Is the 2015 MacBook Air Still Relevant?

The MacBook Air has been around for a few years now, revamped annually with improved components. The design remains unchanged leaving some potential customers wondering if last year’s MacBook Air is any different than the newest model. Others might be questioning the hype surrounding the new MacBook, and if the Air still a worthy competitor.

To answer the first question, there are a few key differences between 2014’s MacBook Air and the 2015 variety. This year we find that the newest Air features a blazing fast SSD, a new Thunderbolt 2 port, a slightly faster processor, improved battery life, and even faster Wi-Fi.

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The new SSD memory module for the 2015 Air is remarkably fast. These new storage units can read and write twice as fast as last year’s model. iFixit tore down the 2015 MacBook Air revealing a brand new 128 GB M.2 x 4 SSD from Samsung which blasts competitor’s disks out of the water. The disk found in the MacBook Air is right on par with the MacBook Pro. Each rising above the competition with max read speeds of around 1,300 MB/s.

The new Thunderbolt 2 connection will transfer data twice as fast as the previous generation, up to 20 Gbps. This particular advancement will allow for the streaming of 4K videos and effortless exchange of astronomically large files.

The MacBook Air’s newest fifth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 Broadwell processers with Intel HD Graphics 6000 have both brains and muscle. The new Broadwell processors have a slight speed improvement over last year’s Haswell processors, but most importantly they are more energy efficient. This leads us to one of the Air’s best qualities: battery life.

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Apple claims the 2015 MacBook Air’s battery will last up to 12 hours on a single charge, which is an amazing claim in itself. CNET claims the newest MacBook Air lasted 18 hours in its video playback battery drain test, which is longer than the previous Macbook and the latest competition. PCMagazine test results also reported an increased battery life of three hours over last year’s model. There is no doubt theMacBook Air will power you through your work day and probably into tomorrow’s, regardless of how you use it.

The 2015 model of the MacBook Air lacks Apple’s Force Touch trackpad. The Air’s trackpad remains unchanged from previous versions and this isn’t an issue for us. The MacBook Air’s all glass trackpad has always been responsive and a pleasure to use. For people who aren’t a fan of the Force Touch trackpad or are simply reluctant to change, its absence makes the MacBook Air a fantastic choice.

Like all other current Macs, the MacBook Air is produced without a touchscreen. Touchscreen laptops never became an industry standard because of one reason: they’re not necessary. For the majority of users, a laptop touchscreen is essentially a gimmick and the lack of one on the Air isn’t going to be a deal breaker. The 13.3-inch LED-backlit display has a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels at 128ppi. The screen resolution is lower than other high-end Mac models, however it is by no means a bad looking display. Colors are still vibrant, viewing angles are wide, and text is easily read.

The newest MacBook Air also includes improved Wi-Fi support. When connected to an 802.11ac capable router, you’ll experience performance up to 3 times faster than the previous generation of Wi-Fi found on the 2014 MacBook Air.

Even with all its new improvements, the MacBook Air is still the most affordable new MacBookyou can purchase today. Coming in $300 dollars cheaper than the new MacBook , the Air is still a relevant contender.

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Some of the more radical features such as the Force Touch and touchscreen capabilities are missing from this year’s incarnation, however most people would never notice. Increased speed, ridiculously long lasting battery, and an always-svelte design makes The MacBook Air an ultra-fast and ultra-portable option for people who desire to work unplugged and without compromising performance.

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