To facilitate the transition to a bigger 27in screen, we got a Bluetooth keyboard (£57) and a Magic Trackpad (£59).
We noticed that the wireless keyboard had slightly raised letters compared to the laptop. This made it that little bit more comfortable to type on. The Magic Trackpad also gave a larger surface area for pinching and swiping functions, and meant that we could use the mouse in even the most cramped conditions.
Out of the above accessories, the Ethernet adaptor is probably the most important. Murphy's Law dictates that WiFi will not work at crucial times even in the most well equipped environment, trust us.
Users who rack up the frequent flyer miles might also want to get an Airline Power adopter (£29) to make sure that they don't run out of juice on those long-haul flights.
Apple devices come with decent battery life and Apple touts a modest five hours for the Macbook Air 11in while wireless web browsing. With intensive use of wireless web browsing, video consumption and Skype, our device lasted around three and half hours, on full brightness and without any sleep time.
Moderate use is very likely to mean the device lasts beyond the five-hour mark, especially when the energy efficiency settings are tinkered with. However, as always with Apple laptops the battery is sealed in, so swapping batteries is not possible on the move.
Macbook Air 11in Versus 13in
There is not really much to separate the two devices in terms of specifications. The extra screen size does add around 300g, bringing the total weight of the 13in to 1.3kg. You will feel this when carrying the device and any accessories around for a prolonged period, compared to the lighter 11in model.
The Macbook Air 13in model also features an SD card slot that the 11in model lacks and battery life is a couple of hours longer at seven hours.
Despite these extras, The INQUIRER would opt for the 11in model as the very nature of the Macbook Air is to have a machine that's as portable as possible.
Doing The Maths
Users who are considering an Ipad 2 might also want to consider a MacBook Air as an alternative if price isn't a barrier. The Macbook Air has more functionality, will outlast the Ipad and the additional weight is pretty much negligible.
The Macbook Air 11in starts at £850 and this comes with a Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD storage. It's well worth looking to upgrade to the Core i7 and getting the additional 4GB of RAM as well, which would push the price up to £1,149.
We tallied up the total of our high-end Intel Core i7 device including the cost of Thunderbolt, Ethernet, VGA, Airline Power adaptors, plus a Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad, and it came to an eye-watering £1,665. With insurance another £200, the high-end model is going to leave a serious dent in your wallet.
Despite the connectivity limitations, the design and raw power make the Macbook Air 11in a worthwhile purchase for Apple fans or those looking for a change from the Windows platform.
We'd definitely recommend the Macbook Air laptop over the Google designed Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. Even though the Macbooks are double the price, the latter is simply a novelty web browsing device and is not capable of running frequently used programs. µ
Beautifully crafted, Intel Core i7 processor for fast performance, excellent multi-touch functionality, unmatched portability, great keyboard and screen.
Just two USB ports.
Pricey high-end configuration.