Apple unveils new MacBook Air lineup with all-day battery life, 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's new MacBook Air lineup features Intel's latest Haswell ultra-low voltage processors, providing up to 9 hours of battery life with the 11-inch model, and 12 hours with the 13-inch version.

MacBook Air


"True, all-day battery life," is how Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller portrayed the new MacBook Air models.

The new notebooks include 802.11ac for ultra-fast Wi-Fi connectivity. And the flash memory in the new MacBook Airs is said to be up to 45 percent faster than its predecessors.

Intel's new HD Graphics 5000 also give the MacBook Air up to 40 percent faster performance for gaming and graphics intensive apps. It also has dual microphones, a FaceTim? HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port, two USB 3.0 ports, and support for dual displays and video mirroring while simultaneously supporting full native resolution on the built-in display.

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The 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $999 with 128 gigabytes of flash storage, doubling its predecessor. The 13-inch model with 128 gigabytes is $1,099.

The new hardware, along with new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule wireless base stations providing 802.11ac support, ship immediately.

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"MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we?ve set the bar even higher," said Philip Schiller, Apple?s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With faster flash, more powerful graphics and up to 12 hours of battery life, the new MacBook Air packs even more performance into the portable and durable design our customers love."

Where to Buy MacBook Airs

MacBook Airs with 3 Years of AppleCare

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member


    ...and so why would anyone buy a Surface Pro?

  • Reply 2 of 25
    19831983 Posts: 1,142member
    What about upgraded rMBP's?
  • Reply 3 of 25
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    ...and so why would anyone buy a Surface Pro?



    Uneducated and uninformed is all I can think of.


     


    Doubling the capacity and making it 9 hour of battery life for the 11" makes that very appealing.  But dropping the price of the 13" another $100 makes it in the discussion again.  Apple is brilliant with their marketing- without question.  But more importantly, and less admired- is their even more outstanding pricing strategies.

  • Reply 4 of 25
    outpostoutpost Posts: 10member


    Been saving for 6 months for a new Retina MBP, and was hoping this was the day I could put my order in ..... hugely disappointed. MBA has no interest to me, Mac Pro way over the top for what I need. Will have to hang on to the 3 year old iMac for a while longer it seems.


     


    Mavericks and iOS7 look cool though. Airport Extreme a little weird, but I'm sure I'd get used to it.

  • Reply 5 of 25
    Can someone clarify the ac wifi thing, so currently the only apple product to take advantage of the 802.11ac is the new air? is that correct?
  • Reply 6 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

    ...and so why would anyone buy a Surface Pro?


     


    To make iWork documents in iCloud!






    Originally Posted by tkrunner1738 View Post

    Can someone clarify the ac wifi thing, so currently the only apple product to take advantage of the 802.11ac is the new air? is that correct?


     



    Obviously. It's new hardware.

  • Reply 7 of 25
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    Simplest pricing ever


     


    The new MBAs are on the Apple Store now and for the first time in my memory there are no limitations between models.


    This is everything you need to know:


     


    $1000 for the 11" with 4 gig memory and 128 gig flash storage 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5


    + $100 if you want the 13" (and longer battery life).


    + $100 if you want 8 gig memory instead of 4.


    + $200 if you want 256 gig flash storage or + $500 if you want 512 gig.


    + $150 if you want 1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7


     


    That's it.  Mix and match however you want.


     


    So every combination is available for $1000 to $1850.

  • Reply 8 of 25
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Don't anybody let my wallet see this thread!

    I only just got our relationship back on track recently...
  • Reply 9 of 25
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member


    Current MacBooks will have better battery life with OS X 10.9 as well.


     



    Outpost View Post


    Been saving for 6 months for a new Retina MBP, and was hoping this was the day I could put my order in ..... hugely disappointed. MBA has no interest to me, Mac Pro way over the top for what I need. Will have to hang on to the 3 year old iMac for a while longer it seems.


     


    Mavericks and iOS7 look cool though. Airport Extreme a little weird, but I'm sure I'd get used to it.



    I'm in the same sitch. Seems like they were pretty tasked with hardware updates overall, though. Surely we will see Haswell rMBP before 2014...

  • Reply 10 of 25
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Vorsos View Post


    Current MacBooks will have better battery life with OS X 10.9 as well.



     


    But these are available today with 10.8, so the battery claims are not based on 10.9 optimizations.  Must be black magic involved.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    Can someone clarify the ac wifi thing, so currently the only apple product to take advantage of the 802.11ac is the new air? is that correct?

    .11ac requires new hardware, yes. So, new devices then. This will be my most expensive upgrade year ever as I want to move to .11ac prompto.

    New Airport
    New AppleTV
    New iPhone
    New iPad
    Either a new Mac mini or wire it up, thought the NIC is 10/100Mbps
    And I need to finally wire my Mac Pro as I'm not going to install a 3rd party PCI card for it, nor am I getting the new model.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    outpostoutpost Posts: 10member


    Vorsos


    Can't use the Airport Extreme / Time Capsule until I get new hardware.  2014 seems a long time to wait.

