2012 mac air 11 inch review

RAM is soldered onto the mainboard, and flash storage is on a proprietary circuit board, making future upgrades either very expensive or impossible, so the desired configuration must be chosen before purchase, depending on the customer's individual requirements.

Apple MacBook Air 11.6 inch - Summer 2012

Accordingly, we can run the standard selection of benchmarks, rather than just Mac benchmarks. The Intel Core iU reached a decent score of 2. A comparison with older versions of the MacBook Air 11 from and illuminates the performance increases Intel has achieved. In this section, the behavior of Turbo Boost as well as the power saving functions of the CPU is important. Under Windows, the 2. This is also true when running on battery. HWiNFO on the other hand showed constant values between 2. To evaluate overall performance, Futuremark's system benchmarks offer themselves, so we continued testing in Windows 7.

As we mentioned earlier, system performance never hinders everyday use. Considering the hardware configuration though, the notebook is not generally suitable for more demanding photo or video applications. In the CineBench R10 benchmark, Windows produces a better score.

In GeekBench , Max OS X scores points, which puts it almost points ahead of Windows, though the notebook runs fluidly with either operating system. There's a further benchmark called Xbench, which evaluates overall performance of all components, similar to Futuremark's system benchmarks.

The results of this benchmark can vary a lot, so we are listing averages from at least 5 measuring runs.

Overall, the results don't stand out. You could also use Windows inside a virtual machine, if you don't need much performance for your windows applications. Popular vendors for virtual machine software on the Mac are VMware and Parallels. The flash chips are soldered to a proprietary bar-shaped circuit board, which makes subsequent upgrades difficult, due to availability issues.

Standard sized 1. Access times AS SSD are low as expected; with spinning hard drives, they are the biggest performance bottleneck. Beyond the benchmarks, we took a look at a few games under Windows. Only simple titles like FIFA 12 will run fluidly at higher detail levels.


Modern blockbusters like Alan Wake are unplayable. So, this notebook is not good enough for even casual gamers. With minimum details and low resolution x , the early regions can be played well. With medium settings at x, the game starts to stutter already. In more demanding scenes you'd likely have problems. Before that, it had reached over degrees Celsius.

Due to the high-speed cooling fan rpm , these temperatures fell after about 15 minutes, but the clock speed remained throttled. Other than that, Turbo Boost resumes working at up to 2. As mentioned before, the energy-saving function SpeedStep is apparently not functioning in Windows, aside from overheating the CPU. Apple only ensured this function to work on Mac OS X.

The 2. Since Apple uses flash storage, only cooling fans remain as a source of noise. So the Even with short periods of load using Cinebench R The fan noise was only noticeable with the ear close to the exhaust.

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Now the notebook is clearly audible, but the constant, low-frequency sound is subjectively not annoying. Comparing data, the current model is slightly louder, but one has to consider measurement variations. Case temperatures reached are also an important point, when considering the purchase of a new notebook. Wrist rest and keyboard remained below 30 degrees, which does not interfere with use.

The slightly protruding keys also heat up, but not to the point of becoming unusable. The wrist rest remains a bit cooler at 35 degrees Celsius. Having the notebook on your lap can get very uncomfortable with full load for longer durations. They are mounted left and right at the edge of the wrist rest and offer surprisingly good sound.

Apple MacBook Air 2011 11-inch Core i5 Full Review

Most computers this size, especially netbooks, only offer rather poor speakers. Testing with various types of music, we had no complaints, considering the size.

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Sound emanates through the keyboard and is not overly heavy on treble. Bass actually does exist, even if not particularly strong. Better sound can be had through the 3. Small cases don't offer much room for large batteries.


During normal office use, power draw is between 4. Looking at Windows measurements, it shows once more that Apple won't put much effort into optimizing the Boot Camp step child; it uses a maximum of Under load , power draw increases, of course. Here, Windows power consumption, at In this case, we did not use the Windows tool Battery Eater.

We simulated it with a script under Mac OS X at the usual settings of minimal brightness lowest level, but not deactivated and all wireless radios deactivated, which probably turns out a better result, when using the native, optimized OS. After a convincing 9 hours and 52 minutes, the MacBook's battery finally called for help from a power outlet. Apple promises up to five hours of wireless surfing. Apple may have measured the time with higher display brightness.

In this test too, the current model outclasses last year's model by about an hour. We should mention that this test wasn't done at some standardized display brightness. With maximum display brightness and keyboard backlight activated, the battery of the MacBook Air lasted for 4 hours and 3 minutes. In this measurement, the unit expends a full battery charge in just 70 minutes, which should be the worst case scenario.

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Under Mac OS X, it matches the model. All together a good showing. Application performance and efficiency with the new processor are especially attractive in the new notebook. Performance under Windows is lacking optimization, which surely is no accident. But we ignore Windows performance in our rating, since the system is sold with a different OS. A higher resolution or a non-reflective surface are still not available.

Review: 2013 MacBook Air (11-inch)

The performance improvement is slight. Battery runtimes have improved slightly, but this alone doesn't make much of an argument. A better display panel would be more of an inducement. Owners of the model might like the current model slightly more. The quality case, Intel's current hardware with its USB 3.

A non-reflective display and a higher resolution soon.