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  • Skolde - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I find the current display resolutions on these "premium" products to be very lacking for me to actually seriously consider a purchase. At least stick something in there like 1600x900.

    ....1366 x 768? Come on!

    Also - bumping the memory up to 8GB would be nice. I know it isn't build to be a workhorse, but still.

    The XPS13 from Dell seems to be a much nicer option currently.
    Reply
  • rangerdavid - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    1440 x 900 on this 13". Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Why not, they put higher resolution on 5 inch phones... Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    They put higher resolution screens on their retina laptops. The Air focus on battery life and performance above all. Reply
  • designerfx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    except that's a problem. You can't take advantage of certain basic parts of *performance* if you have a terrible display. Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Here is the non TLDR version of this review:

    "intel came out with a new CPU, samsung made a new SSD and apple slapped it together last minute in an existing design. Ultimately, You get a slower, longer lasting air for a 100 bucks less that carries over all the little annoyances from last year."

    whoop dee f*ckin do……..This is apple innovation?

    "the m.2 spec wasnt far enough along to be used in this generation"

    Oh please, What a load of horse ****. I think anand, like many other review sites invested heavily in apple stock and are now trying to stop the bleeding. Apple has been deliberately stifling user upgrades for years….That is why they have proprietary connectors…ON EVERYTHING...your readers, and your reviewer knows this.

    "The only thing that hasn't changed, that perhaps should have is the display. "

    ya think? My phone has better rez. You've been criticizing PC makers for 2 years about the 1366x768 resolution, and here we have apple in 2013 and you say they "perhaps should have changed"

    ROFL

    Here are some "cheap" things they could have done to actually make this product an upgrade:

    -move the thunderbolt port beside the power connector (no more stethoscope when plugged in driving a display)
    -second thunderbolt port (now you can have 2 displays native and not be down a precious USB3)
    -16gb ram availability (now I can run several VM's comfortably when developing)
    -performance on par with last years MBA?
    -nfc support
    -4G support

    here is some mild innovation they could have done:

    -detachable screen (tablet notebook hybrid)
    -retina display
    -wireless desktop charger

    3rd tier PC makers are coming out with better hardware than apple now, this year was critical and they've dropped the ball…with the exception of the Mac pro.

    a smartwatch *could* be cool if it comes out totally water proof for active users…jogging swimming etc, if not i don't see the incentive to purchase unless it is super low cost.

    what they need to "fix" the situation

    -low cost iPhone (incoming 2013)
    -large screen iPhone (2014)
    -retina display across the board on all products (2015)
    -updated thunderbolt display, USB3 and 4k Rez for under 2000 bucks.
    -apple branded TV and home theatre system
    -thunderbolt or USB3 sync speeds on all iDevices

    Dump your apple stock now, it will bounce back but never to the highs it was previously.
    Reply
  • Glindon - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Bored much? Reply
  • abazigal - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Can you name me all the other manufacturers who are implementing these features, much less doing them properly?

    You want retina, there's the 13" retina MBP. And I think he was criticising manufacturers for using 1366x768 res on a 13" laptop screen. Apple uses that for their 11" MBA line, which I find is still acceptable.

    Apple decided that a slight decrease in performance was an acceptable tradeoff for longer battery life. And I am inclined to agree with them. The new processor speed still more than suffices for what typical consumers use it for anyways.

    What am I supposed to do with NFC on a laptop? You want the power source to be beside the thunderbolt port. I don't think there is quite sufficient space for 2 USB ports on one side, and so long as it hooks up to your thunderbolt display just fine, does it really irritate you so that the two cables split up?

    Personally, I feel there is nothing Apple "needs" to do. I am perfectly fine with their products. I like them, I buy them.
    Reply
  • ysaykin - Saturday, July 13, 2013 - link

    I think that in a way the comments are right. 11 inch laptops for $1000 should have some luxury features. One of those is amazing battery life, good keyboard, nice display, and good performance. The macbook air has some bases covered, but lacks the display. The resolution is fine for a sub $600 notebook but not at $1000, also a TN panel on a $1000 notebook sounds like a rip off. It should have been at least an ips panel. The longer battery life is only achievable because Mac OSx has been optimized for battery life, but if you use windows on the machine your battery takes a huge dip. So is it a good laptop, definitely, but is it worth the $1000 price? I think it's def a mac tax. Look at the Lenovo yoga which if updated to haswell would have awesome battery life, touchscreen, ips 1600x900 resolution, and convertible to tablet mode. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I'm sorry, have you ever owned an MBA? You don't want to be doing any heavy development on this device, it will get hot fast.

    This device should be the Traveler's Laptop: good enough to carry with you, more productive than an iPad, full keyboard, longer battery life than a regular laptop, lighter weight, and a few ports to maybe support what you need. It would be perfect for a plane or train, maybe to lounge by the pool, but should not be considered as a desktop or MBP replacement.

    The shame of it is that it's so portable, that it leaves you wanting to do more with it. It almost has done it's job too well. In that regard, you are right, it is lacking the things that would put it over the edge, that would make it a replacement of the desktop/MBP, which again it's not. But be conscious that [I think] this has no fans, and from when I used it, got hot really fast -- horrible for any extreme development, or even long-term gaming.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Hah! Lots of developers use Airs without issue. Reply
  • cscordo - Thursday, August 08, 2013 - link

    What a ridiculous comment from someone who clearly doesn't develop software.

    I'm still on a 13" MBA from two gens ago and run multiple IDE's and SQL Server 2010, and it doesn't skip a beat.

    What type of "heavy" software development do you perform that it can't handle? I'd be very interested to know.
    Reply
  • josef195 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    So, you're saying the Macbook Air isn't for pro users? I must say, if only they had some Macbook for professional users; they could even call it a Macbook Pro. Reply
  • Calista - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    I agree with your ideas of adding the option of 16 GB of RAM and 4G support. Virtualization is growing all the time, the memory usage can grow very quickly if starting to run a few VM in parallel. And not having the option of 4G in this day and age is just embarrassing. For a machine *built* to be used on the go, with every component (battery life, weight, size) adopted to this task not adding 3G/4G just doesn't make sense. Reply
  • Dave DeCo - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I have never given much thought to the 4G thing. But now that it's brought up I too wonder why the MBA doesn't offer it. My incredibly portable iPad has it. iPhone too of course. Why not the wafer thin MacBook Air? Oh Apple. Always dangling that carrot on the longest stick possible while telling us we don't need carrots. If that last line makes sense to anyone please tell me. Because I don't know what the Helsinki I just said. Reply
  • australianm8 - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    A few considerations for everyone fussing about 4g support.
    1. Apple likes to keep a simple product line
    2. Look at a teardown, not much room in there for much more to add. (already pushing it's thermal limits)
    3. There are a plethora of cell carriers that offer 4g USB sticks
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    That was a childish and ignorant display of petulance. Obviously a particularly immature teenager. Reply
  • jaycee1970 - Saturday, August 24, 2013 - link

    "Dump your apple stock now, it will bounce back"

    Wow, that's fantastic financial advice, genius. I'll definitely sell something that will go up in value. The rest of your post was just as intelligent. Thank you.
    Reply
  • othernet - Monday, November 04, 2013 - link

    Uhm... there are hybrid notebook/tablets out there. Did you buy one? I don't know of anyone that did.

    Apple sells Retina 4, 10, 13 and 15 inch products. Soon, an 8 inch product too. You must have missed the keynotes.

    Wireless charging? Wait, do you still need to plug the wireless charger somewhere to make it work? When it doesn't have to sign me up!
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    If you read the review you are commenting on you would know its not a terrible display. Reply
  • Subyman - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Did you even read Anand's article? He explains why. Reply
  • sigmatau - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yes, apparently it is good to have a long battery life so you can be able to stare at a horrible display for as long as possible. I'd rather have that display in a $400 laptop. Actually, not even at that price point. Reply
  • designerfx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    exactly. I laugh when people look at GPU performance when they forget that it's at 1366x768. You can get better (and AMD does) in IGP. Reply
  • josef195 - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    I laugh when people complain about good GPU performance at 1366x768 when it's actually 1440x900 Reply
  • jmmx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    hardly a horrible display! Have you ever seen one? Not only are they very fine - though admittedly not as high resolution as others, but according to one monitor expert - only Apple displays have a consistency and an out-of-the-box color setting that is very close to professionally calibrated. Reply
  • sigmatau - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    OK, I will say that Apple offers some of the best displays, but the best 1366x768 display is still terrible even on a 13" display. Not sure why Apple didn't go with a 1080p display with haswell since any increase battery waste from the display should be more than mitigated by the increased efficiency of the CPU/GPU. It's not like anyone does any serious gaming on these laptops so a higher resolution display will not be affected there either. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    The display is 1440x900 on the 13", not 1366x768 (that's the 11"). It's also one of the damn nicest displays I've ever had the pleasure of using (even the viewing angles doesn't bother me, maybe because it's the only laptop I've used with a decent henge).

