Feeds
90%
Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

Apple MacBook Air 11in Core i5 notebook

Small wonder?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Design matters

The first Air had strange proportions, reminding me of the “toilet seat” iBook. The current design, introduced last year, is much more balanced, and an instant classic. It’s quite beautiful, barely thicker than the USB port, and the perfect size and weight for mobile work. The 11in Air is light enough to pick up with three fingers, and most bags will be heavier than the machine itself. Indeed, if it were any smaller, the keyboard would be compromised.

Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

Lighter than most laptop holdalls

As with all mini-notebooks – and all netbooks – you are left with the strange feeling of peering through a slot after an extended time. Still, the 11in screen does offer a pin-sharp 1366 x 768 resolution – a high density 135ppi versus 128ppi on the larger sibling. That may be enough to oblige you to increase the default font and icon sizes – these have crept up in Mac OS X 10.7 a little.

Indeed, this is why Apple introduced a compositor display model a decade ago, and why Microsoft had to follow suit with Vista. It wasn’t for the eye candy, that's a bonus, but because of ever-higher density displays. Such displays actually bring us back to the information density Mac users enjoyed a decade ago, before Mac OS X.

Under typical usage, the machine checked in at around four hours on its new 4725mAh battery. Adobe Flash isn’t installed by default, yet once it was, this duration became nearer three than four hours. Incidentally, Java isn’t included in 10.7 Lion either. Reg Hardware's continually run PCMark Vantage (under Boot Camp) until it dies test, clocked up a battery life of 1hr 44mins. Naturally, the charge capacity will deteriorate over time, and then, with there being no faff-free battery swap, you’re a bit buggered.

iStat Pro on Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

The iStat Pro Dashboard widget reveals a single fan lurks within

At no point in normal usage did I hear the internal fan rev into life even though, according to iStat Pro, it has one churning away at around 2,000RPM most of the time, yet this is a machine designed to be silent. During normal usage the base remained fairly cool, with some warming near the rear of the machine’s underside. Even when playing three HD videos – in a warm office with the aircon off – the machine remained silent, and the warmth spread to around half of the base, without getting particularly uncomfortable.

Apple MacBook Air 11in mid 2011

Any smaller and the keyboard spacing would suffer

By contrast, the heat generated by my Core Duo MacBook at peak loads can be felt through my desk. So this is a significant improvement on older Mac laptops, particularly with the notorious Flash in play. Yet, on the Macbook Air, there are no visible grilles or vents. This is quite a feat.

Top three mobile application threats

Next page: Air ways

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.