Much has been said about the small overhaul of the new MacBook Air with small updates at specific points, since at least this year it has not involved any 'radical' change compared to its predecessor. Fortunately, the MacBook Air was already a top-notch laptop. The subtle increase in processor speed, coupled with a respectable price decrease are obvious positive steps for consumers. However while the processor has become more efficient and somewhat faster Than the previous one, the write and read speed of the flash storage has not performed as well as you would expect.
If we refresh the memory a bit, the MacBook Air models are sold in 4 different configurations, two with 11,6-inch screens and two with 13,3-inch screens. All four configurations have the same processor 5GHz dual-core Intel Core i1,4 , which is 100 MHz faster than the 5 GHz dual-core Core i1,3 processor found in the 2013 MacBook Airs.
In everything else, the new MacBook Air is the same model as last year, that is, it integrates 4 GB of DDR3 memory, integrated Intel HD 5000 graphics and flash storage options in 128 GB or 256 GB connected via PCIe. This always in standard configurations, then can be expanded with up to a 7 Ghz dual-core i1,7, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 512GB of flash storage.
Prices start at 929 Euros for the 11-inch model with 128 GB of flash storage and for 1129 Euros you have the same 11-inch system but with 256 GB of flash storage. The 13-inch with 128GB of flash storage is 1029 Euros and its 256GB counterpart goes up to 1229 Euros.
Externally it is identical to last year's model, both in connections with two USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 1.0 port and an SDXC card reader that does not include the 11-inch model, only the 13-inch model. The weight remains the same and no no other update has been included so we can consider this model a small revision of the previous one. Following we will see the benchmarks carried out by MacWorld on Speedmark 9 with different scores (higher is better):
To carry out the test, the Speedmark 9 performance suite was used to compare two models of the new MacBook Air to previous models. In general the new models were faster to open applications and in general as a performance sample within each of them, both Photoshop and Final Cut and other editing suites ran a little faster in the new models, however the flash storage was slower than the same last year's models even if only in a more testimonial way and taking into account that there are various assemblers for the units where Toshiba and Samsung are the main ones that are mounted.
It should be noted that if you are also looking for a small but more powerful laptop, the MacBook Pro Retina from 1529 Euros The 13-inch drive with 256GB of flash storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 5GHz Haswell dual-core i2,4 processor was 22 percent faster overall than the new 13GB 256-inch MacBook Air. The Pro also has the advantage of a high resolution Retina display, two 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, and faster Intel Iris graphics.
Results are displayed in minutes and you can see that the battery in the new MacBook Air was capable of maintain greater autonomy. Under normal conditions with no Wi-Fi on and nearly half screen brightness, the 11-inch model lasted 9 hours and 39 minutes, 20 minutes longer than last year's 11-inch. The new 13-inch lasted 12 hours and 13 minutes, 23 minutes longer than our previous 13-inch. For its part, the MacBook Pro with a 13-inch Retina display lasted 9 hours and 48 minutes.
In conclusion, the MacBook Air is still a powerful enough computer with enough connections to consider it an ultra-portable with a long battery life but that it begins to get a little weak in other matters, especially seeing how the MacBook Pro Retina approaches it so much in battery life, being more powerful, with more connections and just a little heavier, yes, at a higher price but in my view compensates for all its advantages.