If Apple has anything to say about it, the future of the notebook will be long and healthy. And it will be exemplified in the new versions of the MacBook Air, announced during Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote this morning, and released and available today.
Based on a new fourth-generation core processor called Haswell ULT—the replacement for Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor—the new lightweight notebooks feature significantly longer battery life, faster graphics performance, and greater energy efficiency.
The 11-inch MacBook Air improves from 5 hours of battery life to 9 hours, with standby for up to 30 days. The 13in Air goes from 7 hours to 12 hours of battery life. Wakeup time is 1 second. What does that mean for everyday life? According to Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing guru, you get up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback and you can watch the entire trilogy of Lord of the Rings.
Designed for power savings, with more energy efficient CPUs, the new Airs have a slower clock speed while still delivering 40 percent faster graphics performance, Apple says. The MacBook Air is based entirely on flash storage, and is up to 45 percent faster than the previous version.
Wi-Fi is reportedly three times faster in the new MacBook Air, but networking improvements depend on a new simultaneous dual-band, 3-stream 802.11ac base station. That calls for an entirely new design of the AirPort Extreme that does 802.11ac. Apple also released a new Time Capsule model.
The 11in MacBook Air comes with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $1,099, and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,349. The 13in MacBook Air comes with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6 GHz, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at $1,249, and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,449. Configure-to-order options include a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, up to 8GB of memory and up to 512GB flash storage. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online.
Check out the following links for more WWDC news, analysis and discussion:
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about iOS 7
Blogs: 27 new iOS 7 features Apple didn’t talk about
News: Apple unveils iOS 7
Blogs: iOS 7: how its latest features stack up to Android
Blogs: Siri in iOS 7: Apple still playing catch up with Google, but moving aggressively
News: Siri gets smarter in iOS 7, ditches Google for search
Blogs: What Apple’s new AirDrop data sharing says about NFC
News: Apple’s law enforcement critics ‘appreciative’ of new activation lock
OS X Mavericks
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about OS X Mavericks
News: Apple previews OS X ‘Mavericks’
News: iBooks to come to the Mac
News: Safari gets energy-efficient update in Mavericks
Features: Lab tested: Haswell MacBook Air benefits from faster graphics, flash storage
News: New MacBook Airs get better battery life & graphics performance
News: Apple’s Mac move could spur PCIe flash flurry in notebooks, desktops
News: Intel’s new Haswell chips may be hot, but not in a good way
Blogs: iOS 7, Mavericks and more: developers react to WWDC announcements
Blogs: Apple’s events move on, and so does the company
Blogs: Meet the new Apple, same as the old Apple
News: The Apple Design Award winners
News: Apple’s big-screen TV was a no-show at WWDC, but analysts say it’s coming soon
News: Anki’s AI cars show off App Store strength
News: Apple gets into the stream of things with iTunes Radio