Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop Review

Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

The Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop is the newest version of Apple’s popular, slimline yet powerful Air series of Laptops.

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It is driven by a fourth generation Intel Core i5 dual-core processor. Each core runs at 1.8GHz, however, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, the processor is capable of automatically adjusting the speed of each core, up to a maximum of 2.6GHz, to meet the needs of the current software application. This arrangement ensures that the processor is always delivering the best possible balance between performance and energy efficiency, boosting speed when it’s most needed, and saving power during less demanding tasks.

The MD760LL/A ships with 4GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 memory. This should be perfectly adequate to run the supplied copy of OS X Mountain Lion and the applications that it traditionally includes (Safari, Mail, Messages, Face Time etc). However, if you think you’re likely to want – or need – more than 4GB of RAM, this version of the MacBook Air can support up to 8GB.

For permanent storage of your music, pictures, documents and, of course, software applications, the machine ships with 128GB of flash storage instead of a convention Hard Disk Drive (HDD). This result is much faster startup and operation, and reduced risk of data loss through the physical damage that inevitable afflicts laptops on the move. Even though 128GB of storage space is considerably less than the capacity offered by an HDD, it should still be more than adequate for most purposes and, should you really need more storage space, it is a simple matter to connect an external hard drive.

The machine features a 13.3 inch, LED backlit, 1440×900 pixel, widescreen display, driven by integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000 with 512 MB of GDDR5 memory. Traditionally, integrated graphics solutions have always given relatively poor performance, being adequate for routine undemanding tasks but incapable of taking on the greater challenge of sophisticated games, for example.

Pros :

  • Powerful, easily portable, robust
  • Fourth generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • 128 GB Flash Storage
  • 4GB 1600 MHz LPDDR3 Memory
  • Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life
  • OS X Mountain Lion

Cons :

  • Needs optional or third party adapters for external HDMI / VGA connections

However, this is no longer the case with HD Graphics 5000. Offering a claimed 40% increase in performance over previous graphics solutions, it is reputedly able to match the capabilities of some mid-range dedicated graphics processors. Whether this improvement will be sufficient to satisfy hardcore gamers remains to be seen, but it will certainly be a welcome upgrade to everyone else, bringing relatively powerful graphics into devices that were previously doomed to inherently poor performance in that area.

Good as the laptop’s display may be, there will no doubt be times when you want – or need – to use a bigger display. Whereas other laptops support a built-in HDMI or VGA port for this purpose, the MacBook Air offers a single Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt I/O (Input / Output) is a high speed (up to 10 gigabits per second) data transfer technology that enables you to connect up to six high-speed, Thunderbolt-compatible devices together in a so-called daisy-chain, cutting down the number of ports needed on the laptop itself.

Through the use of adapters, it is also possible to connect USB and FireWire devices to the laptop’s Thunderbolt port, and similar abilities apply to a range of video connections. Thunderbolt supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays, and, using optional adapters, is compatible with DVI, VGA and dual-link DVI. HDMI audio and video is also possible using a third-party Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. With all these options available – albeit through optional and third-party adapters – there should be no difficulty in connecting the MD760LL/A to whatever display device you have on hand.

Despite the impressive abilities of Thunderbolt, however, the machine still provides two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, further extending its ability to connect to just about any peripheral device, and ensuring that you don’t need adapters simply to connect a standard device – such as an external hard drive – to your laptop.

For wireless devices, the machine supports Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac WiFi for wireless networking. When used in conjunction with an 802.11ac base station, such as Apple’s AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule – this increases WiFi performance by up to three times. It is, of course, fully compatible with standard 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, ensuring that you should have no difficulty in getting online wherever you may be.

Other input / output options include an integrated 720p FaceTime camera built into the bezel above the sceen, making the machine video chat capable right out of the box. There is also an SDXC card slot, a MagSafe 2 power port, stereo speakers, dual microphones a headphone port and support for Apple’s iPhone headset with microphone.

Measuring 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches and weighing just 2.96 pounds, the is small, lightweight and easily portable, yet powerful enough to get real work done on the move. Despite its diminutive size, it is robust enough to cope well with the knocks and jolts that beset any mobile device, and, with a claimed battery life of up to 12 hours, you can be sure that it will be going strong long after lesser laptops have given up.

Overall, the Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop represents the impressive combination of computing power, robust portability and stylish good looks that is expected from Apple. Whether you’re already an Apple devotee, or a simply looking for a new laptop capable of reliably carrying out non-trivial computing tasks on the move, this machine is well worth considering.

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