MacBook Air updated with Broadwell CPUs, Thunderbolt 2 connectors, faster flash

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 2015
Though Apple's all-new MacBook stole the spotlight on Monday, the company also updated its legacy MacBook Air lineup, bringing Intel's new Broadwell processors to its notebook collection, along with faster Thunderbolt 2 connectors.




The larger 13-inch MacBook Air has also gained new flash memory that's twice as fast as before. The new MacBook Airs ship starting today.

The 11-inch model starts at $899 for a 1.6 GHz dual-core Core i5 model with an Intel HD Graphics 6000 chip, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of SSD storage. Doubling SSD space to 256 GB raises the cost to $1,099.

The base 13-inch model is $999, and comes with specifications identical to its 11-inch counterpart. Likewise, bumping the computer's SSD to 256 GB costs an extra $200.

The company did not, as previously rumored, update the Air with features like a Retina display and USB-C. Instead the company bestowed those features on a new, even thinner MacBook, based on a 1.3GHz Intel Core M processor.

That product will actually be more costly than the Air, starting at $1,199. It will simultaneously drop many common MacBook features, such as DisplayPort and MagSafe connections.

Availability

Apple's early-2015 MacBook Airs will begin arriving at Apple authorized resellers within the next 48 hours. Some base models are already listed in our Mac Price Guide, with dozens more configurations expected to be available at discount, with tax-savings benefits within the next few days.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member

    With the new decently priced 12" MacBook Retina out there now. Is anybody going to want a plain old MacBook Air anymore, even with improved specs?

  • Reply 2 of 26
    if you want small form factor with expandability yes.
  • Reply 3 of 26

    ignore this comment, was meant to be a reply to 1983

  • Reply 4 of 26
    Disappointing. The air remains without retina. 11 no flash boost. Next year.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Disappointing. The air remains without retina. 11 no flash boost. Next year.

    What is it about the MacBook Air that you would want over the new MacBook?
  • Reply 6 of 26
    solipsismy wrote: »
    What is it about the MacBook Air that you would want over the new MacBook?

    11 inches and the lack of weight. I'm all over the campus everyday with it under my arm. Yes the 13 pro is a contender these days.

    Had this 11 since late 2010 and love the form factor : performance. Just want retina and s micro sd if being greedy
  • Reply 7 of 26
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

     

    With the new decently priced 12" MacBook Retina out there now. Is anybody going to want a plain old MacBook Air anymore, even with improved specs?




    Yes, I need multiple ports for teaching (video out, USB.).

  • Reply 8 of 26
    applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member



    The 8GB 256GB/512GB Macbook Retina is priced 1,299/1,599.  The 13" 1.6Ghz i5 with 8GB 256GB/512GB Macbook Air is also priced 1,299/1,599.

     

    So, why get the Air unless you are not willing to pay at least $1,299 for a Macbook, or you really need the faster i5 or i7 processor?

  • Reply 9 of 26
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    11 inches and the lack of weight. I'm all over the campus everyday with it under my arm. Yes the 13 pro is a contender these days.

    Had this 11 since late 2010 and love the form factor : performance. Just want retina and s micro sd if being greedy

    1) I'd never get a 11" because it's 16:9 when 16:10 makes a lot more sense on such a small notebook display. But then you have no Retina (which is great for smaller text with more content), a lot less display area without much change on the footprint (and weight?), and no IPS display (the TN panel in the 11" MBA is probably the lowest quality TN panel they've used in the last 8 years).

    2) Why is the 13" MBP a contender but not the 12" MB if weight is a major issue? Did I miss something about it's weight?
  • Reply 10 of 26

    With all the new 'books' sporting TB2 is a new 27" TB2 display far behind?

  • Reply 11 of 26
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 778member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nicwalmsley View Post





    11 inches and the lack of weight. I'm all over the campus everyday with it under my arm. Yes the 13 pro is a contender these days.



    Had this 11 since late 2010 and love the form factor : performance. Just want retina and s micro sd if being greedy

    The 12" MacBook released today is lighter than the 11" MacBook Air.

  • Reply 12 of 26
    dancxgdancxg Posts: 36member
    Is the battery life of the new MacBook comparable to the air?
  • Reply 13 of 26
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The company did not, as previously rumored, update the Air with features like a Retina display and USB-C. Instead the company bestowed those features on a new, even thinner MacBook, based on a 1.3GHz Intel Core M processor.



    That product will actually be more costly than the Air, starting at $1,199. It will simultaneously drop many common MacBook features, such as DisplayPort and MagSafe connections.

     

    The new MacBook seems to forgo Thunderbolt entirely.

  • Reply 14 of 26
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    john.b wrote: »
    The new MacBook seems to forgo Thunderbolt entirely.

    Which is why it could be converted to ARM with ease once Mac App Store apps get fat binaries.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    12 inch is very interesting but little unsure about the performance and lack of ports
  • Reply 16 of 26

    The new 12" MacBook supports Thunderbolt, just through its USB plug. The light weight and diminutive size of the device will be slightly offset by the mess of adapters required to use the thing in the real world. ARM based processor? Not likely unless you want a netbook class machine.

     

    For me, the 12" screen is too small to see, and I need more processing power for some of the work I do. Ordered a new loaded 13" MBA. I've been four years with the first one. Only complaints were battery life, lack of ac wireless, and the quality of the screen. They fixed two anyway. Don't care about "retina," but to be fair the MBA screen was crap four years ago when I bought my current machine.

  • Reply 17 of 26
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    ignomini wrote: »
    The new 12" MacBook supports Thunderbolt, just through its USB plug.

    So the MacBook does have a TB chip, just no TB port?
  • Reply 18 of 26
    mika73mika73 Posts: 3member
    I am disapointed that Apple didnt update retina display, new trackpad and keyboard also to Macbook Air. I been Air user years and its time update. Macbook insnt powerfull enought so only option is now Pro. Air would have been perfect solution for me. Macbook Air feels old with old technology now.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member

    There are and will be lots of USB-C hubs to buy so that it can be docked, connect to a big display, keyboard mouse, backup drive and powered at the same time. I am going to buy one as a backup so  that I can throw in a bag for on the road. It will really help for going thru airports, to keep weigh and size down in Europe when using Ryanair and Easyjet. Also for back here in the States for general mobile use

  • Reply 20 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Ignomini View Post

    The new 12" MacBook supports Thunderbolt, just through its USB plug.

     

    Source?

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