Apple quietly releases more affordable MacBook Airs starting at $899 [u]

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited May 2014
As expected, Apple on Monday released faster versions of its MacBook Air lineup, with the 11-inch and 13-inch thin-and-lights getting 100MHz speed boosts compared to outgoing models, as well as a price reduction of $100 [updated].



Each base model MacBook Air comes with a dual-core 1.4GHz Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 2.70GHz, while the upgraded version boasts a 1.7GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz. The speed increases represent a 100MHz bump from the respective outgoing versions.

The U.S. Online Apple Store now has the new MacBook Air for sale starting from $899 for the 11-inch model with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage. Build to order options include a 1.7GHz Core i7 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz for $150, 8GB of RAM for $100 and 512GB of flash storage for $300.

"With MacBook Air starting at $899, there's no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Macs have never been more popular, and today we've boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook."

An Interim Update

As anticipated last week, the new MacBook Airs' CPU specifications line up with Intel's power-sipping Haswell chip architecture. The update, however, does not deliver any styling or major internal changes to the thin-and-light notebook lineup.

Apple is said to be reserving those efforts for a more significant update to the MacBook Air line that will begin with the launch of an all-new, super-slim 12-inch design much later this year. In addition to a Retina display, the next-gen notebook is also said to sport features such as fan-less cooling system and new trackpad that lacks a mechanical click button component.

Pricing, Availability & Discounts

Until then, Apple's new base MacBook Air configurations are priced as follows:
  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $899
  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1099
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $999
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1199
All base models are available to ship within 24 hours, while build-to-order deliveries are quoted at two to four days. Readers looking for discounts on Apple's standard pricing, to save on sales tax, or to save on MacBook Air + AppleCare bundles, should check out AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide and Mac + AppleCare Price Guides over the next 24 hours as they're populated with the new models and exclusive discount coupons from Apple Authorized Resellers.

For example, MacMall offers AppleInsider readers an additional 3% off its already reduced pricing when using the links in the Price Guides and applying Promo Code APPLEINSIDER01, and also only charging sales tax on orders shipped to CA, CO, GA, IL, MN, NC, NY, TN, and WI. Similarly, B&H only charges sales tax on orders shipped to NY and offers readers 3-Year MacBook Air AppleCare Protection Plans for $179.99 (here's how), when purchased on the same order -- a discount of $69. All early orders from these retailers are being filled on a first come, first served basis and should start shipping late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    I wonder if Intel has simply stopped making the older chip, so they had no choice?
  • Reply 2 of 114
    ksecksec Posts: 1,568member
    So how much cheaper is it? Why is the Cheaper price in the headline?
  • Reply 3 of 114
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,422member
    £749 is a much better entry level price, it's just a shame they they continue to rip us off.

    At £699 they'd be able to justify their whole "it costs us more to do business in the UK" line, but considering the US price with 20% added on top to account for the VAT that we pay is only £645 one can't help but feel screwed over by their greed.
  • Reply 4 of 114
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member

    I'm a little underwhelmed by it.  I was hoping for a BTO option of 16GB Ram, Thunderbolt2, and a retina display.  Hmmm..... I will most likely pick something up by after summer... hopefully, there will be more to the rumor of a retina MBA in a few more months.  Until then, my 2011 MBA is still chugging away.

  • Reply 5 of 114

  • Reply 6 of 114
    scartartscartart Posts: 201member

    nice drop on the refurb prices too.

  • Reply 7 of 114
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,612member
    My first thought is that they are dropping the price by $100 across the board to make room for the Retina MacBook Airs starting at $999/$1099 (to be announced at a later date of course).
  • Reply 8 of 114
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    2011-MBA working just fine here. Considering the rumours of Retina MBA, it seems like a choice between waiting for that or a refresh of MBP...
  • Reply 9 of 114
    If you boot up a Mac and open a web browser with five or so page, mail app, iTunes (not playing), Pages, and Numbers -- you need just over 4 GBs of ram. That's before you've pushed PLAY in iTunes or typed anything into either iWorks app.

    This means the MacBook Airs need a memory upgrade from Apple, which means the $100 price drop goes right back to Apple to get 8 GBs of RAM.
  • Reply 10 of 114
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 146member
    It seems that the i7 option got the $100 price reduction, but no Mhz boost.
    The outgoing model was already 1.7Ghz/3.3Ghz.
  • Reply 11 of 114
    appexappex Posts: 687member

    The key is portability, and now it is possible with the new Intel chips. Apple should make a light (400 to 600 g) Mac, as small as possible and whih whatever form factor (clamshell, slider or tablet). Great for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. The Mac in your pocket. Always.

  • Reply 12 of 114
    Ah, the long wait continues. Late 2010 MBA works fine, hard drive filled up a year ago. Each release you tell yourself to wait for just one more. For retina. 1TB. TB2. 16GB Ram. Always something more to wait for...
  • Reply 13 of 114

    One way to read this is that it's a clear indication that Retina screens won't be coming to the 11" or 13" MacBook Airs any time this year. Also that the 11" and 13" models are sure to still be available once the rumored 12" Retina MacBook Air comes out, much like non-Retina MacBook Pros were still available after the first Retina ones came out (and the 13" non-Retina MBP is still available).

  • Reply 14 of 114
    kfury77kfury77 Posts: 46member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

     

    I'm a little underwhelmed by it.  I was hoping for a BTO option of 16GB Ram, Thunderbolt2, and a retina display.  Hmmm..... I will most likely pick something up by after summer... hopefully, there will be more to the rumor of a retina MBA in a few more months.  Until then, my 2011 MBA is still chugging away.




    Sounds like you should be looking at getting a Macbook Pro, not a Macbook Air.

  • Reply 15 of 114
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 558member
    Curious why the bezel design is still silver. I much prefer the black bezel on the rest of the line up that makes the screen pop.
  • Reply 16 of 114
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    MBP the way to go with what you need. Not the flimsy MBA!

  • Reply 17 of 114
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sflocal wrote: »
    I'm a little underwhelmed by it.  I was hoping for a BTO option of 16GB Ram, Thunderbolt2, and a retina display.  Hmmm..... I will most likely pick something up by after summer... hopefully, there will be more to the rumor of a retina MBA in a few more months.  Until then, my 2011 MBA is still chugging away.
    Did you really expect Apple to drop a retina MacBook Air via silent update on the apple store? I see this as clearing the deck for new stuff and the update was minor enough that it could be announced this way.
  • Reply 18 of 114
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jasonfj wrote: »
    Curious why the bezel design is still silver. I much prefer the black bezel on the rest of the line up that makes the screen pop.
    Maybe because Apple isn't going to spend time redesigning these models when something new most likely will be replacing it?
  • Reply 19 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ksec View Post



    So how much cheaper is it? Why is the Cheaper price in the headline?

     

    $100 cheaper. Used to be $999.

  • Reply 20 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Maybe because Apple isn't going to spend time redesigning these models when something new most likely will be replacing it?

     

    Right, like an iPad. MBA is EOL...

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