The MacBook Air (mid-2012) battery as lasting “up to 7 hours”, but we’re pleased to report that Apple’s marketing is understating that number by as much as an hour and a half.
Here are various reported samplings from the 2012 MacBook Air 13″:
8:25 – screen at 40% brightness, keyboard backlighting on 50% brightness, light web browsing with Safari (no Flash plug-in installed), and text-based work in TextWrangler and Pages.
6:45 – screen at 70% brightness, otherwise same as above
5:33 – screen at 80% brightness, keyboard backlighting on full brightness, heavy app usage.
4:15 – screen at 100% brightness, keyboard backlighting on full brightness, heavy app usage with tons of apps open including Chrome (with Flash) open with about 25 browser tabs, image editing in Pixelmator, using 6GB of RAM, while driving an external 22″ display.
3:40 – screen at 80% brightness, reasonable app usage, heavy wi-fi usage downloading 16GB sustained at 1.2mb/sec.
The big change in the MacBook Air 13 is the move to the new Ivy Bridge base processor. For the base configuration, this is the Intel Core i5-3427U dual core processor. It offers a slight speed bump over the older Core i5-2557M found in last years model. Performance actually improved much more thanks to the increased speed of the 4GB of DDR3 memory up to the 1600MHz from 1333MHz.
For the 11-inch MacBook Air 2012, the base model with its Intel Core i5 central processor is clocked at 1.7 GHz but has a Turbo Boost capability of up to 2.6 GHz. For the 13 inches, the default processor with its Intel Core i5 chip measures 1.8 GHz but gives up to 2.8 GHz of performance at Turbo Boost. For storage, there are the 64 GB and 128 GB SSDs for the 11-inch model, and 128 GB and 256 GB for the 13-inch model. For the 128 GB in the 11-inch MacBook Air 2012, the drive is configurable with a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD drive. For the 256 GB model in the 13-inch MacBook Air 2012, it can be bumped up to 512 GB for an additional $500. For all versions the default RAM size is 4 GB (1,600MHz DDR3L) with an option to upgrade to 8 GB for another $100.
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Tech Specs.
Intel Core i5-3427U Dual Core Mobile Processor
4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
128GB Solid State Drive
13.3" WXA+ (1440x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
Two USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, SDXC Card Slot
12.8" x 8.9" x .7" @ 3 lbs.
Mac OS X, iLife
MacBook Air 2012 Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboards are just as comfy as ever, and though they're not quite as cushy as what you'll find on a MacBook Pro, they still offer more travel than most Ultrabook keyboards. Also unchanged: that spacious glass trackpad. Throw in the white LED backlighting, and it’s mostly a pleasure to type on. Palm rejection is excellent as well, and we enjoyed flawless tracking in both OS X and Windows 7, which we installed using Bootcamp. The built-in button, too, is quiet and easy to press.
MacBook Air 2012 Screen and Speakers
Apple was ahead of most 13in competitors with the Air’s screen resolution of 1,440 x 900. However, now we’re seeing more and more rivals offering 1,600 x 900 or even Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at the same screen size. On top of that, while the panel Apple has used is certainly one of the better examples of TN, it’s still inferior to the IPS and PLS we’re beginning to see in premium laptops from other brands.
Apple Fruit cut with MacBook Air