Apple MacBook Air 13 Inch. The latest update to the MacBook Air 13-inch Apple enriches a more powerful Core i5 processor and a bewildering autonomy of 17.5 hours. It remains firmly entrenched in first place in our selection of ultraportables. Apple tends not change things when really needed, hence the arrival of this powerful new version of the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (€ 1,099 for the model tested). Although it shares the same aluminum unibody design and many components as its predecessor, the latest MacBook Air 13-inch is seen refreshed with the new Intel Core i5 processor. Even with this modest update (and the same pricing basis as the previous model), this MacBook Air is still ahead of its competitors in terms of performance and stuns with its autonomy of 17.5 hours. With its versatility enabling it to ensure all standard tasks, it remains our preferred choice in the segment of ultraportable midrange.
Design and features
The MacBook Air 13-inch measuring 22.7 x 32.5 cm and weighs 1.34 kg. Its thickness varies from 1,72cm to 0,28cm to the rear until the front. Other ultraportable 13.3-inch, like the Acer Aspire S7-393-7451, the Asus Zenbook UX305FA and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro are now slightly thinner and lighter, but you will in all if any problem with the take with you anywhere. Compared to 1920 x 1080 - or more - which is now standard on Windows laptops midrange, the resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels MacBook Air seems relatively weak, at least on paper. However, the screen is distinguished by its brightness and accuracy in practice. This definition should nevertheless be sufficient for most everyday uses, such as web browsing or writing documents. If you need a Mac with a higher resolution, it will turn to the more expensive MacBook screen and 2304 x 1400 pixels, or the latest Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch and resolution of 2560 x 1 600 pixels. There are, no matter what, no option to integrate a Retina display to the MacBook Air, which would increase its cost and weight, and would burden its autonomy.
The port selection remains unchanged from the model last year. We find the headphone jack, two mics, the MagSafe power connector and 2 USB 3.0 on the left port. The right edge has a slot for SDXC cards, a Thunderbolt port 2 and a second USB 3.0 port. While this Spartan looks, it is nevertheless quite common in the category of ultraportable and will be sufficient for most users. You will need a HDMI adapter or other connectors screen, but the Thunderbolt port works seamlessly with other monitors with a mini-DisplayPort jack without any adapter. Wireless connectivity is handled by the Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
The backlit keys of chiclet offer excellent touch, and touch pad covered with glass is very pleasant to use with multitouch gestures. The touchpad does not enjoy the Force-Click capabilities available on the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro, but these actions are still not supported in most third party applications. Finally, like all Macs, the MacBook Air is not equipped with a touch screen.
4GB of included memory remain low for a notebook to more than € 1,000. It is only possible to increase the total to 8GB time of purchase (it was the installed capacity in our test model of the previous year); it will therefore consider investing € 100 more to enjoy better multitasking or provisions for the management of multimedia projects. The flash storage 128 GB is also relatively limited, but it is now less critical considering that cloud storage has become very affordable. For the model with 256GB SSD, count € 1,349. The SSD is connected PCI-express, which gives it an edge in performance compared to SATA models and flash storage ultraportable oldest. This allows the system to boot in seconds and applications to load quickly. The MacBook Air is covered by a one year warranty, equivalent to the duration proposed by its Windows-based opponents.
Equipped with an Intel Core i5-5250U processor clocked at 1.6GHz with integrated graphics chip Intel HD Graphics 6000, the laptop performed very well during our multimedia tests. The Handbrake test was completed in 2 minutes and 49 seconds, and our test in Adobe Photoshop CS6 5mn13. Both results are better than those achieved by the Dell XPS 13 Touch also equipped with a Core i5 (2mn58 on Handbrake, 5mn54 on CS6) and the Lenovo Yoga 14 March (3mn04 and 5mn16 on Handbrake on CS6) with him to a Intel Core Mr. Mobile integrating Core i7 processors like the Acer Aspire S7-393-7451 (1mn19 on Handbrake, 3mn04 on CS6) and the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series (2mn43 on Handbrake, 4mn44 on CS6) remain predictably faster in testing. Finally in this area, MacBook Air is faster in multimedia tasks than the Apple MacBook reaching 3mn39 and 6mn24 Handbrake on the Photoshop test.
As might be expected, performance in 3D tests are rather poor, due to the integrated GPU. The machine should be powerful enough to run relatively simple games like Diablo III, but certainly do not expect to launch Grand Theft Auto V Ultra-quality setting. But the most striking success of the MacBook Air is its autonomy. Surviving heroically for 17 hours and 36 minutes in our test of independence, it surpasses the - already very good - last year's model almost two hours (3:51 p.m.). This contrasts sharply with the Windows mobile endure more, the Acer Aspire S7-393-7451 who surrendered after 9:57. To give an idea, you can watch the trilogy of Lord of the Rings in long version and still have enough battery to watch the first two films of the saga Dark Knight . This is truly a remarkable autonomy for a traditional laptop.
The MacBook Air 13 inch version 2015 outperforms its competitors with Core M, both performance and battery life. The classic design of its chassis than other ultraportables have tried to imitate the past five years with varying degrees of success keeps all the same charm. This is a laptop that is worth its price, especially if you have to work away from a power outlet for most of the day. It has 4 GB of memory and less compared to the configuration tested last year, but it is also € 100 cheaper. You need to decide if your multitasking is common enough to warrant the additional investment. But considering its strong performance, particularly his impressive endurance, MacBook Air 13-inch is all it takes to replace his predecessor as Editor's Choice in the ultraportable segment of mid-range.
+ PLUS: Attractive design. Updating the Intel Core i5 processor.
Over 17 hours of real autonomy. No unwanted software installed.
- LESS: No HDMI and Ethernet ports. Relatively low definition.
Limited storage capacity. No expansion capability.
PRICE: € 1099
Like it? Please share!