The new 2014 MacBook Air
Cheaper and faster than ever, but is it a big enough upgrade? Get the MacFormat verdict!
RAM 4GB, 1600MHz Storage 256GB Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5000
The mid-2014 MacBook Air is a very minor refresh, with just two significant changes. The processors are 0.1GHz faster: now 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPUs are used throughout the range, replacing the 1.3GHz chips in the mid-2013 models. Perhaps more significantly, the prices are down by £100 for the entry-level 11-inch and 13-inch models, or £130 for the highend versions that boast 256GB of storage. Everything else about them is the same, but since they were already outstanding, and the price drop brings the entire range below £1,000, this is hardly an indictment.
As you’d expect, our benchmark results are barely changed from last year. Testing the higher-end models in each of the screen sizes, we found our Cinebench rendering tests crept ahead by a few points and battery life was 20-35 minutes longer. Whatever the model, you can still use an Air all day on a single charge.
While the current MacBook Air is undoubtedly excellent, rumour has it a new, Retina version is coming soon. Could it make more sense to wait (though it might be expensive)? Or maybe look for a clearance model from the 2013 range, which is likely to be even cheaper than the pricedropped 2014 line and only marginally slower? Whichever you buy, you’re getting an incredible machine. Ian Osborne
The MacBook Air gives amazing portability and an all-day battery without compromising on power.
Outstanding battery life
A price cut for 2014 release
Is a Retina one coming soon?
The MacBook Air is physically identical to last year’s model.