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MacBook Air Q&A (MacBook Air FAQ) @ EveryMac.com

Also see: MacBook Air Specs | All Mac Q&As

EveryMac.com's MacBook Air Q&A answers questions about the entire MacBook Air series from the original model released in 2008 to the current line. These notebooks all are branded "MacBook Air" on the display bezel, so collective identification is simple.

Apple MacBook AirQuestions range from "What are all the differences between the 'Mid-2013' MacBook Air models and the 'Mid-2012' MacBook Air models that they replaced?" to "How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the original, 'Late 2008' and 'Mid-2009' MacBook Air models? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?" and everything in between.

Please note that the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models currently are shipping and earlier MacBook Air models have been discontinued.

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Most Frequently Asked MacBook Air Q&As:

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Which is the best choice for my needs?

How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?

How fast are the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models compared to one another and to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast are all of these models compared to the 13-Inch "Early 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models and the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch MacBook Air, 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro and the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro? Which is best for me?

How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?

How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the original, "Late 2008" and "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?

Is the battery in the MacBook Air models really not replaceable? Is there a "hack" to replace it?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is one the right Apple notebook for my needs?

How do you install software on the MacBook Air models without an optical drive?

Software Compatibility Q&As:

What version of Mac OS X is pre-installed on the MacBook Air models? What is the maximum version of OS X supported by each line? Can the MacBook Air run older Mac software?

How do you install software on the MacBook Air without an optical drive?

How do you restore the operating system on the "Late 2010," "Mid-2011," "Mid-2012" and "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Do they really not ship with a restoration CD or DVD?

Can the MacBook Air play DVD movies via remote disk from another computer?

Can the MacBook Air run Windows? Can you install Windows without the external optical drive?

Can the MacBook Air run Linux?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2013 - Current):

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Which is the best choice for my needs?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models and the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch MacBook Air, 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro and the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro? Which is best for me?

How fast are the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models compared to one another and to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast are all of these models compared to the 13-Inch "Early 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests? Is it really as long as Apple claims?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is one the right Apple notebook for my needs?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2012 - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models? Which is the best choice for my needs?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models and the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models and the iPad 3rd Gen? Which is best for my needs?

How fast are the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models compared to one another and to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast are these models compared to the 13-Inch "Mid-2012" MacBook Pro?

How much faster are the custom processor configured "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models than the stock models? Is the extra performance worth the extra cost?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models? Is one the right Apple notebook for my needs?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2011 - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models and the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are all the differences between the "Late 2011" 13-Inch MacBook Pro and the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air and the "Early 2011" 13-Inch MacBook Pro models available at the time this MacBook Air was introduced?

What are the differences between the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models and the iPad 2? Which is best for my needs?

What are all the differences between the education-only "Mid-2011" MacBook Air and the standard 13-Inch "Mid-2011" MacBook Air?

How fast are the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models compared to one another and to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast are these models compared to the "Early 2011" MacBook Pro models?

How much faster are the custom configured Core i7-powered "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models than the stock Core i5-powered models? Is the extra performance worth the extra cost?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests? Do the faster custom-configured Core i7 models have inferior battery life than the standard models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Late 2010 - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models?

What are all the differences between the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models and the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are all the differences between the "Late 2010" MacBook Air and the "Mid-2010" 13-Inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models?

What are all the differences between the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models and the original iPad?

How fast are the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models compared to one another and to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast are these models compared to the "Mid-2010" MacBook and MacBook Pro models?

What is the battery life of the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Mid-2009 - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air and the "Mid-2010" 13-Inch MacBook Pro and "Late 2009" White MacBook models?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models and the "NVIDIA/Late 2008" MacBook Air models that they replaced?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air and the "SD/Firewire 800 - Mid-2009" 13-Inch MacBook Pro?

How fast is the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air compared to earlier MacBook Air models? How fast is it compared to the "Mid-2009" MacBook Pro models?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models in real-world usage tests?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (NVIDIA/Late 2008 - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the MacBook Air (NVIDIA/Late 2008) models?

What are all the differences between the MacBook Air (NVIDIA/Late 2008) models and the original MacBook Air?

What are all the differences between the MacBook Air (NVIDIA/Late 2008) and the "Unibody" 13-Inch MacBook (Aluminum/Late 2008)?

How fast is the MacBook Air (NVIDIA/Late 2008) compared to the original MacBook Air? How fast is it compared to the "Unibody" MacBook and MacBook Pro models?

What is the battery life of the "NVIDIA/Late 2008" MacBook Air models in real-world usage tests?

What is "Mini DisplayPort"? Is it an industry-standard? How is it different from or better than Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Late 2008" MacBook Air models?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (Original Model - Disc.):

What are all the differences between the original MacBook Air configuration options?

What are the differences between the original MacBook Air and the "regular" MacBook?

How does the original MacBook Air compare to the PowerBook G4 12-Inch models?

How fast is the original MacBook Air compared to the MacBook and MacBook Pro?

What is the battery life of the original MacBook Air in real-world usage tests?

What are the "pros and cons" of the original MacBook Air models?

Expansion & Upgrades Q&As:

What processors do the MacBook Air models use? Is it upgradable?

How do you upgrade the RAM in the MacBook Air models? How much RAM of what type does each support?

How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the original, "Late 2008" and "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?

How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Late 2010" and "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?

How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?

How do you replace or upgrade the storage in the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is it even possible?

Is the battery in the MacBook Air models really not replaceable? Is there a "hack" to replace it?

What are the capabilities of the external SuperDrive available for the MacBook Air? Can it be used with other Macs?

What is a good USB hub to use with the MacBook Air while traveling?

Video & Display Q&As:

What kind of video processor is provided by the MacBook Air models? How much system memory is reserved by each for graphics? Which models have which type of port for video out? What is the maximum resolution each can support on an external display?

Are there any adapters or "hacks" that make it possible to connect a second external display to a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air model?

What is a "micro-DVI" port? How is it different from DVI and mini-DVI?

What is "Mini DisplayPort"? Is it an industry standard? How is it different from or better than Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

Battery Q&As:

Is the battery in the MacBook Air models really not replaceable? Is there a "hack" to replace it?

What is the battery life of the original MacBook Air in "real-world" usage tests?

What is the battery life of the "NVIDIA/Late 2008" and "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests?

What is the battery life of the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests? Do the faster custom-configured Core i7 models have inferior battery life than the standard models?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests?

What is the battery life of the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models in "real-world" usage tests? Is it really as long as Apple claims?

Connectivity, Networking & Input Q&As:

What is a good USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 hub to use with the MacBook Air while traveling?

Does the MacBook Air really not have an Ethernet port? How can you connect to wired networks?

Is an external modem available for the MacBook Air?

Is the "MagSafe" power connector that ships, or shipped, with MacBook Air models also compatible with the MacBook and MacBook Pro?

What is 802.11n? How is it different from 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a?

What is 802.11ac? How is it different from 802.11n? How is it different from 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g?

What are the differences between the keyboards on MacBook Air models? Do they all have backlit capability?

What are the differences between the "multi-touch gesture" and "inertial multitouch" trackpads on the MacBook Air? Which MacBook Air models have which type of trackpad?

Design, Configuration & Purchasing Q&As:

Who designed the MacBook Air models?

What are the dimensions of the MacBook Air models? How much does each weigh?

Is the MacBook Air truly the "world's thinnest" notebook?

Where can I buy a MacBook Air?

What are the "pros and cons" of the original, "Late 2008" and "Mid-2009" MacBook Air models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Late 2010" and "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2012" MacBook Air models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the "Mid-2013" MacBook Air models? Is one the right Apple notebook for my needs?



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