As everyone knows at this point, it’s full metal alumi(ni)um build that feels very light, but also fairly robust and firm compared to plastic (does not flex anywhere). The downside is that it looks like it is very prone to scratching, so one might think about purchasing some kind of a laptop case to hold or use it in. Yes, it is actually possible to use a laptop within a case since the fan exhaust is actually pointing upward and its located in that black area between the screen and the keyboard area. The fan exhaust is shown in the photo below with the red arrow.
Reading through several reviews online I was mostly concerned about the screen on the new MBA. I was actually pleasantly surprised. It is not a Retina display found on Macbook Pros but in my opinion the resolution 1440×900 is actually ideal for 13″ display. It doesn’t look pixelated at all to me, but the resolution is low enough that OS (be it OS X or Windows) does not require DPI scaling. Having used DPI scaling on Windows for quite some time, I found it simply too buggy and not worth using (but forced to). Aside from the resolution and without using any special tools, I’d say the screen is quite nice. For comparison I usually use either Dell U2412M e-IPS screen at home or a WideView PVA display on Thinkpad X200 Tablet at work.
The viewing angles are quite decent with the only thing worth mentioning that colors start to fade when you look at the screen from a low vertical angle (close to the keyboard level). The colors look quite nice, the blacks looks good and even though its a glossy display (which I despise) the reflections seem fairly minimal. I don’t have the professional colorimeter, but both RGB LED screen on M17x-R2 and Dell’s entry IPS have better color saturation and overall show wider gamut. This is pretty difficult to get to show correctly on the photo but its clearly visible when having two screens side by side. In particular, reds and greens pop out substantially more on RGB LED and IPS screen.
Overall, this is a very good TN screen (part number: LSN133BT01A02) far better than what I used on HP Envy DV6t and Alienware M11xR1 and R3 and close to PVA screen that I have on Thinkpad X200 tablet (apart from vertical viewing angles). Again, it’s very difficult to capture my observations and the photos might actually be misleading how good the screen is, but here they are anyway. The first three photos show MBA (left) vs M17x-R2 RGB LED screen (right) and the last one is Dell U2412M (left) and MBA (right).