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  • Esko747 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Thought: Would using an efficient laptop cooler increase the performance at noticeable rate? The chassis in these are after all used as a heatsink, and the main thing stopping the processor from using higher clocks for longer periods of time is heat. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    That depends on whether cooling solution in the Macbook Air is good enough for the TDP or not.

    Yes, if the system is substandard, minor to zero if its not. Haswell uses similar Turbo system to Sandy/Ivy Bridge where it has a "guaranteed" Turbo and higher "opportunistic" Turbo, which the latter would turn off after a certain period regardless of how cool its running(to keep it at 15W power use averaged out over longer periods).

    I'm guessing the 2.8GHz reached for the Core i7 in the Multi-threaded suite is the "opportunistic" Turbo, and in infinite time periods with sufficient cooling, it'll settle at 2.4-2.5GHz.
  • SteveKen - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    This reminds me of the Nexus 4 freezer test. Anyone willing to stick their MBA in a freezer??? All in the name of science of course. Reply
  • mavere - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Based on my past experience, the Macbooks don't thermal throttle until ~100C, so within the context of this article, I doubt there'd be much difference.

    That might change with the fan gets dusty, though. One can also reapply the thermal paste inside the machine for a (frustratingly) consistent 10-15C drop and lower fan noise.
  • dsumanik - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything."

    -anand lai shimpi

    Direct acknowledgement the initial 2013 air review left you with a sense of disappointment, and sub par performance. Yet you read that review and its all roses, praises and recommendations, furthermore followed by a direct advertising "best mac laptops - June 2013" article, which recommends purchasing the same laptop.

    I mean after all if the 2013 MBA was so great there would be nothing to "fix"



    Samsung made a new PCIE SSD and intel released a new processor.
    Apple put it in the same package. That is ZERO ZERO ZERO innovation.
    They are still recycling products from the JOBS ERA thats why the stock is going to continue to fall.

    You want them to start innovating again Anand?

    Rip apple a new asshole when they re-release this same junk!!!!

    I have been coming to this site for over a decade.

    You, anand, personally, directly, have lost your impartial journalism and professionalism.

    is Tim Stevens on your speed dial or what?

    What possible motive could you have for ignoring the facts and promoting their products blindly like this?

    There is only one many other media blogs, AT has substantially invested and now lost money in apple stock, or are directly, or indirectly getting kickbacks and are now trying to stop the bleeding.

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything."


    - same design as last year- stethoscope when plugged in, switch the TB PORT!!! NO BRAINER!!!

    - in 2013 a "premium apple experience" delivers 1366 x 768 resolution.. I mean come on 1998 era 1600x1200 would have been at least SOMETHING LOL..and absolutely technologically possible.
    I mean come on you have double the battery life now!!!!!!!

    - no 16gb ram option???? so cheap and easy to do. But nah, peeps will still buy it. Thaty is exactly how the board meeting on that one went.

    - no LTE or modem support, you should buy an iPhone for that.

    - there are wifi problems galore with the new model, and wifi limitations within OSX itself....don't believe me? .... you reported it in your last article but any MBA owners running boot camp have known this for over a year need to transfer a big file? Boot into windows and cut the time in EXACTLY half.

    Eff this shit im out, this site's owner is straight up least he got burned on apple stock for it.

    Pay backs a bitch huh.
  • JKflipflop98 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    People like you are a cancer on this Earth. I hope you finally succumb to your syphilis infection. Good day, sir. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Apple haters are more annoying and idiotic than any Apple fanboy, which is quite an achievement. People like this are amazing Reply
  • iwod - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Yes, Apple Fanboy and Haters, the irony. The truth is, Anyone, absolutely anyone who work within the industry would have had at least a little bit of respect to Apple. Be it Intel, AMD, or heck even Samsung or Google. And by ALL standards Apple has consistently put fourth one of the best hardware.
    So in that sense Apple Fanboy are at least better, because even if they know jack about Apple it still have a product that is worth talking about.
    And Apple haters, are like you said annoying as hell as most of the time they dont have a clue about what innovation actually means and literally knows nothing about design, engineering and tech. And what's even worst is that they "think" they know a lot. And They just hate because they hate.
    And back to those work within the industry and why they actually have a little respect for Apple? Because they actually know their stuff. Not just clueless mind bogging trolls who goes on the internet everyday reading mostly incorrect and false statement and pretend they know a lot.
  • dsumanik - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    nothing to do with apple love or hate...I've pointed out that anand wrote a positive article about the MBA, then in his own words, revealed deep down inside he felt it needed "fixing"

    He then went on to write a second article further promoting this product, specifically promoting it.

    Connect the dots folks, stop changing the subject to apple vs microsoft and goole, i know your hamster brains are trained to do that...its reflex now....but my point was ananda bias, and then advertising of a product he was surprised to find slow, and at best on par with last years model... and still unchanged as a platform and product as a whole.

    dont hate me cuz it has an apple logo on it.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    Your post is filled with angry rhetoric. It is hard to take any of that seriously Reply
  • asianwolf - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    what an amazing amount of drivel from a single post. Let's look at the one word you have used against this product 'innovation'. Prey tell please any other manufacturer in this sector that has 'innovated' in any way using the same standard Intel/hardware components?

    I'm not saying that Apple have 'innovated' in any particular way in this product as opposed to the original MBA introduction, this is just another internal all of the followers around them.

    Back up your thoughts with what you expect to see, rather than deriding a product that still excels amongst many of it's peers...not perfect...but neither are the components that its built from.
  • therodt - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Guys he is completely right. Its not innovating if it is not new. Refining the same thing and calling it new does it make it innovative. Reply
  • pav1 - Sunday, January 19, 2014 - link

    The trouble is there is a conflict between innovation & pricing/value. Innovation is costly, and may not be included for low end products. You'll find innovation at the low end only for competitive reasons. Apple has significant mind and marketshare. Reply
  • whosjohnny - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    dsumanik - you're a cancer, stfu man. you know NOTHING about innovation. something as good as macbook air single body design and you're like what? "release this same junk!!!" go f die you imbecile! Reply
  • hasten - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately everything you have written is wrong. You are the problem - fanboys that believe anything they read on the internet. Apple has not "innovated" since the early 90s. They have done nothing but taken someone else's innovation and repackaged it in a well marketed shiny box. Claiming that they have "put fourth" the best hardware shows even more how little you know. Apple does not manufacture anything. They depend on true hardware companies to create for them. Yes they do assist in the design of the mobile, low end processors for their mass market products, but they do not manufacture anything.

