On Tuesday morning Apple announced a new version of its MacBook Air, the company’s slim, lightweight, oft-imitated laptop computer. The new MacBook Air looks the same as last year’s model, but Apple has upgraded the computer’s processor, making it speedier at things like multi-tasking, and also taken $100 off the starting price.
The design, weight, and screen sizes and quality remain the same. What Apple has improved here is the guts of the computer, improving its zip and likely its battery life, too. Last year’s MacBook Airs, which launched in June, started with Intel dual-core 1.3 GHz processors; this year’s MacBook Airs will come with newer Intel dual-core 1.4 GHz processors.
That means better speed. The cheapest MacBook Air configuration, for a laptop with an 11-inch display, costs $899, down from $999 a year ago. A new MacBook Air with a 13-inch display starts at $999, also down $100 from a year ago.
Though Apple’s super-skinny laptop was one-of-a-kind when it debuted in 2008, similarly lightweight, slim models from Windows manufacturers like Samsung and Asus have been challenging the Air as of late. Many of these models are cheaper than the Air, and offer similar processing power and lightness. None of those myriad Windows “Ultrabooks,” as they are called, have caught on like the Air has, however.
For the gear-heads, tech specs are available at Apple’s website. The new MacBook Air is available now on Apple.com and in Apple stores.