MacBook Air Overview Updated April 30, 2018

MacBook Air

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390 'MacBook Air' stories

October 2010 - April 2018


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Introduced in 2008 and last redesigned in 2010, Apple’s MacBook Air ($999 and up from the Apple Store) started out as a significantly slimmer, lighter, and more expensive alternative to the 13″ MacBook and MacBook Pro. Currently offered in a 13.3″ (1440×900-pixel) size, the MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop, featuring non-Retina screens, 12-hour battery life, and 128-512GB of flash storage. To reduce their size, they use low-power Intel Core i5 processors, two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt 2 port and a SDXC card reader. They remain top choices for many students and casual computer users.

In March 2015, Apple refreshed the MacBook Air with slightly faster Intel Broadwell processors and superior Intel HD Graphics 6000 GPUs. The MacBook Air line currently includes 1.6GHz processors across the line with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7GHz. All four models ship with 4GB of RAM standard, and built-to-order versions can go up to 8GB. 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 wireless are standard on the Air, as is a 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Although Apple introduced a thinner 12″ Retina MacBook in March 2015 (with an April 2015 release date), the new model lacks almost all of the MacBook Air’s ports, has a lower-resolution FaceTime camera, and reduces the horsepower significantly – all at a higher price. Unless you really want the higher-resolution screen, which is also available on the Retina MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air is a better choice.

Current Lineup:

  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)

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MacBook Air Stories April 30

Back in 2015, I gave my view of how I’d revamp the MacBook line-up. Leaving aside the specific sizes, based on a then-rumor that never panned out, I suggested that it didn’t make sense to retain three categories.

It seemed to me untidy to have a range which ran MacBook Air then MacBook then MacBook Pro. Assuming the reports of this year’s MacBook Air are broadly correct, things could potentially get even messier this year.

Already, the smallest laptop sits in the middle of the price range, but the rumors say this year’s MacBook Air will have a Retina display and a ‘slim design.’ If the new MacBook Air gets slimmer, and it gets a Retina display, then why would anyone pay $1299 for a MacBook rather than $899 for a MacBook Air with a slightly bigger screen … ?

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We’ve been hearing for a while that Apple is working on a new 13-inch Mac laptop with a Retina display, with entry-level prices set to dislodge the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Air in the lineup. In a new report today, Digitimes says that Apple has pushed back assembly of the new laptop into the third quarter.

The price of the new 13-inch MacBook is expected to be around $899, although any plans for a WWDC release appear no longer to be in the cards. The report says supply chain partners are now stuck with piling inventory of parts until Apple gives the go ahead.

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MacBook Air Stories March 5

The MacBook Air has been one of Apple’s more neglected product lines. The 11-inch model was discontinued in 2016, and the 13-inch model hasn’t seen any major updates since 2015.

I thought I knew why Apple was keeping the machine in the lineup: it needed an entry-level Mac to bring people into the ecosystem, and at a time when most people buy laptops, the Mac mini wasn’t going to be it. The 12-inch MacBook was the obvious successor, but at $1299 it was just too expensive.

So my theory was that Apple was holding onto the MacBook Air until it was able to bring the 12-inch MacBook price down to hit the magic $999 number. But it now seems that Apple has a different, more ambitious plan …

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MacBook Air Stories March 3

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is today out with a pair of new investor notes on Apple. The analyst offers new supply chain details on the new iPhones coming this year, AirPods demand, and more. Kuo also says Apple is planning a more affordable 13-inch MacBook Air for this year…

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MacBook Air Stories January 15

The first new product Steve Jobs announced after taking the stage for the Macworld 2008 keynote was Time Capsule, a router and wireless backup solution designed to work with Time Machine, Apple’s then new backup software. Jobs would talk about another kind of time machine before the keynote was over: the MacBook Air.

Announced on January 15th, 2008 – 10 years ago today – the original MacBook Air gave us a glimpse into the future of Apple’s plans and ambitions across all of their product lines. A decade later, we’re taking a look at how the MacBook Air set the tempo for today’s modern devices, redefining the Mac and informing the direction of the iPhone and iPad as well.

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MacBook Air Stories January 12

Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has revealed the steps he took to guard against the risk of the screenplay being leaked online.

To protect against hackers, Johnson said that he wrote the screenplay on a dedicated, air-gapped MacBook Air …

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