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  • jsbruner - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Graphs on the performance page all show i5, should those be i7? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Correct - fixed :) Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Nice article, considering purchasing my first Apple laptop to release some apps to the App Store. I'm going to give this (Air vs Pro) some more thought, since other than XCode, I probably won't be using it. Reply
  • Jamezrp - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    So the i7 is a huge difference...glad I picked up that over the i5. I still got much higher numbers with Cinebench 10 than you Anand, and I'm not really sure why. Were you running any other applications when testing? I ran Win7 Ultimate on a fresh install, with 150GB dedicated to Windows. And it was a 256GB hdd, if that makes any difference.

    Also, all the charts show the i7 chip as an i5.
    Reply
  • Jamezrp - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Oh, and my scores can be seen here, just scroll down to the charts: http://www.gadgetreview.com/2011/07/apple-macbook-... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    You're testing under Windows 7, I'm testing under OS X :)

    Cinebench 10 under Windows 7 is faster than OS X, Cinebench 11.5 is relatively similar between OSes.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the update, and with 3 days left in my 14-day return window, you have validated my decision to go with the Core i7 in my 11". I was wondering about the heat and battery life differences, and it appears they are about the same with either processor, but with a noticeable edge in performance to the i7.

    Also, I lucked out with a Samsung SSD. I have the LG display, but it has never bothered me. I had the 11" 2010 model with a Toshiba drive and LG display, so perhaps I was already used to the viewing angles.

    Thanks for the effort. Another good review.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Looking at a lot of graphs in this points continually show one subtle thing, the days of the 13" MacBook Pro are numbered. At this point, there is no way I would even think to consider that laptop seeing as how the 1.8 Ghz CPU performs well against the 2.3/2.7 Ghz CPUs. CPUs are rarely pegged at 100% anyway in typical usage.

    My hope is that Apple extends this concept with a 15" MacBook Pro with an Air-styled body. Ditch the optical drive. Ditch rarely used ports and move all but the most necessary ports to a Thunderbolt dock. Switch from a standard 2.5" storage drive to a slimmer model to save space.

    It'd be perfect. The new 15" MacBook Pro. 3.9lbs. "All the speed, none of the weight"
    Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Yeah, It would sure suck to hurt yourself lugging around all of that weight.

    .....
    Reply
  • Rasterman - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    I totally agree but the only thing that sucks for me is the lack of dedicated ethernet port. I still plan on replacing my old macbook with an air though. I need a dedicated port because I do xcode development and files are over the network, when compiling each time xcode must check all files, over wireless compile time is like 1-2 minutes, but when using ethernet the time is less than 10 seconds, its a huge difference. With the air I can still use a USB to ethernet adapter though, or a thunderbolt to ethernet adapther when they come out. Reply
  • jnmfox - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    "If you're buying an 11-inch MacBook Pro and care about performance, the 1.8GHz CPU upgrade is worth it."

    An 11-inch MBP could be sweet though....
    Reply
  • CharonPDX - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    For $50, you get an 11" that is faster than the base 13", and you're giving up an SD slot and some resolution, in favor of a smaller/lighter chassis and better performance.

    To me, it's a no-brainer. If I were in the market to replace my notebook right now (aka: if my MacBook Pro were to die in the next couple months,) I would immediately get an 11" Air upgraded to i7.
    Reply
  • h00ligan76 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    You also give up battery life, and that screen space is palpable to some. Anyone needing photo editing on the go is going to benefit from added screen, sd (potentially) and battery life...

    I agree for some it's a no brainer.. just which way depends on the person :)
    Reply
  • vrusso87 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    I was just at the web store and noticed something characteristically Apple - you can't upgrade the base 11-inch (64GB) or 13-inch (128GB) Air models to the i7. You have to swallow the $200-$300 price premium for the larger SSD before you can shell out another $100-$150 for the i7.

