Initial Hands-On Impressions of the New MacBook Air

Those in attendance at today's media event on Apple's campus had the opportunity to spend some time with the new MacBook Air models, and early hands-on impressions and reviews are beginning to roll in.

Ars Technica calls both the 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch models "incredibly thin and light" and is particularly taken with the smaller version.

Both devices are incredibly thin and light, but the 11.6" version stole the show. The machine is practically netbook-sized (but don't tell Steve Jobs or Tim Cook we said that, as they seem to have a seething hatred for netbooks), but has a full-sized keyboard and almost-full-sized trackpad. The 13.3" model seemed like a monster by comparison, though as a previous MacBook Air owner, I really like the new design.

Several outlets have commented on the snappiness of the new MacBook Airs when waking from sleep, with the machines ready to use nearly instantly upon opening the lid. While not quite instant, a full boot take only about 15 seconds according to Forbes.

The most remarkable feature, however, isn't cosmetic, it's these machine's boot time.

Bootup takes less than 15 seconds, according to my watch. That's a good deal less than the roughly 50 seconds it takes my trusty Windows laptop to come to life.

As Apple notes in a support document, the 30-day standby battery life for the new MacBook Airs is achieved with a new mode that activates after an hour of regular sleep, saving the entire system state to flash memory and turning off hardware systems.

Engadget has also posted a video of an unboxing of the two new MacBook Air models.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Neutral)

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