    Amazingly the shroud is coming off and investors and the general public alike are realizing the game that Apple has been playing. Stock prices plummeting, market share decreasing. I'm sure that hard statistical facts won't mean anything to you though. I'm sure you work in the industry with your commentary, brilliance is spewing from them. The only people that should have respect for Apple are marketers. The bubble is bursting and the kiddies are sad.
  • purerice - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    JKflipflop98, while I do not wish harm on anybody, I share your disgust with dsumanik.
    I have no inclination of getting an Apple MBA but Anandtech's MBA articles are great for comparing IVB to Haswell and i5 to i7, at least in a GPU-limited scenario.
    I am in the market for a new laptop and often see great deals on IVBs and the i7s are extremely tempting. However thanks to Anand's articles, I will wait for the full Haswell line of i3, i5, i7s to be out before deciding.
    Also, considering the meager difference between i5 and 30% higher clocked i7, unless it is to do with thermal limits, I think I will stick with an i3 or i5 based Haswell. Though I would be curious in performance difference between these 15W i7s and the 47W i7s in Toshiba's laptops in performance, battery life, and temperature.
    So yes, even if I now have no inclination of getting an Apple MBA, these 3 articles provided enough information to deduce what processor I want in a laptop. As laptop processors are not generally interchangeable, these articles have helped me to key in on which laptops to eliminate from my search. To that extent I am very grateful to Anandtech for these articles.

    Furthermore, even if you don't like Apple, Apple generally has consistent hardware from generation to generation and often gets early editions of Intel processors (great for getting rid of deep sleep USB3.0 issues). Thus, with fewer variables from generation to generation, Apple computers make great test beds for testing out those few variables which are new. It is both amazing and sad that on a website with "tech" in its name you get people who think as unscientifically and biased as dsumanik that they cannot appreciate genuine research for the name behind the research.

    Good day to you all and thank you Anand for your continued dedication to solid articles that give insight that is valuable even to those will not likely purchase the product reviewed. I salute you.
  • dsumanik - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Stop turning the conversations towards apple vs whoever. My rant has nothing to do with apple being good or bad.

    Its ok for anand, you, me, or the rest of the general public to like apple.

    it's NOT ok for him to tell you apple is good when he isnt thinking that inside his own head.

    Why why... WHY would you ever tell someone to buy something you thought was inferior?

    "Oh man, the Core i7 upgraded seriously fixes everything."

    Ok so anand was thinking it was broken. Ok maybe not broken, but at the very least slow...a step down from last years performance. its plain to see in the numbers, the new proc isnt a flat win across the board.

    Yet he still gave the original MBA a glowing review....then wrote a separate article recommending its purchase. Like that was the icing....why did he write that article lol? wouldn't you write that after apple had refreshed its entire line?

    Why right now...all of a sudden do we need an article telling us to buy the only 2013 one here is stupid, we know not to buy the last years model of anything!!!!!

    its so LOL wtf obvious if you just take a step back and ask why, especially that second "article", why it was written.....*advertising* cough cough cough

    his true feelings were NOT reflected in the original article. End of story.

    he WANTS apple to be viewed in a positive light, even if he isn't feeling it inside himself.

    This isn't an isolated incident its been slowly happening for about 3-4 years now.

    He is writing articles telling you to buy something, that in his mind he felt was subpar.

    like seriously guys, don't you see a problem with that?

    ask yourself why someone would make that recommendation?

    Hate me all you want but the question still needs answering....why is it of PERSONAL interest for him to paint apple as rosey a picture as possible.

    It has nothing to do with me, my attitude, my love or hate of apple, Microsoft, chocolate, vanilla, titty bars, democrats, gun laws, religion, or the color of your skin.
  • biasuz - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I'm sorry sir, but your premise is false.

    I know nothing about Anand besides what's resides inside this website. That accompanied to a review of intel's pentium IV a real while ago turned me into a regular visitor.

    On both of the very well written articles relating this subject matter, Anand has been clear to accurately explain the DESIGN CHOICES Apple took, when building a computer whose main focus is not a performance crowd.

    Such design choices are:
    - use of slower frequency CPU would for sure impact raw processing power, as has been perceived by the reviewer, who in fact went to the trouble of quantifying how much less raw power would you get when comparing a previous model. Now please, kindly take into consideration what sort of gains in term of battery life were achieved, WITH LITTLE TO NO IMPACT in consumer experience, because of such DESIGN CHOICES.

    - The same philosophy can also be observed in using a lesser frequency in a MUCH LARGER GPU, demoed similar to superior performance with noticeable gains in used wattage.

    This computer is all about mobility, no raw power.
    In it's premise of existing, a mobile computer, this ones generation seriously outperforms it's previous generation.

    Kind regards.
  • vFunct - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link


    You DO know that Apple makes the best computers in the industry, and everything else is largely garbage, right?

    THAT is objective fact. Do not attempt to spin it with your bias.
  • lilo777 - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    MBA will soon be the only laptop in its class that still uses TN panel. And for a "best computer" it has a lauphably low resolution. Lack of 4G is annoying. Lack of touch screen option is inexcusable. In short, MBA is a solid mid-range laptop. More importantly OP made a very valid observation that lately AT stated giving Apple products way more credit than they deserve. Reply
  • vFunct - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    No the MBA is perfect. Nobody wants a retina screen at that size, since the only people that use them are photographers and they have MBPros. No one wants 4g either since they tether anyways. And touch-screens are completely useless, so no one wants them either.

    Again, Apple makes the best laptops in the industry. They are perfect for their target audiences.
  • lilo777 - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    So the photographers want "retina" displays on the phones , iPads and MBPs but not MBAs. interesting. Also, what kind of photographers prefer TN panels to IPS panels? Reply
  • vFunct - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Photographers use iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros. They DON'T use MacBook Airs.

    The people that buy MacBook Airs use them for email, office apps, and surfing the web. Those users have never wanted or cared about retina displays.

    So, this Retina display complaint is a non-complaint, since no one that would want a MacBook Air is going to complain about it.

    You guys need to learn the purpose of what you use a computer for.

