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Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)stars
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Asus Transformer Book T100
After the big excitement of the Retina display turning up on a MacBook Pro, we had hoped that the MacBook Air would have at least received a tiny screen-quality upgrade.
- USB 3.0: 2
- USB 2.0: 0
- Optical: None
- Video: Thunderbolt
- Ethernet: none
- Wireless: dual-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
It wasn't to be — what we got was a third generation Core processor, USB 3.0 ports, a new MagSafe connector and an updated webcam, but the form factor stays the same, as does the use of a 1440x900 TN-based screen. It also doesn't help that the default storage levels are small, particularly on the 11-inch version, which still starts with a 64GB SSD. The 13 starts at 128GB SSD, which is a bit better by today's standards. It's possible to upgrade to a 256GB or 512GB SSD, but this will add considerably to the price. Considering the ever-dropping price of flash memory, it seems Apple's a little behind the curve here.
That's not to say that the MacBook Air isn't excellent — it most certainly is, it's just that, more than ever before, it's feeling the heat from the Windows competition. Samsung's Series 9, with a 1600x900 PLS screen is the perfect example. When Windows 8 happens, with its rash of IPS-based laptops and whether they be convertible or not, Apple's lead will be diminished, yet again.