Apple MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010) review

In the second part of our coverage of the new MacBook Air range, we take a look at the new 11in model. Is this sleek and small ultra-portable laptop worth its high price? Read our review to find out.

We suspect Apple has stuck with the older Core 2 Duo processors so it could continue to use Nvidia motherboard chipsets and the Nvidia GeForce 320M integrated graphics chip, which are more powerful than their Intel i3 and i5-compatible equivalents. Due to a legal dispute between Intel and Nvidia, there currently aren't any motherboard chipsets from Nvidia that work with the i3 and i5 processors.

The normally silent Air did become noisier when the cooling fan kicked in when the processor was running through our demanding benchmarks. The underside didn't become uncomfortably warm though, so it was still comfortable to use when placed on a lap.

We were pleased by the keyboard and touchpad. Most of the keys are large and give plenty of feedback when pressed, so typing for long periods is comfortable. The exceptions are the F keys which are very small, no doubt a compromise necessary due to the Air's small size. The keyboard isn't backlit like the keyboards on the MacBook Pro range, which will disappoint those who frequently work in dimly lit lecture halls and meeting rooms.

Although the touchpad isn't as large as the touchpads on other MacBooks, it's still very large, especially when compared to other ultra-portable laptops. It supports several multitouch gestures, although these work best under MacOS X and not Windows. The buttons are built into the pad itself, but it still feels accurate to use, even when dragging and dropping icons, which hasn't been the case with touchpads from other manufacturers that have built-in buttons.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Recommended

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Microsoft Surface Pro review: Still worth buying?
Laptops

Microsoft Surface Pro review: Still worth buying?

1 Sep 2021
Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2021: Acer, Apple, HP and more

25 Mar 2021
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 might offer both AMD and Intel chips
Laptops

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 might offer both AMD and Intel chips

9 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021