    You don't buy a computer to own tech specs. You buy a computer as a tool to do what you want, and the people that want the MacBook Airs do not want a Retina display.
  • icoltsfan94 - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    I disagree in the fact that MacBook Air potential buyers would not want a retina display. I personally have considered a MBA and one of the biggest turn-offs has been its 1366x768 display, even an upgrade to a 1920x1080 display would be an amazing upgrade, after all, the prevalence of HD content on the internet has significantly increased since the incarnation of the MBA, which has that same 1366x768 resolution at its release. Not to mention the ability to have multiple web pages open at the same time on one screen. Even then, if you have no desire for any of these items, having a higher resolution in the same screen size would allow for better rendered fonts and images in web pages even in just general web browsing. I would love to see an honest argument against having a higher resolution display in the MBA. Reply
  • bji - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    Is "no touch screen option" actually a valid complaint about any laptop? Reply
  • gentux - Friday, July 26, 2013 - link

    Well the best display is useless if it has no juice left. Even Sony Vaio Pro has not that much battery power in it yet it's more expensive. Speaking of 4G you know how many different bands and providers there are in the world? And how that changes in the next 3 years a typical notebook is supposed to be used? It's better to keep that separate so you can use some tethering solutions abroad. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    It's not hard when you (Apple) controls every aspect of its ecosystem. Software, OS, Hardware and marketplace are owned and controlled by Apple. You cannot load Apples OS onto any other hardware (Legally anyway), so they control/limit the hardware configuration and thus the number of drivers you need to have a stable system. Google Chrome Books actually are a similar option (IMO) and with more companies moving to cloud based software.....there is less need to actually install programs on your desktop/laptop.

    If MS decided to regulate Windows on systems of thier own design, you would have very stable systems from MS as well. Just simply think of the number of combinations of PC systems /components currently available. It's in the millions. How many models does Apple have? What are the differences between each one?

    Jobs was very smart, but I have as much respect for him as I do a sleazy car salesmen IMO. (Google: Steve Jobs, Wozniak, Breakout) . While I will never own an IProduct, I give the company credit for how much money they have raked in while offering very limited product lines and controlling the content market where the REAL money is to be made. Apple has made billions selling one phone with incremental improvements to its fan base. What other company wouldn't want to follow that kind of success? Thats why I believe MS has initiated mandatory accounts to load apps onto Win8. All businesses exist to make money for the investors/owners. Apple is NOT any different IMO.

    Best wishes,
  • gentux - Friday, July 26, 2013 - link

    Actually Microsoft has a logo program that doesn't help make PCs any more stable. Just as PlaysForSure stood for something that's a joke since the failed Zune. Sorry but Microsoft wasn't good at anything. Nobody really cared about Windows until they forced you to buy it. Then everyone hated it until Apple had their systems and except for bigger companies and people who think they need to be other than everyone else are moving to OS X.

    If you ask people who used both they will stay with OS X that's the success Apple did.

    If that's not a big of a point why there's no one else?
  • ESC2000 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    If that was true - that people who have used both windows and OSX always stick with apple - apple's marketshare would be way higher. In the computer space its marketshare is puny even though it offers lower cost laptops than it used to. I count myself as one of the people who stuck with Windows. I had to use my sister's macbook pro for a semester in college after I spilled on my VAIO. That was a miserable semester for me computer-wise... couldn't wait to get back to windows. I am far from the only person who prefers windows. I see it when i look around the classroom and see way more windows computers (mostly high-end so people who could have bought the air at least) and I see it in every company/firm that I have ever worked for or even visited -literally none used OSX. So good try there.

    I get this shtick all the time on these tech sites: 'anybody who has ever used [insert iproduct here] will prefer it over other options and never go back to anything else.' We all know logically that absolutist statements like that cannot be true (saw another one a page back claiming that apple makes the best computers period). All one need do to disprove it is if course provide one example to the contrary.

    I know most of these statements are meant somewhat hyperbolically (although I also think people are apt to project their own experience onto every other person in the world). to the extent that they merely mean the trend is toward people abandoning windows for OSX, all I can say is it is not what I observe - whether computers, tablets (v. Android), or phones (again v. Android). But of course we see what we want to see and what we are looking for, so without hard numbers it is hard to know.
  • GotThumbs - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    @dsumanik: I feel your frustration and can see what your point is about. I've actually been coming to AnandTech since Anand was in HighSchool. I also have been disappointed in what I perceive as "Marketing spin" type reviews.
    Other than swapping in an updated CPU's and SSD's, what's the REAL effort/innovation for the 2013 line? Not much, but yet how many articles have been written and what is the overall feeling of each of those "reviews"?
    I've gotten to the point where I actually find it funny/amusing that so much "pomp and circumstance" has been put into recent Apple articles. When people ask me why I don't have an Iproduct, they are totally amazed when I tell them I'd never want an IProduct. I understand it goes against the common thinkers, but I'm not a follower and I choose to avoid systems where I'm not in contol. It's my choice and I respect others decision to chose what they want.

    As far at Anand's recent "Reviews", (no disrespect to Anand as an individual), but It's like a car salesman spinning the minor differences between the new years models and last years. "Less powerful engine, but hey you don't really need/want that"

    At the end of the day, everyone has their own choice to make and while I'll never own an Apple product, its due to the overpriced and closed ecosystem Apple's created. When you're (Apple) pushing a cult like community...they (Fanbois) willingly follow blindly IMO.

    You can try to explain your point forever.....but you must realize they will never even consider your point. It' would be akin to treason for them to even acknowledge your point of view.

    Best wishes to all and enjoy your choices,
  • amdwilliam1985 - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    "...I choose to avoid systems where I'm not in contol."

    Kind of wish I've read your comment 2 years earlier. I've got the 2011 13" MBA, although the overall machine feels good, somehow I can never shake the feeling that it's Steve J's labtop and I'm not "in control" of it. I use my MBA as a glorifying web browsing machine and for everything else, I go to my windows 7 machine :)
    For the same reason(iTunes), I've dumped my beloved 3gs for Galaxy S2 and S3.
    I'm probably one of the few control freaks who needs to know that I'm in control of my pc/phone, instead of someone else.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    two things. A. 1366x768 if just fine for a 11 inch screen. 1440x900 is great for a 13 inch screen, and i wish more oems would use 16:10 screens.
    B. why would apple change a design that works? getting 12 hours of battery life, or close too it, is downright amazing for a machine this size. although, id love to see what would happen if they took current tech and put it in an older design mac, the battery life would be epic. soo much battery.
  • Spoony - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    No, those resolutions are not fine. Of course people want 2880x1800 on their 13" notebook. Of course they want 2560x1600 on their 11" notebook. However, the MBA is an ultra-mobile platform meaning battery life and size take priority over other traits. High DPI displays have a considerable power cost, and apparently Apple felt that trading off display resolution for battery life was the right call in this situation. At some point you just can't beat physics and you have to compromise.

