The new MacBook Air: Faster and $100 cheaper

Apple has unveiled a new, updated MacBook Air, making its ultrathin notebook faster and cheaper.

Apple has unveiled a new, updated MacBook Air, making its ultrathin notebook faster and cheaper.

New MacBook Air
(Source: Apple)

The revamp centers around Intel's Haswell CPU, with the 11-inch base model MacBook Air getting a speed bump thanks to a 1.4GHz Core i5 processor (compared to the 1.3GHz part that was shipping previously). And for an extra $150 buyers can bump the processor up to a 1.7GHz Core i7 part.

The Haswell silicon, in conjunction with the battery-saving features found in OS X 10.9 Mavericks, gives the MacBook Air all-day battery life, with the 13-inch MacBook Air capable of lasting 12 hours.

Storage has also seen a boost as Apple replaces the mSATA-based SSD from the previous model with faster PCI-e storage. Based on my testing of the 1TB PCI-e drive that Apple ships with the MacBook Pro, this drive is fast, giving me read and write speeds in excess of 930 MB/s.

Missing off the new MacBook Air is the faster Thunderbolt 2 port found on the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro.

The base RAM stays at 4GB for all MacBook Air devices, with an option to increase this to 8GB for $100.

The GPU also stays the same, which is still powered by the Intel HD Graphics 5000 part.

Apple has dropped the prices on all of its MacBook Air notebooks by $100. The base 11-inch model now starts at $899, with the 13-inch starting at $999.

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