11-inch Macbook Air (2011) Review

11-inch Apple MacBook Air 2011 Conclusion

It is widely agreed that the 11-inch Macbook Air 2011 is the most affordable laptop offered by Apple. Most reviewers recommend this very laptop to students and business men. Still, there is a suggestion to pay more than the base configuration if one wanted to purchase the Macbook so that there is more on board storage offered. The 11-inch Macbook Air 2011 has everything we ever wanted such as the superbly fast performance, thin and light features and a comfy backlit keyboard as well as the best glass trackpad ever. However, there are a few downside of it for example the below average battery life and limited on board storage. If you have a thick wallet and do not need an ultrathin design, you might want to consider paying an extra hundred bucks to get the 13-inch Macbook Pro.

11-inch Macbook Air (2011) Review Summary

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11-inch Macbook Air (2011) User Reviews

I’ve been waiting for a new computer for my wife, something that she can use both as her desktop computer attached to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and still take along on business trips around the world. Ideally, something she could throw in her big purse and go. The previous edition of the MacBook Air was close, but too compromised in terms of processor speed. The Air is perfect for her.

At this writing, Amazon is selling two versions of the 11.6 inch MacBook Air, an i5 model with 2GB of RAM and 64 GB of SSD storage, and an i5 model with 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD storage. You can order elsewhere a third model with an i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage–the i7 is the low voltage 2 core version. This review aims at helping the consumer decide if a MacBook Air is the computer for them, and if so, which…

Hi i got this laptop on August 6, 2011! This laptop is a amazing laptop and i would not buy any other laptop besides a mac. I now have 2 mac laptops a Macbook Pro and this Macbook Air. It is fast and so fun to use. Let me tell you one thing, an 11 inch screen might sound small but honestly it is not bad at all! I absolutely LOVE this laptop. Apple laptops are the best you can buy…

11-inch Macbook Air (2011) Expert Reviews

Mark Spoonauer from Laptop Magazine says:

3.5 out of 5 Stars

You really have to look at the 11-inch MacBook Air in two ways to evaluate it: First as an ultraportable and next as the most affordable laptop Apple offers. As an ultraportable, the Air is superior in almost every way. It offers a bright display with wide viewing angles, good sound, a comfy backlit keyboard, a large and intuitive touchpad, and a processor that’s fast enough to handle most tasks. And while we wish there were more Thunderbolt peripherals on the market, having that port on board future-proofs your purchase. The one sticking point of the 11-inch Air is its battery life; a little less than 5 hours is decent, but that’s a half hour less than its predecessor and not nearly as long as other laptops in this class. Then again, you could argue that the combination of Mac OS X Lion and the way Apple uses flash memory put this machine in a class by itself.

We’re just not sure consumers want to use an 11-inch laptop as their primary computer. Frequent travelers and students would, but a few family members and co-workers said they would prefer a larger 13-inch screen. Apple offers that, too, but you’ll need to spend either $1,199 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro or $1,299 for the 13-inch MacBook Air. The 11-inch MacBook Air is a very good ultraportable, but some shoppers will prefer one of Apple’s other options as an everyday notebook.

Scott Stein from CNet says:

4.2 out of 5 Stars

The 2011 11-inch Air is, undeniably, an improvement over the fall 2010 version. Is it a MacBook for everyone, though? Not yet, unless you can live with the Air’s still comparatively limited storage space. For a more full-size laptop with even better battery life, many might be tempted to get the 13-inch MacBook Air or even the more full-featured 13-inch MacBook Pro. But, for sheer portability and performance, nothing can beat the 11-inch Air.

Edward Chester from Trusted Reviews says:

4.0 out of 5 Stars

The Apple MacBook Air 11in (mid 2011) is clearly a machine for the well heeled, with a starting price of £850 and desirable configurations coming in over £1,000. Nonetheless, it is far from a frivolous purchase. Its styling and build are unrivalled, it has plenty enough performance for everyday computing, it’ll at least half a working day on battery, and the improvements to MacOSX make it a lovely system to use. It does lack connectivity right out of the box (even eshewing the SD card slot of its 13in sibling) but, thanks to its ThunderBolt port, it can actually connect to just about anything you desire with the right adapter (once they become available). Many competitors are getting close but right now the Air is still flying high.

Jason Snell from Macworld says:

5.0 out of 5 Stars

The MacBook Air has never been a laptop for everyone. It began as a niche laptop for a tiny sliver of the population, but in the intervening three years there’s been a sea change. Today, most people in the market for a Mac laptop should seriously consider the MacBook Air. Sure, there are some people for whom it’s a poor fit—but I suspect they are increasingly the exception, not the rule. (There’s a reason Apple’s marketing slogan for this version of the Air is “The ultimate everyday notebook.”)

