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

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.

SHARE:
26

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.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

26 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

    Too pricey for me. What you get for the money isn't worth it.
    Loverock Davidson
    • I understand if you can't afford it

      @Loverock Davidson

      For you, there's always Acer or Lenovo or Dell or ... enjoy.
      jaypeg
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @jaypeg
        Exactly. Why would I want to pay more for the same functionality?
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @jaypeg
        Nice comment!
        I have an Acer nbook and I have a macBookPro15. Both are not incompatible for pros. Both have their use.Are you one of those pros or are you a fanatic?
        patbot
    • I always get a kick out of people who have a burning desire

      to tell people they aren't going to buy an Apple product. It shows a hilarious arrogance. As if them not purchasing it is actually going to matter to anyone.
      frgough
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @frgough
        It should matter, I'm a customer.
        Loverock Davidson
      • They were right when they said that

        in the sense that iPad sales were short of even Apple's predictions, that the first MacBook Air ddin't sell in the numbers Apple expected, and the first AppleTV he had to come back and correct himself by renaming it "a hobby".

        Come on, if people want more, and the comapnies are giving less, will as many people jump in and buy it as opposed to something closer to what they want?
        John Zern
      • john,

        @John Zern
        .. are you intentionally lying or don't you know any better, and thus are just another clueless apple hater?

        never ever did apple give any sales predictions for the ipad (or any other product). they always and only report sales. there were some lofty expectations from the usual illiterate analysts, nothing else.
        banned from zdnet
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @frgough People like Loverock actually delude themselves that what they do or don't do, or buy or don't buy, actually matters to anyone else. They're beyond help, I'm afraid. Loverock's ludicrous assertion that it matters because he's a "customer" is typical of his drivel. A "customer" buys things. He doesn't. How does that make him one? Go figure.
        thetwonkey
    • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

      @Loverock Davidson
      Exactly. Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz CPU ??? Hey Apple, the year 2004 called, it wants its processors back.

      Arn't we up to quad core and more?
      cybr2th@...
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @cybr2th@...
        I was surprised by the C2D, thought for sure they would use an icore in there.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @cybr2th@...

        That's funny ;-) The great and powerful stevey jobs has spoken! so you can click your heals 3 times and say there is no one better than apple there is no one better than apple there is....
        MLHACK
    • It's worth every cent

      @Loverock Davidson

      What you get for the money is called style. Wonder how you dress to work.
      Saurondor.
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @Saurondor. You would pay that much more for style???? Wow! Wanna buy a nice bridge?
        bvonr@...
      • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

        @Saurondor.

        Jeans and a collard shirt. I don't want to buy style, I want to buy functionality. Price vs. performance is a major factor.
        Loverock Davidson
      • How much extra?

        How much extra am I really paying? 200 bucks? 300?

        What performance are we talking about? CPU cycles? That's ol' time performance index of little relevance today. Battery life? What I can do with it vs Windows?
        Saurondor.
    • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

      @Loverock Davidson Then don't buy it. And you don't have to whine about it.
      thetwonkey
  • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

    well they are gonna suck ( Again! )
    mjl65
  • RE: Apple welcomes the next generation MacBook Air; starts at $999

    Sigh...too much money. I had my hopes up for a reasonably priced MacBook Air 11-inch for my travel & super-portability needs. But a thousand dollars? Guess I'll just grow some muscles and continue hauling around my 15" MacBook Pro. You're a lucky man, Steve. You can price anything & everything out of the reach of the common man's wallet... but common man will still lay down in front of a truck for you with his wallet open because of that darned apple.
    trailrunner1956
  • Apple products epitomize 'want' vs 'need'.

    I used to be a "Mac Evangelist". But Apple gave up on providing what people need a long time ago, preferring to rely on people's "wants".

    I'd love to get a MacBook Air, but it's simply not worth the price. I'm much more likely to get a used Dell d600 off of eBay and install Debian on it.
    roystonlodge