MacBook Air Overview Updated December 8, 2016

MacBook Air

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October 2010 - April 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:

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MacBook Air Stories April 25, 2016

AAPL: 105.08

-0.60

9to5Toys Last Call: 13” MacBook Air from $700, Beats Pill+ $166, Onkyo 4K 5.1-Ch. Receiver/Speaker Bundle $300, 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:

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

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

Beats Pill+ Portable Bluetooth Speaker w/ Lightning charging: $166 shipped (Reg. $230)

Onkyo 5.1-Channel 4K Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package w/ Bluetooth $300 shipped (Reg. $400)

Best Buy 4-Day sale: Apple Watch w/ Stainless Steel casing $200 off, deals from $349 shipped

MacBook Air: 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB $800 (Orig. $999), 11-inch 256GB from $875 (Reg. $1,099), 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)

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:

UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker in Black or Blue: $55-$59 shipped ($70 new)

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Best Buy 4-day sale: Beats Studio Over-Ears $150 or Wireless $250, Powerbeats2 Active Collection $130, Roku HDTVs from $170, more

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:

Ilumi extends its line of Bluetooth-connected smart lightbulbs to outdoor spaces

MacBook Air Stories April 22, 2016

AAPL: 105.68

-0.29

9to5Toys Last Call: Apple Watch $200 off, 13-inch MacBook Air $800, Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphones $150, 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:

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

Best Buy 4-Day sale: Apple Watch w/ Stainless Steel casing $200 off, deals from $349 shipped

MacBook Air: 13-inch 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB $800 (Orig. $999), 11-inch 256GB from $875 (Reg. $1,099), more

Best Buy 4-day sale: Beats Studio Over-Ears $150 or Wireless $250, Powerbeats2 Active Collection $130, Roku HDTVs from $170, more

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro 32GB Wi-Fi in all colors: $640 shipped (Reg. $799)

Apple iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi in Space Gray or Silver $249 shipped (Orig. $399)

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)

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

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

MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:

Daily Deals: PNY 32GB Duo-Link USB Lightning Flash Drive $35, Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 Camera Bag $40, more

MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:

Save $10/month by owning your cable modem: NETGEAR DOCSIS 3.0 $47 (Reg. $60), more

NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:

SanDisk’s new iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone & iPad sports a fresh design and speed boost

Bang & Olufsen’s new A1 Bluetooth speaker brings 24-hour playback and USB-C charging

MacBook Air Stories April 15, 2016

AAPL: 109.85

-2.25

MacBook Air Stories April 12, 2016

AAPL: 110.44

1.42

Apple has long been about simplicity and minimalism. Steve Jobs’ philosophy was effectively that usability trumps choice. Sure, you lose the ability to customize your iPhone or iPad in the way you can an Android device without jailbreaking it, but what you gain in return is a device that is both more reliable and a lot more secure.

Jobs applied that same philosophy to Apple’s product range. When he returned to Apple in 1997, one of the first things he did was to rationalize the company’s product lineup, paring it back to the essentials. In 2008, he proudly told Fortune that “Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products.”

Apple has, for the most part, maintained that approach ever since, famously saying ‘no’ to a thousand product ideas for every time it says ‘yes.’ But I still think there’s a little more work to be done in terms of rationalizing the company’s MacBook lineup …

expand full story

MacBook Air Stories March 22, 2016

AAPL: 106.72

0.81

Digitimes has a mixed track record of reliability with regard to Apple rumors, but its latest report gels with expectations. The report claims Apple is preparing new 13 inch and 15 inch MacBooks to launch in the summer, by July. Although the publication does not say this, it indicates that new MacBook Pros are on the horizon perhaps debuting at WWDC, Apple’s developer conference.

Given Intel’s CPU roadmap, Apple laptops featuring the new Skylake processors are due. Therefore, it is not that much of a stretch to believe this report. A key feature of Skylake is power efficiency, which would allow Apple to make dramatically thinner laptops.

expand full story

MacBook Air Stories March 18, 2016

AAPL: 105.92

0.12

Apple may need to find new WiFi chip supplier as Broadcom reportedly scales back production

Apple may be left needing to find a new supplier of WiFi chips if a Digitimes report is accurate. The report claims that Broadcom is scaling back its WiFi chip production in favor of more profitable products.

As is often the case with Digitimes reports, the report is unclear, the opening stating that Broadcom is ‘looking to phase out its WiFi chip business’ while a quote ascribed to unnamed sources says instead that it plans to ‘significantly reduce resources allocated to its Wi-Fi chip business.’

Either way, though, Apple may need to find additional or replacement suppliers as it relies on the company’s chips across almost its entire product range. It’s reported that competitors MediaTek, Realtek Semiconductor and RDA Microelectronics have all received last-minute orders from Broadcom customers. It’s not known whether this includes Apple.

Photo: Broadcom WiFi Airport Card for Retina MacBook Pro (Aliexpress)

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