Apple refreshed its MacBook Air line in late April. Business users will be pleased with the changes, which include updated hardware and lower prices — always an attractive combination.
Organizations previously viewing the MacBook Air as potentially unnecessary, luxurious upgrades vs. more conservative but reliable MacBook Pro models may wish to revisit such conclusions. As of April 29, the MacBook Air features faster processors, fast flash storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, and significant battery life (up to 12 hours).
The new processors are the fourth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 chips from Intel. The base configuration for both the 11-inch and 13-inch models is a dual-core i5 chip clocked at 1.4 GHz (plus TurboBoost up to 2.7 GHz), with Intel HD Graphics 5000, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128-GB internal solid-state hard drive. This setup is more power efficient and helps improve battery life across the board.
The 11-inch model now supports up to nine hours of usable uptime, and the 13-inch model supports up to 12 hours. That means most professionals can easily get through an entire work day. The battery life gains are realized in iTunes playback. The laptops can now play music or movies for the full nine and 12 hours of battery life offered by the laptops, respectively. According to Apple, the processor and graphics specs allow the MacBook Air to support dual displays (external monitor up to 2,560 x 1,600 pixels) and video mirroring. Customers may upgrade to Intel’s 1.7-GHz Core i7 chip (plus TurboBoost up to 3.3 GHz) for an extra $150.