If I could go back in time and warn buyers of the MacBook Air 2012 to wait a year to make their purchase, I would (I tried in this video, but I was too late.)
Granted, it’s not slimmer or lighter than last year’s model; it doesn’t have more RAM or storage either, and unfortunately we can’t get Apple’s Retina Display screen on the Air yet.
Put the 2013 MacBook Air on a table next to last year’s model any it’s hard to notice any differences. There’s dual-microphone holes along the left-hand side. But pretty much it’s the same design and body. What matters is under the hood.
It’s using Intel’s new Haswell processor. Not only is it a faster chip, it’s also much more energy efficient. Apple says this boosts the battery life from 7 hours to 12 hours. In practice, I found the battery was the best I’ve seen on any laptop. I could confidently leave the charger behind at home and use the Air all day long.
The Air also has improved graphics performance with the Intel HD Graphics 5000 chip. Anyone doing gaming or video editing will appreciated this.
There’s also support for a newer, faster Wi-Fi standard. Since the Air doesn’t have an Ethernet port and you must rely on Wi-Fi, it’s important to make sure this works really well.
That all being said, if you already bought the MacBook Air 2012, then there’s really no compelling reason to upgrade. It’s too bad though, because Apple cut the prices on the Air this year by $100 – making it $1099 for the 13-inch model and $999 for the 11-inch model.
If you enjoyed our special time travel edition of All Hands on Tech, we have some behind the scenes footage for you below.