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Apple Announces New MacBook Air

Apple pulled the “one more thing” trick yet again at their “Back to the Mac” event. That one more thing was none other than a new MacBook Air. This thing is amazingly thin, 0.68-inches at its thickest to be exact, and it weights just 2.9 lbs. It’s also a Unibody construction (as expected) and comes in either 13.3-inch or 11.6-inch flavors. As for hardware specs, it’s got a Core 2 Duo, Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, the usual multitouch trackpad, a FaceTime camera, 802.11n, and no optical drive or hard drive. That’s right, it’s using flash storage just like the iPad.

As far as battery life, Apple claims it gets 7 hours (5 hours for 11.6-inch model) and 30 hours of standby time.

Prices will start at $999 for the cheapest model, which is an 11.6-incher with a 1.4GHz CPU and 64GB of storage. The 11.6-incher with a 1.4GHz CPU and 128GB of storage will be $1,199, while a 13.3-incher with a 1.86GHz CPU and 128GB of storage will run you $1,299. The most expensive model will cost $1,599 and comes with a 13.3-inch display, a 1.86GHz CPU and 256GB of storage. All models will come with 2GB of RAM, as well as the Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics and they’re available today.

[Product Page]

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9 Comments to “Apple Announces New MacBook Air”
  1. Oct 20th, 2010 at 8:32 PMJason Tsay

    It makes a helluva lot more sense than that $1800 niche laptop we saw before. $999 as a base price makes more sense to the end consumer and will actually be an option for them when buying an Apple laptop (the white MacBook being the same price). Though I doubt that is the target audience. Think of this as a very very expensive and well built netbook – but with a real processor and a super boss SSD. Most likely targeted at executives as a second notebook for traveling since the iPad didn’t fit that description.

    [Reply]

    Craig Lloyd Reply

    @Jason – Yeah, it seems that this is Apple’s netbook, although I’ve heard some argue the iPad is Apple’s netbook.

    Also, the new MacBook Air doesn’t use an SSD. It just simply uses flash storage, just like the iPad.

    I was hoping the prices of the regular MacBooks would drop slightly, but I guess that’s a big negative…

    Jason Tsay Reply

    @Craig Lloyd, The iPad will never be a real netbook. It is a tablet in the slate form factor (obviously) which is a new type of device altogether.

    Oops! My bad. it’s not a true SSD after all.

    As for the MacBook prices, this would not have been the event to announce that. (In fact, they didn’t even announce the new i7 in the Macbook Pro thought that was changed today) If any, it would be when the first announced the redesigned unibody polycarbonate MacBook (which, if you recall was Windows 7 week). That would have been the perfect time to knock even $100 off the tag to bash all of Microsoft’s marketing. But I guess Apple isn’t looking to go in that direction. They want to retain the image of Apple laptops as high end quality computer and $800 just doesn’t say that (necessarily). It is still a notebook intended for students and some devs who need an Apple laptop to start off with.

    Craig Lloyd Reply

    @Jason – Yeah, I really get sick when people compare tablets with netbooks, and netbooks with laptops. All three are different and have their own uses.

    Jason Tsay Reply

    @Craig Lloyd, Yes sir! although ill have to say netbooks were derived from laptops in the first place – original 7″ eee pc was essentially a weak, small laptop. then atom came along and -boom- now we have a bunch of netbooks. which i guess apple is trying to kill again with the low end macbook air. it’s really going in a cycle from what i can tell and people will all end up using normal laptops if they can afford them.

    Craig Lloyd Reply

    @Jason – I think netbooks will kill themselves eventually. They’re turning more and more into laptops. Take the Asus 1215N for example. I just bought one and it performs amazingly for a “netbook,” more like an ultra-portable laptop. Honestly, I’ll take my Asus 1215N over a MacBook Air any day.

    Also, I think whoever buys a MacBook Air is making a poor decision. I would easily just buy a better-performing MBP for the same price (or even cheaper). Sure, the MBA is thinner, lighter, and has flash storage, but is all that stuff really worth sacrificing performance?

    Jason Tsay Reply

    @Craig Lloyd, Yes netbooks are evolving back into notebooks. I think you are missing the point about the MacBook Air. It is not targeted at current/potential MacBook Pro buyers. Nor is it for the general public. It will certainly attract the general public with its $999 base price tag but it’s really aimed at those who need a Mac as their secondary laptop. Though the highest end model could pass as a real laptop for someone with a lot of money and doesn’t know better about computers. There is still a niche market for the thinnest laptop out there and Apple is not the only company pursuing that (Dell Adamo XPS). They are making a statement about laptop evolution. But most people who want the MacBook or MacBook Pro will just keep buying what they want. Those buyers aren’t looking for a laptop with these features.

    Craig Lloyd Reply

    @Jason – A secondary laptop? Why would someone want two laptops? And how is the MBA not aimed at the general public?

    Jason Tsay Reply

    @Craig Lloyd, I meant to say secondary computer. Most people don’t buy Macs. In fact, 90% of people buy PC’s. The Air fits into an even tighter slice of the pie.

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