The MacBook Air is an ultra-slim, lighweight notebook available with 11 or 13-inch screens. It’s ideal for anybody that doesn’t want to lug around a heavy laptop, but does still want a full Mac OS X experience. With a starting price of £849 it’s also Apple’s cheapest portable Mac.
While the MacBook Air doesn’t have the power of the more expensive MacBook Pro line, they are more than able to hold their own for almost any task you throw at it. Most of the speed advantages comes from the flash-memory these machines use for primary storage. The battery life is also fairly good at around 5 hours, depending on use.
There are some compromises to be made for the MacBook Air’s slim design, unfortunately. It doesn’t have a vast array of ports, and there is no optical drive. External optical drives are readily available though, so that might be an option if you only need to use on every now and then.
RAM and storage space might also be a problem if your demands exceed what Apple currently offers. Right now you can’t get more than 4GB of RAM and the storage media in the MacBook Air is a custom SSD. The RAM can’t be expanded and finding a replacement SSD will be expensive, if even possible.
If you can’t live without an internal optical drive, or you would like more power and expandability, you should probably take a look at the MacBook Pro line instead.
Whilst Apple tends to be where most people buy new MacBook Airs, you can also find them at retailers such as Amazon, Comet, and Misco. Some smaller retailers also sell them via the Amazon Marketplace and eBay.
Buying a used MacBook Air is an option if your budget can’t stretch to a brand new model. The best place to find second hand models for sale is eBay, where, providing you avoid sellers with negative feedback, you can pick up a bargain. One thing to bear in mind before bidding on a used MacBook Air is that the older generation are quite a bit slower compared to the current models, and they don’t have back-lit keyboards.