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June 11, 2013

New MacBook Air Offers Better Battery Life, Lower Price

Apple’s new MacBook Air may not look much different from their predecessors, but the laptops are faster and more efficient courtesy of a major internal update.

Apple unveiled the device — which is available online at the Apple Store — at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco Monday.

The new MacBook Air offers all-day battery life. In the 13-inch model, that translates into 12 hours of battery life and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, while the 11-inch MacBook Air offers up to nine hours of battery life and about eight hours of iTunes movie playback.

The updated devices will also have faster Wi-Fi connections, faster graphic loads and include Intel’s fourth-generation Core processor, known as Haswell.

“MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we’ve set the bar even higher,” said Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller.

Apple image

Apple image

“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.”

The new thin and light MacBook offers dual microphones, a FaceTime HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports. The device supports dual displays and video mirroring while concurrently supporting full native resolution on the built-in display.

The MacBook Air ships with OS X Mountain Lion and includes Messages, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Dictation, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper. iCloud, which is integrated into Mountain Lion, makes it simple for users to sync content across all Apple devices.

The 11-inch MacBook Air retails for $999 while the 13-inch models start at a new lower price of $1,099.

Apple also launched redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations offering three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n.

“The new AirPort base stations include high-powered radios and a six-element beam-forming antenna array to maximize range and performance,” the company said in a press release. “With setup built right into OS X and iOS, users can create a high-speed Wi-Fi network in just a few clicks, and the intuitive AirPort Utility makes it easy to view and manage a network graphically.”