    Personally, I'd opt for a 12 hour battery life over a retina-class display. Ideally, I'd have both, but it'll be quite a while before that becomes a possibility in any machine like the Air.
    Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure if it's the same panel, but the 2010 and 2011 reviews tested the LCD, and the panels had some of the best contrast ratios and black/white levels out of any TN panels at the time. It's no IPS, but they're still pretty darn good compared to everything else. While it would be nice if Apple made the panels IPS, I think the current panel resolution is fine.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3991/apples-2010-mac...
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macboo...

    Also, I'm not sure why some people want to run an unscaled UI on super high-res panels, especially on laptops of this size. Yes, some smartphones have higher resolutions screens, but they scale things up so it's easier to read. Just stuffing in a high-res panel for the heck of it isn't the way to do things.
    Reply
  • abazigal - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    It's ultimately an issue of tradeoffs. Long battery life vs High quality display. I think between the 2, more people will opt for the longer battery life (considering it is an air you are getting after all). Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It shoul Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It should be 1680x1050 Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Scaling is an issue. Apple won't change the resolution until it can go "Retina" and quadruple it. OS X wasn't designed to scale at 150% like Windows Metro. No sense making a halfway move when the output won't look good. That's probably why Windows 7 notebooks stayed at 1366x768 for so long. Windows 7 itself could scale but most Desktop applications can't. Reply
  • spronkey - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    To be honest, unless you go to *really* high res (i.e. "retina"), 1600x900 isn't really a large improvement on 1440x900, and anything higher than that becomes a little difficult to read without scaling, and ends up looking nasty. I personally think 1440x900 is a nice Mid-DPI resolution for these 13" machines. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It is for pretty much everyone as unless you go all the way to retina you get tidy text and icons. Reply
  • axien86 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link


    Not only that, but reading that Anand got the objectively better Samsung display instead of the LG display by luck of the "lottery" is one lottery that many buyers do not win.

    Secondly, Anand describes Haswell THERMAL LIMITING and how it reduces performance, but how about simple measurements of important factors like CPU, GPU, keyboard and chassis temperature under load?

    At other Mac forums, users with the new Macbook Air 2013 are finding many 3D games along with Flash/HD Youtube causes loud and irritating fan noise along with rapid dramatic rise in temperature.

    No review of a ultralight laptop is complete without a complete noise and temperature analysis.
    Reply
  • Synaesthesia - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Anand's reviews are the best. The 2012 and previous models had no issues with fan noise and heat generation, nor thermal limiting. The 2013 models with Haswell have much lower power consumption and heat generation will necessarily be much lower, so I'm sure it's great too, and that thermal limiting doesn't kick in at all. Reply
  • Synaesthesia - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Quoted from article: "For example, the fan was never audible on the 2013 MBA while running this test compared to running at a very noticeable volume on the 2012 Core i7 model. The same goes for temperatures. The i7 2012 model tends to run about 5% warmer along the bottom of the chassis compared to the 2013 i5." Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    They are far too biased, but then again, so are you probably, if you find them "the best" you simply are on the same direction of bias. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    They are not biased and you don't understand the meaning of the word. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Just a thought, but how about stating your concerns via constructive criticism or in the form of a question. Crying bias while continuing to visit (and therefore, support) any website just doesn't make much sense since you will be dismissed as a troll by the very people you are hoping to influence. Reply
  • CalaverasGrande - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Frankly I think users that expect to play heavy 3D games on a MacBook Air with chipset video bought the wrong computer. They should have spent a few hundred more for a 15" MBP with discrete graphics. Or if they really care about games they should hop the fence and go get an Asus or some other Windows gaming notebook.
    Intel's HD4000 graphics are better than previous Intel video attempts, but still pretty weak compared to other vid chips. It's also using system ram, not dedicated ram.
    As stated, this is the mobility platform, not the performance platform.
    Reply
  • CalaverasGrande - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    oops, HD5000. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Nobody does. But the HD 5000 is quite capable for some games. Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The lack of thermal data in these Mac reviews is rather frustrating. If this data is included in all other PC reviews in Anandtech, why is it completely ignored when reviewing Apple products? They certainly aren't immune to heat/throttling problems. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You didn't read the article you are commenting on. Reply
  • hyrule4927 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    If you would like to tell me where specific CPU temperature data is given, be my guest. All I see is an anecdote about fan noise and speculation about throttling in several tests. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Prove that Samsung makes a better screen than LG. I bet you can't tell the difference. Reply
  • spronkey - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Samsung LCDs might have slightly better early quality control. LG Display have been a bit notorious for early run issues with their panels lately. But I agree - taking these away, LG has more cred as a panel maker than Samsung does. Reply
  • airmantharp - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I'd prove that LG makes a better screen than Samsung- but it's already been proven. Reply
  • Malih - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The laptop focuses on being lightweight, thus thin, thus limited battery capacity,
    and limited battery capacity doesn't play well with high res display,

    They could choose to increase resolution with haswell and keep the same battery life, but seeing as they chose battery shows where they are focusing with Air.

    That means if you want high res display, then get Retina MBP instead.
    Reply
  • airmantharp - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Your iPhone would like to have a talk with you. Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    And tell you about what? It's similar display resolution? Reply
  • abazigal - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You can always pay more to have the air ship with more ram. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Or faster procs or more sad. Reply
  • Strulf - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yep, 8 GB are possible. In the generation before already. Reply
  • MatthiasP - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The resolution is quite OK if you consider the battery life and weight you get. Also both displays still offer a higher DPI than what you can get on the best desktop displays. What is really disappointing is the lack of an IPS panel. There is no excuse for that on a mobile device. Reply
  • Exelius - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    8gb is available as a BTO option. I have a 11" 2012 MBP with an i7-3667U and 8gb RAM and it's more than enough for running a VM and even for doing some database work. Honestly, the machine is still mostly bound by the speed of the SSD for every workload I use it for. I love the size of the 11".

    The only complaint I have is that the GPU is a bit anemic, which the Haswell update seems to have addressed. I find that the 2012 Air has some noticeable jerkiness driving a 1080p display in OS X, which I suspect is a large part of the reason that the Airs haven't had a larger display. Hopefully, with that limitation removed, Apple can start to put some higher resolution displays in these machines over the next year or two.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Read the article you are commenting on. 1400 X 900.
    You can get this laptop with 8 GB of you want.
    1600 X 900 is to high for a 13 inch for most people. Tiny icons and text. Thats why Apple goes all the way to retina display on their higher end laptops instead of some half measure that won't satisfy anyone.
    Dell makes junk and fails to support it. People looking at Mac's aren't going to consider a Dell with Microsoft's latest mediocrity of an OS.
    This is of course a premium product in build quality, quality control, service and support, custom components like the ssd and battery. Not some plastic Dell with the cheapest possible parts they could get out of China this week.
    Despite that retail starts at $1099 and they can be found cheaper online. Show me a PC laptop even close to this price, build, customizations and certainly service and support. How about a PC laptop with a working trackpad...
    If you want a higher res screen and 8 GB out of the box thats the 13" retina. A new version of it is coming shortly and will be thinner and lighter than the current model.
    Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    I second your opinion about a "PC laptop with a working trackpad." Brother you ain't kidding. I've wondered for years how Apple is the only company that can get it right. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The 13.3 is *IS* 1600x900. The 11" is 1366x768. Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Nope, the 13'' is 1440x900. You're correct the 11'' is 1366x768. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The XPS13 also costs $1600 with those options... Reply
  • abazigal - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I find 1366x768 quite sufficient for a 11" laptop. Reply
  • mavere - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I agree that there's no reason to increase resolution unless they're jumping straight to Retina.

    However, the whole TN thing has got to go.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    You're right, the resolution is far too high, it should be lower at that tiny screen size. And yes, should have 8GB minimum, if not 16. Reply
  • 8steve8 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    disappointing... zero improvement in weight and dimensions (or screen)...

    maybe next time carbon fiber and/or magnesium will allow for a 2.5lb macbook air with a smaller bezel around the screen.
    Reply
  • biassj - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Damn looking to pick up something portable like the Air, but wish it came with a higher res screen. I think I might have to wait for the Samsung Ativ 9 Plus, but that crazy of a res may bring the price up to like $1700 and hope Samsung's claim of 12hrs is true too. Reply
  • sherlockwing - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Hopefully both the 9Plus & the Zenbook Infinity have a <$1200 1080p variant. Reply
  • biassj - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yes, I hope they have cheaper option. I really don't care about touch screens also pointless IMO if it's not a Tablet/Hybrid. I use Windows 8 with desktop just fine. Reply
  • weiran - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    1080p seems like a pointless midway between 1x and 2x on a 13" display. At 1x text is too small, at 2x it's too big (and the effective resolution is way too low), and I imagine it wouldn't look great at 1.5x.

    Personally I'd rather have a lower power 1440x900 panel, or the full 2880x1800 resolution.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Exactly. Reply
  • Synaesthesia - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Hopefully Apple has a nice update to the 13" Retina Macbook Pro's, maybe thinner with better battery life. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The rumor is they are thinner. The 13" retina which is what I have is already pretty close to the Air. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yeah twice the gnu, wi-fi, and 12 hr batter life are so disappointing... Reply
  • sherlockwing - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The battery life is impressive, but I can't stand using a 1440X900 TN panel laptop after using an IPS monitor for the last year. Reply
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Clearly you don't own a Macbook Air. It's absolutely fine switching between it and my 30" Dell. Reply
  • Blindsay - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    I do, and i agree with him Reply
  • appliance5000 - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    I do and I agree with doobydoo. I use my 27"NEC for highly calibrated work and the air for other stuff. It's a nice screen with good color. Reply
  • spronkey - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Hmm. Very interested to see the CPU and battery life numbers for the i7 upgrade. If it manages to increase performance by 10% or so, and decrease battery life 10% or so, it could be a nice sweet spot. Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    I can't wait for the i7 review. I think it's the once I'm leaning toward getting. Reply
  • timmyj9 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    i would be curious to know if the same 802.11ac file sharing bottlenecks occur when using NFS as the file sharing protocol? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It would as the tweak to resolve it was made to TCP and modern NFS are built on top of that. Reply
  • Khato - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Can't agree more that Haswell battery life is already blurring the lines with current tablets. I'm curious how the 2013 Tablet Bench Web Browsing suite compares specifically to the one used on notebooks? In the details provided in this review the specific frequency of web page loading is specified while it's not in the Tablet version.

    The iPad 4 with it's 42.5Wh battery and 9.48 hours of run-time in the test draws an average of 4.48W. If that test is comparable to the Light version shown here then you have the Haswell Macbook Air drawing an average of 4.9W, while if it's comparable to the Medium version then the average is 6.05W. Either way, when you consider that the Macbook Air's 13.3" diagonal screen has 1.88x more surface area than the iPad 4 (nit is another term for cd/m^2, so total luminous intensity of a 13.3" screen at 200 nits is 1.88x that of a 9.7" screen at 200 nits) it's pretty much a given that display power for the Macbook Air is higher than for the iPad 4 despite the lower resolution. Pretty cool.
    Reply
  • Shivansps - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The HD5000 is running on single channel right? there is a 2do slot for another memory? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The entire SoC has dual channel memory. The MacBook Air has no memory expansion slots. If you want to get one of these, be sure to order with the amount of memory you think you'd need in the future. Reply
  • Shivansps - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Im saying that because of the IGP performance, i cant find any confirmation on the review that the MBA is running on dual channel memory, 4GB LPDDR3 sounds like 64 bit single channel to me, and that will impact IGP performance, even HD3000 has reduced 3D performance if not running on dual channel. Reply
  • Glindon - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Every Macbook Air that I've owned ran in dual channel mode. Why would this year's be any different. Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Note the part in this article referring to the LPDDR3. It indicates that it has four 32 bit LPDDR3 packages which indicate a 128 bit wide bus (dual channel). Reply
  • JDG1980 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I think we should have seen noise and thermal measurements, especially since this is Haswell. Will you be able to sit it on your lap without burning yourself? The desktop Haswell chips get nearly hot enough to boil water. I don't believe Intel's official TDP ratings for Haswell; the 4770K allegedly dissipated only 84 watts, but generated more heat than a 130W Sandy Bridge-E.

    Assuming you plan to use OSX (I can't stand it myself), the low resolution is a real killer. Windows is the only OS that has good font rendering at low DPI (via ClearType). On OSX everything is a blurry mess, and on Linux it's even worse. (Rendering at low DPI is much harder since they have to use a bunch of hacks like hinting and sub-pixel antialiasing to get the font to fit the pixel grid and look reasonably clear.)

    It's disappointing to see Apple using Elpida RAM; it's far worse than Hynix or Samsung. And end users shouldn't expect to get the Samsung panel reviewed here; they will almost certainly end up with an inferior LG panel unless they return the system and complain. That's what happened with the rMBP last generation. The sales tactics came close to bait and switch, IMO: send out a good product to reviewers, then after a few months of sales, switch to inferior parts for future production without any indication on the packaging or labeling.
    Reply
  • FwFred - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Temperature != heat. Also, there is no IHS on a mobile part, so the CPU die may directly be mounted against the cooling solution. Reply
  • mavere - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    No IHS means no TIM issues means TDP has an extremely, extremely strong correlation to heat and noise, especially as teardowns show similar internal construction. Like the review said, TDP is respectably lowered in Haswell.

    >>> "It's disappointing to see Apple using Elpida RAM; it's far worse than Hynix or Samsung."

    By what metric? Are you claiming that the RAM won't reach their rated speeds? Or are you claiming there's a pending RAM death situation here?

    I would love citations in any case.
    Reply
  • star-affinity - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Don't agree on OS X. It's great overall, once you get used to it. A good start is to not expect everything to behave like in Windows. Also don't agree on the font rendering. If you think it looks better in Windows I'm guessing you're not really into graphic design? Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    That 130W SB-E die is significantly larger than the 84W Haswell die. Once you add in the fact that more of that TDP is actually being used due to the on-package VRMs, it is pretty obvious why a Haswell would be hotter at the same loads. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I just used MBA 2011 11" model and the resolution is just fine. At normal viewing distances (30-40cm) the text look clear - no pixels. 135ppi at 40cm means one pixel covers 1,5 arcminutes. That is actually very small unit and quite close to eye resolving power. Definitely you can see the pixels when viewing closer but for normal distances the resolution is 100% sufficient for getting the job done. Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I've been running some terminal stuff for multiple hours with the new i7 model (8GB RAM) utilizing 100% of both cores (4 cores with hyperthreading) and at no point the laptop got uncomfortable to hold on lap (bare skin).. Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    A) Thermal measurements. BS. You don't think the reviewer would've brought to our attention the fact he burned his lap while watching a movie? It's drawing less power at lower clock speeds...there isn't an expectation that the 'heat' on the outside would be anymore significant than the 11/12 core i models. Noise was commented on. In comparison to last year's model, it was quieter while rendering I believe. As well...he mentioned several times throughout the article his anticipation testing the i7 model when he's done flying around the world....yet still submitting a tremendous 'initial' over view or the new Airs. Believe Intel or not....these are 15watt chips. Not 85. Not 130. They're not gonna hurt ya bud.
    B) OSx. Now your comments are becoming a bit more clear. I use Windows 7/8 and OSx daily. Your comments on text are clearly based on 'what you've heard' and nothing to do with reality. In fact, my friend...'Tis Windows that has awful 'scaling' implementation when it comes to hiDPI displays....including any non native Windows software on the Surface pro. Very troublesome and hopefully will be addressed in 8.1. You're comments on a 'blurry mess' are nothing but BS. @ over 135 dpi on the standard 11" Airs, the resolution in relation to the size of the monitor are just fine! 1080p on that sized display without the same pixel doubling tricks used on the rMBPs would be truly unreadable for most folks over 12 years old! Seriously! I'm an Air and rMBP owner....as well as a PC high resolution display owner. While windows does have some benefits to 'ClearType'....OSx has NO issues with text display. While I'd like to so them step up to IPS, their TN panels, out of the box...have lead the industry for years. Objectively and subjectively. There is NO argument. Windows...on the other hand....they've got a way to go. ClearType isn't the answer. They'll need to implement the same trickery as OSx for text display on HiDPI monitors. No one can see, much less make use of a 2880x1800 display in native Rez. That's the cool thing OSx has managed to pull off....while pixel doubling for text...pics, video, and other creative work can be displayed @ it's native resolution while 'inside' an app using the pixel doubling for its interface. EG; photoshop, FCP....where you CAN have the entire 1080p, every pixel represented inside your canvas while the UI remains usable and crystal clear

    Elpida RAM. You are awar that Apple has achieved near 100% efficiency now with their 'soldiered in' RAM. Something NO other user replaceable RAM system can compete with. There are no issues with Elpida...other than the fact you've not heard about them.
    LG vs Samsung...very, very arguable. I ended up with an LG in one of our two rMBPs. In four months, image retention set in and Apple immediately replaced it. No questions asked. That said, LG is one of the Biggest and Best panel manufacturers in the world. LG panels in comparison to Samsung have shown better contrast, white and black point....and higher brightness. My Samsung is warmer, but calibrated I've got it pretty close to 6500°. LG is absolutely NOT 'inferior'. They changed out their original panel in the rMBP with an updated version. This is new technology, after all....there are going to be hiccups.

