Apple Updates The MacBook Air– What You Need To Know

apple macbook air 2011

If you’re looking for a new computer this back-to-school shopping season and really wanted to go with a Mac we really hope you waited. As expected, Apple didn’t just launch Lion today, but they also announced some pretty major updates to its MacBook Air that should make it a much better choice as your next computer.

We got all the details for you below, so read on.

macbook air 2011 update

As we all know, the MacBook Air is one of the thinnest and lightest laptops out there, and is great for travelling with everyday. The biggest issue we had with last year’s big MacBook Air update was how it was still using Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, a much older and slower processor compared to today’s new blazing fast i5 and i7 processors that you find in the MacBook Pro and most Windows computers. But even with that Core 2 Duo we have to admit, that older MacBook Air was still pretty fast when it came to getting work done. And if it was fast then it’s going to be insane now that it finally gets those new Intel processors.

Now you’re probably wondering what the heck this all means to you and what the big differences are between an i5 and an i7 and a Core 2 Duo? Basically, in these new processors you can expect: faster speeds when doing everything (they’re just much faster in general), better battery life (thanks to Turbo Boost which gives you more power when you need it– like when you’re multitasking or gaming, and less when you don’t– like when you’re just checking Facebook or writing a paper), and better graphics (so everything from Facetime video chatting to movie watching to gaming will look and play much better). Yeah, and for the same prices its a pretty great upgrade.

macbook air backlit keyboard

The new MacBook Airs also now come with stereo speakers, a backlit keyboard (something which was really missing from the last Air), and a Thunderbolt port (this is Apple and Intel’s next generation of USB and should make transferring things like movies or songs from your computer to your iPhone or iPod take seconds not hours. Right now there aren’t that many products that make use of this, but we expect more to be available by the end of the year). And you of course also still have that great battery life (5 hours on 11 inch, 7 hours on 13 inch– same as last year’s but this is a much faster computer) and Facetime camera.

Both the 11 and 13 inch MacBook Airs are getting these updates and both are available now with the 11.6 inch starting at $999 for the standard model (with 64 GB of solid-state storage— the same tech as those in the iPhone and iPod touch which is faster than normal hard drives, 2 GB of RAM and a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor) or $1199 for the high-end model (with that extra $200 getting you an upgrade to 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage). The 13 inch Air starts at $1299 for the standard version (which comes with 128 GB of storage, SD card slot, 4 GB of RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 CPU) or $1599 for the high-end version (if you want 256 GB of storage). All the new Airs also of course ship with OS X Lion installed.

All in all, it’s a solid update (we love the faster processors but wish the 128 GB of storage was standard on the $999 Air) and if you’re looking for a new Mac for school, you should definitely check these out.

For more info on the new MacBook Airs see Apple’s site here.

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Posted on July 20, 2011, in Apple, Back to School, Computers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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