Apple updates MacBook Air!

Copied from TUAW.com

As rumored over the past few weeks, the MacBook Air has been updated hot on the heels of the release of OS X Lion. The update sees a few welcome upgrades to the hardware, including the return of backlit keyboards and an upgrade of the base RAM from 2 to 4 GB. The 11-inch MacBook Air now comes with a 128 GB SSD, far roomier than the cramped 64 GB last generation’s base model had.

The MacBook Air’s CPU has seen significant upgrades to Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” architecture. The base CPU is an Intel Core i5 clocked at 1.6 GHz, and build-to-order options exist to bump the CPU as high as a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7. These are by far the fastest processors the MacBook Air has ever had, and while it’ll likely be a couple days before they’re benchmarked, they have the potential to be around as powerful as a 2008-model MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air has also gained a Thunderbolt I/O port, bringing it in line with the MacBook Pro and iMac updates from earlier this year. The Thunderbolt port replaces the MacBook Air’s former Mini DisplayPort and gives it the fastest port yet seen on Apple’s ultraportable line.

Tech specs of the new MacBook Air models are below.

11-inch:

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU (1.8 GHz Core i7 build-to-order)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • one model with 2 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD; another with 4 GB and 128 GB SSD
  • Thunderbolt, Two USB ports
  • OS X Lion
  • Available now for US$999 and $1199

13-inch:

  • 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU (1.8 GHz Core i7 build-to-order)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB build-to-order)
  • 128 or 256 GB SSD
  • Thunderbolt, Two USB ports, SD Card port
  • OS X Lion
  • Available now for $1299 (128 GB) or $1599 (256 GB)

The latest models will go on sale online today and starting tomorrow Thursday, July 21 in retail stores.


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