Apple Releases Two New Macbook Air Notebooks

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Apple MacBook Air 2010

13.3-inch MacBook Air Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz (800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1066MHz (upgradeable to 4GB max)
  • Hard drive: 128GB or 256GB flash memory (soldered directly to motherboard)
  • Optical drive: none
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M with 256MB of DDR3
  • Display: 13.3 inches, LED-backlit
  • Resolution: 1440×900
  • Networking: none
  • Wireless networking: 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

The base configuration of the refreshed 13.3-inch model starts at $1299. That’s still a couple of hundred dollarApple MacBook Air 2010s cheaper than it was just a few days ago. Optional upgrades include a 2.13GHz CPU ($100 and available only in conjunction with the 256GB disk), 4GB of system memory ($100), 256 GB of flash storage ($300) an external MacBook Air SuperDrive that runs over USB ($79) and a USB-to-Ethernet adapter ($29).

There are also various adapters available from Apple, just in case you want to hook the Air up to a monitor other than the Apple Cinema Display.

Despite possessing a larger screen, the 13.3-inch MacBook Air is just as thin as the more portable version – which is no real surprise, since it features essentially the same hardware, just a different CPU. The 13.3-inch model also includes an SD card slot (there’s no word as to whether it reads SDXC or SDHC cards, but it’s probably the former).

Even though the bigger MacBook Air offers a larger screen and more powerful CPU, battery life on the new model is actually greater than on its little brother.  This is thanks to a more capacious 50Wh non-user serviceable battery. Apple’s new battery life rating includes 7 hours of runtime with Wi-Fi on, as well as the same 30 hours of standby time.

Instant on
Other worthwhile updates to the MacBook Air line is a dedication on the part of Apple to move to all solid-state components. The software running on the Air has been optimized for flash storage, and early user reports are claiming that the notebook really is ready to use the second it’s opened.

The MacBook Air 2010 refresh also keeps a full-sized keyboard and a large glass multitouch trackpad.  Unfortunately, however, it seems as if Apple has dropped the backlit keyboards from the Air in an attempt to keep the prices down.

Since the Air doesn’t have an optical drive, Apple includes an 8GB USB memory stick (a very tiny memory stick) with all of the software necessary to reinstall OS X, the drivers and more. The new MacBook Airs are also shipping with iLife ’11, which was demoed at the presentation earlier today.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Apple’s latest-generation MacBook Air products, including our reviews, coming later this week. Check out our coverage on Apple’s updated iLife ’11 suite here.


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