MacBook Air Overview Updated August 17, 2018

MacBook Air

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392 'MacBook Air' stories

October 2010 - August 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 August 17

The rumor mill notched up a surprise today. We’ve long been hearing reports of Apple working on an entry-level 13-inch MacBook, and there has been speculation of a price in the $899 to $999 range.

That all seemed to make perfect sense. The existing MacBook Air is positively ancient by the standards of the rest of the MacBook line-up, so a new machine to replace this seemed an obvious fit.

But a new report today suggested that the new machine could have a price tag of $1200 – and that paints a different picture entirely …

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MacBook Air Stories August 13

We first heard a report of an ‘entry-level’ 13-inch MacBook back in January. That was backed by Ming-Chi Kuo in March, who suggested that it would be branded as a new MacBook Air

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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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