    Irksome.
    Reply
  • blue_fireball_eater - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    Is how fast the OWC Aura drive run in these machines. I have the Samsung drive, so should I even consider upgrading to a Sandforce drive, or just wait for inevitable Sandforce 2000 version to come out? Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    I'd still like to see decible readings of these at load, I see them in other Anandtech laptop reviews but for some reason never on Mac's. Reply
  • aladdin68 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    does the fact that the 11 in i7's run a little hotter likely to have any impact on their overall lifespan as compared to the 11 in i5's? Reply
  • narlzac85 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    I wish there was a comparison review of the base $999 model, because I think a lot of people are going to buy that one not realizing that they are only getting 2GB of memory and its not able to be upgraded. Which to me would seem like buying a completely crippled system. Wasn't 2GB determined to be the absolute minimum for OSX way back in Leopard? Bad move by Apple. They should have ditched thunderbolt on the base model and increased the memory. Considering more ram benefits everyone and thunderbolt benefits very few people at the moment. Or they could have just eaten the cost of the 2 extra GB if they are really trying to push Thunderbolt. Reply
  • h00ligan76 - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    My air boots requiring 1.25 GB - before running anything. It starts paging pretty fast even with 4gb the minute lightroom and photoshop get opened.

    At this point, for anything other than an iPad with a keyboard, I wouldn't be buying the 2gb model.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I too noticed as soon as I upgraded to Lion, even with 4GB it started to swap out to disk.

    I'm assuming they changed the memory management in Lion compared to Snow Leopard, because it rarely swapped in SL.

    So I went out to buy 8GB, and now it doesn't swap. But it does somehow consume 7.5GB with what I assume are caches (even when I'm not running lots of programs).
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Oh, but that's so Apple can keep everything running, all the time.

    It was bad enough that Mac OS apps don't quit when you "close" them. With Lion, Apple is taking this to new idiotic extremes.

    It's just another example of Apple hypocrisy: The user is qualified to launch an app by himself, but not qualified to decide when to close it.

    If Apple's mania for never quitting anything works so well, why doesn't the OS just launch every app on the machine at startup time?

    Could it be, Apple, that applications actually DO require resources, and that running them when they're not needed WASTES those resources? Uh huh.
    Reply
  • weiran - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    The most wasteful memory is the memory that isn't being used at all.

    Keeping apps in "free" memory means they will open quicker, not only saving on HDD time but power consumption as well. OS X can decide to kill that app if it needs the RAM for something else.

    People are too concerned about the memory footprint and amount of free RAM they have, the most effective use of memory is to use it rather than leaving it empty, and needing to use the far more resource intensive (in terms of speed and power) disk drive.
    Reply
  • h00ligan76 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    That's true - and it is also possible some of the paging I am seeing is due to cycling out idle apps when more ram is needed. I don't know what they are doing for memory management. I can say however, that with only photoshop and lightroom open, I start paging FAST... so it's a real bummer they arbitrarily declined to offer 8gb. The color gamut issue is also another real bummer. Between these two - I may end up returning tbh. Reply
  • KineticHummus - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    I dont use an apple simply because i dont really like the Apple OS, but look at their screens! In almost every test, most models top the charts. Look at contrast, the top half of the graph is all apple laptops! PC manufacturers need to step up their game. The only screen that seems to compare is HP's radiance display from their old envy 14, too bad they discontinued those screens Reply
  • nardreiko - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I just feel the need to express two disappointments I have with the new models:

    1. Scrolling up and down on the new Macbook Air models at the local Apple store, text in particular seemed to jitter in a way that literally made me so nauseous that I had to stop using the computer after just a couple minutes. I don't usually get motion sickness or anything of the sort, so I was kind of alarmed by this. I moved over to the 13'' Macbook Pros and did not have the same problem (scrolling was buttery smooth and no sick stomach), which confirmed for me that the problem was not at least entirely due to Lion (though it might help if Lion allowed users to modify the scroll speed the way Snow Leopard does). I asked someone at the store if they had any idea why the screens were so jumpy and and why they were making me sick. They were indignant and walked away in a huff. I've never had an apple employee treat me that way, but I found out later they have had a string of problems with "the Lion images" on the display models of the Macbook Airs ... who knows what that means.

