Recently updated to Haswell chips
At a Glance
The MacBook Air is Apple's ultra-portable notebook computer that balances performance with portability, offering dual-core i5 processors and up to 12 hours of battery life in a thin, light package.
- Dual-core Haswell processors
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- PCIe flash storage options
- 4 GB+ RAM
- 128 GB+ flash storage
- 9–12 hour battery life
- Intel HD Graphics 5000
11.6-inch with 1344 x 756 Display: - $999: 1.3 GHz Core i5 & 128 GB - $1,199: 1.3 Ghz Core i5 & 256 GB 13.3-inch with 1440 x 900 Display: - $1,099: 1.3 GHz Core i5 & 128 GB - $1,299: 1.3 GHz Core i5 & 256 GB
Updated in June, the MacBook Air now features Intel's low-power Haswell processors, giving the notebook what Apple calls “All-day battery” life. The 11-inch MacBook Air lasts for up to nine hours, while the 13-inch model lasts for up to 12 hours, both with standard use.
With Mavericks, the most recent MacBook Air is able to last for more than 15 hours on a single battery charge, thanks to multiple power saving enhancements.
Though the energy-efficient Haswell processors give the MacBook Air impressive battery life, the speed gains are minimal. According to benchmarks, the new MacBook Air performs three to eight percent better than the previous generation.
Since Apple just updated the MacBook Air a few months ago, we don't expect them to be updated again until sometime next year. One report based on supply chain sources has however, speculated that Apple could shift the MacBook Air to a new 12-inch display with a higher resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels, offering Retina support at certain resolutions.
MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we've set the bar even higher. With faster flash, more powerful graphics and up to 12 hours of battery life, the new MacBook Air packs even more performance into the portable and durable design our customers love.Phil Schiller, Apple SVP of Marketing
The Haswell chips incorporate integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000, or “Iris” graphics that are a lot more impressive than the Intel HD Graphics 4000 found in the previous generation MacBook Air. According to Intel, its Iris 5000 Graphics offer double the performance of the Intel HD Graphics 4000.
PCI Express-based storage was introduced with the MacBook Airs, offering much faster read/write times. In a test performed by Anandtech, the MacBook Air reached read/write speeds of nearly 800 MB/s. Apple rates the PCIe storage as 9x faster than a traditional notebook hard drive and 45 percent faster than the flash storage in the previous generation Macbook Air.
The MacBook Air's overall performance is also enhanced by the inclusion of faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi. When connected to an 802.11ac base station, wireless performance is three times faster than with 802.11n. 802.11ac supports a theoretical transfer rate of 1.3 gigabits per second, a huge improvement over the 450 megabits per second of 802.11n.
Other MacBook Air Features
Apple's MacBook Air is known for its compact size and portability. The notebooks were last redesigned in 2010, and weigh just 2.38 pounds and 2.96 pounds for the 11-inch and 13-inch models, respectively.
The MacBook Air features Mini DisplayPort output, a Thunderbolt port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SDXC card slot. It has stereo speakers, a headphone port, dual microphones, and a full-size backlit keyboard.
The entry level 11-inch MacBook Air can be upgraded with a 1.7Ghz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM. The more expensive 11-inch model has the same upgrade options, along with 512 GB of flash storage.
The entry level 13-inch MacBook Air can be upgraded with a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM. The more expensive 13-inch model has the same upgrade options, along with 512 GB of flash storage.
Though initial models of the MacBook Air shipped with OS X Mountain Lion, they can be upgraded to Apple's latest operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free.
Released on October 22, Mavericks includes more than 200 new features, including a revamped Finder with tags and tabs, Safari improvements, and better multi-display support.
How to Buy
The MacBook Air can be purchased from the online Apple Store, from an Apple retail location, or from select Apple Authorized Resellers. Currently, all models of the MacBook Air ship within 24 hours. Refurbished mid-2013 MacBook Air models recently became available and can be purchased from the refurbished section of Apple's website at a discount.