2013 Apple MacBook Air 13-inch First-Look: We Compare it to the MacBook Air 2012

At the WWDC, Apple announced that they will be releasing new software and hardware for the Apple MacBook range. The iconic, super-thin, ultra-portable Macbook line will include updates to both their 11 and 13 inch editions. We investigate the Macbook 2012 Vs Macbook 2013. On the surface of it, they look the same and cost roughly the same, but there must be more to it?

From a design point of view, the new Macbook is essentially the same as the old. The Macbook is market leading in this area, and as the new iOS 7 update shows, a new design for the sake of a new design does not always go down well. I for one was pleased to see the design unchanged. The one minor change that Apple have made is the addition of a dual microphone function, which visually makes little difference but is intended to make audio conferences work better on the new model.

Don’t be fooled by the shell looking the same though, as Apple has really gone to town on the internal specification of the 2013 Macbook. The new model boasts of a fourth-generation Intel Core processor, which they’ve codenamed “Haswell”. This is a fundamental redesign of the core processor and it shows.

For a start, the new processor chip is far more energy efficient, immediately propelling the battery life from circa 7-9 hours to a reported 12 hours. This extended battery life is allied with  a new found speed, which comes in the form of a remodelled graphics 5000 chip and a new SSD drive. Apple has also worked on the devices WiFi functionality, delivering a noticeably faster Wi-Fi porting.

Whilst the 2013 version costs roughly the same as the 2012 model, you are getting more specification for your money. The 2012 model started with just 64GB of internal storage whereas the 2013 model starts with 128GB. Keen data users can get up to 512GB of storage this year.

But besides that, the new MacBook doesn’t really differ from the old. It’s always hard to justify an upgrade when a device looks the same and essentially the main improvement is eking a little more juice out of an already impressive battery.

For new customers though, the new Macbook offers some nice additional points of value. If nothing else, the additional battery life and free extra storage makes the Apple MacBook 2013 a rare point of value in the market. Sometimes when you have a market leading notebook, it’s hard to improve it, or more pertinently, there isn’t a need to re-invent the wheel.