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Fortune’s JP Mangalindan Goes Hands-on With Apple’s New MacBook Air

Fortune’s JP Mangalindan says that ever since buying the first-generation 11-inch MacBook Air three years ago, his wish has been two-fold: make it faster and make it last longer between charges.

He notes that Apple took care of the performance issues in 2011, when it switched to a faster Intel processor, making it fast enough, but battery life remained a sore point for reviewers and critics, with real-world runtime as short as 3 hours before having to shut down.

However, with the 2013 11-inch MacBook Air, Apple promises what road warriors have wanted all along: all-day battery life. The 13-inch model is rated at 12 hours, and the 11-incher at 9, thanks to Intel’s (INTC) newest Haswell processor chip. The Air uses an ultra low-power version of Haswell, ranging from a 1.3 GHz dual-core i5 to an optional 1.7 GHz dual-core i7, called “ULT,” without taking a performance hit, and his review unit, a $1,199 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.3GHz dual-core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of flash storage is so far running like advertised.

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