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MacBook Air With Haswell ULT: Up to 12 Hours Battery Life

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

The MacBook Air line gets updated with Intel 4th Gen CPUs.

Apple rolled out new MacBook Airs today at WWDC in San Francisco. The main upgrade for Apple's thinnest laptops is the move to Intel's Haswell ULT processors.

The bump to the more power-efficient processor means big gains in battery life. The 11-inch MacBook Air goes from 5 hours average use to 9 hours. The 13-inch also sees an increase from 7 hours to 12 hours.

Another benefit going to Haswell is HD Graphics 5000, which Apple says offers 40 percent faster performance over the previous generation.

Also upgraded is the Wi-Fi hardware, which is now 802.11ac. When connected to a compatible access point, Apple says the new MacBook Airs can be up to three times faster than the older model.

Apple has also updated the storage options to something a bit more affordable and realistic for today's users. The baseline configuration for both models is a 128GB SSD, which is a big bump for the 11-inch which previously started at a paltry 64GB.

As rumored, the MacBook Airs now pack dual mics, which can adapt against background noise. This should also improve voice dictation.

Oddly, the MacBook Air was the only Mac portable discussed at WWDC. Most were expecting Apple to reveal refreshed MacBook Pros, but for now, it seems that the MacBook Air has better integrated graphics than its bigger brothers.

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  • 4 Hide
    brandonjclark , June 10, 2013 12:40 PM
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?
  • 5 Hide
    house70 , June 10, 2013 12:53 PM
    Quote:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?


    You mean, turn it into an actually useful device? The MAC crowd will rip you to shreds, LOL.
  • 5 Hide
    vmem , June 10, 2013 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?


    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :p 
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    kingssman , June 10, 2013 12:59 PM
    You can install windows 7. Despite the "macTax" it's an ultra portable with regular notebook performance.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , June 10, 2013 1:00 PM
    Eh, was hoping for a Macbook Pro refresh. Only thing I really wanted out of this WWDC, but what did I get instead? An ultra-thin nearly worthless laptop, and a giant black tube.
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , June 10, 2013 1:03 PM
    Quote:
    Eh, was hoping for a Macbook Pro refresh. Only thing I really wanted out of this WWDC, but what did I get instead? An ultra-thin nearly worthless laptop, and a giant black tube.


    They say you can't please everyone. Looks like that's still true.
  • 1 Hide
    TomsSound , June 10, 2013 1:09 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?


    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :p 


    Or you could run Parallels, Fusion or VirtualBox... and have both and add other OS's.. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    nitrium , June 10, 2013 2:46 PM
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.
  • 0 Hide
    sundragon , June 10, 2013 3:18 PM
    Quote:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?


    Sure, but part of the 12 hour claim comes from enhancements made to 10.9. I love Windows 7 but it burns through battery much faster on my mac than the Beta OS does currently.
  • 0 Hide
    sundragon , June 10, 2013 3:19 PM
    Quote:
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.


    They may introduce a mid range model in a few months with the retina screen. FWIW, the regular MBPro 13 with Retina is like 1lbs more than the MBA and nearly as thin.
  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , June 10, 2013 3:20 PM
    Quote:
    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :p 

    Yeah, a battery life hit is the main thing I'd be concerned about.
    Quote:
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.

    I guess it costs them too much. That said, when I've played with the macbooks in stores, the 13" rMBP is only half a pound heavier and a little thicker than the 13" air. It's noticeable, but not a big deal. I'll happily take the rMBP in that case purely for the screen. I wonder how the battery life on the rMBP will be once they put Haswell in it - I'm seriously considering buying one of those.
  • 0 Hide
    sundragon , June 10, 2013 3:21 PM
    Quote:
    You can install windows 7. Despite the "macTax" it's an ultra portable with regular notebook performance.


    Not necessarily, part of the 12 hour life is due to the enhancements on 10.9 - I posted earlier. I love Windows 7 but it doesn't last nearly as long on my MBA with the new Beta OS.
  • 0 Hide
    sundragon , June 10, 2013 3:22 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :p 

    Yeah, a battery life hit is the main thing I'd be concerned about.
    Quote:
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.

    I guess it costs them too much. That said, when I've played with the macbooks in stores, the 13" rMBP is only half a pound heavier and a little thicker than the 13" air. It's noticeable, but not a big deal. I'll happily take the rMBP in that case purely for the screen. I wonder how the battery life on the rMBP will be once they put Haswell in it - I'm seriously considering buying one of those.


    Well said :) 
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , June 10, 2013 7:42 PM
    So I suppose that CPU is either the i7-4550U, i5-4250U or i5-4350U

    ~1.5GHZ base dual core, 3GHZ Turbo is pretty good especially with such good integrated graphics (no eDRAM though)

    EDIT: I was right! According to ifixit, it uses the i5-4250U 1.3/2.6GHZ processor with HD 5000 graphics