Apple has launched this year’s MacBook Air update, giving the ultraslim a much-needed speed boost as well as the integration of the high-speed Thunderbolt interface. The 2011 models now run on Intel’s low-voltage Core i5 and i7 processors, to give it “up to 2.5 times” the performance of last year’s model, and Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 GPU for better video encoding and decoding.
The 2011 MacBook Air also sees the return of the backlit keyboard to make it handy for typing in the dark. The notebook also features a FaceTime cam, and a Thunderbolt port for high speed connections for connecting fast drives or Apple’s new Thunderbolt Display.
Like before, the MacBook Air will come in two sizes: the base 11.6-inch model starts at $999 and comes with 64GB flash storage, a 1.6GHz Core i5 CPU, 2GB memory and a five-hour battery, while the top-end 13-incher costs as much as $1,599, with a 256GB SSD, a 1.7GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 7-hour battery.