    Your 'bait n switch' conspiracy theory is just that. As a small business owner....and as fa from a 'tech reviewer' as one could be....each of my rigs has performed in parity with reviewed models from sites like Anand. No different.

    You're full of a WHOLE LOTTA hot air....and obviously have some sort of vendetta against Apple and OSx. Not sure why, maybe your mom said 'Absolutely Not!' When you asked if she would buy you one. Who knows...but quit with the drivel
    Reply
  • gxtoast - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Fantastic article! However, I just wanted to hit something on the head that seems to be a common misperception:

    "...In living situations where you can’t just run a bunch of Cat6 everywhere, but still want high speed networking, 802.11ac could be a real alternative."

    It seems that most people think that installing Cat6 will give them better 1Gbps Ethernet performance. It won't. Cat6 is irrelevant for 1Gbps. Cat6 is a 10Gbps standard. Cat5e is the 1Gbps standard.

    Cheers :)
    Reply
  • p1esk - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    At longer length or if there are electrical interferences, Cat6 will be better for 1Gbps than Cat5e. Reply
  • spronkey - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Technically Cat5e doesn't have to reach 1Gbps at 100m lengths, which is the 1Gbps standard. So, Cat6 is the 1Gbps standard :P Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Though you'd have to buy some seriously cheap Cat5e to get something that doesn't hit that spec. But yeah, if you're going in-wall you may as well go Cat6 for when you want a 10G network. Reply
  • Mikad - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the review.

    If it's at some point updated with i7 battery life results, it would be great if you could run the battery tests in Windows + Bootcamp also. Some sites have done this, like Pcper, and there has been about 50% decrease in battery life. It would be great to have some kind of an analysis why the battery life takes such a hit in Windows.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Because the battery life gains due to Haswell are based on how well the components are cooperating together, and sub-optimal drivers would easily cancel the improvements out.

    That's why you see Haswell Windows Ultrabooks do pretty good, but Macbook Air running Windows isn't doing so well.
    Reply
  • Glindon - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I don't think it really has much to do with drivers. There's nothing special about the components compared to a Windows ultra book. I think it boils down to something at the EFI level and Apple isn't going to prioritize it for a small subset of users. I'm guessing that running Windows in a VM (through Parallels) might give better battery life. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yes there is. Which you would know if you read the article
    Apple uses custom sad, motherboard, chipsets and a few other compoenents. Thats why the sad is so much faster for example.
    Reply
  • erple2 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    That, BTW, was one of the greatest autocorrects I've seen in a while. Full of fast sad indeed. Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    hahaha!!! Reply
  • Mikad - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I've seen the drivers mentioned as the reason before, but as Glindon stated, the components are just the standard PC stuff, found in other ultrabooks. The drivers are probably the same too. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Another peson who didn't read the article and knows nothing about Macs. Reply
  • watersb - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Excellent review!

    If only it were available with RAM...
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    If only you took tow seconds to find out you can order it with 8 GB of ram. Reply
  • appliance5000 - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    It's available with 8gb ram - but here's the rub: If you have the 512gb ssd coupled with the fact that it's mounted on the pcie bus, your page ins and outs are about as fast as memory - or seemingly so. It's a very fast machine - I've tested it stitching multi gb panos and editing multi gb layered files in CS6 and it just rips. Reply
  • FrozenDarkness - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I think people get retina confused with higher resolution computers. Couple things, your windows computer? DPI up scaling sucks too much to truly run retina. Know that retina on a 13 MBP actually runs at a resolution of 1280x800 to be truly "retina" or else you're just up-scaling then down-scaling and burning your graphics card in the process. So in a sense, it's not truly higher resolution in terms of workspace, just in terms of beauty to behold. This also means a MBA retina would have to be a different, higher resolution panel, than the one used in the 13" MBP and at that point, what is the point of the MBP? I think you're more likely to see the MBP become more lik the MBA in size than vice versa.

    Also, panel lottery sucks, let's not act like apple is the only manufacturer who has a panel lottery or that samsung are only in "review" units.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Windows 8.1 is supposed to fix the DPI scaling in Windows. Win8 is already significantly better than 7.

    Beyond that, sharper pixels even without an increased workspace is still a good thing. I think the rMBPs have a mode that does both, anyway.
    Reply
  • JarJarThomas - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Windows 8.1 can't fix the dpi scaling in windows cause the problem is that most desktop applications can't scale well.

    Fixing dpi scaling with win8 would be similar to the solution apple does for non retine enabled grafics, internally upscale it.

    But that would not work with the way the windows grafic stack works and the applications are dependent on this.

    So scaling will ONLY be better for modern ui apps, not for desktop apps.
    And therefore it will suck
    Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    'Desktop applications can't scale well' because and ONLY because of the underlying OS. It's up to the operating systems architecture to provide third party scaling options/abilities. As we've seen with the rMBP....in less than a year, literally hundreds of apps....from small developers ala Pixelmator to the monsters...AKA, Adobe....have updated their 'code' for HiDPI displays. As has Apple with their software....and Windows with their native apps. Look at the Surface Pro for instance. Anything other than native Windows programming is a PITA. Windows 8.1 absolutely can help...regardless of how the graphic stack is set up....it's that low level coding that Windows needs to get creative with. Especially with dozens of OEMs, screen sizes and ratios....it will absolutely fall into Windows hands to provide decent scaling options and APIs for developers. High Rez monitors aren't going anywhere. 4k was all the rage at CES this year....and $7,000 Sony 4k TVs are already at Best Buys.
    OSx meanwhile has done an excellent job with pixel doubling trickery for text....while allowing developers the ability to natively use every pixel available 'in app' when drawing, editing video or stills....et al.
    That said, and as a rMBP and 11" Air owner, I can honestly say the Air's resolution doesn't bug me in the least. It's a 2011 core i7 and I use it daily....right along side my 15" rMBP...which is the best computer I've ever purchased. Almost a full year with it and it still brings a smile to my face. I started my computer life @ 14 with an Apple IIe in '85. I remember being jealous when my buddy got the 'color' screen for his IIc...while I continued to slave away on a green monochrome screen. Lol....I suppose its where we come from, our ages....and therefore, appreciation for higher resolution vs decent resolution (11" Air) more than adequate and a helluva lot better than other choices on the market. Dunno
    Reply
  • Bkord123 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    I do not claim to know a ton about computers, and I'll be honest, half of this review looks like it's written in Latin to me. However, regarding the comment that Windows 8 is better than 7, didn't I read several headlines that Windows 8 is more or less responsible for a massive decline in PC sales? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    the main reason pc sales are declining is a mix of a poor economy and computers lasting longer. machines reached the point of being fast enough for consumers five or six years ago. most consumers dont run out to get the newest thing in laptops, they wait until their current one breaks, which is more pronounced when jobs are not certain and raises are nonexistent. they were declining before windows 8 made it to market, though windows 8 isnt helping at all. Reply
  • appliance5000 - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    One word - tablets. Reply
  • mikeztm - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Could that PCIe ssd works with Filevault2 without performance down?
    My 2011 MBA's SSD became much slower after enabling Filevault2.
    Reply
  • |-8-| - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    >Five years after its introduction, the MacBook Air really has
    >grown into a very polished, mature platform. The 2013
    >model is really the epitome of what Apple set out to
    >build back in 2008, we just finally have the right hardware
    >available to realize the vision. Nearly every component has
    >been perfectly selected.

    For a ultramobile working horse, there are still some substantial shortcomings: It's still a glossy display tying your work place to indoor use or cloudy weather. There is still no LAN, no VGA - this makes many headaches in business everyday life.

    Maybe the author better leaves the marketing to Apple and concentrates on listing the Pros AND Cons of the product. It's a fine notebook, but definitely not perfect. ;)
    Reply
  • weiran - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You forget not everyone works in a corporation and has your requirements, especially considering this is a consumer device first and foremost. Apple looks to the future, which may mean minor pain in the short-term (having to use adapters for LAN and VGA), but realistically do you think in 2-3 years either of those will exist on any consumer laptop? Reply
  • |-8-| - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It's not about having these or that requirements. The author is praising something to the skies, that has obvious short comings. (Every product has that.) What would be more 'neutral' verbalised: The components are perfectly selected. [...]. There are a few compromises, so the screen has good contrast, but isn't really usable outside, for example in a park. Further missing legacy ports force to carry adapters for using old legacy infrastructure like LAN networks or common LCD projectors.

    It's about writing a review - I don't want to read someones marketing arguments.

