MacBook Air update brings new processors, Thunderbolt and backlit keyboardView gallery - 6 images
An update to the MacBook Air line-up is among a raft of new releases announced by Apple today. The new 11-inch and 13-inch models get Mac OS X Lion (which has also just landed), the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, Thunderbolt ports and a backlit keyboard.
The updated MacBook Air's retain the slender unibody enclosure that arrived in October last year. Both measure 0.11-inches at their thinnest point to 0.68-inches at their thickest (0.3-1.7 cm) and weigh in at 2.38 and 2.96 pounds respectively.
Sick of Ads?
More than 700 New Atlas Plus subscribers read our newsletter and website without ads.
Join them for just US$19 a year.More Information
The the 11-inch model comes with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 and 2GB or 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 onboard memory. Processing speed is upped to 1.7GHz with the dual-core Intel Core i5 on the 13-inch which ships with 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 onboard memory as standard. Apple says this adds up to twice the speed of the previous generation.
Graphics is delivered by a Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor and both models have two Flash storage options (64 and 128GB for the 11-inch, 128 and 256 GB for the 13-inch).
On the connectivity front both models retain 2 USB ports, the 13-inch has an SD card slot and for the first time both get a Thunderbolt port, meaning access to 10 Gbps connection speeds in both directions with peripheral devices (like Apple's new Thunderbolt equipped 27-inch display which was also announced today).
Other notable features include a backlit keyboard which responds to changes in ambient lighting and a glass Multi-Touch trackpad which supports new Multi-Touch gestures found on OSX Lion.
Pricing for the 11-inch MacBook Air is set at US$999 (64GB) and $1199 (128GB) while the 13-inch costs $1299 (128GB) and $1599 (256GB).
As mentioned, Apple also released Mac OS X Lion lion today. First flagged at WWDC in June, Lion packs 250 new features including new Multi-Touch gestures, a redesigned Mail app and a new system overview feature called Mission Control. An upgrade from Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard costs US$29.
Stay tuned for a full review of the new OSX features.View gallery - 6 images