When Apple held its “Spring Forward” event on Monday, it revealed an updated MacBook Air lineup. For the most part the two Air models are the same, but this time there was one key difference between the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 11-inch MacBook Air – storage speed.
“The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life and the all-new Force Touch trackpad,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics, and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.”
Tear down specialist iFixit decided to put Apple’s storage speed claims to the test by running the Black Magic benchmark on new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs. The results show that the SSD in the 13-inch MacBook Air is in fact twice as fast as the SSD in older models, and the drive in the current 11-inch Air. The smaller of the siblings can hit average read speeds of 668MB/s, while the new 13-inch MacBook Air averages speeds of 1285.4MB/s.
The key difference that consumers should note is the flash memory in both of the MacBooks. The 13-inch edition has Samsung flash memory, while the 11-inch model has SanDisk flash memory with a controller chip from Marvell.
The 11-inch MacBook Air is now available on the Apple website starting at $899 for the 128GB model, while the 13-inch edition starts at $999 for 128GB. The 256GB versions of the MacBook Air are configurable to a 512GB flash storage.