MacBook Air Overview Updated December 8, 2016

MacBook Air

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October 2010 - May 2016


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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)

Related Guides:

Be sure to check 9to5Toys for all the latest MacBook deals and promotions.

MacBook Air Stories May 13, 2016

AAPL: 90.52

0.18

9to5Toys Last Call: 13-inch MacBook $850, Motorola Modem + Router (refurb) $75, 1st Gen Hue Bundle $110, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro 32GB Wi-Fi in Gold, Silver & Space Gray: $640 shipped (Reg. $799)

Roundup: The best power strips w/ USB ports to quickly (and safely!) charge all of your devices

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB (newest model): $850 shipped (Reg. $999)

Apple’s just-released 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air w/ 8GB of RAM gets its first price drop: $1,000 shipped (Reg. $1,199)

Apple 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (newest model) 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB: $1,040 (Reg. $1,299)

Motorola SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & 802.11AC Wi-Fi Router refurb: $75 shipped (Reg. $220)

Green Deals: Philips Hue LED Starter Kit (1st Gen.) $110 shipped (Orig. $200), more

Philips Friends of Hue Bloom Wireless LED Bulb $45 shipped (Reg. $60)

Get Nomad’s premium Italian leather Apple Watch Strap for just $100 shipped (Reg. $150)

App Store Free App of the Week: King Rabbit goes free for the first time (Reg. $1)

Adventure/platformer Swordigo goes free on iOS for the first time in over a year (Reg. $3)

Call of Duty iOS titles matching all-time lows: Strike Team $2 (Reg. $7), Zombies $1 (Reg. $5), more

Grand Theft Auto iOS Sale: Liberty City Stories $3, China Town Wars $3, San Andreas $4, more

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

QNAP 4-Bay NAS w/ HDMI, AirPlay & PLEX: $349 shipped (Orig. $480)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

iTunes $0.99 HD Rentals (Reg. $5): Sicario, Prometheus, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, much more

Cut the cord for good w/ the AmazonBasics Ultra Thin 50-mile HD Antenna for $32 Prime shipped (Reg. $40)

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

The Vuze Camera brings an affordable point-and-shoot design to virtual reality

Review: Samsung’s KS9500 65-Inch curved 4K TV is pretty amazing [Video]

MacBook Air Stories May 5, 2016

AAPL: 93.24

-0.95

9to5Toys Last Call: 11″ MacBook Air $700, 23″ Lenovo 1080p Monitor $90, Belkin 6-Outlet Surge Protector $5, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Apple 11-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (latest version) for $700 shipped (Reg. $899)

Apple 12-inch MacBook (Early 2015) 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB $930 shipped (Orig. $1,299)

Lenovo 23-inch IPS 1080p LED Monitor w/ HDMI: $90 shipped (Reg. $150+), more

Add a six-outlet Belkin Surge Protector to your home or office for $5 Prime shipped (Reg. $10+)

Grab a free download of Camera Plus w/ AirSnap for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch (Reg. $1)

Grand Theft Auto iOS Sale: Liberty City Stories $3, China Town Wars $3, San Andreas $4, more

App Store Free App of the Week: Dragon Hills goes free for the very first time ($2 value)

Best Buy’s latest Apple sale takes $100 off iPad mini 4, up to $100 off Apple Watch & $25 off Apple TV

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Daily Deals: Canon MAXIFY All-In-One Printer w/ AirPrint $75, Philips Bluetooth Multimedia Speakers $32, more

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless In-ear Active Collection Headphones $120 shipped (Reg. $140+), more

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Garmin goes classy with its new smartphone-connected vívomove fitness tracker

MacBook Air Stories April 29, 2016

AAPL: 93.74

-1.09

9to5Toys Last Call: 11” MacBook Air 256GB $850, Mini DisplayPort/HDMI adapter $5, iOttie Car Mount $13, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Mos Speedrun 2 for iOS goes free for the first time (Reg. $2)

Apple 11-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz/4GB/256GB from $850 shipped w/ .edu (Reg. $1,099), more

Apple 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB $1,200 or $1,150 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499), more

Sabrent DA-MDHA Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter w/4K Support): $5 shipped

iOttie’s latest Easy One Touch Mini Car Mounts for iPhone/Android: $13 Prime shipped (Reg. $20)

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular in all colors for $820 shipped (Reg. $1,079)

Apple 27-inch Retina 5K iMac 3.2GHz/8GB/1TB: from $1,450 (Reg. $1,799)

