MacBook Air 2011 vs 2012

So, two days after I received the latest MacBook Air 13″, it’s time for a very short comparison with the previous 2011 13″ model, nobody reads my website anyway so a long review is not in place here. Here’s a list of differences I’ve noticed so far:

  • They’re both extremely fast. It’s hard to say the new one is faster, even though benchmarks will tell it is, but I haven’t used it for extremely CPU intensive tasks. Photoshop, HD video editing and such things already were lightning fast on the previous model. The difference in speed is hardly noticeable.
  • Update: Holy smokes. I just ran the stopwatch while booting the 2012 Air. It’s fully loaded within 11 seconds. Sweet Moses smell the roses!
  • From the outside, you won’t be able to tell ’em apart, but if you look closely, you might notice that the keyboard is slightly better looking, the buttons are thinner, but somehow feel much better while typing. This is the most noticeable difference. Typing is heaven on this thing. It’s a $80 MIDI keyboard versus a Bosendorfer grand piano, the buttons have a soft, organic pressure to them. It’s details like these that only Apple is anal about.
  • When waking up from sleep, the Wi-Fi reconnects even faster than the previous model. By the time you’ve opened your Air you can already browse the internet (it’s like 1,5 sec vs 2,5 sec).
  • The internal speakers sound a bit different. The 2012 model has a much better, cleaner sound, but is lacking bass compared to the 2011 model. As if we weren’t lacking bass already. To be honest, I prefer the sound of the previous model.
  • The new FaceTime HD built-in webcam is much, much better. Not only a shitload sharper, but more frames per second and greater dynamic range as well. A huge plus for avid video-skypers or Photo Booth bombers.
  • On the older models, audio output was a bit laggy. When you’d plug in your headphones while playing music, you’d hear complete silence for 3 or 4 seconds before the audio finally came out of the headphones. This is now instant.

This post turned out much longer than I intended it to be.

July 13, 2012