    And by the way: Yes, VGA and LAN will be important in the future - most LCD projectors still have VGA and in contrast to HDMI or Displayport it really works reliable. I was at a conference a month ago - VGA saved me as Displayport wasn't working at all.
    LAN is without alternative to share and synchronise big amounts of data.
    Reply
  • Grennum - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    VGA is certainly dying. By the end of the year all of the projects in our boardrooms will be replaced with Smart Screens, which you connect to via Wi-Fi. We have wired HDMI as a back-up works perfectly.

    Wired LAN is not dying by why would you ever have large amounts of data on your ultra portable laptop? That is just be irresponsible. If you are working with large data sets best to do it on a remote system where you have the performance, and reliability.

    This laptop would perfectly meet the needs for many of our business users, maybe not engineering, but then engineering wouldn't be looking at an ultraportable (remote engineering desktops notwithstanding)
    Reply
  • |-8-| - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Maybe I should switch to your company. ;) There are some new projectors here having HDMI (sadly no Displayport). But most projectors are quite old (still working), these are connected via VGA. There is some time left, till the last old projectors die.

    Honestly I don't see a bonus in digital alternatives. THE standard is still missing, as most notebooks have either HDMI or Displayport.

    WLAN seems to have high signal latency between two computers. If you syncronise two big collections of many many subfolders and many small files in there, you notice a huge difference even between 100 MBit/s LAN and 300 MBit/s WLAN. I use WLAN for backups, but speed sucks.
    Another problem is security of data in the private sector, these security guys don't like WLAN.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Then maybe don't work in a park? I don't know of any laptop with a bright enough screen and good enough battery life to actually work outdoors. Reply
  • |-8-| - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Well, the Samsung Series 9 900X3C-A04DE or the Lenovo x220/x230 are two, that can be used outdoors. There should be more, some Zenbooks have also matte screens. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Well Samsung makes cheap junk that doesn't work and has no support. Reply
  • smilingcrow - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Says the person complaining about other peoples' immature posts. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Most projectors use HDMI, VGA is long dead. You could have taken two seconds to Google VGA adapter for MacBook Air to find there are many options though. Putting a VGA port an an Air would be idiotic. Actually on any modern laptop. Reply
  • SirPerro - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    VGA is dead already. LAN... Well, I haven't tried a WiFi connection that comes even close to wired. And that's not going to happen in the near future.

    Apple doesn't look to the future. Apple looks to the wallet. And certainly charging some serious money for cable adaptors which everybody else includes for free is a very good move towards their target.

    And yes, if they removed RJ-45 because it was too thick, they could've used a 50c adaptor to a phisical smaller interface. But that wouldn't be so profitable.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    There plenty of space to put in an RJ-45 jack into the Macbook Airs if Apple didn't care about ascetics: in the bezel of the LCD display. Part of the Cat5 cable would go through the the RJ-45 hole in the display. I'd only work with the screen open but for a wired connection it wouldn't be much of an issue I believe. The problem is that this is a pretty fugly solution. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Ah so you are a laptop engineer..no...an adapter is fine for those who need it. Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    An adapter is easily lost.... the display only gets lost with the rest of the computer. Reply
  • AirieFenix - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Putting a RJ45 connector on the bezel of the screen... yeah, I prefer to not comment. Reply
  • Spoony - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I work for a large corporation too. I know that projectors are all VGA, and everybody uses PowerPoint to show awful ugly presentations with slides just repeating what they say with zero value-add. Anything we can do to exit this model has my full support, and not shipping ANY laptop with VGA would be a great start.

    Don't make excuses for lame prehistoric corporate IT, demand better.
    Reply
  • lilo777 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yeah. Marketing spin in this review was stronger than usual. Here are some examples.

    "To hit an aggressive schedule, you have to mitigate risk." Really? Since when Apple's schedule has become aggressive? Launching 5 products per year which in most cases have very little changes. It's not like the previous version of MBA was released three months ago.

    "We’re talking about TN panels (admittedly higher quality than most) and traditional pixel densities. Compared to the Retina Displays deployed across the rest of Apple’s product lines, these panels just aren’t as good. Compared to what you typically find elsewhere, they’re still among the best." "Typically find elsewhere"? Are they trying to compare MBA with $400 laptops? If you look at the same price range (Sony Vaio Pro, Samsung 9 etc.) you will find much better displays than what MBA has. It looks like being an Apple customer Anand has developed an attachment to the brand that interferes with the quality of his reviews.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Everything you said is wrong and ignorant but the dumbest is accusing Anandtech of bias. Reply
  • lilo777 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It would help if you disproved something that was so wrong in my post. Perhaps people using OSX in their names are simply incapable of recognizing any Apple bias? Reply
  • akdj - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    In the ultra book market... and this price point....there aren't a lot of excellent choices right now for displays. If you step up to $1500-$1800...yes, one or two of the UltraBook vendors are selling 1080p IPS panels. At this price though...in the 'true' UltraBook sense of the word....go shopping at Best Buy sometime. Take a look at what Dell, Toshiba, Samsung and others are offering....again @ $1099. Asus is honestly the only one, in my opinion...that you can buy odd the shelf that competes. Period. You're right...it's time we get a 'better' panel. Perhaps 2014 will bring IGZO technology and production up to speed...IPS prices drop a bit...and Apple decides to equip a higher quality display. I'm all for it. But the current displays don't suck. They're excellent for what they are and at the current 'price point' you can't get that killer high rez panel from Sony. As well...at this size 11"), unless you double the resolution and pixel double as in the rMBP...raising the default resolution too much and text, icons, etc become to small. I'm always amazed at how much real estate I actually DO have on my 11" Air (2011)....in apps with 'full screen' capability....and until I bought the rMBP 15" last summer...I only used 17" MBPs! Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    everyone overlooks something else with the 13 inch air's display...it's 16:10. which is amazing. i'd gladly take this over 16:9 anyday. wish more oems would go back to 16:10. and having seen the screen, and with a bias against macs...i kinda want one of the new airs. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    The display is not glossy. Read the article you are commenting on. Reply
  • lilo777 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You do not need to read the article to know that all Apple displays are glossy. It seems you do not even know what matte display looks like. Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Apple's Macbook Air lineup, while not as "glossy" in appearance as the Retina Macbook Pro's do still have a glossy coating. As a long time hater of glossy displays on notebooks, I have no issue with my Air. Reply
  • amrs - Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - link

    No WWAN either. I think I'll upgrade my Thinkpad X201 to an X240s when those come out if it's any good. With matte display and 3G/4G inside too. Just the basics for mobile usage really. Reply
  • Strulf - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    1920 x 1200 certainly would be nice. I want to upgrade my 2009 MBA but I'm gonna watch for the next revision - hopefully with a higher resolution then. Reply
  • thinkpanda - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I would like to share a few experience regarding to WiFi performance.

    I am using late 2011 MBP 13", which should support 3x3 802.11n. I connect home devices with Asus RT-AC66U router. I have a home server of Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS, with Realtek 8168 GB Ethernet chip connected to the router. The home server has netatalk service installed to support AFP so that I mount the home server storage from MBP using AFP.

    When I copy file from server to my local SSD (just by dragging the file at Finder), I get file transfer rate of 39MB/s! This is not even an AC network, just N network.

    So I am curious that is it the server size TCP windows size settings affect the performance, and the OS X as client device is not affect at all ?
    Reply
  • mikk - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    "It’s hilarious that Intel refused to give out die photos for anything other than quad-core Haswell GT2, citing competitive concerns, yet at Apple’s WWDC launch of the new MacBook Airs we got to see the first die shot of a dual-core Haswell GT3"

    Anand you are plain wrong here. Bad job! ULT GT3 photos are available from Intel since weeks!!!

    http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits//core/4thg...
    http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits//core/4thg...
    Reply
  • Gamingphreek - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Anand (or anyone else) -- I'm curious as to the effects of using Bootcamp. Doesn't bootcamp bootstrap the system into a legacy BIOS and create a fake-ish MBR? As such, aren't AHCI, EFI, and other new technologies presented in a legacy mode?

    For instance, on my mid-2010 MBP, I know that in bootcamp I do not have switchable graphics support and also do not have AHCI storage support.

