Gamechanger: You can now buy a MacBook Air from Apple online for $599

From 9to5Toys.com: 2012 MacBook Air 11"Update (4/29 12:08pm): Looks like the $599 model is now sold out, but keep a close eye on 9to5Toys we’ll let you know when they are back!

The release of updated MacBook Air models this morning has prompted Apple to drop the price of previous generation refurbished models down to unprecedented levels. The mid 2012 models now start at just $599 and include a 1-year warranty. These models feature dual-core Intel Core i5 processors and LED-backlit widescreen displays. There are currently three different models listed with storage capacities up to 256GB, but that can change at any moment since Apple refurbished inventory is generally extremely limited.

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Apple’s MacBook Air lineup updated with faster Haswell processors, now starts at $899

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In line with our recent scoops, Apple has updated its MacBook Air lineup early this morning. The refresh features the slightly updated Intel’s Haswell processor and all models are now priced $100 less than the previous models. The design is exactly the same and we don’t expect any significant changes to the MacBook Air lineup until later this year.

You won’t find much different here, but the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have been bumped up to a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the low-end configurations and 256GB of storage in the top 11-inch and 13-inch models. These baseline models are configurable with built-to-order options up to a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of flash storage. Apple did give one particular spec a slight boost however…

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New MacBook Airs likely launching tomorrow

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Update: Here are the specs…

Apple is preparing to launch a refreshed line of MacBook Air laptops as soon as tomorrow, according to multiple sources. These sources say that shipments of new MacBook Airs have begun arriving in large quantities to Apple Stores across the country. Another source adds that Apple Stores are scheduled to re-arrange the placement of Macs in stores to focus on the MacBook Air tomorrow morning…

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When is Apple going to release a Retina MacBook Air? More signs point to ‘soon’

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Following a forum post from a Chinese website, Digitimes is reporting that Apple will indeed ship a brand new MacBook Air with Retina display in the second half of this year.

The Digitimes article offers no specifics on what the new MacBook Air will feature, aside from the Retina display. A forum poster (who has a track record of accuracy) from last week said that the new model of laptop would feature a fan-less design in an even thinner form factor than the current MacBook Airs’ enclosure.

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Opinion: Why I love Apple products, and am just a tiny bit embarrassed to be seen using them

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I love my Apple products. I’ve used Macs since day one. My desk right now has on it my MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iPad Air, Thunderbolt Display and iPhone. Oh, and an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad, of course.

My friends are convinced that I’m incapable of leaving the house without my iPad, and I have to confess that the evidence is on their side. My car has an iPhone dock so I can listen to music and podcasts. If I’m on a plane, train or tube, it’s a near-certainty that I’ll be using my iPad or listening to music on my iPhone – or both.

I love Apple hardware design. Sleek, minimalistic, beautiful. There aren’t that many other really attractive laptops out there, and most of the ones that are have essentially copied Apple’s designs …  Read more

‘Name Your Own Price’ Mac Bundle: Snagit Screencapture, Flux 4, Boom, Mac X Video Converter, Elite Keylogger Pro, more

From 9to5toys.com:

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(also don’t forget the Parallels Bundle!)

Stack Social is running another ‘Name your own price bundle’ with some solid offerings starting at $1 and an email address (Update: Now over $3 and rising!). The price goes up as people buy it so it is best to get in early.

The bundle includes:

If you are feeling generous, 10% of all sales go to a charity of you choice – so get in early, and get on the leaderboard (which qualifies you to enter a drawing for a MacBook Air). Read more

Opinion: Will Apple return to a single MacBook range next year?

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Photo: anandtech.com

I guess you could call me something of a fanboy where Apple laptops are concerned. I bought the very first one, the Macintosh Portable, in 1989 (and actually still have it tucked away in a cupboard even now). This was followed by a series of PowerBooks before the MacBooks came along, and I currently have both a MacBook Pro 17 and MacBook Air 11.

The split between the Air and Pro ranges made sense for a whole bunch of reasons up to now. The Air has performed two important roles for Apple. First, the cachet of producing the world’s slimmest notebook further boosted Apple’s style credentials. Even today, after it lost the slimmest notebook crown and has seen the wedge design copied by others, it remains a style icon, getting admiring glances every time you pull it out in a coffee shop …  Read more

Review: Studio Credence leather & felt book-style iPad case (and iPhone sleeve)

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While I may be known for my addiction to all things anodised aluminum, I also have a love of natural materials, wood and leather especially. My MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both travel in BookBook leather cases (reviewed here by Jordan), so when Studio Credence announced a book-style case for the iPad, I decided to take a look.

First impressions

Studio Credence is clearly going for a bit of a rustic look. The packaging is undyed cardboard, with the case itself in a muslin-type drawstring bag. Open this, and what you have inside is a very similar approach to the BookBook range …  Read more

New Haswell MacBook Pro teardowns beautiful but prove almost non-repairable by mortals

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MacBook Pro 13

Teardowns of the new  13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models reveal lots of shiny technology, but with the machines following the construction lead of the MacBook Air, it’s no surprise to see IFixIt giving both models low scores for repairability. The extreme difficulty in removing both battery and trackpad mean both models get even worse scores than the Air, at just 1 out of 10.

As with the Air, RAM is soldered directly to the logic board, so if you think you may need more in the future, take a deep breath and pay Apple’s price for the 16GB upgrade as there is no way to upgrade it later. IFixIt also draws particular attention to the difficulty of replacing the battery,

The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it’ll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

More details and photos below the fold …  Read more

Apple releases Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 for mid-2012 MacBook Air, launches replacement program for affected drives

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Apple has released a firmware update for the mid-2012 MacBook Air. The update attempts to resolve an issue that affects 64 GB and 128 GB models sold between June 2012 and June 2013. Apple says that the problem could lead to data loss. As this is a serious issue, the company has agreed to replace any affected drives that are unable to be updated. If the update installer detects that your drive is one of the models needing to be replaced, it will direct you to a page on Apple’s website that will allow you to obtain a replacement …  Read more

Coming from Apple in 2014: 12-inch Retina MacBook, sharper iPad, cheaper iMac?

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According to typically-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple has a slew of new products in the works for 2014. The analyst has summarized his expectations for these new products in a new research note, and has also reaffirmed some of his previous claims for products in Apple’s pipeline for the rest of Fall 2013…

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