    2. Given that Lion is unusable for my work, and a huge disappointment to everyone I know who actually uses their computer to do work, it is too bad there is no way to downgrade these machines to Snow Leopard. I'm really surprised how positive so many journalists have been toward Lion. It has a few features that are nice on the 11'' screen, like smaller scroll bars and the full screen mode for web browsing, but frankly it adds nothing of value to me on a 13'' or greater model and removes many important functions that I rely on constantly throughout the day. I'm not criticizing the bugs, and I'm sure Apple will work all of those out over time. But the design of Lion is pretty clearly a disaster to everyone I know personally, and I'm shocked at how positive the media has been about Lion. I wholeheartedly agree with those who consider it Apple's Vista. Unfortunately, without a more consistent public outcry about some of the usability issues, I'm pretty sure I'll have to move away from OS X to Windows or Linux within 2-3 years. So while I had been hoping to move to a 13'' MBA once these new models came out, I'm now going through a bit of a grieving processes, realizing my Apple journey may be coming to an end rather than moving forward the way I was hoping.
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Now you're becoming aware that there is seldom a real review of an Apple product. There are very few articles from people who actually USE Apple products.

    What we get is one article after another fawning all over Apple and failing to call them out for glaring design defects. Well, look what customers get for it: A shoddily designed, buggy OS riddled with bad ideas and no fixes for longstanding embarrassments like Finder.
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    This has nothing to do with Anandtech, whose reviews obviously rise above the rabble. Reply
  • weiran - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I think you're talking about yourself there rather than most of the MacBook Air reviews which have been extensively researched.

    A MacBook Air isn't for everyone, but its not a "shoddily designed OS". You only need to compare it to the current state of Linux desktop OSes and even Windows 7 (which was a big improvement over Vista) to see that its still ahead in most of the areas people actually care about.

    You probably aren't those people so why do you keep commenting on this review?
    Reply
  • Mystermask - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    Yeah. That's why Apple customer satisfaction is so low, but wait .. it isn't.

    Finder is ok. Much better than Exploder or most file managers I've seen so far on other OSes.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Apple doesn't believe in downgrading, and for good reason. People will adopt Lion, and it won't be their Vista. They won't get stuck in the situation Microsoft was in where people clung to XP. For all its faults, Vista wasn't that bad after the first few months when most of the bugs were worked out and the drivers released. Yet people and enterprises clung to XP for so long that even today, 2 years after Windows 7's release, XP is still a sizable share of Windows users.

    Lion is different, but I wouldn't call it a disaster. It takes a little getting used to, but so did the original OS X. I think it will be tweaked a bit, and I'd be curious as to the percentage of people who switch back to the Classic look and the "unnatural" (for lack of a better term) scrolling method. When you first install Lion, it asks if you want to send data back to Apple, so I suspect that they are keeping track.
    Reply
  • nardreiko - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Natural scrolling is a non-issue. Most can adjust to it in 30 seconds, it takes no more effort or time to scroll one way vs. the other, and for professionals who can't take the 30 seconds to relearn during the middle of a critical project it can actually be turned off. So a non-issue, but also NOT something that should define an entirely new "version" of an operating system.

