The new MacBook Air with Haswell on the way

Apple announced the next generation MacBook Air with the new Intel Haswell processor that almost doubles battery life.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
New MacBook Air
Photo by: James Martin/CNET

My laptop collection is about to get larger as I couldn't pass on the new MacBook Air with the Haswell processor from Intel. The new processor is powerful and almost doubles the battery life of the new MacBook Air compared to the last generation model. That combination was too good for me to pass up, so an 11-inch MacBook Air will soon be arriving at my door.

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Apple announced the new MacBook Air at the WWDC in San Francisco to much fanfare. The exterior of the new model looks like the previous generation as there is not really much Apple's engineers can do to improve the thin, light laptop.

The biggest update to the new MacBook Air comes with the latest processor from Intel, the Haswell. I have been anxious to get my hands on a Haswell-equipped laptop and I am excited the MacBook Air will be that device. The Core i5 Haswell processor in the MacBook Air comes standard with a 1.3 GHz processor but a 1.7 GHz option is available.

The Haswell processor upgrades the graphics to the Intel HD 5000. This is reported to be 40 percent faster than the HD 4000 used in most laptops today. 

The most significant improvement in the new MacBook Air is the extended battery life due to the Haswell processor. Apple is quoting 9 hours for the 11.6-inch model compared to 5 hours in the previous model. My experience with Apple products is the quoted battery life is very close to what you actually get, unlike the case with some other vendors. This battery life should get me through an entire day away from an outlet, even with heavy usage.

The MacBook Air I ordered has the following specs:

  • 11.6-inch display
  • 1.3GHz Core i5 (Haswell)
  • 4GB memory
  • 256GB SSD

I passed on upgrading to the faster processor as I believe the standard one will be plenty powerful. The faster one would also have a hit on that battery life which I'm not willing to risk. Upgrading to 8GB of memory might have been nice but I feel I can get by with the standard 4GB.

I chose the smaller of the two MacBook Airs as my main focus is on mobility. While the 13-inch MacBook Air would be nice with its higher screen resolution, I want the smaller, lighter 11.6-inch laptop.

The new MacBook Air will be here in just a few days as Apple is already shipping them. That's a lesson that other companies should learn from Apple. It's always better to ship right after the product announcement than give prospective customers time to think about it. It worked on me.

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