Comparing the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models
As its name suggests, the MacBook Air is a compact and light-weight machine that can sometimes seem like it's not even there. And if you were impressed by the 13-inch model's minimalism, wait until you take a closer look at the 11-inch model. While Apple's smallest laptop has many perks, it can take some getting used to. Let's run through some of its key features, advantages and disadvantages in comparison with its larger cousin.
The 11-inch MacBook Air is the most affordable laptop Apple makes, coming in at $999 for a basic configuration, which is $1000 less than the 13-inch model's starting price. It weighs 2.38 pounds, or more than half a pound less than the 13-inch model, said David Pierce in his recent review for The Verge. With a body that small, however, there are a few tradeoffs. If you rely on SD cards to transfer your photos and files, then you may need to invest in a USB adapter, since the 11-inch model doesn't have a native SD port, Pierce suggested.
Similarly, its tinier keys and track pad may make it more difficult to use, observed Chris Hall for Pocket-lint. Pierce expressed similar issues in his review.
"The second diminutiveness-related loss is a shrunken palmrest and trackpad," wrote Pierce. "When the keyboard's the same size and the whole thing's an inch shorter, something else had to give, but the big, roomy trackpad is one of the things I most enjoy about the Air in the first place."
But even at that size, Pierce described the Air's keyboard and track pad as "world-beating" and listed it among the device's most appealing features, which also included its long battery life.
He also noted that its 1366-pixel-by-768-pixel display was slightly better than the identically dimensioned one on the 13-inch model, due to a higher number of pixels per inch on the smaller display.
What's new about the latest 11-inch MacBook Air?
If you have an older MacBook Air model, then the 2013 edition won't look much different from the outside. The only noticeable hardware difference is the dual microphone arrangement, which Hall stated allowed for better audio playback and voice quality over Skype. The second microphone is designed for audio cancelation. On the inside, it has a modest processor upgrade that permits longer battery life. It also supports the new, faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.
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