We can't lie: we were hoping for a Retina MacBook Air last year when Apple rolled out the thinner, faster MacBook Pros with their pixel-packed displays and optical drive-free chassis. The Air, sadly, got left out of that particular party, but when we reviewed it we found a perfectly fine machine. This year, then, would surely be the year of major updates to Apple's venerable thin-and-light machine?
As it turns out, no, it wouldn't be. From the outside, the mid-2013 MacBook Air refresh is again a very minor one indeed, with no new display and (virtually) no exterior modifications. On the inside, though, bigger changes are afoot. New, faster SSDs and a selection of power-sipping Haswell CPUs from Intel have created a device that's all but identical to its predecessor yet is, in many ways, vastly improved. Is this wedge-like, 13-inch paradox worth your $1,099, and can it really live up to Apple's promised 12-hour battery life? Let's find out.