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Apple MacBook Air stays skinny, gains beefier specs

Port array still pathetic

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Apple's MacBook Air remains as skinny as ever following today's laptop launch, but buyers now get much better graphics, a faster processor and more storage space.

The original Air's HDD was its key weakness, so the 80GB parallel ATA drive's gone, replaced by a bigger, faster, 120GB SATA unit. The SSD Air is now offers 128GB of raw storage capacity.

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air: still slim, but with better specs

As per the new 15.4in MacBook Pro Apple introduced today, the Air now comes with Nvidia's integrated GeForce 9400M chipset, which integrates a GPU that has five times the performance of the Intel one used before.

The Air gets Intel's latest Core 2 Duo CPUs, both with 6MB of L2 cache, but only marginal increases in clock speed. Still, the new core design should mean they outperform the old models by a fair margin.

Alas Apple did nothing to address the Air's paucity of ports: there's still only one USB connector and a headphone socket. The machine gets the new mini-DisplayPort connector instead of the mini-DVI the old one had.

The two new Air models will continue to retail for $1799/£1299 and $2499/£1799, though they won't ship until early November.

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