The 2013 Macbook Air fits squarely into this area of value. I have an old Macbook Air and I will upgrade soon. Why? Battery life.
When I am out and about, I do not always have a place to plug in even when I have my power supply. This is more and more of a problem for my work style. With the new Macbook Air, I will not even bother to bring a power supply except for overnight charging.
In a test, I ran a windows virtual in VMWare Fusion on a new Macbook Air, unplugged from power, for more than 10 hours, using Caffeine to keep the computer from going to sleep. Wow. When I run a windows virtual machine on my current laptop, one core stays 100% busy at all times. On a new Macbook Air? If the virtual machine is not busy, the CPU usage could be 2-3%. What a huge change.
On other fronts, it is great:
- PCIe based flash storage is speedier than ever
- 1600Mhz RAM - the fastest available - along with a max 8GB of RAM.
- USB3 ports along side Thunderbolt helping easy expansion when needed.
- The Intel Haswell CPU keeps things working while sipping power.
Some people have said they will wait for a retina-based macbook air. I am not yet convinced that the tradeoff between longer battery life and a higher resolution screen is worth it.
More people I work with are switching from other computers, including Macbook Pro computers, to the Macbook Air.