Road test: 2014 MacBook Air
Road Test: 2014 MacBook Air
Apple has silently updated its MacBook range of personal computers, adding subtle changes to the lineup and making Finweek’s top-rated business machine even more appealing. The new versions are iteratively improved and nudge already strong products just that little bit closer to perfection. The big fireworks will come next month when the next big iPhone announcement is expected, but the unsung hero in Apple’s line-up is the MacBook Air.
The Air has become a staple for executives, especially those who travel. It’s always been lightweight and sleek but now it has formidable processing power and unbelievable battery life, too. The new version also comes at a lower price internationally, although it sadly hasn’t been priced accordingly in South Africa.
Buyers should be aware that there is still stock of the previous MacBook Air f loating around in the market, however, so one should make sure that you’re get- ting the mid-2014 version.
The Air is arguably the perfect business laptop. Its modest Intel Core i5 processor is more than beefy enough for business applications and the battery life is phenomenal. Getting through a full day of work is easy. In fact, I recently went on an overnight business trip and didn’t even realise I’d left my charger at home. The Air easily made it through my f light, an afternoon of work, some emailing, chatting and document work in the evening and an hour-long presentation the next morning at a conference I was speaking at. There was even enough battery left for a movie on the f light back home.
If your demands are more substantial, for example, professional video editing, then you’ll want to go for the more expensive MacBook Pro with Retina Display range – but even moderately demanding processing work is now doable on a MacBook Air and you can connect an external display i f you need more screen real estate. I know software engineers who do their devel- opment work on these machines, including their compiling tasks.
The mid-2014 models will also receive the free update to OSX Yosemite later this year – the next big update to the Mac operating system. Since Apple’s operating systems are now gratis you don’t have to worry about buying new hardware just before a launch. If OSX isn’t your cup of tea, you can easily install Windows and run it natively, as you would on any generic PC. Only with far more style.
You just won’t find a better laptop than this for the price, although you could get something entry level for almost half as much. But it wouldn’t perform as well, have nearly as good battery life and it sure as hell wouldn’t
look or feel anything as good.