    Any comments on this functionality/limitation would be appreciated.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I've never seen a $500 Ultrabook that wasn't a clearance of last year's chips. Also, the 13" is only $100 more, and the prices are pretty good for an ultraportable. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Show me a 1,3kg 13" Ultrabook with even a decent touchpad, 128SSD, i5 Haswell, 12h battery life for less than MBA 13" now sells. Really, it is not very expensive considering the HW you get! Not to mention great OS. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    So it has Air in its name but it weighs more than 1 liter of water? Makes sense.... Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Huh? I suspect marketing and branding is lost on you. Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    He has a point, with the new osX mavericks, a better name would be "MacBook water" Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    It's actually specifically specced to equal the weight of compressed air at 3500ksi. Feel silly now? Leave the marketing to us engineers. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It's been a long time since OSX vs Windows native gaming performance has been visited, I'd like to see that updated since there have been almost three OS releases since then and a small but significant influx of native games. Reply
  • ctwise - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    It'll have to wait for OS/X Mavericks. That moves from OpenGL 3.x to OpenGL 4.x and, reportedly, improves performance significantly for even OpenGL 3.x clients (http://rk.md/2013/opengl-osx-mountain-lion-vs-mave... Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Holy cow. The Haswell chips in Airs have dropped to 1.3 Ghz now? Yikes. Before we know it Intel will claim 2W TDP for Core chips (but pay no attention to the 200 Mhz clock speed!) Reply
  • doobydoo - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Sigh @ Ignorant people who compare processors of different architectures by GHz. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    the boost clocks are similar, and the haswell boosts way more than ivy bridge did. look at the cpu scores, which are similar, despite the 400 mhz reduction. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Disappointing to see that even Apple has started being misleading about its battery life for laptops.

    It seems unlike Steve Jobs, Tim Cook is more of a "regular manager" who prefer spec lists and bullet points, over being truthful to customers. Now they're just lying about battery life numbers just as every other PC OEM out there - 12h of battery life! (but you might actually get only half of that).

    And all that with a CPU that is 20 percent slower than last year, and a GPU that's twice as big but only 10-20 percent better than last year.

    Also, the dual core Haswell chip alone costs $350? Yikes. So you still think these chips have any chance of competing in the tablet space, Anand? The whole of iPad Mini costs less than that, with a sub $30 chip. Intel is as behind as always when it comes to competing in the mobile space.
    Reply
  • madmilk - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Sheesh, at least read the review. The battery life is 11 hours on the light workload, which is certainly more than half of the advertised 12. This difference is easily accounted for by the higher screen brightness and Flash. The 1.3GHz Haswell is not 20% slower either than the comparable 1.7GHz Ivy. More like 5% at worst, and in several cases faster. The GPU is 20% faster in a _much_ lower TDP, once the FIVR and PCH are accounted for, which contributes to the very impressive battery life on the heavy workload as well. As for Haswell pricing -- ULV i5/i7 are in another league compared to any ARM offering on the market. Atoms and Celerons are more appropriate for the toy tablet market. Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    ... If you read the fine print on apple's website, they increased the benchmark demands on the MBA compared to previous battery tests just to make the 12 hrs seem more realistic. CNET and a few other sites posted their battery tests of the 13" to be rated for 14+ hours. I think anand already made a point about this...

    And if you compare ARM A9's & ARM A15's performance to intel's haswell platform... You would know ARM processors really can't compete on the same level. There's a reason for that price difference
    Reply
  • lyeoh - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    OK, so which review site is better? So that we can go read it as well... Reply
  • whyso - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You know what would be nice. GPU benchmarks for the rmbp 13" or HD 4000 from a standard voltage part to see how it compares to the HD 5000. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Agreed. It can be confusing when the ULV parts have the same name as normal TDP parts and perform significanlty differently. Reply
  • tecsi - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Could these MBAs support external 4k displays given the Intel 5000? There appears to be a new Thunderbolt part—is this Thunderbolt 2? I am surmising that this support could be turned on in MBAs when the Mac Pro arrives with Mavericks, along with potentially Apple 4k displays. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Not Thunderbolt 2. Only the new Mac Pro has that right now. Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I would presume that the rMBP's would get the Thunderbolt 2 refresh if they are released around the same time. Reply
  • mikk - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Do I miss something or isn't there an info about the exact memory configuration? In particular important for iGPU tests. Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Nobody is going to take such an immature poorly written post seriously. It screams high school kid whose daddy buys his laptop on sale at best Buy. Reply
  • Subyman - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Fantastic read as always. Great job finding the ac file transfer culprit. Maybe some consulting work from Apple is in the future? :) Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I bought the i7 version with 8GB ram and and 512GB SSD. I think with real world usage (some browsing, mail on, a little office, running some terminal stuff that utilizes both cores 100% for an hour or so), battery life is something like 5-7 hours. Pretty good, but rather disappointing in the light of the advertised 12 hours. It's by no means an 'all day computer'.. Reply
  • secretmanofagent - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Did you read what Apple said? 12 hours is for the i5 13" MBA.
    http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/features.html
    "Testing conducted by Apple in May 2013 using preproduction 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based 13-inch MacBook Air units and preproduction 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based 11-inch MacBook Air units. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The HD movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 720p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information."

    Would be a shame to have to read, though.
    Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I did read it. I knew I wouldn't get 12 hours out of it with normal use. However, I was expecting more than 5 hours, that's for sure. Also, many reviews hype how amazing the battery life is. IMO it's just OK. Definitely far from amazing.. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Are you sure you got the Haswell version? If you get only 5h with light usage using 75% brightness, something is totally wrong. Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Yes, I'm sure. With light usage, meaning nothing but a few tabs in FF, I get maybe 7-8 hours (display in full brightness). Rather unremarkable, I would say. It's a fine machine, nonetheless. Just don't expect miracles with the battery.. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Ah, try Safari and also set the brightness to 75%. Apple figure (12h) has been done with brightness set to 75%. This has a big impact to battery life. Set it to 50% and you might get even more.

    You can't compare figures which have been achieved with different brightness levels.
    Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Brightness is pretty much the number one power consumer in a laptop like this (which is actually mentioned in the review). If you expect to run anything at 100% brightness and get anywhere near ideal battery life then you are bound to be disappointed. Reply
  • name99 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    "802.11ac ... better spatial efficiency within those channels (256QAM vs. 64QAM in 802.11n). Today, that means a doubling of channel bandwidth and a 4x increase in data encoded on a carrier"

    This is a deeply flawed statement in two ways.

    (a) The modulation form describes (essentially) how many bits can be packed into a single up/down segment of a sinusoid wave form, ie how many bits/Hz. It is constrained by the amount of noise in the channel (ie the signal to noise ratio) which smeers different amplitudes together so that you can't tell them apart.
    It can be improved somewhat over 802.11n performance by using a better error correcting code (which essentially distributes the random noise level over a number of bits, so that a single large amount of noise rather than destroying that bit information gets spread into a smaller amount of noise over multiple bits).
    802.11ac uses LDPC, a better error correcting code, which allows it to use more aggressive modulation.

    Point is, in all this the improved modulation has nothing to do with spatial encoding and spatial efficiency.

    (b) The QAM64 and QAM256 refer to the number of possible states encoded per bit, not in any way to the number of bits encoded. So QAM64 encodes 6 bits per Hz, QAM256 encodes 8 bits per Hz. the improvement is 8/6=1.33 which is nice, but is not "a 4x increase in data encoded on a carrier".

    We are close to the end of the line with fancy modulation. From now on out, pretty much all the heavy lifting comes from
    (1) wider spectrum (see the 80 and 160MHz of 802.11ac) and
    (2) smaller, more densely distributed base stations.
    We could move from 3 up to 4 spatial streams (perhaps using polarization to help out) but that's tough to push further without much larger antennas (and a rapidly growing computational budget).

    There is one BIG space for a one-time 2x improvement, namely tossing the 802.11 distributed MAC, which wastes half the time waiting randomly for one party or another to talk, and switching to a centrally controlled MAC (like the telcos) along with a very narrow RACH (random access channel) for lightweight tasks like paging and joining.
    My guess/hope is that the successor to 802.11ac will consist primarily of the two issues I've described above (and so will look a lot more like new SW than new DSP algorithms), namely a central arbiter for a network along with the idea that, from the start, the network will consist of multiple small low-power cells working together, about one per room, rather than a single base station trying to reach out to 100 yards or more.
    Reply
  • bittwiddler - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    • The keyboard key size and spacing is the same on the 11 and 13" MBAs.
    • The 11" MBA is exempt from being removed from luggage during TSA screenings, unlike the 13.
    • The 11" screen is lower height than most and doesn't get caught by the clip for the airplane seat tray table.
    • When it comes to business travel computing, I'm not interested in a race to the bottom.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    One thing I would NOT like is for Apple to make a move to a 16:9 screen. I'd certainly rather have 1440x900 on a 13" screen than anything denser that was 16:9. I mean, I'm one of the guys that has been harping on pixel density and refresh rates since before we had modern smart phones (the move to LCDs set us back a decade or more in that regard), but on a screen smaller than 27", 16:9 is just bad. In my not-so-humble opinion.

