speed Thunderbolt (i.e. Lightpeak) port offering bidirectional 10 gigabits/s throughput – Thunderbolt technology is far more revolutionary than USB 3.0 or eSATA. Thunderbolt is NOT limited to the use of a storage device. An external LCD can be attached. Although I use the MBA 11″ as my mobile device, it may be acceptable as a primary computer if one attaches an external LCD display and a high-speed Thunderbolt drive. Supposedly an external Thunderbolt hard drive would be nearly as fast as an internal hard drive.

    5. Everything is solid state! This MBA feels more like a true “mobile” device since it is fully solid state with its solid state drive. I am far less worried about damaging this versus other laptops I’ve owned in the past.

    6. Extremely fast cold starts and shutdowns thanks to the solid state drive and OS X.
    7. Great, full-size keyboard AND keyboard backlighting is back again! While this may seem like a minor point, the previous generation Core 2 Duo Airs did not have the backlighting.

    8. The battery life between the 11″ and the 13″ was only found to be 36 minutes shorter for the 11″ (and NOT the 2 hours claimed by Apple) for light usage by Anandtech (…). The battery life is Apple (conservatively) rated at 5 hours (compared to 7 hours for the MBA 13″ and also 7 hours for my MBP 17″). Apple’s battery life ratings have become much more stringent in the past few years are much closer to real world usage. I am indeed able to use my 11″ for about 6 hours with light usage, which is much better than Apple’s claimed 5 hours.

    9. Tremendous, typical Apple build quality. The MBA feels like a piece of solid…

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  2. Glenn R. Howes says:
    46 of 48 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Sweet Spot of the MacBook Airs, July 26, 2011
    By 
    Glenn R. Howes (Nashua, NH) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
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    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    I’ve been waiting for a new computer for my wife, something that she can use both as her desktop computer attached to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and still take along on business trips around the world. Ideally, something she could throw in her big purse and go. The previous edition of the MacBook Air was close, but too compromised in terms of processor speed. The Air is perfect for her.

    At this writing, Amazon is selling two versions of the 11.6 inch MacBook Air, an i5 model with 2GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage, and this model with 4GB or RAM and 128GB of storage . You can order elsewhere a third model with an i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage–the i7 is the low voltage 2 core version. This review aims at helping the consumer decide if a MacBook Air is the computer for them, and if so, which one. I think most people will find this model, the middle model to be more then adequate but some will need to seek out the larger capacity version, while some can get along with the lower capacity version as a second computer.

    The strengths:
    This computer is fast. The combination of a Solid State Drive (SSD) hard drive and an i5 (or optionally an i7) processor make this the fastest computer I’ve ever used, and I have a 2011 13″ MacBook Pro as my personal computer. The SSD gives it a qualitative responsiveness–application launching, task switching–which any spinning disk laptop will be unable to match. Quantitatively, it more than keeps up with its larger siblings in CPU intensive tasks. For example, my big laptop can compile a large, commercial application I maintain using Xcode 4 in 9 minutes 38 seconds, this tiny sub notebook can do the same in 9 minutes 5 seconds. Whichever computer is literally the fastest isn’t relevant, what is relevant is that Air buyers are no longer trading speed for portability.

    This computer is portable. I went to the local Apple Store and compared the 11.6 to the 13 inch MacBook Air, and while the 13 is extremely portable it is not a good fit for a woman’s purse. This 11.6 can nearly get lost in a purse, I can imagine my wife hunting around for a few seconds trying to find it. It’s ridiculously small.

    Battery life when not under heavy load is good. I can web browse, and as long as I stay away from Flash websites, can do it for several hours. However, under load the 5 hours Apple promises for wireless web browsing becomes sub two hours. If the fan is on, the battery will not last, so it becomes time to figure out which page is running Flash, or which application is hogging all the CPU cycles. The larger Air has more room for a battery and thus has a longer battery life. The battery life of my MacBook Pro is certainly at least an hour or two longer under the same approximate load.

    The screen is beautiful and crisp. Color balance and contrast seem superior to that of my MacBook Pro’s (which isn’t bad either). Viewing angles are good but not the spectacular IPS angles of an iPad. I had been wary of dropping down to the 11 inch screen from the 13 inch of my MacBook Pro, but I think I could work all day at this size especially if all I were doing was web browsing or video watching. I wouldn’t want to edit videos or do long term software development at this size, but of course there is a Thunderbolt port and with the appropriate MiniDisplay adaptor I could attach it to any monitor. This will spend most of its life attached to a 21 inch LCD.

    The keyboard is thankfully backlit. Typing is reasonably comfortable, although I’d prefer another milimeter or two of key travel. Again, this will spend most of its life attached to an external keyboard so it doesn’t matter much but I much prefer the touch feel of my MacBook Pro.

    The trackpad is large and Lion ready for all your taps, pinches, swipes (one, two, three and more fingers). Apple is renowned for its trackpads and this is no exceptions. Perfect finger feel, no stutters, accurate tracking.

    Build quality. This is not some shoddy plastic netbook. The unibody construction is amazingly rigid and could be used to bludgeon an attacker in a pinch (and still keep on downloading).

    The weaknesses:
    Storage size is a bit cramped, especially at the lower price points. I think the 64GB model targets users looking to keep all of their documents, images, videos, music in “the cloud” and while I’m sure people will live in the cloud in the future, most of us live on Earth with our limited speed Internet connections. The larger capacities are fine for many people, including my wife, but not for me, I have…

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  3. JesseW says:
    36 of 40 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    CHECK THE SPECS!, August 10, 2011
    By 
    JesseW

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Apple MacBook Air MC969LL/A 11.6-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    MAKE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK THE SPECIFICATIONS TO THE PRICE!

    When Amazon sells out, the 3rd party retailers jack up their prices on the cheaper models to try and confuse customers into thinking they’re getting a better deal than they really are!

    For example, Apple’s base 11″ MacBook Air is $999, but after Amazon sold out, there were 3rd party retailers selling them for $1199 (the price of the upgraded 11″ model) even $1299 and $1499, Priced WAY above MSRP!!!

    Do not be fooled, make sure you know what you are getting and don’t just assume because it costs $1200, that you’re getting the $1200 model!!!

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