Apple’s new MacBook Air has Thunderbolt and Intel Core i5, i7 chips

20 Jul 2011

Apple has taken the wraps off its newest MacBook Air, which will boast Intel Core i5 and i7 dual-core processors and Thunderbolt I/O technology and will be powered by the new Mac OS X Lion operating system.

The MacBook Air, which will boast instant-on responsiveness, starts at €979 inc VAT and is available for order online today and in stores tomorrow.

“Portable, affordable and powerful, MacBook Air is the ultimate everyday notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “MacBook Air features our most advanced technology and is an ideal match for Lion, especially with its new Multi-Touch gestures, full-screen apps, Mission Control and Mac App Store.”

MacBook Air specs

The new MacBook Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models that easily slip into a briefcase, purse or bag.

The MacBook Air’s durable aluminum unibody enclosure measures 0.11 inches at its thinnest point and 0.68 inches at its thickest.

Flash storage allows MacBook Air to turn on instantly and deliver fast data access, improved reliability and incredible energy efficiency.

The 11-inch model weighs 2.38 pounds and provides up to five hours of battery life, while the 13-inch model weighs 2.96 pounds and provides up to seven hours of battery life.

With the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, the new MacBook Air is up to twice as fast as the previous generation and has all the power you need for editing photos and movies, making FaceTime calls, playing games, and working with documents and presentations.

MacBook Air also features Intel HD Graphics 3000 and offers up to 4GB of faster 1,333 MHz memory.

Thunderbolt I/O and backlit keyboard

Thunderbolt I/O technology provides expansion possibilities never before available to MacBook Air users.

Through a single cable, users can connect to high-performance peripherals and the new Apple Thunderbolt Display, the ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook. Thunderbolt can easily be adapted to support legacy connections such as FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet.

MacBook Air comes with a full-size backlit keyboard and an innovative glass Multi-Touch trackpad. Designed for comfort and ease of typing, the backlit keyboard uses a sensor to automatically detect a change in ambient lighting and adjusts the keyboard brightness for any environment.

The Multi-Touch trackpad supports Lion’s new Multi-Touch gestures, such as momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, and swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps.

MacBook Air also features a high-resolution LED backlit display that has the resolution of a much larger, bulkier screen.

With ultra-fast Wi-Fi, you can wirelessly download apps from the Mac App Store, get music and movies from iTunes, back up data to Time Capsule and quickly and easily share files using AirDrop. MacBook Air includes Bluetooth for wireless peripherals and two USB ports for easy connectivity for the wired and wireless devices you use daily.

The new MacBook Air meets Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status.

Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of recyclable materials.

Pricing of the new MacBook Air range

The 1.6 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air is available in two models, one with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of €979 inc VAT (€809.09 ex VAT), and one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for €1,179 inc VAT (€974.38 ex VAT).

The 1.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air comes in two configurations, one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of €1,279 inc VAT (€1,057.02 ex VAT), and one with 4GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage for €1,579 inc VAT (€1,304.96 ex VAT).

Configure-to-order options and accessories include a 1.8 GHz Core i7 processor, additional flash storage, MacBook Air SuperDrive and a USB Ethernet Adapter.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years