Free MacBook Air

The super-slim MacBook Air was first introduced at the Macworld Conference on 15 January 2008. The Air has been revised twice since launch and here we take a look at the latest version, available since mid 2009.

The main and most striking feature of the free MacBook Air is its super thin Aluminium unibody casing which measures just 0.76 inches or 1.94cm at its thickest point. On launch the Air was claimed by Apple to be the thinnest notebook computer available, a claim which has since been challenged by Dell with their Adamo. Other notable competition in the super slim segment are the Lenovo Thinkpad X301 and the HP Voodoo Envy 133.

MacBook Air versions

The MacBook Air is currently available in two versions, one featuring a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 120GB SATA hard drive running at 4200RPM and the other with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor with a 128GB SSD (solid state drive). Both versions have the same 13.3" LCD display, 2GB of RAM, nVidia 9400M graphics processor, integrated wireless networking and a webcam, which is situated above the screen. An external monitor can be connected via the units Mini DisplayPort. All MacBook Air's currently come with Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.

Other neat features of the MacBook Air are the large trackpad that allows you to use iPhone-style actions such as swiping, pinching and rotating, and the MagSafe power connector that allows the wire to easily disconnect from the computer if snagged.

MacBook Air battery life

Due to its diminutive size, the MacBook Air understandably has a shorter battery life than the regular MacBook range. On its release Apple SEO Steve Jobs claimed a five hour battery life out the Air. Subsequent test by various media outlets have shown a true battery life of around 3-4 hours under normal use, which is still very impressive for something so small.

MacBook Air specs

Several regular notebook features were omitted from the MacBook Air in order to achieve the size and weight reductions. The most notable is that the lack of a built-in CD/DVD drive, with the user either having to purchase an external unit or use Apple's Remote Disc software that allows the notebook to wirelessly access the drive of another computer. The FireWire port, Ethernet port, line-in socket, memory card slots and Kensington Security Slot are all absent from the specification. The Air also has only one USB port and a single mono speaker. As with the MacBook Pro range the battery is non-serviceable and not user removable. One further limitation is that the RAM memory is permanently soldered onto the motherboard, thus removing the opportunity to upgrade this element.

MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

Whether the MacBook Air is for you will depend on how you use your notebook. For many a free MacBook Pro might be the more sound choice thanks to its full range of features and longer battery life. We also think that the latest unibody MacBook Pro's are better looking than the Air. If you are an intense user looking to use the device as your main notebook then we think the Air will prove a frustration over the long term, mainly because of the specification omissions that were made to get the size and weight of the unit down.

Step 1

Click your free Apple Mac product from the selection above. You will be taken to the sign up page where you need to enter your email address and choose a password Ė please donít worry, your details are safe. Please note you can only choose one item.

Step 3

Get a few of your friend to also sign up and complete an offer using your referral link (provided when you sign up in step one). If you need some tips on how to get people to sign up or have any other questions about your free Mac please see our FAQ.

Step 2

Choose and complete one of the available offers. Some are free (such as Lovefilm), whilst others such as Coral and Gala Bingo cost just £5. Make sure you complete your chosen offer as described on the offer page, otherwise it wonít count.