Apple MacBook Air 11 (mid-2012) review: Apple MacBook Air 11 (mid-2012)

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Incredibly light, yet well built. Class-leading keyboard and touch pad.

The Bad The TN-based screen is getting a bit long in the tooth. Default storage size is too small.

The Bottom Line The MacBook Air 11 continues to be a wonderfully portable laptop, suiting travel or those who are constantly on the move. While an IPS screen would be nice and the default storage sizes need to be raised, this is a lovely piece of engineering that has well and truly carved its niche.

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The MacBook Air 11 exists in a bit of a rarefied space. Most vendors that have played with this screen size have since abandoned it (not to mention that Asus never got its UX21A out to Australia), leaving the Air as the de facto choice for those who want small, yet usable.

It's just as well that it's such a good solution, then; the Air 11 continues to be incredibly portable, very well built and quite powerful for its size. The TN-based screen is starting to show its age (especially in terms of viewing angles), but for a throw-around, highly portable laptop, it's quite hard to beat.


  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 0
  • Thunderbolt: 1
  • Optical: none
  • Video: Thunderbolt
  • Ethernet: none
  • Wireless: dual-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

Just like the MacBook Air 13 , upgrades are minimal from the previous generation: a third-generation Core processor, USB 3.0 ports, a new MagSafe connector and an updated webcam. The only port you sacrifice when going down from a 13-inch to an 11-inch screen is the dedicated SD card reader, although you'll also take a hit in terms of resolution; while the Air 13 runs at 1440x900, the 11 has a 1366x768 screen. The laptop is otherwise equipped with a Thunderbolt port, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Where to Buy

Apple MacBook Air 11 (mid-2012)

Part Number: CNETApple MacBook Air 11 (mid-2012)

Typical Price: $1,099.00

See manufacturer website for availability.