    4:3 is better for something smaller than 17", but I can live with 16:10. :)
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Re-reading trough the review I have a question about the display: does it use panel self refresh? I recall Intel hyping up this technology several years ago and the Haswell slides in this review indicate support for it. The question is, does Apple take advantage of it? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I think that I can answer my own question. I couldn't find the data sheet for the review panel LSN133BT01A02 but references on the web point towards an early 2012 release for it. Thus it looks like it appeared on the market before panel self refresh was slated for wide spread introduction alongside Haswell. Reply
  • hobagman - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Hi Anand & all -- could I ask a more CPU related question I've been wondering about a lot -- how come the die shots always look so colorful and diverse, when isn't the top layer all just interconnects? Or are the die shots actually taken before they do the interconnects, consisting in the top 10-15 layers? Would really appreciate an explanation of this ... Reply
  • hobagman - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I mean, what are we actually seeing when we look at the die shot? Are those all different transistor regions, and if so, we must be looking at the bottom layers. Or is it that the interconnects in the different regions look different ... or ... ? Reply
  • SkylerSaleh - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    When making the ASIC, thin layers of glass are grown on the silicon, etched, and filled with metal to build the interconnects. This leaves small sharp geometric shapes in the glass, which reacts with the light similarly to how a prism would, causing the wafer to appear colorful. Reply
  • cbrownx88 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Please please please revisit with the i7 config - been wanting to make a purchase but have been waiting for this review (and now waiting on the update lol). Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I believe this is the first time a company has actually released a slower product than the previous gen. On principle at least Apple should be penalized in the review.

    Anand may I suggest a battery testing feature ? Count the time it takes to finish one iteration of the looping test. Maybe the battery lasts longer on a certain device but it may also take longer to finish the task. After that "normalize" the results to really measure the improvement.
    Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    MBA 2013-mid is not really that much slower. It has a lot faster SSD, it has a lot faster WLAN. CPU equal or slower than previous and GPU is faster than previous models. For most usages the net result is a equally fast if not faster computer. Mostly because SSD. Reply
  • captainBOB - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Instead of going the typical route and using all the extra power savings to increase performance while maintaining the same battery life of last year's model, Apple decided to increase battery life while maintaining performance with last year's model. Its an ultraportable.

    If you want more juice, get a Macbook Pro, the Macbook Air is all about the ultraportability.

    As for the lack of 1080p, on all those other ultrabooks with a 1080p screen, the DPI scaling is upped to 150% by default because people were complaining that text on the screen was too small, Windows still can't handle DPI scaling very well, and I doubt Windows 8.1 will change things because it will most likely be an API and still be up to the developer to update their programs to support higher resolutions. Given the "stellar" track record of the Windows desktop development community and Microsoft itself in actually USING the awesome new APIs that Microsoft creates. The situation isn't going to change the moment 8.1 comes out, it may not change for several years.

    Retina may be in the Air's future, but for now the Retina display is what clearly separates the Pro from the Air.

    If there is one criticism that is valid, its that the display should've been at least IPS.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Spare me the marketing talk please...I never mentioned anything about the screen. Why do you feel the need to explain me Apple's motives for that ?

    They could have very well provided a 9 hour machine with a tangible increase in performance, but hey, Apple fans don't care, everything is perfect in camp Cupertino.

    PS: Since you brought it up, the Windows desktop development community is pretty stellar indeed; it's why the best software on the planet, from virtually all categories you wish to name, is made to run on Windows first and foremost. Windows(the software) always handled scaling very well, and having options like 125% or 150% is pretty nifty. Since the display pissing contest just started it will take some time until devs start to obey proper guidelines.
    Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    It's always a tradeoff. Apple went now for maximal battery life with acceptable performance. Most likely they'll focus on performance with rMBP. Sounds logical to me. I think there are many users to whom MBA has enough CPU power and they really need all day battery life. MBA now barely delivers that. Lower battery life would've meant that it will not last all day. Reply
  • ananduser - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    So...we Anandtech readers... we who are the most pretentious of most users... can't we provide criticism ? Reply
  • jmmx - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    What would like to know is this...

    I assume that turbo boost speeds will more likely occur when the unit is plugged in - i.e. it will not be draining the battery. Do any of these tests take this into account? (or did I jut not read far enough yet?)
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I totally despise apple and yes it looks like they are making a lot of mistakes with the 2013 refresh. Staying with low res screens and lower clocked processors that are actually a nudge slower than in 2012. But with the the lower clock speeds and massive battery life improvements of the haswells the macbook air is poised to be the longest running ultrabook on battery this year, especially with the larger battery that adds no weight.

    When you combine the fact that this is haswell, they stayed with low res screens added a larger battery and lowered the cpu frequencies we are in for a real treat with an ultrabook with an insane battery runtime that still has enough power to do everything an ultrabook is used for 99% of the time and do it it with performance in the mid the to midhigh pack with Top battery scores. Not to mention the thermals are probably so much cooler on this air. If Apple left it at 50% would would or probably seen 15 hour idle numbers from apple. And once OSx integrates the power management optimizer feature from haswell those battery life numbers will only go up. Eve more.

    I hate apple. But if battery life i you're #1 concern and want to routinely pull 10 hour workdays from your machine without charging the macbook air 13 model 2013 is the ultrabook for you.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    All notebooks are about design compromises. Apparently Apple decided to tweak this one for battery life rather than use Haswell as an opportunity to put in a faster processor or better screen. Hopefully they'll find a way to shave a few ounces off the weight of the 13" rMBP. I have one and like it, but miss the portability of the Air. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I wish sata would just completely die off and intel increased in PCI lines by double 80X on enterprise 32x on consumer and have all new HDD and SSD connect via PCI 3.0 1GB/SEC bi directional. Can just use 1x lanes for all the storage devices maybe a few 2x lane connections for super high performance ssd;s. But probably won't see this wish till 2GB/sec bi directional pcie-e 4.0. Where we can easily stack up 8 SSD's on 1s lanes while still providing enough lanes for full GPU use. I hope pci 4.0 brings the full death of sata and its outdated ways. Even if we have to call it sata express. The Use of SATA needs to be fully dead by pci-e 4.0. Yea that includes even having to run a practically obsolete blu ray burners off a 1x line but who knows by then there may be a disc much puerior yo blu ray that can actually use the extra bandwidth. Would simplify computers no longer having to have all that data hardware on there too. Reply
  • arkhamasylum87 - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Broadwell will have a refreshed GPU architecture and with the process shrinks, the gains would be more amenable to all. Although the intent to raise the GPU perf a decent percentage with dedicating more than the half the die is a big time change at Intel. Reply
  • rmr - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Good review! I'm waiting for the updated review (using the i7 processor). BTW will it be possible for you to test the Air with an older 802.11g router (since some people have been complaining in the Apple forums about the Air dropping Wifi connections)? I was planning to get a new MBA but I'll be mostly using it at locations with older .11g routers.

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    rmr
    Reply
  • scyap - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    Did the writer mention what OSX version was used for testing? Or I missed out?
    If this review was using Mountain Lion, should I expect even better battery life in Mavericks?
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Yes, you should. Every dev I know who runs on Mavericks reports 10-20% better battery life (that's mighty subjective and unscientific, but I am sure AnandTech will do a proper test).

    Personally I'll make use of my dev account and upgrade as soon as all the dev tools I need are confirmed a running (homebrew-installed stuff mostly).
    Reply
  • Ricopolo - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Anand, love your site. But your constant use of acronyms (like PCH, TDP, etc) that are non-household terms can be quite an obstacle to lay people, who are interested in gaining a bit of insight in tech development. Can you put together a glossary for these acronyms and put it in the footer or somewhere obvious?
    Thanks a lot.
    Reply
  • SkylerSaleh - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    PCH stands for Platform Controller Hub. It provides some needed utilities required to run the CPU correctly, such as display handling, connecting peripherals, DMI, etc. As a lay-mans example, the PCH supports the CPU's operation, similar to how your subconscious supports your operation. Taking over the responsibility of semi-voluntary/non-voluntary actions like breathing, so that you can think about other things.
    TDP stands for thermal design power. It is a measurement of the maximum amount of cooling that is needed to cool a chip in its worst case. As a rule of thumb, the higher the TDP, the more power the chip will use at peak. (However this is not a good measurement of power usage when idle.)
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Google shows up the obviously correct results for both of these very high in its list.
    If you want even cleaner and simpler results search on wikipedia.

    I don't want to be a dick, but part of Anand being a fairly high-end site (including, for example, the variety of technical details which make it substantially more interesting than a Macworld or The Verge or WSJ review) is that it consists of an engineering aware community, which speaks in its natural language, just like any other community.

