Wednesday, July 20th 2011

Apple Updates MacBook Air With Next Gen. Processors, Thunderbolt & Backlit Keyboard

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 ( 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 here.
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10 Comments on Apple Updates MacBook Air With Next Gen. Processors, Thunderbolt & Backlit Keyboard

When they place the 128GB SSD in the $999 version, then I might consider it. Until then, I just cannot afford it. At least they finally put in a more up to date cpu.
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That's funny, because when my brother walked into the Apple store 3 months ago to buy the old generation MacBook Air, but contemplated over waiting because rumors were going around that the Air would upgrade to the new generation Sandy Bridge in due time, and their tech employee says that it's impossible and won't happen.

I look back at that employee and can only laugh...

But the good news was, my brother ended up getting the MacBook Pro. :)
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and I was trying to find something in text about "Next Gen. Processors" :laugh:
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Great laptop. Wish I could afford it!
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Completely Bonkers
I CANNOT BELIEVE they left the SDcard slot off the 11" inch again. Once again, I choose a Wintel netbook over Apple for this feature alone! (Camera and camcorder). The bezel is also too wide. Why don't Apple narrow the bezel and get a 12" screen into their 11" size format. Oh, and an SDcard slot! Win-win.

Same pixel pitch as old. So nothing new here... what a shame they didnt add retina displays and get Lion to do scaleable desktop.
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$1200 and still no bluray and it still has to be a external drive
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TheLaughingMan said:
Graphics still suck
Yeah and Apple is going to be facing a lot of flak for going back to Intel craphics. They introed x86 Macs on Intel and there was such an uproar that they had to put NV in. Now back to HD3000s...pathetic. These Macs are going to fail hard and people will buy them and find that out the hard way cause they are just as stupid as they were back when Apple last used Intel. The concept that Apple knows best and Apple is always good hardware, is just as bad as the Mhz myth.

I was actually thinking of getting an Air in the future due to my need to replace my iBook G4. Not going to now. Rather suffer on my old iBook than get Intel craphics. May consider an older model but I wasn't nuts about the 320M either. 330M would have been better in the low end IMO. Apple just fails at GPU selections.
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an i5 or an i7 with 5 hours of battery life.. hah! And yeah, you cant game with this .. graphics will suck. Youd end up decoding hd movies using the cpu, which will suck up battery life on a whim
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I like the backlit keyboard.
All laptops and net books should have back lit keyboards and touch pads.
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