Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2013): Hands-on with the all-day laptop

Apple has updated the iconic thin and light laptop, the MacBook Air. Both the 11-inch and 13-inch models see a number of internal upgrades that make for a better machine, built for modern mobile users.

We've got our hands on the 13-inch 2013 MacBook Air which we're now working on for a full review. But we thought we'd introduce you to this new model in the flesh.

Externally, there's little change to the design of the 2013 MacBook Air. That's no bad thing, because it remains one of the best designed notebooks out there and we're happy to stick with the tried and tested formula.

The only physical difference you'll spot on the outside is the new dual mic arrangement. Previous MacBook Air models offer a mic, but the new arrangement should mean that audio, such as that in video calls, is clearer, with background noise being filtered out.

It's the internals that have really seen significant changes. The first big change is the new fourth-generation Intel Core processor. Codenamed Haswell, this was designed from the ground up to be more efficient.

This is a contributing factor to the 13-inches' "all day" battery claim. The MacBook Air now offers 12 hours of web use, rather than seven of the previous model. That's a difference worth having.

The new MacBook Air is going to be faster too. Not only is there faster graphics from the on-board Intel HD Graphics 5000 chip, but the SSD drive is also now faster.

This is coupled with the latest Wi-Fi protocol in 802.11ac. If you have compatible hardware, like the latest Apple AirPort Extreme, you'll get faster and better performance from your Wi-Fi than ever before. Here we have the 1.3GHz Core i5 model with 4GB RAM and the larger 256GB storage drive.

READ: Apple MacBook Air (2012) vs MacBook Air (2013): What's the difference?

So it all looks good on paper and in the flesh: we'll be putting the MacBook Air through its paces and will bring you a full review shortly.



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