Features of Apple’s MacBook Air - dummies

By Arnold Reinhold

The two MacBook Air models, 11-inch and 13-inch, are ultraportable laptops, ideal for students and road warriors and light-weight alternative to Windows alternatives. Apple has stripped out components that aren’t generally needed on the road in an effort to keep size and weight to a minimum.

[Credit: Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.]
Credit: Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.
[Credit: Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.]
Credit: Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.

The Air employs solid-state flash memory (64GB, 128GB, or 256GB) for mass storage instead of a hard drive, reducing size, weight, and power consumption while allowing an Air to wake from sleep almost instantly. Other MacBook Air features include

  • An Intel dual core Core i5 processor. The processor runs at a slower speed maximize battery life.

  • Two models, both with LED-backlit, glossy widescreen displays. The smaller Air’s screen has 1366 x 768 resolution and measures 11.6 inches diagonally (294mm); the larger screen, measuring 13.3 inches (338mm) diagonally, has 1440 x 900 resolution.

  • A very thin but strong aluminum case.

  • An integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics processor with full 3D support.

  • Two USB 2.0 ports.

  • An SD Card slot on the 13-inch model, useful for downloading photos from many digital cameras.

  • A 45-watt AC power module.

  • A full-size keyboard, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted T arrangement).

  • A Multi-Touch trackpad for cursor control.

  • An optional external dual-layer-burning, slot-loading SuperDrive.

  • An optional wired Ethernet-to-USB adapter.

  • A lithium-polymer battery that provides up to 5 hours of wireless web access on the 11-inch model and 7 hours on the 13-inch model.

The MacBook Air cable connections include

  • Analog headset 3.5 mm minijack, with support for Apple earphones with remote and microphone

  • MagSafe power connector

  • Two USB 2.0 ports

  • Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort external video