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Apple updates MacBook Air with next generation processors, Thunderbolt and backlit keyboard
Press release, July 22; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Friday 22 July 2011]

Apple has updated the MacBook Air with next generation processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, a backlit keyboard and Mac OS X Lion. With up to twice the performance of the previous generation, flash storage for instant-on responsiveness and a compact design with strong portability, the MacBook Air starts at US$999 and is available for order and also in stores.

MacBook Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models that easily slip into a briefcase, purse or bag. The MacBook Air's durable aluminum unibody enclosure measures a thin 0.11-inches at its thinnest point and 0.68-inches at its thickest. Flash storage allows MacBook Air to turn on instantly and deliver fast data access, improved reliability and incredible energy efficiency. The 11-inch model weighs 2.38 pounds and provides up to 5-hours of battery life, while the 13-inch weighs 2.96 pounds and provides up to 7-hours of battery life.

With the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, the new MacBook Air is up to twice as fast as the previous generation. MacBook Air also features Intel HD Graphics 3000 and offers up to 4GB of 1333MHz memory.

Thunderbolt I/O technology provides expansion possibilities never before available to MacBook Air users. Through a single cable, users can connect to high performance peripherals and the new Apple Thunderbolt Display. Thunderbolt can be adapted to support legacy connections such as FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet.

MacBook Air comes with a full size backlit keyboard and an glass Multi-Touch trackpad. Designed for comfort and ease of typing, the backlit keyboard uses a sensor to automatically detect a change in ambient lighting and adjusts the keyboard brightness for any environment. The Multi-Touch trackpad supports Lion's new Multi-Touch gestures such as momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, and swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps.

MacBook Air also features a high resolution LED backlit display that is thin yet has the resolution of a much larger, bulkier screen. With Wi-Fi, users can wirelessly download apps from the Mac App Store, get music and movies from iTunes, back up data to Time Capsule and quickly and easily share files using AirDrop. MacBook Air includes Bluetooth for wireless peripherals and two USB ports for easy connectivity for the wired and wireless devices you use every day.

Apple makes the industry's greenest notebook lineup and the new MacBook Air meets Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status. Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of recyclable materials.

Every new MacBook Air comes with Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the operating system, and iLife apps for creating and sharing photos, movies and music. Lion introduces more than 250 new features to the Mac, including Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control; the Mac App Store; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are available for order on the Apple Store and in Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers starting July 21. The 1.6GHz 11-inch MacBook Air is available in two models, one with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of US$999, and one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for US$1,199. The 1.7GHz 13-inch MacBook Air comes in two configurations, one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of US$1,299, and one with 4GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage for US$1,599. Configure-to-order options and accessories include a 1.8GHz Core i7 processor, additional flash storage, MacBook Air SuperDrive and a USB Ethernet Adapter.

Apple third-generation MacBook Air

Apple third-generation MacBook Air
Photo: Company

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