In Short

Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air in 2008 by pulling it from a manila envelope, to demonstrate its extraordinary thinness. Since then, it's gotten even thinner, lighter and more powerful. What's more, the price has dropped.

The MacBook Air is Apple's smallest and lightest laptop. It comes in two sizes - 11 and 13 inches. Updated in March of 2015, the MacBook Air sports a 1.6 GHz dual core Intel Core i5 processor. The 11 inch model can work without recharging for up to nine hours at a stretch, while the 13 inch model can go an amazing 12 hours without needing to be plugged in.

Other features include Intel HD 6000 graphics, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage capacity, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Thunderbolt 2 and two USB 3.0 ports. The 13 inch model also sports an SDXC card slot for easy photo and video transfer.

Despite the diminutive size and relatively low-speed CPU, the MacBook Air works lightning fast, thanks in part to its reliance on PCIe-based flash storage instead of a traditional hard drive. Indeed, the MacBook Air was the first Mac laptop to offer SSD storage.

Even though the base models offer fairly modest amounts of memory and storage, you can configure to order the MacBook Air with a faster CPU and up to 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of flash storage, making it a versatile workstation for the Mac road warrior.

Just because it's Apple's littlest laptop, the MacBook Air doesn't skimp on features, and this is certainly no lame netbook-style computer. Its trackpad and backlit keyboard as the same size as you'd find on any other Mac laptop, and it comes with the same standard suite of software as every other Mac, enabling it to go toe-to-toe with any other Mac in terms of features and functionality.

The MacBook Air has long been the choice of Mac-buying consumers who value portability and light weight above all else, and Apple has set the standard that the rest of the industry follows when it comes to making a lightweight, powerful computer that works well.