Latest Upgrade Keeps Apple MacBook Air Speedy, Ultraslim

Latest Upgrade Keeps Apple MacBook Air Speedy, Ultraslim
There is No Design Change This Time Around
MacBook Air Competes With MacBook on Mobility
MacBook Air Bookends the MacBook
Battery Life Varies, Depending on the Option
Fifth-Generation Intel Core Processor
Thunderbolt 2 Connectors Deliver Faster Data Transfers
Flash Storage Is Twice as Fast, Apple Says
MacBook Air Will Be Primed for Yosemite's Update
The Experience Won't Be All That Different
It's Hard to Beat the Price
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Latest Upgrade Keeps Apple MacBook Air Speedy, Ultraslim

By Don Reisinger

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There is No Design Change This Time Around

Apple has decided not to change the MacBook Air's design. The notebook remains exceedingly thin at just 0.11 inches at its thinnest spot. At its thickest, the computer is just 0.68 inches. That will provide customers with the same mobility as previous models but add in some better functionality, thanks to improved components.

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MacBook Air Competes With MacBook on Mobility

One of the key factors in choosing between the MacBook Air and MacBook is mobility. The MacBook Air is technically thinner at its thinnest point, but the MacBook is the thinnest product all around, at just 0.52 inches at its thickest. In addition, the MacBook weighs just 2 pounds, compared with the MacBook Air's 2.4 to 2.96 pounds, depending on screen size. So while the MacBook Air was once easily the most portable Apple computer, it no longer is, thanks to the new MacBook.

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MacBook Air Bookends the MacBook

The MacBook is bookended by the MacBook Air. While the MacBook has a 12-inch screen, those who want choice should pick the MacBook Air. Apple's Air has an 11-inch screen and a 13-inch screen, giving customers the options they don't get in the standard MacBook. It's a nice option for those seeking more choices.

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Battery Life Varies, Depending on the Option

The battery life built into the MacBook Air is still solid. According to Apple, the 11-inch model comes in at 9 hours of battery life on a single charge. The 13-inch model has a 12-hour battery life. That's no small feat, considering the new MacBook Air comes with improved specs that might use up more power.

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Fifth-Generation Intel Core Processor

The biggest update to the MacBook Air is the fifth-generation Intel Core processor. Both models come with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, but can be configured up to a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 for an additional price. Both processors deliver solid performance and should handle most resource-intensive tasks.

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Thunderbolt 2 Connectors Deliver Faster Data Transfers

Apple has bundled Thunderbolt 2 in the MacBook Air. That's an important addition. While the original Thunderbolt port was fine for data transfer and handling video displays, Thunderbolt 2 is twice as fast. The computer also comes with USB 3 for added connectivity. Thunderbolt 2's addition will mean faster data transfer, better connectivity with displays, and more.

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Flash Storage Is Twice as Fast, Apple Says

The flash storage built into the MacBook Air is twice as fast as the previous generation, according to Apple. The technology behind flash storage allows it to be 17 times faster than a standard 5,400rpm notebook hard drive. Both versions come with 128GB to 256GB of storage, and the price varies, depending on the choice. Both models can be configured with up to 512GB of on-board storage.

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MacBook Air Will Be Primed for Yosemite's Update

Each year, Apple launches a new update to OS X. This year, Apple is working on yet another update that will replace Yosemite. By going with the MacBook Air, customers will guarantee that their computers will work perfectly fine with the upcoming operating system. Look for OS X Yosemite's replacement to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference and launched in the fall.

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The Experience Won't Be All That Different

Those who own a MacBook Air that they've bought in the last year or two will not see too much of a difference between the new Apple lightweight notebook and the older model. Apple's new MacBook Air is certainly faster than its competitor, but that benefit will be seen most on resource-intensive tasks. For regular Web surfing, email and other standard activities, the experience won't be so different.

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It's Hard to Beat the Price

It's hard to beat the price on Apple's MacBook Air. The cheapest 11-inch model starts at just $899 and rises to $1,099 for those who want 256GB of storage instead of 128GB. The 13-inch model, meanwhile, starts at $999 and goes up $200 to $1,199 for 256GB. Compared with other Macs, it's hard to beat the MacBook Air's price. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, for instance, starts at $1,299. Apple's new MacBook also starts at $1,299. Those looking to get into the Apple ecosystem on a notebook will find that it's much cheaper to do so with the MacBook Air.

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