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Apple launches new MacBook Air: 11-inch model, all SSD

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Wed October 20, 2010

Apple debuts 11-inch, new 13-inch MacBook Air

Apple today as anticipated launched the new MacBook Air, its first major redesign of the ultraportable since 2008. It now occupies an even thinner wedge-like shape, at 0.68 inches, but still finds room for a second USB port and an SD card reader. The 13.3-inch model is lighter at 2.9 pounds, but a brand-new 11.6-inch model (without the SD card slot) weighs just 2.3 pounds.

Both move exclusively to SSDs for storage, as Apple is aiming for the same instant-on, skipproof design as the iPad. They also pack high levels of pixel density, with the 11.6-inch Air getting a 16:9 ratio 1366x768 display and the 13.3-inch model now having a 1440x900 screen, the same as on a 15-inch MacBook Pro. The smaller model now uses a ULV Core 2 Duo (instead of the 13.3-inch model's Core 2 Duo S) but gets a faster GeForce 320M for graphics.

Battery life has extended at up to seven hours of wireless use on the 13.3-inch model, while the 11.6-inch model matches the old model at five hours.

The lineup is also now much less expensive than before and starts at $999 for a 11.6-inch model with a basic 64GB SSD, a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM. An $1,199 configuration moves up to a 128GB SSD for $1,199. 13-inch models start at $1,299 for a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, while a $1,599 model goes to a 256GB SSD. Users can pick up to a 1.6GHz processor on the 11.6-inch system or 2.13GHz on the 13.3-inch. Either can be upgraded to 4GB of RAM and have a new option for a Mini DP to HDMI adapter.

All models are available today on the online Apple Store.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    I thought the MBA was already using SSD.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002



    did you miss the "exclusively" part or is this one of those days where you're dashing from this article to that doing your little testudo thing?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    nice advance - looking forward to more advances

    I think the App store - as an option - on the Mac is a fine, its more choices.

    I think it will turn out to be quite an important choice, too.

    I don't like wedges, I'd prefer a flat design. But overall its a very elegant machine, and I would live with the wedge.

    They've made wonderful software progress with the included iLife bundle....

    no touch screen - yes, thats pushing the envelop and the market would have to catch up with that understanding.

    But now obviously developers can't target the touch screen style app, except to iPad owners.
    That's ashame because gestures don't quite give the full touch screen experience.

    Overall I think its a great netbook.

    It's got a bit more oomph, than your $299 netbook at walmart, as you'd expect since it costs $999.

    I'm sure it should give the MBA a kick in the pants as far as sales go.

    I hope the software revenue from App store is someday so great, that they can get more competitive on price points, and make huge margins from the app store, instead of hardware sales. That's still a far off dream, I understand, but it would be nice.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Doesn't Look Like The New MBAs ...

    ... have backlit keyboards. Or did I miss that detail?

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Nice Netbook

    your comment

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: nice advance

    I hope the software revenue from App store is someday so great, that they can get more competitive on price points, and make huge margins from the app store, instead of hardware sales. That's still a far off dream, I understand, but it would be nice.

    I'm sure Apple will point out that they won't be making any money on the AppStore, it's all about making it easier for the user (as is said of the iOS AppStore).

    And Apple could get more competitive with their prices now if they desired to do so (at 30+% margins, there's lot's of room in there as it is). The increase in sales of cheaper models would easily outweigh the difference in margin per machine.

    However, Apple has shown no desire to become competitive on price or have 'mass-market appeal' or whatever. They like their current image with the consumer. They aren't going to change that just to try to boost their market share more and allow just any commoner to own one of their computers.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Some of the iHaters on Engadget are

    calling the MBA a $1000 netbook even though it doesn't come close to the true definition of a netbook. It's a little underpowered for my taste but I would think it would go over big with road warriors looking for something lightweight with good battery life and instant-on capability. No moving parts seems like a plus. It isn't suitable for everyone, but I think it should sell rather well. Likely better than the older MacBook Air. It'll add more to Apple store for the Christmas spirit of giving and receiving. I'd certainly be happy to hear that it's a holiday hit.

  1. ADeweyan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2004


    I wonder if Steve actually said...

    "What, who would ever need more than 2GB RAM?"

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    4G, 2.16GHz available

    on the big one. The same Core2Duo as my 3-year-old Macbook Pro, and for roughly the same price. I think it's incredible.

    Basically, when you travel, "should I bring my big heavy MacBook along or not" -- a question you'll never ask with this little guy.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003


    Order placed

    Been waiting a long time to replace the 12" Powerbook - just did, 11.6", 4GB RAM and the faster processor - what the heck, it's only money.

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