Apple is giving its thin and light laptops a little makeover. The company has revamped all of its MacBook Air laptops by moving to newer Intel Haswell processors, which should give the notebooks a slight performance boost and a little more battery life. At the same time, Apple is knocking $100 off the price of each model.
That means a new 11.6 inch MacBook Air now sells for $899 and up, while a 13.3 inch model costs $999 and up. The move not only means Apple’s ultraportables are more competitive with Windows-powered ultrabooks… it may also pave the way for Apple to release premium models later this year.
The MacBook Air is the only product in Apple’s lineup that doesn’t yet come with at least an optional “Retina Display.” It’s likely that one of these days Apple will get around to offering new models with around 4 times the pixel count available in current MacBook Air devices… and the company will probably charge an extra $100 or $200 for those models.
Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the just-launched models stick around for a while at lower prices, giving customers an option to buy MacBook Air models at a variety of price points. That’s a strategy Apple has followed rather successfully with iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro devices.
As of April 29th, an entry-level inch MacBook Air features a 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 Haswell dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Higher-priced configurations are available with up to 8GB of RAM, 512GB of flash storage, and 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core chips.
Apple says the 11.6 inch MacBook Air should get up to 9 hours of battery life, while the 13.3 inch model could run for up to 12 hours.