    If you don't agree, don't buy their product. I'm not sure I agree, so I bought something else.
  • kleos44 - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    I am tired of hearing this argument. Throwing out statements like "you just can't beat physics" is wrong. Educate yourself on the physics of IGZO displays. Significantly higher resolutions AND LESS power draw than traditional display technologies. Every high end laptop is going to use them this year including pretty much every other Apple product. Reply
  • TheeGooch - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    Well said. I've slowly went from anti-Apple to being a fan over the last 7 years. 2014 will be when I buy my first Apple computer because the stability, quality, and ecosystem that comes with Apple products. The design choices they make to balance price, functionality, and quality just jive with my own idea of how those should be balanced. It's weird to think back to when I hated all things Apple on principle. Once I got my 1st Apple product( the ipod) , that began to change. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    It is not fine when it is on a $1,000+ computer. That is a premium price, and the display, with its low resolution and TN panel, belongs on a low end machine. Apple always does this: either the device is way overpriced or some feature is skimped on.

    There is no reason that this machine, with its poor display and processing sometimes shower than last year's version, should cost as much or more than a similar windows machine even though apple does not have to pay for a software license. All that money is just going to apple's bottom line. I never understand when prior brag about how apple is the most profitable: all that means is you are being overcharged.
  • zh.aung - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    If you hate apples, go and eat oranges. Don't waste your time writing this junk. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Haha, how much angry spittle is on your monitor right now?

    Funniest post I've read in a LONG time, thanks for the laughs
  • robco - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    If you're going to say pay back's a bitch, note the apostrophe. It is a contraction for payback is a bitch. Nobody will take you seriously if you can't even write a coherent sentence.

    As noted in the review, performance is on par with the previous generation, but with substantially better battery life. For many users, this is a huge bonus. For those wanting more performance, the i7 upgrade is reasonable, and will not adversely impact battery life to a great degree.

    Apple's design has been copied, unsuccessfully, by several other manufacturers. The MBA remains one of the few ultrabooks to have a decent display, keyboard, and touchpad.

    Plenty of other ultrabooks lack a celluar modem. There isn't a lot of free space.

    The CEO of Apple is Tim Cook. Do a little research.

    The next version of OS X, which purchasers of the MBA will receive gratis, may in fact fix some of the issues. Of course, you could look at the review of the Razer Blade, a new gaming Windows laptop that comes with neither 802.11ac or the ability to add gig-E, something the MBA can do by virtue of its (correctly leaving out the apostrophe here as it's possessive and not a contraction) Thunderbolt port.

    So yes, the fact remains that the MBA has great battery life, fast networking, a good (admittedly not great) display, solid keyboard, and great touchpad. OS X continues to provide far superior battery life than Windows. If you must pollute the internet with this sort of screed, learn to write properly and do you research.
  • eanazag - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Zero innovation? I am neither for or against. Though how often do companies release a new product missing features that they had enough time to roll out. Apple is fairly consistent at rolling out products with a technology first. Name another laptop with a PCIe SSD. There are a handful with AC WiFi. And Apple is on the front end of anyone releasing a design with Haswell. I am not going to ignore that the fact is the chassis is the same, but they weren't doing bad with it to begin with. The reality is that to hit 12 hours of battery life the performance was about the same as last year's model. The question was for someone buying a Mac, was there even an option that didn't destroy the battery life gains.
    The "best Mac laptop" article was geared towards consumers buying a Mac. It wasn't for everyone. I would not buy a Mac today. Gaming is not adequate for me and buying a title that can still run on my Windows desktop at the same time is a better choice.

    I would only buy Macs for specific use cases. Maybe editing media. Though I do like Sony Vegas on the PC.

    Finally, there are articles that I routinely skip because the topic doesn't interest me much at all. I would suggest you develop that skill as it will likely help you in life more than being a complainer.
  • jack daniels esq - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    God - I love this f**cking site Reply
  • negativeions - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    It's amazing how many anandtech and apple losers post on here. Don't you morons know that these people are just company PR. Apple rips people off blind. Are their computers nice to use. Sure. I love them. But Apple are goons. Reply
  • antonio22m - Wednesday, August 14, 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 and You will see comparison to the another Apple laptops.Anyone considering purchasing this laptop needs to see the information in this chart.
  • helloworldv2 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    In my opinion, your light workload battery life test doesn't represent real life. Under my perceived light load usage (Word open, a few tabs in Firefox, running a few algorithms in terminal), I've seen 7-8 h battery life with the maxed out 13" model.. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Everyone's idea about what is a light workload is different. A few years ago when my Laptop of the time was benched on AT, I was able to beat their light load numbers by about 10-15% on a test that was much less demanding than the current one. Reply
  • melgross - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    We all have our own workloads. Anand, and other testing sites make these loads up to represent what they think is approximately the average for light, medium and heavy workloads. For your usage, you seem to fall to the medium workload, even though you call it light.

    For others, light is just using a browser with a handful of tabs.

    The poi t to their workloads is to have a standard that they can compare machine to machine. Don't take it as more than that, and for somethi g that people can look at and figure where their workload falls within the least and the max tests.
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    What is your screen brightness? A few algorithms? Is this code which continuously runs (not good for CPU power management)? If anything, Anand is getting on the lower end of the range others are seeing, primarily because he sets his screen to 200 nits which is higher than others. Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Brightness is on auto. A few algorithms might be anything between querying a sequence database and making multiple sequence alignments or whatever, utilizing both cores 100% for a brief period. Nothing too heavy (that's what ssh and clusters are for). Reply
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I have a 2011 MBA, and while the brightness is using the 'auto' selection, you can still set the percentage. Which percentage do you have it? The auto setting will vary the backlight based on the ambient light, but the percentage still affects the result. I am at ~70%, and I can say that 100% is very noticeably brighter. Reply
  • wallysb01 - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    That's definitely enough to take you from light to medium. 99% of people using computers have no idea what ssh or sequence alignment would mean. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I don't think many people would consider "running a few algorithms in terminal" a 'light load'. To me, that wanders into 'medium load' territory.

