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If you’re off to college and you want a Macbook to take with you, then naturally, you’d like the best Macbook for college. One candidate to consider is the Macbook Air 13” i5. It’s an older model, but still great in its own right, like a long battery life and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. And its Retina display has always looked fantastic.

Why We Like It – Macbook Air 13” i5

If you want your hands on a Macbook without offering an arm or leg, the Macbook Air 13” i5 fits right in a while, still providing a great-looking display, battery life, and a good selection of ports.

  • Retina display looks good
  • Great battery life
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • CPU is only dual core
  • Lacks Touch ID

Power & Performance

If you could tear the Macbook Air 13” i5 apart, you’d find a good Intel Core i5 processor. It isn’t the greatest choice but does fine finishing tasks. It’s 1.8Ghz but can reach 2.9Ghz through Turbo Boost. However, there are only two cores to work with, so anything intensive will most certainly bottleneck its performance. While not 1080p, the 1440×900 Retina display looks great, thanks to its tightly weaved pixels.


The new Macbook Air and Pro models are pushing 18+ hours, like the Apple Macbook Pro M1 13″, and since the Macbook Air 13” i5 is an older model, it doesn’t share the same blood—but it isn’t far off. On a full charge, you can expect up to 12 hours, which is still great.

Ports & Expandability

Unlike newer models, like the Apple Macbook Air 13 (2019), the 13-inch Macbook Air i5 still has a fair number of ports. You get two Thunderbolt 2 ports, an audio jack, an SDXC card slot, and two USB 3 ports. Unfortunately, upgrades to RAM or internal storage are a no-go, nor does it have Touch ID.

Build Quality

Even recent models, like the Apple Macbook Pro 13 Inch models, still incorporate the same general design, with very few alterations. This is a classic Macbook at its finest, a slim yet hardy aluminum chassis made to withstand bumps and nicks.


If you wanted a Macbook, this is your chance to grab one. Have you seen the prices of newer models? Dropping $655 on a Macbook is almost unheard of. And despite its aging performance, it’s still a good laptop—especially for what you’re paying. But if you’re willing to pay $655 for this, perhaps you should consider a Macbook Pro 13” i5.

MacBook Air 13” i5 Wrap-Up

If you baby the Macbook Air 13” i5, you’ll hardly notice its limitations, especially the dual-core Intel i5 CPU. Its lack of Touch ID is nothing more than a relic of its release date. You still get a Macbook, for an affordable price, that has excellent battery life, a fantastic looking Retina display, and a good selection of ports.

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Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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