As expected, Apple has introduced an update to the MacBook Air. Unlike the new MacBook Pro, the Air didn’t get the Retina treatment since the improvements mainly involve updated components but we’re not complaining. Despite the number of super slim ultrabooks that’s starting to flood the market, the MacBook Air’s design still holds up well against the competition.
The changes mostly revolve around a system that now runs on Intel’s newer Ivy Bridge Core processors and updated Intel Graphics. The new models also did away with the USB 2.0 port and moved to USB 3.0. It might not be a huge “all-new” refresh, but look at the bright side: you’re getting a lot more performance for the same price you had to pay for last year. The top-end model also costs $100 less now, with the 13-inch model starting at $1,199.
So here’s what’s what: this year’s MacBook Air line includes four models in two sizes. The 11-inch models feature 1.7GHz processors and 4GB of memory. The line starts at $999 for the entry-level model that features 64GB of storage, while the $1,099 version gets a larger 128GB SSD. Both versions feature an 11.6-inch widescreen with a 1366 x 768 resolution, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt port, the new MagSafe 2 power port, and a battery that offers five hours of wireless browsing.
The 13-inch MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch screen with a 1440 x 900 resolution, a 1.8GHz Core i5 processor, and 4GB of RAM. The line starts at $1,199 with a 128GB SSD, while the top-end $1,499 version comes with a 256GB drive. Both feature two USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt port, MagSafe 2, an SD card slot, and a 7-hour battery.
All four models feature Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 4000 GPU, a 720p FaceTime HD camera, stereo speakers, a built-in mic, Wi-fi/Bluetooth connectivity, and ships with OS X Lion. All models can be configured with a 2.0GHz Intel Core i7 and a larger 512GB SSD.