At today's special event in Cupertino, CA, Apple CEO Steve Jobs saved the expected hardware announcement for last ("one more thing"). We expected new MacBook Airs, and that's what we got: new versions that are thinner and lighter than their predecessors, and come in 13.3" and 11.6" sizes. With lightweight processors, they're not powerhouses, but they do offer flash-only storage, instant start-up, and up to a month of standby time on a single battery charge.
Both models will have Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 1.4 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics cards and come standard with 2 GB of RAM (expandable to 4GB). The 11.6" model boasts a screen resolution of 1366x768 while the 13.3" model goes to 1440x900. Both come with flash storage: the 11.6" MacBook Air with 64GB base and the 13.3" model with 128GB.
The 13.3-inch model has been slimmed down to 2.9 pounds, while the 11-inch model weighs in at 2.3 pounds. They both measure 0.68" at their thickest points (the case is tapered from back to front, similar to the older MacBook Air).
The battery life claims are impressive, and Jobs said that Apple intends to start being more stringent and straightforward about its battery life estimates. The larger MacBook Air offers 7 hours of battery life while browsing the Internet on WiFi, while the smaller will get 5 hours; both will be able to remain on standby for up to 30 days on a single charge.
The port door on MacBook Airs of yore is gone. A second USB port joins the MagSafe power port, headphone, and microphone jacks on the left-hand side of the machine. The other side now sports a SD card slot next to a USB port and Mini DisplayPort connector.
The new MacBook Airs are available today, starting at $999 for the 11.6" model with a 64GB hard drive, up to $1,599 for the 13.3" model with a 1.86GHz processor and a 256 GB hard drive. Those looking for a bit more speed can opt for a 1.6HGz CPU in the smaller model or a 2.13GHz in the larger.
Source: ars technica