    If you want an example of how Apple could have taken a more logical, coherent, and understandable approach to their new operating system, check out this website: http://10gui.com/

    I actually disagree with some of the 10gui principles and proposals, but at least the entire approach is understandable to an end user. With Lion, Apple has used bits and pieces of different notions, tossed together into one big incomprehensible salad. They either needed to introduce new items one at a time to train users, so that they train the users incrementally to "the new way", or they needed to put out a video like the 10gui video to explain and train users on the entire approach. But the fact is Apple could not train users on the entire Lion approach even if they wanted to, because there isn't a coherent logic that they can explain in a single video. And they didn't want to release features one at a time, because that would have defeated the primary reason for releasing a "new operating system" right now --- which of course is to provide a psychological motivation for sales of new hardware, especially during the back to school season.

    I've seen and used Windows 7 and Linux Mint (as well as Mepis, Ubuntu, and others), and I actually do choose the operating systems on the computers of several older people (my parents, the neighbor-lady with MS down the street, etc.). In terms of user interface, Leopard was probably the best consumer operating system I've seen so far. Snow leopard introduced unnecessary hierarchical levels in menus (e.g. on the dock) requiring completely unnecessary extra clicks and removed proportional scaling from Expose (a feature so intuitive, I never had to even teach anyone how to use it). Now Lion is such a disaster that I am not even going to try to explain it to my parents or the neighbor lady with MS. It is impossible. I have in fact moved one 40-something friend to Linux Mint on her computer, and she could not be happier ... and I could not be happier either, because I never have to fix or explain anything to her -- took just one short introduction to installing and updating programs and finding key features and she never calls me with computer problems anymore.

    For me personally, I require Rosetta for scientific research, so I will not be updating to any hardware in my lab that requires Lion for at least 4 years ... a shame since I actually use every ounce of processing power in my machines for number crunching --- newer processors save me hours each week. In addition, Expose with Hot Corners can save me hours each month, because when I write papers I have to switch back and forth as quickly as possible from a program that is producing my processed data (e.g. a spreadsheet window, MATLAB, or some other scientific program ... often these are all open at the same time) and my text document that I am preparing for publication or other purposes. This basic task was easiest to perform in Leopard. I put up with the slight reduction in functionality in Snow Leopard because it was not a huge difference and I benefited from 64-bit computing. But I was really hoping Apple would figure some things out and make improvements with the next OS ...

    One thing Apple could have done to help us would have been to add true virtual desktops for each Space (so a user can put different programs on each dock and different files on each desktop). That way I could have separate spaces for games, family media, entertainment media, and different projects or kinds of projects at work. This would allow me to focus on one thing at a time, keep things organized, and increase my productivity. With this kind of logically compartmentalized approach, my desktop would always be useful, never cluttered, and Expose would not need to show me programs that are open in a different space -- the whole point of having different spaces would be that they are separate activities for different times and places. The way Apple implemented Spaces it did nothing to improve my workflow, but I know some people that used it anyway. Prior to Snow Leopard, the ideal implementation of Spaces was available through a third party: http://www.yousoftware.com/desktops/desktops.php ... but this program has been discontinued. I was hoping Apple would implement something like virtual desktops natively, but Lion has taken a step away from this very logical, coherent, and useful direction, and I don't see how virtual desktops can ever be implemented in OS X now even by a third party, unless the Lion approach is abandoned.

    Another thing Apple could do is to remove unnecessary hierarchical levels in menus, they are so un-Apple and waste time.

    Another thing they could do is to implement location aware WiFi services (so that the correct default printer and alternate printers are activated based on the WiFi network that I'm connected to for example), this is also implemented via 3rd party software, but would make sense as a native feature in an Apple OS.

    Frankly there are all kinds of things they could have done to improve OS X and justify a "new operating system" in order to drive new hardware sales. But they really floundered with this strategy of "bringing back everything we have learned from iOS to the Mac OS". The problem with this strategy is that they really haven't "learned" much from iOS. iOS is no different from Palm OS with multi-touch, and multi-touch has been available in the Mac OS for years now.

