Apple Offering Stripped-Down $999 13" MacBook Air to Educational Institutions Buying in Bulk
Apple has begun offering a stripped-down 13" MacBook Air to educational institutions purchasing in bulk, replacing the two-year old white plastic MacBook offering the company recently discontinued. Apple had ceased sales of the MacBook to consumer customers back in July of 2011.
The new educational-exclusive MacBook Air is a 13" model with the same specs as the entry-level consumer 11" MacBook Air: 1.6GHz i5 processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB flash storage, and the Intel HD Graphics 3000 chipset. The machine is available in a 5-pack for $4,995 or $999 per machine. The standard 13" MacBook Air starts at $1,299.
Apple has long offered prepackaged sets of laptops to educational institutions looking to equip teachers or students with MacBooks (and iBooks before that). It has also made available a Learning Lab product that includes 10 or 20 MacBooks along with a preconfigured cart to hold and charge the machines. More recently, Apple has begun offered iPad and iPod Learning Lab carts, too.
After the discontinuation of the white MacBook, Apple reworked the bulk laptop packages it offers educational institutions. As first reported by 9to5Mac, Apple is now selling 5-packs of the 11" and 13" MacBook Airs along with an existing 13" MacBook Pro offering. The MacBook Air Learning Lab packages have been updated as well, with discounted 10- and 20-packs of the stripped-down 13" MacBook Air bundled with the aforementioned charging and storage cart.
The new packages are available on Apple's educational institution online store, though Apple has yet to update its educational web page with the new information.