As we expected based on our intel leading up to the event, Apple just introduced refreshed MacBook Airs live on stage at it’s WWDC 2013 keynote address today. Apple announced that the new MacBook Airs will be arriving with the new Intel Haswell chips, as expected, and spent most of the time talking about increased battery life for the devices which now includes up to 12hrs battery. The 13-inch model now boasts battery life up to 12 hours (up from 7 on the previous generation), while the 11-inch model is expected to get 9-hour battery life (up from 5 on the previous generation).

Apple also announced that the new MacBook Airs would include the faster 802.11ac with “a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n.” Other specs that Apple mentioned: dual microphones, a FaceTime® HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports.

All models will be available with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6 GHz and 4GB of RAM, but Apple will also make a BTO option available with a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

Apple said the new MacBook Airs include up to 40% faster graphics, 2x GPU execution units, and more energy efficient CPUs, while the machine itself now meets ENERGY STAR 5.2 and EPEAT gold environmental standards.

Apple will be shipping the new MacBook Airs starting today starting at $999 for a 128GB 11-inch model and $1099 for the 128GB 13-inch model. An extra $200 will bump you up to the 256GB models, but Apple didn’t provide any other details on any other upgraded internals.

Earlier this month we received SKUs indicating that Apple had some MacBook refreshes in the works for today’s event that would include an upgrade to Intel’s new Haswell chips and upgraded internals. At the time, the SKUs pointed to availability of the refreshed MacBooks this week, but it was unclear when the models would ship and if some would arrive before others.

Apple’s full press release below:

Apple Brings All Day Battery Life to MacBook Air

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple® today updated MacBook Air® with all day battery life, fourth generation Intel Core processors with faster graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and flash storage that is up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation. The ultimate everyday notebook is now an even better value, with 11-inch models featuring double the storage and 13-inch models starting at a new lower price of $1,099. Apple today also introduced completely redesigned AirPort Extreme® and AirPort Time Capsule® base stations featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance.

“MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we’ve set the bar even higher”

“MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we’ve set the bar even higher,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With faster flash, more powerful graphics and up to 12 hours of battery life, the new MacBook Air packs even more performance into the portable and durable design our customers love.”

The new MacBook Air features power-efficient fourth generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors that give the 13-inch MacBook Air up to 12 hours of battery life and up to 10 hours of iTunes® movie playback. The 11-inch MacBook Air delivers up to 9 hours of battery life and up to 8 hours of iTunes movie playback.* MacBook Air now supports next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi for wireless performance that is up to three times faster when connected to an 802.11ac base station. New Intel HD Graphics 5000 gives MacBook Air up to 40 percent faster performance for gaming and graphics intensive apps, and new flash storage provides speeds up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation and nine times faster than traditional hard drives.**

The incredibly thin and light design features dual microphones, a FaceTime® HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports. MacBook Air also supports dual displays and video mirroring while simultaneously supporting full native resolution on the built-in display.

Continuing Apple’s commitment to energy efficiency and the environment, the new MacBook Air meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves an EPEAT Gold rating.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Apple notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of highly recyclable materials.

MacBook Air ships with OS X® Mountain Lion, bringing Messages, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay® Mirroring, Dictation, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper to your Mac. With iCloud® built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across your Mac®, iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®.

Apple also introduced redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations that feature three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n. The new AirPort base stations include high-powered radios and a six-element beam-forming antenna array to maximize range and performance. With setup built right into OS X and iOS, users can create a high-speed Wi-Fi network in just a few clicks, and the intuitive AirPort Utility makes it easy to view and manage a network graphically. Featuring 2TB or 3TB hard drives, AirPort Time Capsule works in conjunction with Time Machine® in OS X and is the simplest way to wirelessly backup multiple Macs. Measuring just 3.85-inches by 3.85-inches and 6.6-inches tall, these new base stations can be placed almost anywhere in the home.

Pricing & Availability

MacBook Air is available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 11-inch 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 $999 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,199 (US). The 13-inch 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 (US), and 256GB of flash storage starting at $1,299 (US). 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 at www.apple.com/macbook-air.

The new AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations are available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. AirPort Extreme is available for a suggested retail price of $199 (US). AirPort Time Capsule comes in two models: 2TB of storage for $299 (US) and 3TB of storage for $399 (US). Additional technical specifications are available online at www.apple.com/airport-extremeand www.apple.com/airport-time-capsule.

*The Wireless Web protocol testing was conducted by Apple in June 2013 using preproduction MacBook Air configurations. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings. For more information visit www.apple.com/macbook-air.