Apple loads Haswell CPU, USB3.0 into new MacBook Air notebooks

macbookair2013As we suspected, Apple has launched updated versions of its popular MacBook Air notebook. The computing giant revealed the new models overnight at the WorldWide Developers Conference.

The entry-level 11-inch model of the MacBook Air receives a 1.2GHz Intel Haswell-grade Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel integrated HD 5000 graphics engine and 128GB solid-state drive (double the previous version). It goes on sale now at the previous-model price in Australia of $AUD1049. A second version with 256GB of storage also goes on sale for $AUD1349.

The larger 13-inch model also gets a refresh but interestingly, Apple has chosen to fill its two larger versions with exactly the same hardware as the 11-inch models. For example, the 128GB version of the 13-inch model has the same processor, memory cache, solid state drive but comes in at $AUD1249 while the 256GB version sells for $1449.

The key feature Apple is spruiking with the 11-inch models doing nine hours of battery life, the 13-inch models up to 12 hours. This is on the back of a 35-watt-hour Lithium-polymer battery inside the 11-inch model and a 50-watt-hour unit in the 13-inch variant. Apple includes a 45-watt power adapter with both models.

Amongst the other features in common is 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking, 720p FaceTime camera, Thunderbolt digital video output (that supports both DisplayPort and HDMI, plus dual USB3.0 ports.

Apple has a limited number of consumer-configurable upgrade options including raising the RAM to 8GB and opting for a faster 1.7GHz Haswell-grade Core i7 processor.

All four new models are available today from the Apple store.


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