The Register’s Tony Smith takes a look at one of the build-to-order MacBook Air configurations offered by Apple, which upgrades the standard 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of 1066MHZ mobile DDR3 RAM, 128GB solid-state drive specification to a 1.7GHz Core i7 machine with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
He notes that one reason to opt for an upgraded version of the Air is because of Apple’s mania for building sealed units containing “no user-serviceable parts within,” so you can’t add extra memory and storage yourself later. The Air’s memory is soldered onto the motherboard, leaving the Wi-Fi card and the SSD flash storage as the only readily removable components – and now even swapping out the SSD is a non-starter since it needs a special Apple cable to interface with the motherboard, all of which he and many others find irritating. However, he also notes that he finds himself increasingly wondering whether that’s as sensible a view to take as it once was.
He also notes that the 1400 x 900 res. display is now behind the curve, but liked that even with the higher speed CPU running flat out, the Air remains practically silent, and when when the fan does occasionally cut in, its not the hair dryer of old. Battery life is unsurpassed and the backlit keyboard is another nice touch.
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