TechSpot: Apple MacBook Air 13" Mid-2012 Review

Steve Jobs unveiled the first MacBook Air in early 2008 to mixed reviews, but a series of redesigns and hardware refreshes through the years have resulted in a product line that has had a huge impact on the industry. PC makers have struggled to match the Air’s extremely thin and simplistic design, prompting Intel to announce the ultrabook initiative at Computex in 2011.

New for the 2012 MacBook Air is the Intel Ivy Bridge processor sporting Intel HD 4000 graphics, higher capacity storage and memory options, as well as an improved 720p Facetime HD camera, and support for USB 3.0. The 13-inch system also received a $100 price cut, now starting at $1,199.

The new MacBook Air doesn’t deviate from the design of previous models, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The notebook is tapered into a wedge shape that is narrower near the front and thicker at the rear. Of course we use the term thick loosely, as the system is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds.

Read: Apple MacBook Air 13" Review

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18 Comments

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You say PC Makers have struggled to match the Air. Sorry to bust your bubble, but Asus has accomplish such a task and I'm sure it wasn't a struggle. Check out the Asus Zenbook UX21 or UX31. I won't mention Dell or Acer, but I'm sure they've done a fantastic job of creating an ultrabook that meets or exceeds the Mac Air.

Flippinwindows said,
You say PC Makers have struggled to match the Air. Sorry to bust your bubble, but Asus has accomplish such a task and I'm sure it wasn't a struggle. Check out the Asus Zenbook UX21 or UX31. I won't mention Dell or Acer, but I'm sure they've done a fantastic job of creating an ultrabook that meets or exceeds the Mac Air.

Yeah I love the ASUS Zenbook but it's the same price or even more expensive though! I don't expect that from a Windows laptop! What happened to Apple TAX!

offroadaaron said,

Yeah I love the ASUS Zenbook but it's the same price or even more expensive though! I don't expect that from a Windows laptop! What happened to Apple TAX!


Well the Asus Zenbook Prime is coming out when Windows 8 comes out and I'm hoping they will fix the price when Windows 8 price points are announced. If that being so; The Zenbook Prime should be in the range of $700-999.

Flippinwindows said,


Well the Asus Zenbook Prime is coming out when Windows 8 comes out and I'm hoping they will fix the price when Windows 8 price points are announced. If that being so; The Zenbook Prime should be in the range of $700-999.

It's out now and it's like RRP A$1800-2200 good luck with the $700-999!

The excellent touch experience on the Mac is worth the extra cash. I guess people that never has used it don't know how excellent the touch system is, and how nice all the gestures are once you are used to them.

I would throw my i7 quad core 16GB RAM 256MB SSD + 512GB 7200rpm HDD Quadro 2000M 2GB 1920x1080p wide gamut display Lenovo StinkPad W520 out of the window just to get a decent Mac with the glass touch plate again... But my new employer does not support Mac's :-(

I wasn't being sarcastic (for once), it was a serious point Mac's are lovely just too much money for me to justify (for me).

Dan~ said,
I wasn't being sarcastic (for once), it was a serious point Mac's are lovely just too much money for me to justify (for me).


There was a recent article / editorial posted here on Neowin about the "Apple Tax", and if you were to compare apples to apples (pardon the pun), then in many cases, the premium you pay for a MBP or MBA vs a directly comparable Windows unit is not that much.

As offroadaaron pointed out, the ZenBook is basically the same specs and speed, costs about the same or greater (depending on where you shop), but has a totally inferior keyboard and trackpad to the MBA.

-=MagMan=- said,

There was a recent article / editorial posted here on Neowin about the "Apple Tax", and if you were to compare apples to apples (pardon the pun), then in many cases, the premium you pay for a MBP or MBA vs a directly comparable Windows unit is not that much.

As offroadaaron pointed out, the ZenBook is basically the same specs and speed, costs about the same or greater (depending on where you shop), but has a totally inferior keyboard and trackpad to the MBA.

Apart from the article was useless and hugely biased... upgrading a Windows Machine till everything was at least an equivalent spec (frequently a better spec) than the Mac, then suggesting it was the "closest match", and regardless the Windows machines still came out a big cheaper even with better specs.

Added to that preconfigured machines are always cheapest (as they are mass built) so comparing pre-configured to upgraded machines was useless, especially when you consider Macs are more expensive to upgrade than other manufacturers.

Dan~ said,
I wasn't being sarcastic (for once), it was a serious point Mac's are lovely just too much money for me to justify (for me).

It's the same price if not less that it's competition. Zenbook Prime I'd say it really the only competitor at the moment and it costs more for the same specs!

^ Exactly. This is the thing with Mac's, very nice and I'd have one in a snap if money wasn't an option, time I've got the money I could build a better machine myself.

Damn you Apple!

Dan~ said,
^ Exactly. This is the thing with Mac's, very nice and I'd have one in a snap if money wasn't an option, time I've got the money I could build a better machine myself.

Damn you Apple!

OK I hope you're being sarcastic! If not!

I would like to see you make a MacBook Air! ROFL!

Have you guys seen the ZenBook Prime? Pretty much the same and the same pricing if not more!

offroadaaron said,

OK I hope you're being sarcastic! If not!

I would like to see you make a MacBook Air! ROFL!

Have you guys seen the ZenBook Prime? Pretty much the same and the same pricing if not more!

He's probably talking better specs. Apple designs are nice and all, but you can built or buy a comparable machine for much less.

farmeunit said,

He's probably talking better specs. Apple designs are nice and all, but you can built or buy a comparable machine for much less.

It's not always about the specs...
Plus as was already said, the Zenbook has the same specs for an even higher price.

farmeunit said,
He's probably talking better specs. Apple designs are nice and all, but you can built or buy a comparable machine for much less.

Let us know when you finished building your own Ultrabook.

.Neo said,

Let us know when you finished building your own Ultrabook.

That doesn't have a super crappy 1360x768 resolution like ALL Ultrabooks currently have.

My boss really wanted a MacBook Air. We don't use Macs at work so I recommended an Ultrabook, but I knew based on the ridiculous resolution that he was use to on his DELL there was no way he would be happy with 1360x768. By the time you add a decent processor and an SSD to an Ultrabook you are basically paying MBA prices but you still get the piece of **** resolution of those. People who say otherwise haven't really priced anything out and just blindly assume that anything with an Apple logo on it is a rip off.

He ended up getting a business class Thinkpad.

farmeunit said,

He's probably talking better specs. Apple designs are nice and all, but you can built or buy a comparable machine for much less.

Illiterate much? You quote me saying:


Have you guys seen the ZenBook Prime? Pretty much the same and the same pricing if not more!

Then ignore my comment completely?!

Very state of the art laptop. But 256 GB SSD is needed, and then you have to pay $1,499. Combine that with 8 GB of RAM, then you end up with $1,599.