Earlier today Apple released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1 which will fix the problems that the MBA has with with Thunderbolt performance and OS X Lion Recovery over the Internet
According to Apple, the update is intended to:
“resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Air (mid 2011) models.”
Apple emphasizes that you must not interrupt your Mac’s power during the update lest you risk turning it into a very attractive brick. The update requires OS X Lion, which is pre-installed on affected model MacBook Airs.
Not all the new MacBook Airs are created equal. TLDToday discovered that Apple is yet again using two different manufacturers for the Air’s SSD drives. Some MacBook Airs are shipping with Samsung SSDs, while others are shipping with SSDs made by Toshiba. The issue that arises with this is that the Samsung SSDs are faster than the Toshiba ones.
TLDToday found that the MacBook Air with a 128 GB Samsung SSD produced speeds of up to 246 MB/s write and 264 MB/s read. On paper that’s a lot faster than the 156 MB/s write and 208 MB/s read speeds that the 128 GB Toshiba SSD-equipped MacBook Air achieved.
To find out which SSD your newest MacBook Air has go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac. Click the More Info button, then click System Report. Select Serial-ATA from the Hardware header in the source list. Look for where it says “Apple SSD.” If the letters after that are “SM” you have the Samsung SSD. If the letters are “TS” you have the Toshiba SSD.
Unfortunately there’s no way to check which SSD drive you have before buying the Air, unless the Apple store lets you open the box and power it on before you buy it.
Apple’s white MacBook has been a hit with students and those with a tight budget for some time, but with the huge success of the MacBook Air since its refresh in October, there no longer seems to be a need for the white MacBook.
Though we will miss the venerable white model, it only makes sense. The new 13-inch MacBook Air is souped up enough to replace the MacBook for most people and the Air’s US$999 price tag is reasonable. If a grand is too much to drop, the new Core i5 Mac Mini may fit the bill with its starting price tag of $599.
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.
The next generation MacBook Air may get a flash memory boost according to a report from Macotakara. The new NAND flash memory could replace the Blade X-Gale SSDs in the current generation MacBook Air models. This Toggle DDR 2.0 technology boasts of 400 MBps transfer rates and 19-nm processing. As a result, read times could reach 261 MBps and write times could be bumped up to 209 MBps. These small memory chips may be soldered on the MacBook Air’s base circuitry.
2010 was packed with Apple announcements, some planned and one unplanned. The iPad was revealed and released, the iPhone 4 was introduced, and all everyone talked about was air, the MacBook Air.
In 2010 the iPad was revealed, and everyone rejoiced except for the netbook industry that really felt the impact as Apple continued to eat into their market share. We are expecting to see more tablet releases during 2011, perhaps even with one from Apple, with a definite hardware and a rumored design update.
We all knew the iPhone 4 was coming thanks to a forgetful Apple employee and some poorly executed shenanigans from Gizmodo. If only they had tested the antenna!
The new MacBook Air is aimed squarely at consumers, with the cheapest model entering the fray at a tempting $999. As a sexy consumer notebook, the Air has finally come into its own and will likely continue to make inroads in the sub-notebook market as prices drop and speeds increase.
iOS 4 in itself was a big deal. Finally iOS users who were able to upgrade their devices with custom wallpapers, backgrounds and do more useful things like access a unified inbox and multitask with apps.
What surprises does Apple have for us on the Macintosh side of the house? 2011 will be an interesting year (again) to watch!