Apple MacBook Air 11-inch
Released July, 2011
The Pros:Thin and lightweight 11.6" design - ideal for portability without sacrificing usability. Improved keyboard - now backlit, springier and more solid. Stunning minimalist aesthetic.
The Cons:Lacks the SD card reader of the 13" model. Non-user replaceable battery - can't be swapped out when you need to keep working. No USB 3.0 port (Thunderbolt likely to stay a niche product like FireWire).
The Apple MacBook Air 11-inch (2011) is an upgrade of Apple's previous MacBook Air model computers; the 2011 version is a high-end 11.6" laptop designed for maximum portability (close to a netbook in features).
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The MacBook Air includes 64GB-256GB flash storage (depending on model purchased), and is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor combined with 2GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM. For graphics and enhanced visuals the MacBook Air also includes an integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 256MB DDR3 shared memory. Additional MacBook Air features include an integrated FaceTime HD camera, WiFi 802.11n support, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless functionality, and of course complete customization and hardware installation options (better hardware means a higher price tag).
The 11" MacBook Air display features a native resolution of 1366 x 768, an aspect ratio of 16:9, 16:10 or 4:3 (depending on operating resolution selected). Also included is the Thunderbolt port, a unique data transfer technology that allows pairing with Thunderbolt enabled devices that is designed to allow simultaneous peripheral use through a single port.
The 2011 MacBook Air model includes several alternate features from the previous Air model such as a thinner form factor, an Intel Core i5 processor as opposed to the Core 2 Duo, an Intel HD 3000 graphics adapter with shared memory as opposed to the Nvidia GeForce 320M, and Bluetooth 4.0 functionality as opposed to Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. It's worth noting that the highest model available for the older MacBook Air laptop can be purchased for nearly the same price as the lowest model of the new MacBook Air.
- 11.6" Laptop
- LED backlit display with glossy finish
- Thinner body and form factor (see dimensions below)
- Integrated FaceTime HD camera
- Omnidirectional Microphone (Multiple direction pickup)
- MagSafe and Thunderbolt ports and compatibility
- Stronger Battery Life
- Rated by Apple at 5 hours with constant wireless web use
- Rated by Apple at up to 30 days in standby
- Integrated stereo speakers
- DVD or CD sharing support with iMac and alternate Mac computers
- Fully backlit keyboard
- Multi-touch and gesture support Trackpad
- Native Resolution: 1366 x 768 (16:9)
- Supported Resolutions:
- 1344 x 756 (16:9)
- 1280 x 720 (16:9)
- 1152 x 720 (16:10)
- 1024 x 640 (16:10)
- 1024 x 768 (4:3)
- 800 x 600 (4:3)
- External Display Support
- Simultaneous use with device and external display
- Maximum Resolution: 2560 x 1600
- 1.6GHz dual core Intel Core i5
- 3MB shared L3 Cache
- Intel HD Graphics 3000
- 256MB DDR3 SDRAM (shared)
- Peripheral Connections (Expansion Ports)
- USB 2.0 (2) up to 480Mbps
- Standard 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- MagSafe Power Adapter Port
- Thunderbolt Data Transfer Port
- Native: 802.11n
- IEEE 802.11 a/b/g compatible
- Includes OSX Lion Software
Apple MacBook Air 11" Models
There are two separate models of the MacBook Air (2011) available which offer various upgrades and alternate hardware choices when purchased through the Apple web store.
- Model: $999
- Storage: 64GB Flash
- Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 (dual core)
- Memory: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3
- Graphics: Intel HD 3000 256MB Shared DDR3
- Model: $1199
- Storage: 128GB Flash
- Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7 (dual core)
- Memory: 4GB 1333MHz DDR3
- Graphics: Intel HD 3000 384MB Shared DDR3
Alternatively Apple allows consumers to choose various upgrades individually instead of upgrading the entire device model, prices will vary and must be viewed via the official Apple store.
- 1.8GHz Dual Core Intel i7 Processor
- 4GB Memory Upgrade
- Up to 256MB Flash Storage
- Additional Adapters
- Apple USB Ethernet Adapter
- Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
- Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
User Reviews (6)
thin and lightweight 11.6" design - ideal for portability without sacrificing usability
improved keyboard - now backlit, springier and more solid
stunning minimalist aesthetic
upgraded trackpad - much larger and quieter than the previous generation design, glass surface exactly like the Pros
comes with newer Intel Core i5 and i7 ULV processors
64, 128 or 256GB SSD for super fast responsiveness - booting and application launching are almost instantaneous
runs the latest version of OSX (Lion)
MagSafe power connection - keeps you and your laptop from falling if you accidentally trip over the power cord
now includes a Thunderbolt connection for future use of ultra-fast external devices
surprisingly affordable for an ultra-portable Apple product
lacks the SD card reader of the 13" model
non-user replaceable battery - can't be swapped out when you need to keep working
no USB 3.0 port (Thunderbolt likely to stay a niche product like FireWire)
battery life is mediocre at up to 5 hours - especially for a mobile-focused device
64GB SSD is too restrictive for those who like to carry around their media
16:9 display aspect ratio rather than the less wide, more useful 16:10 ratio of the 13" model
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