The Apple MacBook Air “Core 2 Duo” 1.6 13″ — affectionately dubbed the “MBA” for short — was Apple’s first serious foray into the subnotebook market since the PowerBook 2400c and the PowerBook Duo line (although PowerBook G4 12″ models also were rather small).
The “MBA” is powered by a customized 1.6 GHz Intel “Core 2 Duo” processor (P7500) in a miniaturized packaging design with two independent processor “cores” on a single chip with a 4 MB on-chip shared level 2 cache running on an 800 MHz frontside bus.
It features 2 GB of onboard 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM, an 80 GB PATA (4200 RPM) hard drive, an Intel GMA X3100 integrated “graphics processor with 144 MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory”, an integrated iSight video camera, a “MacBook-style” full-size backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor, and a 13.3″ widescreen TFT LED backlit active-matrix “glossy” display (1280×800 native resolution) in a razor thin (0.16-0.76 inch), three pound, aluminum case.
Connectivity includes AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a single USB 2.0 port, analog audio out, and video out capabilities (micro-DVI) that support an external 24″ display. It lacks Ethernet (an external adapter is available), Firewire, and optical audio in/out.
Like all subnotebooks, it is important to recognize that Apple made some compromises on performance, expansion, connectivity, and affordability in favor of size and weight. Although the system has an impressively large — for a subnotebook — 13.3″ display, full-size keyboard and a trackpad that supports “multi-touch gesturing” (two-finger scroll, pinch, rotate, swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag), it uses slower processors than the stock MacBook models available at the same time, the memory cannot be upgraded beyond the onboard 2 GB, there is not an internal optical drive, and the battery is not designed to be removable.
Introduction Date: January 15, 2008* Discontinued Date: October 14, 2008
Processors: 1 (2 Cores) Architecture: 64-Bit
Geekbench 2 (32): 2044 Geekbench 2 (64): 2352
Geekbench 3 (32): 771 Geekbench 3 (32): 1211
Geekbench 3 (64): 899 Geekbench 3 (64): 1413
Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz Processor Type: Core 2 Duo (P7500)
Details: The Intel “Core 2 Duo” processor includes two independent processor “cores” on a single silicon chip. The original MacBook Air uses a customized Core 2 Duo processor with “a lower voltage specification in a new miniaturized packaging design” (P7500).
Also see: What processor does the MacBook Air use? and How fast is the original MacBook Air compared to the MacBook and MacBook Pro?
Turbo Boost: N/A Custom Speeds: 1.8 GHz
Processor Upgrade: Soldered FPU: Integrated
System Bus Speed: 800 MHz Cache Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz (Built-in)
ROM/Firmware Type: EFI EFI Architecture: 32-Bit
L1 Cache: 32k/32k L2/L3 Cache: 4 MB (on chip)
RAM Type: DDR2 SDRAM* Min. RAM Speed: 667 MHz
Details: Shipped standard with 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM onboard.
Standard RAM: 2 GB Maximum RAM: 2 GB
Details: 2 GB of RAM is onboard, and cannot be upgraded.
Also see: Actual Max RAM of All G3 & Later Macs.
Motherboard RAM: 2 GB RAM Slots: None
Video Card: Intel GMA X3100 VRAM Type: Integrated
Standard VRAM: 144 MB Maximum VRAM: 144 MB
Built-in Display: 13.3″ Widescreen Native Resolution: 1280×800
Details: 13.3″ color widescreen TFT LED-backlit active-matrix “glossy” display with a 1280 by 800 native resolution. Apple reports that it also supports “1152 by 720, 1024 by 640, and 800 by 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 by 480 pixels at 3:2 aspect ratio”.
2nd Display Support: Dual/Mirroring 2nd Max. Resolution: 1920×1200
Details: The maximum resolution supported on an external display is 1920×1200.
Standard Hard Drive: 80 GB (4200 RPM) Int. HD Interface: Parallel ATA (ZIF)
Details: An 80 GB (4200 RPM, 8 MB buffer) 1.8 inch, 5 mm PATA hard disk drive is standard (40-pin ZIF connector). A 64 GB solid-state drive originally was available as an optional build-to-order upgrade for US$999, and on July 8, 2008, Apple dropped the upgrade price to US$599.
Also see: How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the MacBook Air? Can you swap the hard drive for an SSD?
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells storage upgrades for this MacBook Air.
Standard Optical: None* Standard Disk: None
Standard Modem: None* Standard Ethernet: None*
Details: *Neither an internal modem nor an internal Ethernet port are provided. An external Apple USB Modem (56.6k v.92) was available for US$49 and an external Apple 10/100Base-T Ethernet adapter was available for US$29.
Also see: What official and third-party adapters are available to connect the MacBook Air to wired Ethernet networks?
Standard AirPort: 802.11a/b/g/n Standard Bluetooth: 2.1+EDR
USB Ports: 1 (2.0) Firewire Ports: None
Expansion Slots: None Expansion Bays: None
Details: No expansion slots or bays provided.
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells a wide variety of external accessories, including docking stations, adapters, input devices, cases, and more for this MacBook Air.
In Ireland, site sponsor SmartSpot sells a number of external expansion options and accessories like cases, cables, SD cards, speakers, and more for this MacBook Air.
In Australia, site sponsor Macfixit offers an extensive selection of external accessories like docks, stands, chargers, cases, security products, and more for this MacBook Air.
Incl. Keyboard: Full-size Incl. Input: Trackpad (Gesture)
Case Type: Notebook Form Factor: MacBook Air
Apple Order No: MB003LL/A Apple Subfamily: MacBook Air – Original
Apple Model No: A1237 (EMC 2142*) Model ID: MacBookAir1,1
Details: *Please note that these identifiers can refer to more than one model. In this case, please also note that the EMC number is not externally listed on the notebook so it cannot be used readily for identification.
Also see: All Macs with the A1237 Model Number, the 2142* EMC Number, and the MacBookAir1,1 Model Identifier.
For more about these identifiers and how to locate them on each Mac, please refer to EveryMac.com’s Mac Identification section.
Battery Type: 37 W h Li-Poly Battery Life: 5 Hours
Details: Apple reports that this model has an “integrated 37-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery” and the company claims that it can provide up to five hours of battery life with wireless activated.
Also see: What is the battery life of the original MacBook Air in real-world usage tests?
In the US (and many other countries), site sponsor Other World Computing sells quality batteries for this MacBook Air.
In Australia, site sponsor Macfixit is a local distributor of OWC batteries for this MacBook Air.
In Southeast Asia, site sponsor SimplyMac.sg sells OWC batteries for this MacBook Air.
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.5.1 (9B2324) Maximum MacOS: X 10.7.5*
Minimum Windows: XP SP2 (32-Bit)* Maximum Windows: 7 (32-Bit)*
MacOS 9 Support: None Windows Support: Boot/Virtualization
Details: Also see: Are there any third-party programs to run Mac OS 9/Classic applications on Intel Macs?
Site sponsor OHS specializes in heavily upgraded Macs capable of running both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 applications.
For more on running Windows on Intel Macs, please refer to the exhaustive Windows on Mac Q&A.
Dimensions: .16-.76 x 12.8 x 8.94 Avg. Weight: 3.0 lbs (1.36 kg)
Original Price (US): US$1799* Est. Current Retail: US$400-US$500
Details: *This was the price for the stock configuration with a 1.6 GHz processor and an 80 GB hard drive. Via custom configuration, it originally could be equipped with a 1.8 GHz processor and a 64 GB solid-state drive for US$3098, and on July 8, 2008, Apple dropped the upgraded