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Apple MacBook Air 11-inch 128GB Mid 2011

Apple's dinkiest and most desirable ultraportable is also its most affordable, but is it a false economy? Alan Lu finds out in our review.

Despite the 11in Air's small size, Apple has managed to pack in a full-size backlit keyboard. It's comfortable and responsive, with only the undersized cursor and F keys potentially tripping up touch typists. The touchpad isn't as large as the pads on other MacBooks, but it's still accurate and responsive with smooth, slick and useful multitouch gestures.

The MagSafe power connector on the 11in MacBook Air

The handy MagSafe connector for the power supply sits to the left of the USB2 port on the left hand side of the 11in MacBook Air.

Like other Apple MacBooks, the Air's power supply has a magnetised MagSafe connector. This disconnects easily when tripped over, instead of dragging the laptop to the floor or being wrenched out and potentially damaging the connector or the socket.

The rest of the power supply hasn't been ignored by Apple's designers either it's small and lightweight with prongs for winding up the power cord. Both MagSafe and the rest of the power supply's design have been around for a while, but it's so useful we're surprised that it hasn't been aped by rival laptop manufacturers.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The 11in MacBook Air is undeniably lovely thanks to its sleek and sturdy build, comfortable keyboard and multitouch touchpad. It's not worth buying the cheapest version which is too underpowered, but we're not wholly convinced by the priciest version on review here. Battery life, while good enough for most trips, is still a bit underwhelming and the small screen size won't suit everyone. The 128GB version of the 13in Air, with its larger screen, SD card reader and longer battery life, is a much better deal at just £100 more. Unless the extra weight and size are too much of a drag, we'd much rather have the 13in version of the Air instead of the 11in model.

Processor: Intel Core i5 2467M, 1.6GHz Memory: 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM Graphics: Intel HD Graphics Hard disk: 128GB solid state disk Display: 11.6in 1,366 x 768 pixels, LED-backlit screen Features: 1.3 megapixel camera, microphone, stereo speakers Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Ports: 2 x USB2, 1 x Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo audio socket Dimensions: 300x190x17mm (WxDxH) Weight: 1.1kg Warranty: 1yr C&R warranty OS: MacOSX 10.7 Lion Part code: MC969B/A BENCHMARK SCORES Video 38 Image 102 Multiple apps 39 Overall 49 Battery, light usage 6h36m

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