Apple's new MacBook Air tested inflight

By danwarne, November 15 2010
Apple's new MacBook Air tested inflight

In-flight testing of the second-gen MacBook Air shows Apple's new ultralight has what it takes to be a superb business laptop for frequent travellers.

Australian Business Traveller took the new MacBook Air 13" on a domestic trip, including lugging through an airport, Qantas Club, inflight and several days' solid use on the road, and we were surprised at what a speedy notebook it was, despite its super light weight and relatively low price (from $1199).

Apple has corrected the biggest deficiencies of the first-gen model -- the single USB port in an inconvenient flip-down tray has been replaced by two standard ports; the extremely slow hard drive has been replaced by high speed SSD flash memory in sizes up to 256GB and the screen resolution is now equivalent to a MacBook Pro. The keyboard is still full-size, and it's still fantastically light.

Our main quibble? There's still no model with inbuilt 3G -- you'll either need to use a 3G modem or an iPhone via Bluetooth tethering. Given there are no notebooks in Apple's range with 3G built in, it seems clear that Apple is hoping Mac owners will switch to an iPhone in order to get the most convenient internet access on the go -- something that isn't possible for many corporate travellers.

You can read our full road test here: 2010 MacBook Air inflight-testing

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