    I do think Apple is trying to prepare users for a touchscreen Mac. That's perfectly fine, but do not burden the end consumer with this. Figure it out in your own labs, heaven knows we pay you enough to do this. And when it is figured out, then present us with the end product. Remember how smoothly Leopard rolled out, not perfect but overwhelmingly positive. I could sit down with someone and explain Time Machine in about 1-2 minutes ... voila life improved!!!

    Those of you who are Apple stockholders (both journalist and commentator), need to realize that it is not helpful or fair when you do not reveal your stock owner status. While we would like for you to retire wealthy, we also NEED computers that work for us. Help Apple get it right, and Apple's stock will do just fine and we will all live happier, healthier lives.

    I can tell you honestly: I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on Apple products. I have "converted" many to using Apple computers and iOS devices. But I am right now unable to purchases any Apple hardware that cannot run Snow Leopard and I am directing those who take advice from me to buy used Apple computers with Snow Leopard (or new Macs that can be downgraded to Snow Leopard) for the next two years. For financial reasons I'm directing some people to Linux Mint, and looking forward this is the direction we might all be heading in 2 years time when the new Mac OS comes out.

    The removal of Expose was unacceptable. Period. The botching of Spaces is simply unnecessary. The inability to run Rosetta unhelpful (we all want native apps because they run better and faster, but we don't all have money to pay programers to rewrite programs and debug programs every 2-5 years). And I could go on and on. If you want some third party opinions, try a Google search for "Lion is Apple's Vista" (a phrase that occurred to me on my own mind you) or look here:
    http://theorangeview.net/2011/07/is-lion-is-apple-...
    Reply
  • nardreiko - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Or here is a less polished discussion:

    http://cyrilmazur.com/2011/07/is-osx-lion-a-joke.h...

    Saying we don't have to upgrade if we don't want to is juvenile and beside the point -- so don't say it.

    For the record I actually do love Apple's hardware still (and the OS UI was pretty close to ideal in Leopard). This is why Lion is so disappointing to me.

    Screen jitter and nausea aside, I love the new MBA models and they are the first MBAs that I could in theory actually use as a primary portable. I'm very disappointed that I cannot use them. Genuinely disappointed.

    And it is my right as a human being to be disappointed. I don't give more than two hoots about Apple stock price and "success". I care about my work and my life, and Apple really only to the extent that it can improve my work and my life -- which it has substantially up until now. If Apple hires me or I buy their stock, then I will care more about the company's net income. Having said that, a little empathy for customers even from a stock owner never hurt anyone.

    It is notable to me that no one, not even Apple, can really explain how windows are managed in Lion. They just give it some trademarks (e.g. Mission Control) and say "it takes some getting used to." Even top sales people at the Apple store and Best Buy are admitting several days after Lion's release that they "haven't had enough time to figure it out" or "haven't had enough time to decide if they like it or not." That tells you something.

    Actually it says a lot about several aspects of this product roll-out. It is pretty un-Apple, even if it doesn't destroy the company. When I say Lion is a disaster, I really mean for me and the people I know, as customers. I'm not too worried about the stock owners I know being able to retire on schedule. The OS could affect how comfortable they are in retirement eventually ... that's just not my primary concern right now, or frankly ever when I go to buy a new computer or help a friend manage their computing needs.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I too noticed the 6800K color temp on my Mid 2009 MBP. The default profile it ships with is pretty close to a Spyder 3 color calibrated profile at its "Native Temperature."

    My question is, are the panels supplied actually using a 6800K light source? Or has Apple just decided to make it "brighter and whiter" by calibrating for the cool white point that a lot of people like.

    In that case it might make sense to keep that extremely cool calibration if it means trying to get 6500K for web/photo matching will degrade the color quality.

    Personally I target D65 since that is supposed to be the standard for the majority of Internet and Photo processing. But if it hurts performance of the display, I may have to reconsider.
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Why care so much about screen properties, like color gamut, when the first photo shows that is not possible to see the screen because of reflections?

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/macbookair...

