steve jobs today introduced the next generation macbook air, which he described as “what would happen if a macbook and an ipad hooked up.”
There are two models, one with a 13.3 inch display and another with an 11.6 inch screen. They both have a unibody construction, much like like other MacBook laptops.
The larger model is 0.68 inches thick at its thickest, and just 0.11 inches thick at its thinnest. It weighs 2.9 pounds. That makes the new model a tiny bit smaller than the original which weighed 3 pounds and measure 0.76″ to 0.16″ thick.
It has a 1440 x 900 pixel display with a full sized keyboard, and a webcam. The laptop still has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400M chip has also been replaced with an NVIDIA 320M chip.
The new MacBook Air models have solid state storage and no optical disc. Apple says like the iPad, the McBook Air will feature “instant on” capabilities and up to 7 hours of battery life while surfing the web over WiFi, and up to 30 days of standby time. Both models come with 2GB to 4GB of DDR3 memory.
The 11.6 inch model starts at $999 with a 64GB solid state drive, while the 13.3 inch model starts at $1299 with 128GB of storage. That’s not exactly netbook money, but it’s a lot better than the pricing for the original MacBook Air.
The smaller model will also have a slower processor, with a choice of a 1.4GHz or 1.6GHz chip, and a choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage, while the larger is available with a 1.83GHz or 2.13GHz processor and 128GB to 256GB of storage. Perhaps the most surprising difference? While both models have 2 USB ports, only the larger version has an SD card slot.
The 11.6 inch model has a 35Whr battery while the 13.3 inch model has a 50Whr battery. As far as I can tell neither battery is user replacable.
The new MacBook Air models are available for purchase starting today. The next generation of Macbooks.