The new 2014 Mac­Book Air

Cheaper and faster than ever, but is it a big enough up­grade? Get the MacFor­mat ver­dict!

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE - £899 (11-inch), £999 (13-inch) Man­u­fac­turer Ap­ple, ap­

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

Ex­tremely por­ta­ble

A price cut for 2014 re­lease

Is a Retina one com­ing soon?

The Mac­Book Air is phys­i­cally iden­ti­cal to last year’s model.

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