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Fantastic little machine

A Review On: 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air MD231LL/A (Mid-2012)

13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air MD231LL/A (Mid-2012)

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Price paid: $1,200.00
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Pros: It gives a whole new meaning to the word: "mobility"

Cons: Battery life is under 2 hours for most usage

I have owned at least a dozen different Mac laptops over the years, starting with a Powerbook 1400 back in the day. The 13-inch Air is my absolute favorite of the bunch. It's the first laptop that feels truly mobile (as opposed to just luggable). 


It's so light you can pick it up in one hand without really even exerting your wrist. It's so thin that you can put in in a backpack, strap that backpack on, and sit down at the wheel of your car without taking it off. You won't even know there's a laptop back there.


This 13" Air is my work computer, but this kind of mobility isn't just for business travelers anymore. I'm a parent of a toddler and I find it incredibly convenient to be able to zip this laptop around the house, wherever I need it to go at any particular moment. Taking it on the commuter train back and forth to work is absolutely no-problemo.


At home, I also own a 15" Macbook Pro Retina, and even though that machine is much thinner and lighter than its predecessors, I find that I barely touch it anymore. I would much rather bring my Air home from work and use it around the house.


So obviously I use it a lot. Perhaps that's why I find myself wishing it had more battery life. I get a maximum of 2 hours good usage out of it, despite Apple's claims of "7 hours of wireless web" battery life. Seriously, they should be sued for publishing that number. It's so unrealistic. 


If I fire up a game or Netflix, battery life can go as low as 1 hour. This is one area where my Macbook Pro Retina is vastly superior. It's 25% larger but has almost 100% more battery capacity.


Still, in the grand scheme of things, 2 hours is not terrible. My PowerBook 1400 didn't get 2 hours of battery on the best day of its life. And given how crazily thin and light the 13" Air is, I'm quite impressed with the battery life it does have. Heck, I'm surprised there is even room for a processor inside this thing. It's that thin.


Performance is excellent. It drives my 30-inch monitor beautifully via the DisplayPort. It handles my Photoshopping and such just fine. No issues with video playback. It doesn't have the graphics hardware for serious games but things like Angry Birds play fine.


I guess I'm going to have to invest in a couple of extra charger cables so I can zip around work and home but keep this machine juiced up. The battery is fine for my train commute home, and perhaps a quick outing to a cafe, but anything more than that requires a plug in. If you think you can live with 2 hours of battery life, I can't recommend this machine enough. 


No DVD drive? I care so little about this that I almost forgot. 


No ethernet jack? Haven't used one in years anyway.


I don't play games or watch videos continuously, but I find that my 13" Air get about 7-8 hours without needing to be plugged into the supply. And that is about 100% of the time on Wi-Fi. Strange isn't it !
Yup, my 2012 Air is easily the best overall computer I've ever owned. I use it for absolutely everything including work and play. Responsive as hell, lightning fast, thin and light, and Godly build quality. Keyboard is fantastic, as is touchpad and screen I have literally not a single complaint.
That's really strange about the battery life... If you're only getting 2 hours, then I'd suggest bringing it to Apple because you may have a faulty battery. I have the previous model (Mid-2011 MC965LL/A), and I easily get AT least 5 hours with it--minimum! If I only got 2 hours, I would be pretty bummed!
Are you driving a Display Monitor on Battery Power (unplugged) ? I don't know for certain, but if you are this may affect the battery power. Take the Machine to Apple for examination. Mine is over 2 years old, used daily and still gets about 7 hours on the Battery.
i get about the same all the time roy