Feeds
90%
Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

Apple MacBook Air 11in Core i5 notebook

Small wonder?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Review For years this particular Mac user preferred to carry around an X-Series ThinkPad, despite having a house full of Apple laptops. That's because Apple could offer nothing with comparable size and weight. It was worth putting up with Windows or Ubuntu to gain the convenience of a smaller lighter machine.

Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

Entry level: Apple's MacBook Air 11in

This changed when Apple introduced the Air in January 2008. With the Air, Apple had made much of the computer disappear. The machine contained the bare minimum needed to house a screen and keyboard, and to protect them from knocks. But all this came at a cost.

The Air lacked a dedicated Ethernet port and expansion was limited to one USB port. Neither the hard drive nor memory could be upgraded by the user; the battery was sealed and could not be replaced. And performance suffered from a slow, small hard drive (if you didn't choose the SSD option) and a perishingly slow custom Intel processor. A cost that, for me, that was too high.

Last year the lonesome Air became a “product family”, of sorts. With the latest crank of the handle, Apple has addressed many of the original issues, adding multichannel, high throughput Thunderbolt port, and an Intel Core i5-2467M quad-core Sandy Bridge processor. And rather than being a luxury item, the Air design is now, incredibly, the entry-level Apple notebook.

But this Jobsian Wonderland is a parallel universe. Here, the term 'entry level' is relative. You can buy two powerful Wintel laptops for £999, which is how much an 11in Macbook Air (with 128GB drive) costs. You can probably find three quite passable ones. Reg Hardware reviewed the latest 13in Air recently, but on test here is the entry-level model: the cheapest Apple portable "experience" available. What's it like?

Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Design matters

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.