This is a niche device, suitable for Apple users that need both portability and power. While it’s tempting to compare it to other Ultrabooks, it actually has a lot in common with the Surface Pro 2, which has very similar specs and is built for a very specific type of Windows user.
For that very specific Apple user, this is an excellent device with a world-class design and superb performance. True, competing Windows 8.1 Ultrabooks can now match the MacBook Air point for point, but none are so much better to entice Apple users to make the Microsoft switch.
Outside of that, the MacBook Air does not have the port selection to make for a viable everyday machine, and those looking for a portable companion device should check out the iPad Air first and save a few hundred dollars. It’s surprising how productive one can be with an iPad coupled with a Bluetooth keyboard and Office apps.
For the platform agnostic looking for thin, light, and powerful, the MacBook Air is certainly worth considering. Its “acceptable” display and other drawbacks make it tough to outright recommend over any and all competition.
- Excellent design
- Terrific performance
- Quiet and cool
- Superb trackpad and keyboard
- Display quality merely adequate
- Lousy port selection
- Aluminum construction prone to dents and scratches