Apple has released a lot of new devices and systems lately. While the new MacBook Pro (review on this site) has gained the most spotlight, the new MacBook Air is worth looking at too. Apple hasn’t changed the shape and design of the new Air much, but there are some improvements under the hood of this system that are worth noting. Additionally, Apple has made some of the same changes to both the Air and Pro, including the new MagSafe 2 power adapter (more below).
The Base MacBook Air
The base model MacBook Air (13-inch) comes with 4GB memory and Intel’s new Ivy Bridge (Core i5-3427U) processor. This, in turn, means that the graphics are better (HD Graphics 4000). These major updates make the Air a better machine all around, and the Air may just begin to appeal to some consumers who skipped over the ultra light system previously. The Air is still devoid of an optical drive, but, hey, the new Pro doesn’t come with one either. Thanks to the exclusion of that optical drive, the Air remains one of the lightest laptops available weighing in at just below three pounds.
If you want a system that you can bring with you around the world and back, the Air is the best choice bar none based upon weight alone. A rugged and fast 128GB storage drive will have your new Air up and running faster than any previous model, and this also means that basic tasks like shutting your Air down and putting it in sleep mode are also faster (and faster is always better!).
Right now, the new Air ships with Mac OSX Lion 10.7.4. But, Apple is currently in the process of creating a new OS (OSX Mountain Lion), and you will be able to upgrade for free when that new OS is released this coming July. Mountain Lion will include all kinds of upgrades that will make life easier while using your system and while your system is in sleep mode (Mountain Lion includes a Power Nap option that allows a system to update while in sleep mode – a real recharging catnap for your Air).
All the Old Familiars
A Mac wouldn’t be a Mac if it didn’t come with all the standard Mac iLife apps. Apps like Garage Band, iPhoto, iMovie, FaceTime (Mountain Lion will allow for FaceTime interaction with iOS devices), and other oldie but goodies. As mentioned, the design of the new Air looks just like the old Air, so not much has changed in that department. If you’re wondering what’s up with Apple’s new MagSafe 2 power adaptor, the new adaptor is wider and T-shaped as compared to the older L-shaped adaptor (the Air comes with the newer version.
Now for the expensive part – how much will the new Air retail for? The 11-inch model starts at $999 and the 13-inch model begins at $1199. These Airs are currently available through the online Apple store or through the Apple website.