    If you wish to be part of that community, the solution is not to complain that they use unfamiliar language, but to familiarize yourself with that language. It's not hard --- more so than ever before in the past you can learn what you need to just by scanning Google and wikipedia. And if you want to understand more details, again it's easier than its ever been before --- just look over the review articles either on this site, on Ars Technica (for the simplest introduction) or on David Kanter's Real World Tech (for the most sophisticated introductions you can probably get for free on the internet).
    Reply
  • jb510 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Well said. It's worth noting that even some of us very technical folks have to look up a lot of terms and acronyms reading here as the spectrum of content is so broad. However, I greatly prefer the clean without reference to terms style of AT to the cumbersome reading if copy that is interrupted constantly to define things. Unless you're reading the print edition of AT, the whole internet is just one click away. Reply
  • robco - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    The updated Airs seem pretty sweet. I use my laptop as my primary machine, so I'll probably wait for the rMBP to get updated. I'm also curious to see how well the Iris 5100 graphics compare to the HD 5000. An IPS display would have been a nice upgrade, but I can see why Apple decided to make upgrades in other areas instead.

    The WiFi snafu is interesting. I'm not sure if Apple missed it, or figured it would be a while before most users would upgrade to ac and decided to go ahead and ship it in time for WWDC. As for battery life, even the numbers under heavy workload are impressive for such a small machine. I'm curious to see how well the battery life numbers improve for other ultrabooks as they switch to Haswell running different OSes. I would also like to see if or how well battery live improves after OS 10.9 is released this fall.
    Reply
  • Abelard - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the thorough review, Anand. The battery life you were getting is very impressive.

    I'm curious how the MBA will perform running OS X Mavericks, though. Developers and early adopters seem to be reporting battery life improvements. It's possible Mavericks could squeeze another hour or two out of the 2013 MBA.
    Reply
  • sunman42 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    "Until OS X Mavericks arrives, you'll have to make sure to pay attention to things like background web browser tabs running Flash from killing your battery life." Or you could just do without Flash, or use Click to Flash, and avoid many very nasty bugs, constant security patches, and battery vampirism. Just, as they say, sayin'. Reply
  • jcbottorff - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    The use of a 64K TCP window may be a feature not a bug. I say this because there often is a need to minimize latency of small packets, like used for Voip or other streaming media. With a TCP window size of 64K, on a 6 Mbps DSL connection, a packet queue of 64Kb takes about 85 milliseconds to drain. This means if you did a 64K TCP send (which optimally is one request to the NIC, with the NIC doing TCP segmentation), followed by a Voip UDP packet, it could be 85 milliseconds before the Voip packet goes out the DSL modem. If the TCP window were 256K, the latency would climb to 85*4=340 milliseconds, an unacceptable delay for Voip. It is possible to use varying TCP window sizes based on the current mix of network activity. Like for example, if you have a Voip call active and you have a TCP connection to a server on the Internet, over DSL modem, you may want to limit the TCP window size. If you only have a file sharing connection to a server on the local subnet, you can use a large window size. It's a lot more complex than just changing one number, unless you don't care about things like streaming media working correctly. OS designers often have to compromise, such that nobody is totally happy, but nobody is really upset either. I think the real question is how well the OS dynamically adjusts things under varying conditions to always give the most optimal user experience possible. Reply
  • SimonO101 - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Can we expect even greater battery life once OS X Mavericks comes online? Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Yes. But if I said I knew this for sure I might be violating an NDA. Reply
  • trip1ex - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    Also they should let you sync your MBA to a Mac/PC like an iOS device to help mitigate the 128gb storage in the base model. Or even let you sync to an external drive. I would love an elegant way to offload media particularly. Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    There are MANY ways to do this. Reply
  • niico - Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - link

    I run Windows 8 in a Parallels VM on Mac OS 10.8 - this is my usual setup. If you're looking for a more strenuous battery test I suggest a VM. This often keeps the CPU at 30-50% even when both OS's are idle.

    It is an increasingly common use case - and many users would be interested to see the battery performance, specially on Haswell.
    Reply
  • ctwise - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    I run Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion on OS/X 10.8 as a SQL Server provider for development. I'm not sure if it's a difference between use cases for VMs or a Parallels vs. VMWare, but I rarely see even a single percentage of usage by my Windows VM. Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Good review, usual d$&khead comments from apple haters. I love hardware, all brands and watching it improve, it never gets old. Have recently switched to OSX on a 27" iMac at home for the fun of it and have to say now I'm familiar with it I prefer it to windows. Might switch my work laptop to a MBA, use it rather than my iPad+keyboard that I generally also carry around. Reply
  • akdj - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Lol...exactly how it started for me...some 8 years ago now. Twenty years on PC (first computer was actually an Apple IIe)--& my wife was graduating with her masters degree. She'd been talking about a friend's MacBook for a few months...for her grad gift, I got her one of the old, plastic white MacBooks...my 8 year old son is still using that computer...in stock form daily!
    That first month...it was hard for me to give it up to her. I loved it. Loved OSx. Within six weeks I'd bought my own 15" MBP. Haven't bought a Windows machine since. For a couple years, I used bootcamp as there were a couple of programs that were only on Windows that I needed. They've since been ported to OSx and I've no need any longer for anything other than OSx
    Kinda bums me out I waited as Long as I did. It's amazing having a house full of computers that NEVER need support!
    Reply
  • AKfaust - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    So I purchased one of the base units early this week and am very happy so far. The performance is great and surprisingly I can run Civ V, LOTRO, etc at some pretty decent settings without a hitch. Reply
  • custompc - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    XPS13 indeed a better option.
    http://custompcshop.net
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    No its cheap Dell junk with poor support and it run Windows. Reply
  • Blindsay - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    So i would say the only thing that dissapoints me about the screen are the viewing angles. I find the resolution of 1440x900 quite fine for a screen of this size but i am spoiled by the viewing angles of my IPS screens. Other than that i am quite happy with my MBA so far (i7 8GB, 256GB) Reply
  • Risas - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Macs vs Macs... what a usefulness comparisons. Is the Mac from 2013 better than the one from 2011? I hope so!

    When will you compare the ultrabooks in stores now against the Macs? Some comparison like "what you get for that price"... Maybe some people could find some good ideas for spending their money... Not just Macs against Macs as there was no other option in the world... inbreeding?
    Reply
  • gentux - Friday, July 26, 2013 - link

    Good review. One thing I noticed was that the speakers are much better than on the 2011 MacBook Air. I have no idea if this was already improved in 2012 but the 2013 really rocks and actually has a nice bass. I think they haven't been stereo in the past. Reply
  • lobisme11 - Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - link

    This computer is simply amazing if I could change on thing it would be to add retina display. However the screen resolution is still great! The battery dosen't last the 12 hours it is supposed to when editing movies/videos which is what I use it for. For typing/surfing the web the battery is great! Some times while editing a movie the computer freezes normally for about 30 seconds however it rarely ever has to be restarted when it freezes. Overall Simply Amazing! A definite Buy! Great phone support to. Buy a warranty Overall: 8.5/10 Reply
  • antonio22m - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Macbook Air is undoubtedly a very good notebook
    Price and lack of optical drive can affect a large number of users whose decision during the judgment can be negative so that they can decide to choose another manufacturer.
    Air is perfect and the best "second computer" that you can wish for.
    His task was not to be the main and only computer we can possess.
    If you want excellent laptop computer that will be able to carry it with you wherever you go, the Air is an excellent choice for perfectly reasonable size and more pronounced weight that barely exceeds one kilo.
    Take a look at this comparison at http://www.squidoo.com/apple-macbook-air-133 and You will see comparison to the another Apple laptops.Anyone considering purchasing this laptop needs to see the information in this chart.
    Reply
  • strafejumper - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    I went to the apple store to get this haswell macbook air but the tn panel - while good for a tn panel - looked bad next to all the iphones, mini ipads, and ipads all around it
    To me an ultrabook should not have a tn panel - i couldn't buy it
    The Macbook pro 13" was too heavy (and i cannot wait for the impending refresh)
    It's really tough though because the windows ultrabooks (only 2 out so far - Sony Pro and Asus S7) have half the battery life of the macbook air.
    Half! My guess is this is mostly due to Mac OS and Mavericks isn't even out yet!
    If the Macbook air had an IPS I think it would be a slam dunk -
    As it is I think i'm going to be stuck with a crappy 6hr Sony Vaio
    Reply
  • thinkpanda - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    Apple delivered an update of OS X (10.8.5) which claim to fix the file transfer speed with 802.11ac network. Would Anand update the test result with that path? Reply
  • Stofken - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    Resolution is even lower on the rMBP 13, 1280x800px. Come on, really? You can call this Pro without blushing? Yes, those 800 pixels are cristal sharp, but still only 800, on a premium priced notebook! Reply
  • appliance5000 - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    It's a good looking screen.
    It's pro in the sense that it can do heavy graphics editing without a hiccup (I have a fully tricked out 11") and seems to be magnitudes more powerful than my first gen mac pro tower. It pretty effing pro.

    It's a powerful computer.
    Reply

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