|2.9 pounds||13 hours||13.3” Glossy
1440 x 900
2 USB Ports
|i5 8GB RAM
256GB PCIe SSD
|Specs||Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop|
|Screen||13.3 inch, 1440×900, Glossy LED-backlit WideScreen|
|Processor||1.6 GHz Intel Dual Core i5 Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz|
|Video||Intel HD Graphics 6000|
|Memory||8 GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||256GB PCIe-based flash storage|
|Connectivity||802.11 A/C , Bluetooth, NFC Enabled|
|Ports||2 USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 2 C,SDXC card, headphone,|
|OS||OS X El Capitan|
|Size||8.9 x 12.8 x 0.68 inches|
|Extras||backlit keyboard, Built-In Webcam, Multi-Touch Trackpad|
Review By Degree
EE/CE: While still remaining ultraportable the mcbook air has a few advantages over many other thin, light and portable ultrabooks out there. Unlike the new MacBook, It still has enough ports (x2 USB ports) for you to deal with Circuit Analysis software or Data Acquisition Boards. It’s also a good option for programming in general. It’s a Unix Based Machine, meaning you can access open source software much more easily than a Windows machine. C, C++, Java and other programming environments are natively installed on it as well. You can also program for iOS devices such as the iphone and the android both in the same machine (Mac).
should you still be interested in running AutoCad,SolidWorks and applications that require a GPU while still remaining a Mac user, consider the MacBook pro in this review.
ME/CE: Mechanical engineers and Civil Engineers must in general get acquianted with Solidworks,AutoCad,Revit,Civil 3d and other CAE/CAE applications that require a GPU. ANSYS, MatLab and programming in general do not require a GPU. However, using CAD/CAE applications on a integrated graphic cards can get quite laggy and disable many functions or not even run at all. Depending on your curriculum you may not encounter many instances where a lot of CAD/CAE software is used as you can see in my article for engineers in which case you can use ultraportable laptops such as the MacBook air for all other college related tasks. If not the MacBook Pro shown right here is a good choice for CAD/CAE undergraduate level projects and all other applications provided you bootcamp into Windows as needed.
As an architecture student, especially after your first year, you’ll be dealing a lot with CAD/CAE applications that require a GPU. A MacBook Air is not recommended as your primary laptop as it won’t be able to run them for you(lacks a GPU and the recommended amount of RAM along with a suitable display size). Plus there may be compatibility issues with architectural software such as revit and 3DS Max which have no real Mac Version. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a Mac machine. Alternatively, you should consider the MacBook Pro with a dedicated GPU and a much bigger Display for Architecture Design and Modeling as shown here. It will be enough to run all of your applications and projects as an undergraduate provided you bootcamp as needed (probably for Revit only). Other than that The MacBook air is a good choice for the first year or two of architecture or as a secondary machine for all college tasks except for architectural work.
All science students should in general benefit from the portability and long battery life of a MacBook Air. It’ll be extremely useful when trying to research and writing papers anytime and at any place. As science students the most intensive applications you might have to deal with are MatLab, Excel and one programming language. All of them which can run efficiently on any OSX device and the MacBook air is no exception. Should you need to do a presentation on it, it lacks an HDMI port for projectors (like most laptops that are portable today) for which you should consider consider buying an adapter as well.
The MacBook air is highly recommended as a CS student. It should be one of your top choices It’s light , portable has a long battery life and the right screen size for any coding on the go be it anywhere and anytime as well being a Unix based machine which makes sure there are no compatibility issues with any software you will encounter in college without the need to bootcamp into Windows at all.
Besides having a lot of programming languages installed natively (C, C++,Python,Java), you can program for both android and iOS devices on it should you choose to do so during or after college. The only downside of the MacBook air is the screen resolution it isn’t great but it isn’t bad either. Most programmers don’t have an issue with it as you’ll notice many sporting one in conferences or during class. However should you still need a higher resolution while staying with an OSX machine, consider the new MacBook Pro (2016) which is as light and as powerful as the MacBook Air.
Nursing & Medical
The Air has the most important features med students would want from a laptop. An extremely thin and lightweight design for you to carry along those heavy textbooks without increasing the load on your back and the extremely long battery life(~13 hours) which surprisingly might even last you 2 days from lectures to clinicals on a single charge. The resolution isn’t the greatest but it’s still more than enough for you not to have issues with those pictures/images (histology) where high detail is a nice bonus. The screen size being 13” is far more beneficial than a tablet or smaller size laptop for exams and retrieving medical records much more efficiently (no scrolling). Like most ultraportable laptops for medical and nursing students it lacks a CD ROM Drive for you to run TextBook CD Activities and Reviews, however an external CD reader (especially built for the Air) can be bought at the time of purchase. Should the software you run in School be uncompatible with MacOSX, fear not you can always dual boot windows with the Air. In fact, it might even take no more than 30 seconds to dual boot into windows natively or no time at all if you just run parallels mainly due to it’s latest SSD technology and high CPU. Performance wise, the Air will never let you down either.
Business & Accounting
It’s ultra portable and the battery life will be long enough to last you throughout an entire day of going back and forth from networking events to lectures and group meetings.
However dealing with Excel on a MacOSX can be troublesome for accounting students and those taking a lot of financing courses in which case you will have to dual boot into Windows or use Parallels to use Excel as well as other software compatible with Windonws only. If you can tolerate dual booting into Windows for those instances, then there’s no reason Business students can’t rip off the perks of having a MacBook Air especially it’s superb battery life and impressive durability.
Graphic Design students in general should be aware of the Air’s low resolution and lack of GPU plus being a 13” display as well. It lacks many of the features recommended for Graphic Design in general. A MacBook pro witih retina Display (much higher resolution) and and bigger screen size is a better choice. Unfortunately, such laptos can be quite heavy and not very convenient for designers constantly on the move.
As a student you’ll probably be lugging a laptop all over a campus. Therefore, for those not focused on 3D animation or intensive motion graphics, The MacBook air is a pretty good choice and quite popular among designers as long as it paired up with a big external display. You could start your designs and projects witih the McBook air should be on the outside and finish them with your external display or a desktop back at your place.