    Light load is meant to represent your average non-Anandtech-reading, media-consumer-only user. My wife, my mom, my dad, my sister. For them, the light load is a *PERFECT* representation of their average usage models.
  • iwod - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I uses and actually like Firefox. But even so i have to say Firefox do generally runs a little slower on Mac compared to Safari. Or in another words Firefox uses more CPU resources compared to Safari. I dont know how much do that contribute to loss of Battery Life. But there is definitely some difference. Reply
  • helloworldv2 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    A price I'm willing to pay. I absolutely cannot stand Safari.. Reply
  • e-kirill - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Great article, Anand (as usuall), thanx.
    I have to buy an Air 13" if there would be no rMBPro 13" upgrade till September...
    But still hoping for an Iris GPU and more RAM in standard config (and comparable battery life :-).
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I'm really trying to hold off pulling the trigger on a 13 MBA. I need to see what the 13 rMBP and hiDPI Windows laptops with Haswell ULT look like :-) Reply
  • ovvldc - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    You noted that "Although I didn't publish any results here, GPU performance seemed roughly unchanged compared to the Core i5 option."

    Does that mean that applications that stress both CPU and GPU (i.e. games) see pretty much unchanged performance?
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    In this case both CPUs are heavily power-limited. Unless Intel changed the frequency-voltage curve for the iGPU in the i7 I could easily see both solutions performing comparably. Reply
  • ovvldc - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Yes, that is what I was afraid of. So with the i7, the Air becomes a more than decent office machine, but the workload is still CPU or GPU, not both. Reply
  • MarsMSJ - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    The MBP 13 Early 2011 with the i7 2.7 is featured in the first graph under CPU performance however it is not in the other graphs.

    I believe it is important you include this in all comparisons. The i7 in the MBA 2013 feels like it may come close to matching the MBP I mentioned above. Perhaps compare that model directly with the i7 MBA.
  • Paapaa125 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    You lack one kind of test:

    Test light/medium workload BUT equal the amount of work the units do. For example encode 2 hours of movies, reload the webpage 200 times and see the result. The workload is identical (i7 does it faster) and how does it affect the battery life?

    Of course i7 uses more juice in heavy workload but it also accomplishes more. This is not necessarily fair.
  • lukarak - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    "What's important to note about all of these tests is that the amount of work done per cycle of the test doesn't vary based on performance. There's enough idle time baked in to make sure that the Core i7 based 13-inch MBA isn't artifically penalized by having to do more work than the i5 model simply because it's faster. "

    You obviously missed this?
  • Paapaa125 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Yes, I missed that. Very important correction, thanks! So i5 does more with the same battery life, just slower. Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    It doesn't do more. It does the same only slower. The i7 finishes the job faster and you pay a battery penalty for that, obviously. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Ok, let's sort this out. I was under impression that both computer do the same amount of work in same time? So if both ran a test for one hour, they accomplished the same thing?

    And as i5 can last longer than i7 in heavy load, it also can do more work, right?
  • ananduser - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Both kits are tested with the same amount of work. The i7 draws more power obviously but it also finishes its tasks faster than the i5. The i5 lasts longer but it also takes longer to finish the heavy load because it is slower. Reply
  • wallysb01 - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    Which shouldn't be too surprising, speed increases per Watt are not linear. I would have guessed in the sub 2.0GHz base clock rate range that it might be closer to linear than this showed though. Reply
  • Sugardaddy - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    That was a very good and informative article, thank you! Now if only we could get a review of the 28W Haswell chips! Reply
  • dineshramdin - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    It costs me around 140 bucks to upgrade my Core i7 CPU, which was pretty reasonable. However, i7-4650U includes a 8GB memory and the other one got one of 4GB, I guess Reply
  • Abelard - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Those battery life figures are eye-poppingly good. Reply
  • josephandrews222 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Anand--wonderful post. Care to speculate on the battery life and thermals for the Surface Pro 2? Reply
  • teiglin - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Derp in last paragraph, first page: "The max clocks increase by almost 30%, as does the <s>increase in</s> L3 cache."

    Nothing really surprising here, but good to see it confirmed anyway!
  • Subyman - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't call the lower battery life a detriment, remember you have 20% less battery time, but you have 20% more processing speed, therefore you simply get the same amount of work done, but faster. For general surfing, there is no difference between the two but when working its faster. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    am I the only one more than a little disturbed to see temperatures of over 90c? thats awfully hot.... Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    That's the price you have to pay for a flat laptop, without totally killing your ears. Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    It doesn't matter what the core temperature is if it is within specs. And I guess 90C is. Reply
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    This should only matter if the CPU was throttling due to temperature. As a consumer, you should be more concerned with skin temperature and fan noise. Reply
  • solmaker - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Fantastic job on a fascinating topic. Two follow-up questions:

    1) Would i7 compare any different to i5 on the 11" model, given tighter thermals?

    2) How will the comparison change under Mavericks?

    My own thinking is that if Mavericks improves battery life by (say) another 25% across the board, 2013 MBA battery life will be so terrific (perhaps 12 hours even for the 11" i7 MBA) that 1/2 to 1 hour differences between models will seem like small change. At that point, processing speed would be the more important bottleneck, making the i7 look like an even better choice.
  • helloworldv2 - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    My guess is that Maverics increases battery life by 5% max and will inject a ton of new annoyances into OS X (like having to caffeinate everything that you want to keep on running even if you dare to take some other program into foreground). I read somewhere (maybe Gizmodo) that they didn't notice any battery life increase with Mavericks beta though.. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    A 25% increase across the board I'd say is incredibly unlikely. What seems far more likely, though, is making more workloads closer to being a 'light' workloads (so hitting closer to the advertised numbers in more cases).

    Timer Coalescing and AppNap will make it less likely for noisy apps to drain significant battery life when merely sitting in the background doing nothing (including background tabs of Safari, I believe... which'll hopefully include Flash applets on background tabs). This will help improve the likelihood of the CPU being able to hit lower idle states, saving more power.