    That’s like measuring the millimetric length difference of 3 table legs when the fourth leg is broken.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    The pic is at an angle. Reflection is pretty much guaranteed when using a glossy display at an angle.

    It's always a trade off. With a glossy display, a lot of the ambient light is reflected away from the axis that you normally would view it at. So the image does have more contrast.

    Unless the light source is directly behind and overhead.

    Matte screens will diffuse the light and give you lower contrast, because all angles are reflected equally in all directions.

    It all depends on what you like more. There's no magic matte screen with high contrast and no reflection either compared to a similar glossy display.
    Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    That's a bunch of lies. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Glossy screens are the most idiotic regression in computing ever.

    You'll get apologists saying that it depends on the lighting conditions. No it doesn't. It doesn't matter where the light source is; you're going to see your environment reflected in the screen. If nothing else, you're going to see YOU reflected in the light emitted by the screen itself.

    So that "higher contrast" is utter horseshit, because those "deep blacks" are covered by a sheen of reflection.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    The gloss screen isn't anywhere near as bad as it is on the MacBook Pro. In an office or a home, it isn't that noticeable, actually. The MacBook Air's glossy screen is probably the best version I've seen. That's not to say I wouldn't want a matte option, but the reflections in the picture are exaggerated because of the flash. Reply
  • winkness - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    What' s the level of screen brightness in this test? Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    "The bigger problem for some is that the 11-inch MacBook Air has the highest pixel density of anything Apple ships:"

    Not higher than the iPhone 4 though, which Apple ships.

    As to the outcry regarding the "glossy" screens on Macs, Apple isn't using panels with a glossy coating applied to them, they're just putting a highly polished piece of glass in front of them. There are several companies that produce high quality anti-glare films specifically for Mac screens, yielding overall a higher quality matte display than you'll get in any other laptop or all-in-one.

    And as I'm typing this on my MacBook Pro with anti-glare screen, I'm being driven crazy by the color variation on my display due to uneven LED backlighting. I think we have to accept to a certain degree that there are some trade-offs to be made when it comes to LCDs.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Anand, you say "peaked at 36.2W it quickly dropped back down to and remained at 31 - 33.5W throughout the majority of the render."

    Have you considered that the reason that the power peaks and then drops off is that the CPU hits its thermal limits and starts throttling? That would explain when the power usage drops back down.

    I recently got in a new Dell 6420 which uses a mobile i5 Sandy Bridge CPU (don't remember which model). When I run Intel Burn Test on it while also monitoring it with CPUZ and Hardware monitor, you can see this happening. When the burn test starts, you see the cpu speed scale up. Then the temperatures start to climb and you can hear the fans running faster. About the time the CPU goes over 80C, you see the multiplier drop, resulting in a lower clock speed. As it cools a little the clock speed comes back up a little and fluctuates with temperatures but never again hits the peak it reached when the test initially started.

    As I understand things, this is exactly how you would expect a Sandy Bridge CPU to operate, particularly in the confined spaces of a laptop and even more so in an ultra portable. Seems to me if its throttling though the i5 is probably doing this too.
    Reply
  • marraco - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    You can't work:

    http://homepage.mac.com/davehagan/glossy10.jpg

    You can't work:

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tuaw.com/media/2008/10/...

    You can't work:

    http://3.asset.soup.io/asset/1813/7075_ee11_500.jp...

    YOU CAN'T SEE ANYTHING!

    http://9.asset.soup.io/asset/1803/6089_5cab_500.jp...

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/MacBookPro...

    Why all the babble about color gamut??? Is a portable computer. You can't carry it to the park, because, you can't see the screen!

    You can't use it on your house, because you need to close all the windows, you need to switch off all the lights, and then you can't read your papers.

    YOU NEED TO MOVE ALL YOUR FURNITURE JUST TO USE A MAC.

    You can't move to other place on the table, because a reflection kills you.

