Come on, you knew this one was coming! As expected, Apple's finally gone ahead and refreshed both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs with fresh Intel Core 2011 silicon, Thunderbolt ports, and backlit keyboards. The 11-inch model, which still starts at $999, now has a base 1.6GHz Core i5 processor (a big bump from its previous 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo), 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive. It's a real solid package for a grand, and Apple's so confident in it that it's killing off the regular white MacBook. Of course, those willing to put down an extra $200 can up the config to 4GB of RAM and a 128GB drive.
Those who have been waiting for the 13-inch to pack more power and possibly replace their main rig will be more than pleased. The $1,299 base model now boasts a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor (up from a measly last gen Core 2 Duo), 4GB of RAM (up from 2GB), and a 128GB SSD. Shell out $1,699 and you'll grab a 1.8GHz Core i7 processor and 256GB of space. All models rely on Intel's HD 3000 graphics, which should be more than fine for HD playback and light video editing. All are on sale now and will come pre-installed with Lion.
And that's really all there is to it. Hit the break for the full press release and some new shots of that Thunderbolt port, which is really the only aesthetic difference you'll find here.
Apple Updates MacBook Air With Next Generation Processors, Thunderbolt I/O & Backlit Keyboard
CUPERTINO, California—July 20, 2011—Apple® today updated the MacBook Air® with next generation processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, a backlit keyboard and Mac OS® X Lion, the world’s most advanced operating system. With up to twice the performance of the previous generation, flash storage for instant-on responsiveness and a compact design so portable you can take it everywhere,* the MacBook Air starts at $999 (US) and is available for order today and in stores tomorrow.
"Portable, affordable and powerful, MacBook Air is the ultimate everyday notebook," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "MacBook Air features our most advanced technology and is an ideal match for Lion, especially with its new Multi-Touch gestures, full-screen apps, Mission Control and Mac App Store."
MacBook Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models that easily slip into a briefcase, purse or bag. The MacBook Air’s durable aluminum unibody enclosure measures an incredibly thin 0.11-inches at its thinnest point and 0.68-inches at its thickest. Flash storage allows MacBook Air to turn on instantly and deliver fast data access, improved reliability and incredible energy efficiency. The 11-inch model weighs 2.38 pounds and provides up to 5 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch weighs 2.96 pounds and provides up to 7 hours of battery life.**
With the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, the new MacBook Air is up to twice as fast as the previous generation and has all the power you need for editing photos and movies, making FaceTime® calls, playing games, and working with documents and presentations. MacBook Air also features Intel HD Graphics 3000 and offers up to 4GB of faster 1333 MHz memory.
Thunderbolt I/O technology provides expansion possibilities never before available to MacBook Air users. Through a single cable, users can connect to high performance peripherals and the new Apple Thunderbolt Display, the ultimate docking station for your Mac® notebook. Thunderbolt can easily be adapted to support legacy connections such as FireWire® and Gigabit Ethernet.
MacBook Air comes with a full size backlit keyboard and an innovative glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad. Designed for comfort and ease of typing, the backlit keyboard uses a sensor to automatically detect a change in ambient lighting and adjusts the keyboard brightness for any environment. The Multi-Touch trackpad supports Lion’s new Multi-Touch gestures such as momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, and swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps.
MacBook Air also features a brilliant, high resolution LED backlit display that is amazingly thin yet has the resolution of a much larger, bulkier screen. With ultra-fast Wi-Fi, you can wirelessly download apps from the Mac App Store™, get music and movies from iTunes®, back up data to Time Capsule® and quickly and easily share files using AirDrop. MacBook Air includes Bluetooth for wireless peripherals and two USB ports for easy connectivity for the wired and wireless devices you use every day.
Apple makes the industry’s greenest notebook lineup and the new MacBook Air meets Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of recyclable materials.
Every new MacBook Air comes with Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife apps for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Lion introduces more than 250 new features to the Mac, including Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.
Pricing & Availability The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are available for order on the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) today and in Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers starting July 21. The 1.6 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air is available in two models, one with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of $999 (US), and one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for $1,199 (US). The 1.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air comes in two configurations, one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), and one with 4GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage for $1,599 (US). Configure-to-order options and accessories include a 1.8 GHz Core i7 processor, additional flash storage, MacBook Air SuperDrive® and a USB Ethernet Adapter.
Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbookair.