Apple unveiled the second update to its MacBook Air line in nine months today. This latest update brings much desired hardware changes, while leaving the Air's beautiful aesthetics largely untouched.
The latest MacBook Air, launched last fall, comes in two sizes: 11.6-inch and 13-inch. These screen sizes remain the same since the launch last year, as do their respective screen resolutions. Apple has decided to up the processing power of these ultraportables, however, with both models being upgraded from Intel Core 2 Duo processors to Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors. The new MacBook Airs have also been upgraded with Thunderbolt I/O ports and highly desired backlit keyboards.
The 11.6-inch MacBook Air still starts at $999. For that sub-grand starting point, you'll get a 64GB solid state drive, 2GB of RAM, and a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. For an extra two hundred dollars, you can double the RAM and the storage space of the 11.6-inch model. The 13-inch model starts at $1,299 with a 128GB solid state drive, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor. You can double the storage space to 256GB for an extra three hundred dollars. For those wanting extra processing power, you can upgrade to a 1.8GHz Core i7 processor, which will set you back $100 on the 13-inch model or $150 on the 11.6-inch model.
Regardless of which model (and which configuration) you chose to lay down your hard earned money for, you will still get Intel HD 3000 graphics across the line, as well as Facetime cameras, two USB ports (plus the SD card slot on the 13-inch Air), 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 11.6-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1366x768 screen resolution and has an estimated battery life of five hours. The 13-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1440x900 screen resolution and has an estimated battery life of seven hours.