Apple kills MacBook, soups up MacBook Air
Forget Bluetooth 3.0, these boys have Bluetooth 4.0 on board
Apple the specced up the new MacBook Air line - and killed off the plastic MacBook.
The new Airs do indeed gain Core i5 processors: 1.6GHz for the 11-incher, 1.7GHz for the 13.3in Air, and 1.8GHz Core i7 as a build-to-order option for both. They get backlit keyboards too, absent from their predecessors.
But the basic model, the $999/£849 11.6in, 1366 x 768 Air will still ship with just 2GB of memory - now 1333MHz DDR 3, though - and a 64GB SSD. You can get a 4GB/128GB 11.i6in model for $1199/£999.
It's the bottom-of-the-line Air that will stand in for the old 13in MacBook. Or you can have a 13in MacBook Pro for £999. No question - if there was any doubt - Apple is not in the business of selling you a cheap computer.
The 13.3in, 1440 x 900 Airs both come with 4GB of Ram and either 128GB ($1299/£1099) or 256GB ($1599/£1349) of SSD storage.
As before, all the Airs sport two USB 2.0 ports, with an SD slot on the 13.3in models. All of them now have Thunderbolt ports in place of the DisplayPort-only connector of old.
According to the specs page they have Bluetooth 4.0, though Apple didn't say what benefit this offers over 3.0 or even 2.1. ®
Not interested in the back to school market then?
Every year, lots of people turn up at University with a Macbook. When they cost £700, it was a bit of a premium over other alternatives. Now they're £1000, I can see Apple losing a big proportion of that market. Why would anyone, faced an already huge chunk of debt, pay £1000 for a laptop when they can buy a nice windows alternative for £400+? I'm sure there'll still be lots of people buying macs simply because they're the kind of people that define themselves with them, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a significant drop in sales.
Does Apple not want that market anymore?
No more standard MacBooks? I was hoping for a Core i3/i5 line.... I love the white MacBooks! Well, I for one am sad about this and will hug my own MacBook later and maybe cry a little tear.
re: Not interested in the back to school market
"Does Apple not want that market anymore?"
As long as Apple offers discounts via a HE Store and an Education Store, then I’m guessing yes.
If you buy via the HE Store (which you’re entitled to do if you’re studying university and other educational establishments, e.g. some academies, or work at them – with the latter, you don’t need to have a job that involves students or research ), you get a decent discount and a free three-year parts and labour warranty.
The exact discount varies between educational establishments, but generally they’re between 14-18% and for the entry-model MacBook Air, you would looking at a little over £730. Also, the discounts on Apple software are massive and, unlike the States, it’s the full version, not an academic version.
If someone is at school, then they or a guardian/parent can use the Education Store (and most people seem to be able to get a this discount via the physical stores). The discount isn’t as big, but £50 saved is £50 saved.
Also, Apple always does a ‘Back to School’ offer each year – in 2011, it’s £65 credit at the App/iTunes Store.