CNET First Look
Longer battery life for the 2015 MacBook AirThis slightly updated Air may run longer, but it's no longer on the cutting edge of design.
What's new for this year in the air? Well not that much. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the 2015 update to Apple's MacBook Air. Now I say I have the 2015 MacBook Air right here, the 13-inch version, but you know what, it could be the 2014 or the 2013 frankly it's kind of hard to tell. This is a laptop that has looked the same For several years now, the only real changes have been internal. Every year, it gets updated with Intel's latest processor and maybe a couple other little tweaks here and there. This time we're moving to the Intel 5th generation Core i series processors, also known by the code name Broadwell. Do you get a faster performance? Well, no, not really. Is the price different? No, still starts at $999. The only real change here is that we get a nice battery life boost. Last year's version ran for about 16 and a half hours on our video playback battery drain test. This version, again, the stock 999 MacBook ran for 18 hours which is really amazing. On a much more challenging test where we were streaming HD video over the internet nonstop it ran for more than 10 hours which is still great. Which means that this is pretty much You know an all day lap top no matter what sort of strenuous task load you put on it. On the down side because this thing has not evolved very much you still have some of the dated things that started to bother us about the Air. The screen is a lower resolution screen, 1440 by 900, not even a full HD screen or the better than HD retina style screens that the other MacBooks have. And you have this big thick. And a silver bezel around the side. You have a lot of dead space here. The screen is inset from it. Doesn't have that edge to edge glass over the display. If you want something that's, like, super slim and super fancy, of course there's always the new 12-inch Macbook, which has that higher resolution display and that cool edge to edge glass over it. But it's more expensive. Only has that one single USB-C port If you want something that's more powerful and more of a you know stay in the office work laptop. There's the Macbook Pro the 13 inch model. It's also excellent battery life is not as long but you do get a lot of important connections. And again that higher res screen, with the edge to edge glass. But if you want to spend less of that and have an all day system, I think for mainstream stuff you can still get away with using a Mac Book Air. It's not going to be the head turner it once was, a, but all the battery life and low price really do count for a lot. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the 2015 Apple Mac Book Air.