Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

Summary:Apple finally got official with the second generation of the MacBook Air, and here's everything you need to know about the ultra-slim notebook.

Apple finally got official with the second generation of the MacBook Air, and here's everything you need to know about the ultra-slim notebook.

The Cupertino-based company has taken design and technology specs from several other products in its store and implemented them into the new MacBook Air. Apple CEO Steve Jobs even posed the question, what would happen if an iPad and MacBook hooked up? You'd have the revamped MacBook Air, featuring a trackpad with Multi-Touch support, a much longer battery life, and flash storage options only.

As predicted, there are two different options when it comes to size. But we also have four options when it comes to configuration too. More on that second part later.

Most of the features on both versions of the latest MacBook Air are the same, and here are the similiarites:

  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard
  • HD LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1,366 x 768 native resolution)
  • 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM onboard (4GB maximum)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of dedicated DDR3 SDRAM
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
  • Stereo speakers
  • FaceTime camera
  • Connectivity: Two USB 2.0 port; mini DisplayPort (support for DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI), Microphone, headphones

One of the big differences (besides screen size and SSD space) between these two versions also comes down to processor. The 11.6-inch version starts with a Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz (optional upgrade to Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz processor), and the 13.3-inch laptop offers a standard  Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz CPU (optional upgrade to 2.13GHz). While 2.9 pounds for the 13.3-inch  model isn't exactly hefty, 2.3 pounds is surely a traveling techie's dream.
Amazingly, like almost everything else announced this morning, the new MacBook Air models are available today. Each one ships with a Software Reinstall USB drive, which is another nice step away from keeping more CDs around. The pricing scale is as follows:
  • 11-inch, 64GB SSD: $999
  • 11-inch, 128GB SSD: $1,199
  • 13-inch, 128GB SSD: $1,299
  • 13-inch, 256GB SSD: $1,599

Still a bit much for the average consumer. Even though Apple says this is where computers are going, the MacBook Air still seems intended as a businessperson's ever-so-portable laptop. At least shipping is free.

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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