John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

MacBook Air Rises to Top of Consumer Reports Ratings

More good press for the MacBook Air. Consumer Reports updated its computer ratings earlier this week to include the machine, and while it had some criticisms, it ranked the 11-inch Air and its 13-inch sibling at the top of their respective categories and gave both machines a “recommended” rating. (Sorry, full rating access is for subscribers only.)

The 11-inch Air scored 67 points out of 100, well above its closest rival, the Toshiba Satellite, which scored a 51. Meanwhile the 13-inch model scored 78 points out of 100, two points better than the Toshiba Portege. The publication found the Airs’ performance, displays and ergonomics to be their stand-out features, but wasn’t quite as impressed by the speakers on the 11-inch model and the versatility of both, which it rated as “fair.”

And then, of course, there is the issue of price. Both Airs exceeded their closest rivals on that front as well. At $1,300, the 13-inch Air is $520 more than the Portege, and at $1,000, the 11-inch is approximately double the price of the Satellite. ’Course, the Satellite also weighs over a pound more and pales in the performance, ergonomics and display categories, so there are obvious trade-offs here.

In any event, a good showing for Apple. If the Air truly is the future of the MacBook, as Steve Jobs claims, Apple has a lot to look forward to.

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December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

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December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus