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Apple Introduces Two New MacBook Air Models

by Sean P. Aune | October 20, 2010October 20, 2010 1:12 pm PST

Not that it came as a big surprise to anyone considering all of the leaks over the past week, but Apple did indeed introduce a revision to the MacBook Air today.

In what had to be the longest refresh cycles ever for a Mac (today was day number 500), the MacBook Air didn’t only get refreshed today, but it got a second model.  Available immediately, the thinnest Mac comes in both 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch flavors with a price range of $999 to $1599.

The new models, no matter which size you choose, measure .68-inches at its thickest point, and a mere .11-inches at its thinnest.  Perhaps if you used a good sharpening stone you could turn this into some sort of deadly weapon. All of the models will be sporting the same video card and basic amount of RAM, which is a paltry 2GB, so the big differences you will be experiencing is in screen size, processor speed and battery life.

As was expected, the Airs did away with anything remotely resembling your typical storage and went to flash memory chips that have no sort of enclosures.  They’re just another chip on the motherboard which allows the MacBook Airs to get down to these amazingly thin sizes.

And, also as expected, there is no form of optical drive.

Lets break it down by model for you.

MacBook Air 11.6-Inch Model

2010 MacBook Air 11.6-inch model

The display on this model will have a pixel size of 1366X768.  Battery life will clock in at five hours for wireless Web use, and it has 30 days of standby.

64GB Model 128GB Model
Processor 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM 2GB 2GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Base Price $999 $1199
Price with 4GB of RAM $1099 $1299

MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Model

2010 MacBook Air 13.3-inch model

The display on this model will have a pixel size of 1440 X 900.  Battery life will clock in at seven hours for wireless Web use, and it has 30 days of standby.

128GB Model 256GB Model
Processor 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM 2GB 2GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Base Price $1299 $1599
Price with 4GB of RAM $1399 $1699

Are They Worth It?

We’re a little disheartened by the base RAM being 2GBs, and we think if the basic model had come in even cheaper (I was hoping for $899), Apple would have had a huge hit on their hands. The $100 for extra two extra gigs of RAM isn’t horrible, but it still isn’t in a sweet spot for your casual buyer.  The Air is still going to suffer its past fate is our thinking where it’s too expensive for someone to pick up on a whim, but too underpowered for a heavy/professional user.  It’s still suffering from a bit of an identity crisis, but you can’t deny it sure looks sleek and sexy.

What say you?  Any interest in the new MacBook Air models?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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