  • Reply 13 of 25
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Outpost View Post


    Vorsos


    Can't use the Airport Extreme / Time Capsule until I get new hardware.  2014 seems a long time to wait.



    By later this year- you'll be able to get a refurb'd AE or TC as well.

  • Reply 14 of 25
    i have the 2012 MBA with i7 2.0Ghz upgrade.. is this faster/slower than this new release with upgrade to i7 1.7ghz??
  • Reply 15 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    .11ac requires new hardware, yes. So, new devices then. This will be my most expensive upgrade year ever as I want to move to .11ac prompto.



    New Airport

    New AppleTV

    New iPhone

    New iPad

    Either a new Mac mini or wire it up, thought the NIC is 10/100Mbps

    And I need to finally wire my Mac Pro as I'm not going to install a 3rd party PCI card for it, nor am I getting the new model.




    i agree, i was wanting to get a new imac, so i guess ill just get the time capsule for now, and upgrade as things become available. But eventually for me it will be


    New IMAC


    new Apple tv


    iphone when my upgrade cycle comes due


    ipad not sure

  • Reply 16 of 25
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by moelikepie View Post



    i have the 2012 MBA with i7 2.0Ghz upgrade.. is this faster/slower than this new release with upgrade to i7 1.7ghz??


    You'll know in a day when people get them in their hands and Geekbench.  It won't be substantial though compared to the battery life and wireless capabilities.

  • Reply 17 of 25
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 389member




    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post


    ...and so why would anyone buy a Surface Pro?



     


    And why do people go to McDonald's when there's an In-N-Out across the street? Stupidity and the power of marketing.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,353member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post



    What about upgraded rMBP's?




    Waiting on a few components and/or manufacturing process refinements I should think - but expect 'em later in the later. My two cents: at least 80/20 by the fall.



    Along with new Haswell Minis, iMacs, phones, pads and likely an ATV refresh (and maybe the "watch" thingie I could care less about personally). 



    So just the best selling notebooks for the moment. 


     


    Still, lots of OS stuff that will allow them to move forward in time with new products in the car, the home, the web, etc.  Didn't like everything I saw, but I think people's concerns about Apple should be much assuaged based on what I saw today.



    My yen for touch screens can wait a year or two as there's nothing yet in Win 8.1 I need virtualized for an all app/all purpose medium duty/highly portable machine - and nothing touchy in OS X at all - and I can live with 811ac and 1440x900 - and an external big ("up to 2560x1600") monitor. Also, no way Retina was ever going into this form factor at near this price and battery life at this stage of bits of kit required. 


     


    So think this new Air - while still only incremental on its own - is one I'll be able to be happy with for two years - and then keep it as a secondary machine when a few more bits get sorted out and I decide if I can justify a "pro-er" model for my needs or the then current machine in this class. My needs are mostly power user variety (heavy image editing, and some light to medium video editing starting to come in) - bunches of apps running and small biz productivity stuff at most. And no games. Ever. Well, Photoshop.....



    I would've said it'd be my axe longer, but checking the store reveals something a bit curious I haven't heard discussed:  No Thunderbolt 2 capability.  Suppose it's a cost/margin thing and/or a feeling that few Air users will need that level of external throughput. Will be shocked if the rMBP doesn't have TB2 though.



    Also the cost of a 512 and the lack of a 768GB SSD (which I would've fairly happily paid $500 to have) option pose challenges to the amount of "stuff" I like to have with me....  ...but just fortunate to be able to afford to kit it out (and wait to compare that to the base model next rMBP before pulling the trigger).  And definitely will wait until it has Mavericks installed either way.

  • Reply 19 of 25
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,076member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Simplest pricing ever


     


    The new MBAs are on the Apple Store now and for the first time in my memory there are no limitations between models.


    This is everything you need to know:


     


    $1000 for the 11" with 4 gig memory and 128 gig flash storage 1.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5


    + $100 if you want the 13" (and longer battery life).


    + $100 if you want 8 gig memory instead of 4.


    + $200 if you want 256 gig flash storage or + $500 if you want 512 gig.


    + $150 if you want 1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7


     


    That's it.  Mix and match however you want.


     


    So every combination is available for $1000 to $1850.



    I really do think  that 256GB is overkill in the new cloud data model... If for nothing else... put your old laptop over in a corner, and build a VPN so you can tunnel in and mount the drive as your 'offline' data.  Otherwise, most of your 'nearline' working set can live in dropbox/icloud.  


     


    Again, for most non-power users, 128 should be plenty.


     


    That said, I can't see anyone buying a 4gb model;-) All the OS improvements in the world can't replace the need for the speed of real memory.  delay maybe, but not replace.


     


    My skin is in the game... I'm gonna benchmark this on Wednesday at the local Apple Store.  I'm 4 months removed from my 2008MBP, and I looked at Mavericks and saw a lot of possibilities that made an iPad4/5 less and less likely.

  • Reply 20 of 25


    It's "all day battery life*" with an asterisk.


     


    *under ideal conditions...actual battery life may not be...yadda, yadda.

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