I have had roughly a week on the road so far, and other than a few challenges getting VMWare Fusion setup and working with a few Windows Apps, I am very pleased with the results. Having owned the MBA 11 that was released back in 2010, I am no stranger to the MBA line of products. Sadly the MBA 11 was stolen from a rental car, along with all of my other travel gear, and it has taken me several months to get everything put back together again.
Although I am convinced that the MBA 13 could double for Road and Office work, I like being able to drop my bag, and just slide into my office and keep right on working. I chose to max out the configuration this time. Having settled for less memory and storage on the MBA 11, I learned quickly that buyers remorse sets in faster when there are limited upgrade options after purchase. The Core i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSD, seem to be an excellent combination for just about anything I want to throw at this system. I am also enjoying the return of the backlit keyboard. Although I easily learned to live without it on the 2010 MBA 11, it is very nice to have the option when working in darkened spaces. Night flights are much easier with the cabin lights dimmed.
Build quality seems to be excellent. Gone are any concerns I might have had about the hinge tension and quality. The screen now stays exactly where I put it. The only downside I see so far is the larger 13 inch screen is less forgiving when vertical challenges arise. Like when the guy in the seat in front of me slams back the recline feature on his seat. As I also have an iPad, most of the time I can adjust to meet the challenge.
Looking for something light, yet stylish, and want to minimize the number of compromises you have to make? MacBook Air may just be the ticket!