    In addition, Apple has put effort into making it easier to identify power hungry apps (which aren't necessarily CPU hogs!), both for end users and developers (the battery menu, Activity Monitor, Xcode, and Instruments all have an increased focus on identifying and addressing battery hogs).

    But don't expect miracles like a 25% increase in battery life (I'd be *very* shocked if Apple was able to pull that off). I'd imagine it would be much closer to 5% in practice, but varying drastically depending on the actual workloads (anywhere from 0% if the system can't sleep at all to 50%+ in the extreme case of a horribly buggy app that AppNap neuters... with most clustering around the low end).
  • FwFred - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Probably the benefits matter much more in non-optimal cases. I think Anand's experience mirrors my own. One bad browser tab can kill the battery life due to javascript or flash. If Mavericks is able to prevent this somehow (not really sure how it could do it within Chrome between tabs, but maybe Safari), I would be very pleased. Reply
  • solmaker - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the sage observations, K-Knight. If you're right that Mavericks moves heavier workloads down toward the "light" category, that would tend to decrease the i5 vs i7 battery difference, since they're very close when "light". But I'd think even the "light" case would be helped by Timer Coalescing (batching periodic timer wake-ups) and AppNap (by nailing unused background tasks). My fantasizing about 12 hour MBA 11" battery life was based on anecdotal forum reports of 13+ hour 11" life using the Mavericks beta, but that hasn't been verified. My own usage often has an idle VMware Fusion WinXP session in the background, so I'd get great benefits if AppNap could zap that. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Thinking about it more, the light load would also receive some benefit as well. Before when I wrote 'light', I was more so thinking about a system with no apps running, effectively just sitting idle... which is obviously not a 'light' workload, but a no-workload. Although with the current low energy usage of OS X the gains might not be massive (maybe even within the margin of error).

    I still think the best cases will be with poorly programmed apps with lots of useless timers keeping the system awake, which Timer Coalescing will help a bit with when the app is in the foreground, and AppNap much more so when it's in the background.

    I'm not sure how Fusion is architectured, but I /think/ how it works (based on how Workstation was many years ago... on Windows) it won't automagically be able to benefit from AppNap, and VMware will have to put a bit of effort into making it opt into AppNap when appropriate. Parallels Desktop already has a feature where (under the right circumstances), idle VMs will be paused, although it's not as aggressive as it could be.

    It'll be interesting to see how developers make their apps work with AppNap (most won't have to do anything beyond linking against the 10.9 frameworks). I imagine at the start many developers will just try to disable AppNap for their app and write blog posts about how 'it's so pointless and doesn't everyone just leave their computer plugged in', before everyone starts embracing it... but maybe I'm jaded from how new technologies get adopted in Windows / Linux land.
  • solmaker - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    Thanks again, K-K. I wonder whether AppNap with be "Opt In" or "Opt Out"? If the latter, then VMware Fusion may automagically AppNap when hidden. Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    thanks for the comparison, anand! these are exactly the questions i'm wondering about when researching for a mobile pc: is there a benefit in battery life when chosing a low end cpu, or is the faster cpu just quicker and can even save power with longer idling times?

    for me it would be clear to chose the i7 here, since it would be be my main computer and battery is similar to the i5 in scenarios most likely with my usage: light workload. but then, if i decide to load up lightroom or want to play a quick game, i can rest assured that i'm eeking out quite a couple percent more performance than on the stock cpu.

    now the only thing i'm waiting for is a proper zenbook-refresh :)
  • ananduser - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I feel you Anand; too bad that other companies don't offer such "one size fits all" lineups like Apple. The exaggerate range of choices from other companies simply adds confusion.

    I like the detail and effort that went into reviewing different SKUs of the same unit. Hope you do the same for some upcoming items from Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, Sony etc.

    Since I mentioned Sony, I want to ask you if there is a chance you could get your hands on the new Vaio Pro and Vaio Duo that sport that "fancy" triluminous display. None of the reviews available has actually gone the length to see what's with that new "quantum dot" tech. Only Anandtech™ can shed light here. What ? Sony hardly sends you Vaios for review ? I dunno, ask them harder ?
  • Awful - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Thanks Anand, very useful!

    Any chance of including some GPU/Gaming comparisons too? It would be interesting to see the results of the increased thermal constraints of the i7 on GPU perf (could even be worse I imagine under certain loads?)
  • ciparis - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    If Firefox really takes 17-37 minutes to build, all I can say is wow, what a %$#@! pig. Reply
  • Mackan - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Can you also do a battery life test in Windows, via Boot Camp, using pure EFI install which seems to be supported now. Reply
  • US Fiscal Situation - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Yeah.. no one else can make thinner and lighter laptops, erm... except for the firms that can and do...

    Take the Vaio Pro 11, it weighs less (870g), it's thinner and yet has the same battery life.

    The Vaio manages to cram in a much higher resolution (full HD) TOUCHSCREEN, NFC and SD card reader. It even has Ethernet support built into the power supply which creates a WIFI hotspot

    Both machines are comparable performance/processor wise but one costs £60 less (i7,4GB RAM, 256GB SSD)- No prizes for guessing which.

    BTW apropos business use- it should be noted that the lack of boot camp drivers for W8 means that you can't run all of the programs that you might need.

    US Fiscal Situation
  • abazigal - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    And yet for all their money, Sony still can't make a proper working trackpad. Reply
  • deasys - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    The Viao Pro 11 weighs less, is the SAME thickness, and has significantly LOWER battery life than the MacBook Air 11". It also lacks 802.11ac WiFi, has a flexy keyboard, poor trackpad, and shaky screen. Read the reviews.

    Finally, Boot Camp *officially* supports Windows 8.
  • solmaker - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    Moreover, the Viao Pro 11 has the old-gen Intel HD 4000 series graphics, not the spiffy new HD 5000 like the MBA. Reply
  • mikael.skytter - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    As always, thank you for the insights.

    Just a question or rather I am curious about your thoughts on the race to sleep vs battery life using the faster processor.
    I can see that under full load it draws much power. But do you have any thoughts regarding the "normal" usage scenario where the processor is powering up, performing a task and then goes back to sleep on the faster/slower processor?

    Best Regards,
  • abazigal - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    It would seem that Apple is further trying to differentiate between its air and pro lines. The macbook air's processor likely suffices for most everyday tasks, and you can't go wrong with longer battery life. They are also quite affordable, for those shopping on a budget.

