Apple has updated its MacBook Air ultraportable, bringing the notebook range up to date with Intel's 2011 Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the high-speed Thunderbolt connectivity already seen on the MacBook Pro and iMac. Running OS X Lion, the new 11.6- and 13.3-inch Airs keep the slick unibody styling of their predecessors but throws in a backlit keyboard.
Two standard configurations of 11.6-inch MacBook Air are on offer, firstly at $999 with a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD drive, and then the $1,199 performance version with a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD drive. The display runs at 1366 x 768. Options include a 1.8GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM and larger SSDs.
Similarly, there are two standard configs of the 13.3-inch MacBook Air, beginning with the $1,299 with a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD drive, and then the $1,599 top-end version with the same processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD drive. Its display runs at 1440 x 900, while options include a 1.8GHz Core i7 CPU.
Graphics are from Intel's HD Graphics 3000. Otherwise connectivity is the same as before, which means WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth as standard, along with a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a headphone port. There's a built-in microphone and a webcam. Battery life for the 11.6-inch Air is up to 5 hours, while the 13.3-inch Air increases that to 7 hours.
The new MacBook Air is available to order from today.