Feeds
90%
Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

For the love of Ivy Bridge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Ultra 'book

Apple is planning to release a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adaptor soon, but with the new MacBook Pro With Retina Display also foregoing Firewire it looks as though the writing may be on the wall for IEEE 1394 on Apple kit.

Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

Fine keyboard and a nice, big touchpad

The Air’s main connectivity issue now is its lack of an Ethernet port. In the past, your only option for wired networking was to buy one of Apple’s USB-to-100Mb/s-Ethernet adaptors, but Apple has also announced a new Thunderbolt-to-Gigabit-Ethernet adaptor too. Both adaptors cost £25, but the Thunderbolt adaptor will be preferable, giving you a faster connection as well as freeing up one of your USB ports.

The webcam has been updated too, now offering 1Mp resolution, sufficient for 720p video, but there’s still no SD card in this model as there is in the 13in version. And, of course, the MacBook Air wouldn’t be an Apple product if there weren’t at least one completely gratuitous change that involves some new type of cabling. This time around it’s the Magsafe power connector, updated to MagSafe 2 for some unspecified reason. So if you bought a spare power supply for a previous MacBook Air you won’t be able to use it with this one.

Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

Best notebook-not-Ultrabook?

And, let's not forget, this remains the most portable of Apple's laptops - and one of the most portable notebooks period. It's compact, skinny, and light - just a kilo - so it's great for folk who carry a notebook around at all times. Yet the fine, solid keyboard, big touchpad and decent screen resolution - there are as many pixels on display as on many a cheap or mid-range 15-incher these days - means it doesn't compromise its usability.

Only the aforementioned lack of on-board Ethernet and SD let it down, but I wonder how many general, non-pro users will be inconvenienced by that. Ditto the inability to expand the machine's memory beyond the build-to-order options. But it shouldn't be long before third-party SSD updates will at least let you boost the machine's storage capacity.

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

This year’s MacBook Air hasn’t been reinvented in the same way as the MacBook Pro has. It’s essentially a housekeeping update that introduces Intel's Ivy Bridge platform and at long last brings in USB 3. Existing owners won’t need to rush out and upgrade, but this update should keep the MacBook Air competitive with all its Ultrabook rivals for the rest of this year. ®

More Notebooks Reviews

MacBook Pro
Retina Display
Ten...
Ultrabooks
HP Envy 14
Spectre
Toshiba
Portégé
Z830-10N
Dell
XPS 13

Remote control for virtualized desktops

90%
Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

Apple MacBook Air 11in 2012

A modest update, but still one of the most attractive ultra-portables on the market.
Price: £849 (64GB SSD), £929 (128GB SSD) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?