MacBook Air Overview Updated June 21, 2016

MacBook Air

Introduced in 2008 and last redesigned in 2010, Apple’s MacBook Air ($899 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 available in 11.6″ (1366×768-pixel) and 13.3″ (1440×900-pixel) models, the MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop, featuring non-Retina screens, 9- to 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; only the 13.3″ model includes an 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.

378 MacBook Air stories

October 2010 - April 2016

MacBook Air Stories April 15

AAPL: 109.85

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MacBook Air Stories April 12

AAPL: 110.44

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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 …

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MacBook Air Stories March 22

AAPL: 106.72

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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.

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MacBook Air Stories March 18

AAPL: 105.92

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MacBook Air Stories March 11

AAPL: 102.26

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