    You can't work with the windows behind you because of the reflections. You can't use the window behind the computer because of the light contrast (you need to put down all the internal lights).
    Reply
  • neoplasm - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Checkmate! Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    The MacBook Air does not have a glass cover on top of the anti-glare coating. it is nowhere near as reflective as the MacBook Pro. I have no issues using it at home during the day or at night, and I get a lot of natural light in my apartment. I also don't have an issue using it on planes or in sunny airport lobbies. It's pretty easy to move the screen around so that light isn't shining directly on it. Reply
  • snakeInTheGrass - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    I'm trying to see myself in my MacBook Air 11" screen right now. I have a window to the right of my desk, another behind me, and unless I align the screen to directly reflect the window I can't see any effect from it. Nice photos anyway, but I don't really think they're very representative of the Air screen. Reply
  • cantus - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link


    in such detailed reviews of the macbook airs as found on anandtech it is surprising if not even puzzling to not find a single word on fan noise in these highly compacted machines.
    for many users sound levels are a key issue as the growing silent computing market shows and a clear evaluation of the sound levels of these machines is essential topic for any serious review to comment on. that anandtech, while providing the probably most in-depth reviews of the mac book airs does not do so is strange to say the least.
    Reply
  • OrcaNZ - Sunday, August 07, 2011 - link

    Thanks for a very informative review - I have the 11" i7 - and use it for work and casual gaming (CiV V etc). Great machine and honesty the best ultra portable laptop I have ever owned. Coming from a 2010 13" Macbook Pro, I found the weight saving of lugging it around everyday the biggest benefit. Best Apple product I have used to date. Reply
  • h00ligan76 - Tuesday, August 09, 2011 - link

    You know, I love the anandtech reviews.. let's start with that.

    However the inconsistencies in testing make it difficult for one to evaluate for purchase - whether they be comparing the technology.

    For example - all of the tests for imports exports were done with a SSD in a macbook pro... well for people on the budget of the air / base model, it doesn't translate well into real world differences.

    While I understand the need or desire to negate the disk differences, I also think it would be a valuable addition to show them as one could then specifically see how much of an impact the SSD has to counter the weaker processor or vid card.

    In the real world, most people are on budgets and don't necessarily order top of the line custom built.. more working pros for example will buy base models to amortize depreciation better.

    As always, thanks for the great review.
    Reply
  • justinyuen - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    I appreciated the deep look at the MacBook Air and it was helpful with both my purchasing decision and the blog post I just wrote comparing the 11" and the 13" for FMYI:

    http://www.fmyi.com/blog/single/the_perfect_laptop...
    Reply
  • arunbala - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Thanks a lot for this review. I was specifically interested in the performance tradeoff from the i5 1.7GHz to the i7 1.8GHz and the temperature implications. The data presented here clearly shows a major downside as far as heat goes when packing a i7 into a 11 inch air. I had the 11-inch air with the upgraded CPU for 10 days. The excess heat was a major downer for me. Once this review confirmed what I felt with real world use, I decided I wanted to switch to the 13". As much as I love the 11-inch's portability, Apple needs to work on the heat aspect and cut it down significantly. From the previous gen 1.4GHz core 2 duo to the core i7 we see a clear 15 degree C temp increase on the 11 inch. This is a major deal breaker for a "lap"top. I have had my 13" for 3 weeks now and I'm glad I made the switch.

    Arun
    Reply
  • kingzad - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I see the performance gain is not much with 13 inches i7 upgrade but can the 4 MB cache shows itself in other ways that may not be directly measured by typical performance tests? For example will it help with faster switching applications if a large number of applications are running at the same time. As an example lets say we are running XCode with many files open, Interface Builder, iPhone Simulator, Firefox, Safari, MS Word, iTunes plus some other apps. How about if I don't turn off my mac for many many days (quite typical) and there are just more and more applications which are active on it. Could it be more responsive with i7's 4MB cache rather than i5's 3 MB? Reply
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