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Q1. Which MacBook Air models have the fastest resume-from-sleep times?

In other words, how long does it take (in the most common scenario, not the theoretically-shortest) between opening the display lid and getting a keypress echoed in an open TextEdit window?

Q2. Do the newer (or newest) MBA's have faster resume time?

Q3. How does this compare to the resume time of the iPad?

For the purpose of these questions, milliseconds matter!

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It's important to note the iPad resume time is complicated by the time and effort it takes to unlock the device, which takes vastly more time than the actual wake up. –  Ben Brocka Jan 28 '12 at 19:19
    
I assume you mean without a Smart Cover? It's possible to perform the unlock command with a Smart Cover in probably 0.1 seconds or so if you're fast. :) –  themirror Jan 28 '12 at 20:05
    
In my view resume times are negligible between the MacBook Air and iPad without understanding the intention of application (as I own both devices). Probably the only differentiating factor will be the first generation MacBook which runs on a standard hard disk (as opposed to SSD or flash memory) will be slower resume time compared to the 2010/2011 model Macbook Air. –  osx86x Jan 29 '12 at 3:45
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3 Answers

This is not an actual answer to your questions, but more information on the subject:

MacBook Airs go into "deep sleep" (hibernate) when left with the lid closed for a longer while. Basically, the current state of the machine is saved to the hard drive (the SSD in the case of MacBooks) and the machine turns off, thus not consuming any power while in standby. When you open the lid, the machine state is retrieved from the SSD and restored.

So, the wake time is determined by the speed of the SSD inside the MacBook Air.

2010 MacBook Airs have SSD speeds in terms of 100 MBps, while latest MacBook Airs (2012) have SSD speeds in terms of 400-500 MBps, so wake time should be a lot faster with the 2012 models.

Comparing with the iPad is irrelevant, as iPads do not hibernate, as far as I'm aware of.

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Although a sleep image is created (assuming that setting is enabled) upon sleep, it is NOT restored during wake up by default. The sleep image on the SSD is made as a back up in case of power failure, but contents of the ram are maintained during sleep by default, so there is no need for the sleep image to be read –  XAleXOwnZX Jul 9 '12 at 13:52
    
That's for HDD-based MacBooks. Please see support.apple.com/kb/HT4392, which applies to MacBooks that come with SSDs by default (2010 and later Airs and Pro Retinas). –  bogdansrc Jul 9 '12 at 16:40
    
I'm very sorry, I was unaware of this exception. I find this very strange, since the majority of the power consumption of memory is changing state, and not merely maintaining the contents –  XAleXOwnZX Jul 9 '12 at 16:45
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In any case, the resume times for most macs are pretty much instant. You might find that the biggest delay in resume time is the responsiveness of the display, as the computer will usually be ready before the display is

It helps to know the various "types" of sleep available through the pmset command

from this this article

0 - Old style sleep mode, with RAM powered on while sleeping, safe sleep disabled, and super-fast wake.
1 - Hibernation mode, with RAM contents written to disk, system totally shut down while “sleeping,” and slower wake up, due to reading the contents of RAM off the hard drive.
3 - The default mode on machines introduced since about fall 2005. RAM is powered on while sleeping, but RAM contents are also written to disk before sleeping. In the event of total power loss, the system can be boot off the sleep image to resume previous operation
5 - This is the same as mode 1, but it’s for those using secure virtual memory (in System Preferences -> Security).
7 - This is the same as mode 3, but it’s for those using secure virtual memory.

Modes 1 and 3 will have the same speed of resume (they both retain RAM contents during sleep, wake is practically instant), but mode 3 will require a longer time to fall asleep (usually 15-60 seconds). In the case of power failure, mode 3 allows you to boot your laptop, and after about a minute, the RAM contents from before the last sleep would be restored from the sleep image file to RAM. Mode 1 lacks this, so all running applications and unsaved data will be lost in event of a power failure, but sleep time is almost instant

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I have a 2010 MBA and resume time is very fast but I noticed the time it takes to sleep is much longer with Lion than Snow Leopard it came with. Not sure why that is but I have stopped using sleep because it shuts down faster, obviously dumping what is in memory rather than saving it, to shut down and just as quick to boot as to wake from sleep or at least negligible difference.

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