While Monday’s big news was definitely Apple’s new MacBook Pro with retina display, a thin and powerful new Ultrabook alternative, Apple also refreshed the even lighter and thinner MacBook Air with Ivy Bridge and a few other goodies.
Processor, RAM, and Storage
Coming in an 11 inch and 13 inch model, the Macbook Air (mid 2012) is now equipped with Ivy Bridge. The 11″ base model has an Ivy Bridge Core i5 CPU @ 1.7GHz (turbo boost up to 2.6GHz). The base 13″ model has a slightly faster Core i5 CPU @ 1.8GHz (turbo boost up to 2.8GHz). Optionally, each can be equipped up to an Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU @ 2.0GHz which turbo boosts up to 3.2GHz.
The RAM has been upgraded to 1600MHz speed, the fastest now supported by Ivy Bridge. 4GB is the default and up to 8GB can be configured.
SSD is the only option available in the MacBook air, and Apple says that they’ve refresh the MacBook Air with faster storage than the previous generation. The 11 inch model can be equipped with 64/128/256/512GB while the 13 inch model has options for 128/256/512GB.
Display, Ports, and Thunderbolt Accessories
The MacBook Air was not equipped with a retina display as many had hoped, Apple obviously saved that for another product. The 11 inch model still has an 11.6″ 1366×768 display and the 13 inch a 13.3″ 1440×900 display.
Apple has upgraded to 2xUSB 3.0, one port on each side. A single Thunderbolt port graces both models along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The 13″ model has a full SD slot which the 11″ lacks. If this lack of ports scares you, you may be interested in some Ultrabooks with a better variety of ports. Both variants use the thinner MagSafe 2 adapter. Both models have a backlit keyboard.
The company also revealed a slew of Thunderbolt accessories which will presumably work on Ultrabooks equipped with Thunderbolt ports.
- Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
- Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
- Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
- Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter
Size, Price, and Release Date
The MacBook Air is squarely an Ultrabook competitor/alternative thanks to it’s size and weight. Both models at 17mm at their thickest point and taper down to 3mm. The 11″ model weighs 1.08kg and is one of the lightest among Ultrabooks and ultrathins. the 13″ model weighs in at 1.35kg.
As with all of the computers announced on Monday, the Macbook Air is available right now.
If you’re looking for a full list of detailed specs, see the MacBook Air pages in our Ultrabook/Ultrathin database:
The 11″ model starts at $999 and can be configured up to $2,149. The 13″ model starts at $1,199 and can go as high as $2,199. Choose wisely!