Ars Technica: 11.6-inch MacBook Air Review

Apple 11.6-inch MacBook Air Size Comparison with iPad

Ars Technica:

After spending some quality time with the 11″ MacBook Air, it’s easy to see where Apple is headed, marrying several aspects of the iPad experience with its notebooks. We can’t help but wonder, given features like auto-suspend and resume that are coming in Mac OS X 10.7, if the new MacBook Air wasn’t built with Lion in mind. The combination of fast, SSD-based app loading, better automated memory management, ostensibly improved task management with Mission Control—this combination would be formidable for getting things done on the go.

Two dimensions of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air are about the same as the 9.7-inch iPad; only the length is quite a bit more, by two inches. In terms of pixel real estate the MacBook Air has the iPad beat by a big margin: 1.05 million pixels versus 786K. But it isn’t just pixel quantity; the quality matters a lot. The iPad makes use of IPS LCD technology while the Air uses what is called TN. The only thing to know when comparing the two technologies is that IPS beats TN hands down in all manner of display performance. I really do wish Apple would wise up and begin using IPS LCDs in its notebook PCs. The LCD in the Air isn’t bad but it is no match for the iPad’s IPS.