Apple Inc. updated its popular MacBook Air line of ultra-portable laptops today with a new price tag and new, faster processors from Intel, it announced this morning.
Starting at $999 in Canada, the MacBook Air is being updated for the first time since last June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The newly updates fourth-generation MacBook Air models include either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 “Haswell” processor. Haswell is made for efficient battery performance and Apple says the 13-inch MacBook Air can run up to 12 hours on battery power alone, and the 11-inch model will last for nine hours. (Smaller screen size, smaller battery).
The entry price of $999 will get you an 11-inch model with a 1.4 GHz processor with Turbo Boost, 4 GB of memory and 128 GB of SSD storage. A 13-inch MacBook Air with the same specs will cost your $1,099. Options to boost the specs of a new order include larger SSD sizes (double it for $100), faster processors, and more RAM.
Otherwise the MacBook Air is unchanged. The design is still the same and the laptops come loaded with Mac OS X Mavericks and the iLive and iWork software. The new models are available to order today from Apple’s website, retail store, and authorized resellers.
The announcement is a minor update from Apple in the lead in to WWDC, which is expected to see a slew of product updates to several of Apple’s product lines. In particular, industry observers expect Apple will unveil its new iPhone 6 model and an updated iPad with a sharper display. Other speculation from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo includes the release of a 12-inch MacBook with retina-display that will be lower-cost than current MacBooks and run on an Intel chip.
Others are looking to Apple’s entry into the mobile payments market, taking advantage of its iBeacon protocol introduced with iOS 7.