At just a hair below three pounds, the 13-inch MacBook Air will probably hit the sweet spot for users accustomed to larger computer screens. But for my money, the 11-inch Air is the real winner here. At $999, it’s now holding down the low-price end of the Apple laptop market. It will almost certainly be the laptop of choice for students, and they’ll love its light weight and small size.

Then upgrade it to an i7 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive, attach it to an external display and peripherals via its Thunderbolt port, and you’ve got a tiny system with an amazing amount of power. The 11-inch MacBook Air might not be the perfect computer, but it’s as close to perfect as Apple’s ever come.

Brian Westover from PC Mag says:

3.5 out of 5 Stars

So how does the Apple MacBook Air 11-inch (Thunderbolt) stack up in the category its predecessor shaped? It’s certainly a fine laptop, with plenty of features you’ll only get from Apple, like outstanding design, a highly refined multitouch trackpad, and OS X Lion. But you’ll have to sacrifice several features that come standard on other 11-inch laptops, like all-day battery life, an Ethernet port, SD card reader, and significant storage space. The Editors’ Choice Alienware M11xr3 and Lenovo X120e provide all these features, with superior performance to boot. When judged purely on its feature set the MacBook Air 11-inch (Thunderbolt) comes up short compared with its peers. But with its light weight, striking looks, and Apple’s well-deserved reputation for reliability, the MacBook Air 11-inch (Thunderbolt) presents a compelling package for Apple devotees.

Andrew Harrison from PC Advisor says:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Since the company has discontinued its popular white MacBook, the Apple MacBook Air 11in (Mid-2011) now stands alone as the most affordable Mac portable. At £849, you get 2GB memory and 64GB of solid-state drive; another £150 doubles both those specs to a decent 4GB and 128GB storage. Whether you’re a student or business professional, it’s a great carry-anywhere laptop with more power than we’d imagine was possible at this size, yet still providing decent battery life.

David Bayon from PC Pro says:

4.2 out of 5 Stars

Ultrathin, effortlessly elegant, and now with genuine power, Apple has fixed most of the flaws in its little marvel.

Jonathan Rougeot from Computer Shopper says:

4.7 out of 5 Stars

But with Apple positioning it as the new entry-level MacBook, is it the notebook to replace your white MacBook? That’s a complicated question to answer. For those who need portability, you can’t beat the 11.6-inch screen and light weight. Could we see using it as our everyday laptop, as many did with the white MacBook? Probably not. For that, we’d recommend spending $300 more for the 13.3-inch version. Or, if portability isn’t such an issue, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will set you back just $200 more ($1,199,) and it will come with an optical drive and even more powerful CPU and graphics. For its lethal combination of portability and power, though, the 11.6-inch MacBook Air floats to the top.

Shane Richmond from The Telegraph says:

5.0 out of 5 Stars

You expect to make compromises if you’re getting an 11” computer. The remarkable thing about this machine is that the only compromise is the screen size. The new MacBook Air is compact, weighs only slightly more than a kilo, and yet it still has a full-sized, backlit keyboard and is packed with power. It could easily be your only computer and I would happily switch.

Darrell Etherington from Gigaom says:

The new MacBook Air is the best Air yet, which is saying a lot after the impressive update it received last year. If you’re currently working with an older Pro notebook and wonder if the Air is a suitable replacement, the answer is probably yes. If you bought the Air last year and are wondering if this Air is worth an upgrade, consider that the processor powering these latest models is two generations newer, and it shows. Like the iPad and the iPhone, the MacBook Air sets the standard for its entire device category, and the latest upgrade is a worthwhile raising of that bar.

11-inch Macbook Air (2011) Videos

11-inch Macbook Air (2011) Specification

Weight 2.38 pounds
Screen Size 11.6-inch
Resolution 1366 x 768
CPU
  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 ($999 model) or
  • 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 ($1199 model)
RAM 2GB ($999 model) / 4GB ($1199 model)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 256MB ($999 model) or 384MB ($1199 model) of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
Storage 64GB ($999 model) / 128GB ($1199 model)
I/O Ports
  • USB 2.0
  • Thunderbolt port
  • Headphone port
  • MagSafe power port
Wireless
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
Battery Capacity 35WHr
Battery Life Up to 5 hours
Webcam VGA
Operating System OS X Lion