    The retina pros come with faster processors and a vastly superior screen for those with deeper pockets and are willing to spend on quality. I won't be surprised if the 13" pro comes later this year with up to 16gb ram possible, to distinguish it from its 13" air cousin.
  • ananduser - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Those shopping on a budget will not drop 1000$ or more for an underpowered coffee shop computer. Anything else other than browsing and video(tasks for which the latest Intel chip is highly optimized) kills the battery life and makes the entire kit reach 90 degrees. Reply
  • deasys - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    "Ananduser," you really should read the article before commenting on it…

    In this particular case, see the tests on Lightroom and Photoshop uses as well as the heavy workload tests. Not many would be doing that sort of stuff in a "coffee shop" and under that heavy workload, I don't think any reasonable person would characterize over 5 and half hours of battery run time as "killed."

    And by the way, "the entire kit" does not reach 90 degrees, only the CPU itself.
  • ananduser - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    I read the comment but apparently you didn't read mine. Budget shoppers(to which to OP made a reference), you know people that don't have 1000$ to spend on a cramped 11" ULV chipset, definitely have better laptop options to choose from, with just as much battery(thanks to Haswell). Those options aren't as portable but certainly don't need adapters to expand the port selection or expensive software licenses(Windows8 or VMWare). Reply
  • FwFred - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    The i7 MBA is pretty close in many benchmarks to the 35W 13" rMBP. It's only "underpowered" compared to quad core i7's. Can you name a tablet/PC/whatever where you wouldn't kill the battery if you keep the CPU pegged?

    It seems to me you have a very capable PC with the portability and battery life of an iPad.
  • ananduser - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    Budget shoppers, to which the OP made a reference, have better machines to spend 1000$ on. Not as portable but plenty portable still. Reply
  • FwFred - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    OP also called the MBA a coffee shop computer. While it certainly excels at this, it is in no way limited to this. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Underpowered? I don't have the 2013 Air, but the base 13" 2011 model, and it's certainly not underpowered by any stretch of the imagination.

    It makes a wonderful development machine. I regularly run Xcode (+ iOS Simulator), Netbeans, and Visual Studio Premium 2012 (in a Windows 8 VM)*. None of which have a significant impact on battery life (even Visual Studio + Windows 8, which I definitely didn't expect), either. If you want a very light computer for software development, the Air is a wonderful machine.

    The only things that actually "kills" battery life are OpenGL games (usually knocking it down to 2-3 hours, from 7). The machine DOES have a good enough GPU to play some indie titles like Minecraft and Kerbel Space Program comfortably, but I'd never recommend an Air as a gaming machine.

    * In addition to any of those, I also always have open Safari, Chrome, Spotify, Skype, and iTerm 2 + SSH. Occasionally also Photoshop CS5 (I'm not an artist, though).
  • ASEdouard - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    The 2013 Air surprised me as a, of course light, gaming machine. Granted it's not a new game, but I'm playing Starcraft 2 on high details at an excellent framerate. Pretty fun. Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    That reminds me, I actually have Starcraft 2 installed on this MBA. I have to run it fairly near the minimum settings (at the native resolution) to get decent (not amazing) framerates. If the new model is running SC2 at high with rather good FPS, then it's could probably comfortably play many more games than I'd have guessed.

    Of course, with how the typical Windows notebook is spec'ed, they'd likely be no better anyways (shipping garbage GPUs is something every OEM seems to loves to do).
  • ananduser - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    The budget shopper, you know, the one the OP made a reference to, has plenty of other better choices that provide more bang for the buck and less profit margin for Apple. The fanboy in you got way to defensive too fast without actually reading my previous post. The budget user won't spend 1000$ on a cramped machine(11") that needs adapters and expensive software licenses -VMWare/Parallels + Windows 8.

    I will make one concession - those better options are not as light and as portable as the 1000$ 11" MBA but they're still plenty portable.
  • KitsuneKnight - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    If you're wanting something that's super light and portable, the MacBook Air _IS_ the budget option. You would be very hard pressed to find a machine that trumps its portability and weight, for less (and if you do, you're probably making quite some sacrifices to get it... hell, even if you pay MORE than the Air you're likely getting a garbage trackpad).

    It's funny you say 'less profit margin', because the PC OEMs have continually failed to undercut Apple on the Air. They keep releasing worse machines that are more expensive... and they can only get as close as they've gotten thanks to Intel burning money to motivate them to compete. Apple might have good profit margins, but the consumer isn't paying any "Apple Tax" these days (Apple's process just blows the other OEMs out of the water, sadly enough).

    >needs adapters
    Adapters for what? I have 1 adapter for my Air, a mini-displayport to VGA cable ($20 on monoprice). I got it because I regularly need to use a projector (which most people will never use). And you know what? My machine has proven to be able to work the most reliably with any crappy projector thrown at it.

    >and expensive software licenses -VMWare/Parallels + Windows 8.
    You don't need that. If you do need to run some Windows software, for whatever reason, there's Wine, which works well with most software.

    The reason I have Parallels + Windows 8 + VS2012 was because I needed to do development for the Windows Store, which is a rather rare use case. If I'd used VirtualBox instead of Parallels, I'd have actually spent $0 on the set up, but I'd rather pay a small amount of money for a much better experience, especially when said-experience results in monetary compensation.
  • ananduser - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    There are plenty ultraportables that undercut the AIR if undercutting is what you are aiming, so, technically, undercutting the AIR is possible. There will be some compromises but not to the extent that they'd be crap machines as you make them sound.

    Pretty much any ultraportable that is more expensive than the MBA is also better. I think the fanboy in you overreacted again. If Apple's process would've been so good they wouldn't have realeased a 1700$ rmbp that lags while browsing or a 1200$ PRO(?) machine with a 5400rpm drive and a 1280x800 TN screen.

    Intel is paying OEMs for their own gains and not to compete with Apple. Apple refuses any other branding so it cannot tap into the marketing fund. The ultraportable segment is a niche one on any other OEM, because every one of them has broader lineups with more inexpensive gear that gets bought before people arrive at the ultraportable segment. Apple only sells 6 freaking laptop models, the first 2 and the cheapest of the bunch being the MBAs. You practically do not have any choice but to get the MBA for the cheapest entry in OSX land. People don't buy the MBA because it is a thin'n'light ultraportable; they buy it because it is the lowest price point in Apple's portable line up.