Apple 21-inch Retina 4K iMac 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB (newest version): from $1,150 shipped w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499)

Anker’s new 60W USB-C/A 5-port charger can quickly refuel your MacBook, more

App Store Free App of the Week: Dragon Hills goes free for the very first time ($2 value)

Star Wars Pinball for iOS goes free for the first time in nearly a year (Reg. $2)

Star Wars KOTOR for iOS now matching its lowest price ever: $3 (Reg. $10)

Alto’s Adventure for iOS now matching its lowest price ever: $1 (Reg. $3)

Air Display 3 for iOS gets its first price drop to $10 (Reg. $15)

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Toshiba Canvio 3TB Desktop External Hard Drive $80 shipped (Reg. $100)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Treat your Apple Watch with Nomad accessories: Nomad Pod portable battery pack $34 (Orig. $60, CA Tax only), more

Networking: D-Link 802.11ac Wireless Router $25 (Reg. $30+), PowerLine Kit w/ Wi-Fi Extender $80, more

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

Triby is the first non-Amazon portable Bluetooth speaker with built-in support for Alexa

The SteelSeries Apex M500 is a lean mechanical gaming keyboard w/ Cherry MX Red switches

MacBook Air Stories April 26, 2016

AAPL: 104.35

-0.73

9to5Toys Last Call: Retina MacBook Pro from $1,150, 4K iMac $1,150, 512GB Thunderbolt SSD $284, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:

Last Call Updates:

Audio-Technica’s best selling ATH-M50x Pro Headphones + $30 VUDU Credit & more: $99 shipped ($160+ value)

Apple 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB $1,200 or $1,150 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499), more

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (early 2015) from $700 shipped w/ .edu (Orig. $999)

Apple 21-inch Retina 4K iMac 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB (newest version): from $1,150 shipped w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499)

Transcend storage upgrades for your Mac: 512GB Portable Thunderbolt SSD $284, 256GB Expansion Card $170, more

App Store Free App of the Week: Readdle’s Calendars 5 for iOS goes free for the first time in years (Reg. up to $7)

Air Display 3 for iOS gets its first price drop to $10 (Reg. $15)

Star Wars KOTOR for iOS now matching its lowest price ever: $3 (Reg. $10)

Upgrade Your Mac with 3 Great Apps: Scapple $9 (Orig. $15), STAMP Premium $5 (Orig. $10), Ghostnote $7 (Orig. $10)

Apple offers Day One 2 iOS journal app for free ($10 value)

The best accessories for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook: USB-C cables, hubs, flash storage, more

Apple drops the price on refurbished 12-inch MacBooks, now start at $929 shipped

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Best Buy offers $1 iPhone 6s (16GB) on Sprint (Reg. $199), or $100 gift card w/ installment plan

Home Theater: Yamaha 7.2-Ch. A/V Receiver w/ AirPlay + Bluetooth $479 shipped (Reg. $700), more

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Twelve South HiRise Deluxe Stand for iPhone & iPad w/ Lightning + microUSB cables:$40 Prime shipped (Reg. $60)

Dock your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with this Rosewood Desk Stand for $20 Prime shipped

Review: Are these third-party $11 Apple Watch Sport bands any good? Turns out, they aren’t too bad.

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

PICTAR’s vintage-inspired SLR camera accessory for iPhone looks to add affordable functionality

Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade. expand full story

MacBook Air Stories April 25, 2016

AAPL: 105.08

-0.60

As an owner of a Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it’s slowly beginning to show its age. However, I find that this machine, an i7-powered rig with 16GB of RAM, is still plenty powerful for the applications that I run on a day-to-day basis. For example, with Final Cut Pro X, it’s not the fastest machine in the world (it lacks dedicated graphics), but it’s still plenty competent when it comes to editing and exporting 4K videos.

The biggest bottleneck that I’ve encountered with this computer is its storage capabilities, and that’s something I’ve been trying to deal with since the day I purchased it. With only 256 GB of flash storage, space has been hard to come by since day one. That wouldn’t be so bad if there was a way to upgrade the amount of internal storage, but sadly there has been no upgrade solution…until now.

Back in early March, OWC made a splash by announcing the very first flash storage upgrade solution the MacBook Pro as far back as the Late-2013 product cycle, and the MacBook Air, as far back as the Mid-2013 product cycle. Yes, finally! MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners with qualifying machines can come out of the storage dark ages with OWC’s new Aura PCIe flash storage upgrade. expand full story

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