    1000$ 11" ultraportables fit for midgets are definitely not budget. It's the budget Apple option for OSX users like you maybe.

    PS:Oh and since this is a pretentious tech site, Apple has also achieved a first. The first next gen machine that is actually slower than the last gen, and in some cases even slower than the one before. Progress indeed.
  • shsu - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    Hey kitsune, what is your average CPU usage running all that on your base model? Does it ever reach 100%? I have almost same use case: dev tools plus windows vm. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    $1,000+ for the base model is not affordable except to this with a lot of disposable income.

    More importantly, the air isn't a good value, mainly because apple slapped an unnecessarily high price on these as they do with every product, the so-called apple tax. Why does the air cost more than the VAIO even though the air has a crappy display and apple didn't have to pay for the OS license like Sony did? For people who care about affordability, value is really important. Lining apple's pockets doesn't give any value to the buyer.
  • iwod - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I have a few things in my mind which i couldn't grasp.

    Surely Apple would have know Samsung had a PCI-E SSD ready in around the same time frame. Why did apple choose to make their own PCI-E SSD and not just uses Samsung's one? I mean after all they both uses the same controller from Samsung.

    Why did Apple decide to use 2x PCI-E 2.0 for its SSD instead of 4x like the one Samsung shown.

    I am looking forward to next year's 14nm Broadwell MBA. Hopefully I wouldn't need a i7 then as the baseline should work just fine. Along with even better SSD and hopefully matured 802.11ac.
  • KitsuneKnight - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    > Why did Apple decide to use 2x PCI-E 2.0 for its SSD instead of 4x like the one Samsung shown.

    If Apple's current SSD can't completely saturate a 2x interface (that's 1 GB/second!), why bother with a 4x interface?
  • robco - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    There's ready, and then there's ready to ship in volume. Apple sells a lot of Airs. Relying on a single supplier, one whose relationship with Apple is already strained, is probably not a good idea. Reply
  • f0rumwh0re - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I'm not a PC or a Mac fanboi. I have ~8 PCs, a couple Androids, and there are two iPads, an iPod, and a iPhone 4 in my house. I think the bigscreen teevee has a chip but I never bothered to find out.
    Being anti-Mac or PC just limits yourself.
    Why do that?
    I will use whatever tool does the job.

    I *prefer* windows but I can get around in a mac, get messages in the droid, and I admit,the iPhone... just works. works great in a walled garden but works. I find hating a thing, to be limiting to oneself.
  • lmcd - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Anyone looking at the i7 version with disdain for power -- when this device isn't given a loop but instead a "race to idle" situation, it will get better battery life than the i5 version, hence the win in the "light" bench.

    Also, please note that the Air was never meant to be a performance beast, and as such it's not a disappointment that the i5 Air underperformed next to last year's model. The battery life win is more than enough of a compensation.
  • Sushisamurai - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Sweet. I was waiting for this, thanks *goes off to buy the i7 MBA* Reply
  • alittleteap0t - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    I bought my Mom a previous gen MBA 11"; her letting me borrow it for 2 weeks was enough for me to want one for myself. I was formerly big on Lenovo, but have since switched to HP mobile workstations. I bought a BTO 13" MBA, 1.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and it took about a week to ship to my door. It's a decent Windows laptop and gets around ten hours of battery life - very easy to do many things on it and ignore the power plug for a while. Reply
  • geok1ng - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    I beg to differ from the conclusion. The performance gap between the SKUs is greater than the battery life gap. Since both systems have equivalent idle numbers, with a nominal advantage going for the i7, in most usage scenarios the race to idle would be equal, if not benefitting the i7 part.
    USD 150 for more 4GB of RAM and better performance/watt? Sounds fair enough, which when talking about Apple price policies is as best as it gets.
  • mutatio - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    It'll be interesting to see how or if the battery life changes once Mavericks rolls out, given all the commentary in the WWDC keynote about how it is supposed to help with that. Any chance you have your hands on a Mavericks Developer's preview, Anand? Reply
  • captainBOB - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Of course he does, but he's under NDA, like all the other developers.

    Besides, Mavericks is still in beta, it wouldn't be an accurate test.
  • jabber - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    I was on vacation witjh my best buddy last weekend. Was a nice hot sunny day. He pulled out his two day old Macbook Air to show me.

    He powered it up and about two minutes later it went "plink".

    Dead as a doornail.

    Oh well.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    was there any increase in graphical performance vs the i5? Reply
  • antonio22m - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Macbook Air is undoubtedly a very good laptop.
    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 <a href=""... MacBook Air 13.3</a> and You will see comparison to the another Apple laptops.Anyone considering purchasing this laptop needs to see the information in this chart.
  • Mr_Data - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I more powerful CPU would finish a task faster than a slower CPU. I made so calculations and for medium and heavy loads the i7 has a lower battery life with 12.65% and 15.37% than the battery life of the i5. But the performance increase for the i7 for heavy processing (Adobe Lightroom, compiler test) is between 17.21 and 23.25% over the performance of the i5. Either way, starting from a full battery, you'll finish more tasks and faster with i7 than with the i5. Reply
  • Kestryn - Saturday, November 09, 2013 - link

    Just want to say, "thank you" for your well-written and organized feature on the MBA. In today's environment of waning journalistic excellence, it is always refreshing to find a good writer. Not that you've asked for advice, but if you have a taste for investigative adventure, perhaps you should link up with one of the new philanthropy-spawned internet "newspaper" outfits. Cheers, and keep writing! Reply
  • tetsuk - Friday, November 15, 2013 - link

    Can anyone with the 1.7GHz model comment on the temperature? I have actually suffered from low heat burns due to the constant heat generated by a Macbook pro in the past. The temps in this article seem to go extremely high under medium-to-high load. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I just checked the benchmark result of retina MBP 13 - and SP3 actually slightly beats it!

    I'm not sure why anand did not put rMBP 13 for comparison (a more fair comparison than quadcore rMBP 15).
  • omaudio - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    We bought a 2014 MBAir from MacMall a few days ago- it was the i7with 8GB and 256GB SSD. It randomly shut off and when we went to Apple to buy one direct from them they aid ours was likely one that was defective, "customized" and sold on 2nd tier market. I then noticed the i7 model w 8GB has been removed from their site. What gives? Design flaw? The components are soldered so not sure why they would say "customized".

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