Apple wondered what would happen if the MacBook and the iPad "hooked up," and the answer is the new MacBook Air. The new MacBook Air is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, weighing just 2.9 pounds, it's 0.68 inches thick at its thickest area, and 0.11 inches at the thinnest. It's an all unibody enclosure, and it picks up that single-button glass trackpad that the MacBooks and MacBook Pros have been sporting for a while now. You've got a 13.3-inch model with a 1440 x 900 LED backlit display, and a smaller 11.6-inch model with a 1366 x 768 display. You get a couple of USB ports, a mini DisplayPort, stereo speakers, 802.11n WiFi, and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The 13-inch model also gets an SD card slot. They all used fast SSD chips, with instant-on support and 30-days of standby battery life.
The new MacBook Air starts at $999, and is on sale starting today.
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At their Back to the Mac event this morning, Apple announced the next version of OS X, Lion. One major feature of the operating system is the Mac App Store. iOS users are used to the App Store mentality, and Apple is bringing that to the desktop. Developers can submit apps to the Mac App Store, it'll hold free and paid apps, and Apple gets the 30% split that they've been getting from the iOS App Store. Automatic installation and auto app updates also highlight the App Store, and even more interesting, the fact that any apps purchased will be licensed to run on all your Macs. Very interesting concept, and we think this is gonna be a hit.
Even cooler? The Mac App Store will be open within 90 days from today, so it'll obviously be compatible with Snow Leopard.
Update: Apple has made it official - FaceTime for OS X launches today in beta!
We're checking out the Back to the Mac event live right now, and we noticed this interesting and all-too-familiar icon in the dock during the demos. Looks like FaceTime is coming to OS X, by way of iChat!
At their Back to the Mac event this morning, Apple announced the next update to their iLife suite, iLife '11.
- iPhoto '11: Bunch of new full-screen modes, tighter Facebook and Flickr integration, email themes, and better book creation.
- iMovie '11: New audio editing, one step effects, movie trailers, news and sports themes, and people finder.
- GarageBand '11: FlexTime, Groove Matching, more amps and effects, new piano and guitar lessons, "How did I play?" feature
iLife '11 is available today, free with all new Macs, $49 upgrade for current owners.
Apple's Back to the Mac event kicks off in just under 30 minutes, and the company just announced that they will once again be streaming it live to Macs and iOS devices. Point your browser to the Back to the Mac live stream at 10:00 am PDT to get in on the action. We should see news of an updated MacBook Air, iLife '11, and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
Looks like the guys over at Cult of Mac have received a few interesting tidbits of information as it pertains to a possible MacBook Air refresh at this Wednesday's Back to the Mac Apple event. Here's a look at what they say they've been told:
- The new model is also apparently much snappier than its underpowered predecessor. ”It boots so fast, it’s unbelievable,” our source says. “It’s amazing how fast it boots up.”
- A faster 13-inch model with upgradeable options should appeal to pro users, while a cheaper 11-inch MacBook Air might be more attractive to students and casual users.
- A 50-percent bigger battery, delivering 8-10 hours of battery life. The current MacBook Air has a 5-hour battery.
- The new machine is thinner and lighter, weighing less than the current model’s 3lbs, our source says.
- The new enclosure is also an aluminum unibody design, like the current model — but not as curvy.
- Same black keyboard as current MBA, same single-button Multi-Touch trackpad. [wha? Current MacBook trackpad has separate button, unlike the rendering]
- Upgradable RAM (base 2GB [-boo!], SSD. Also NVidia GeForce 320M integrated graphics
- Two configs: 2.1Ghz (with 2GB of RAM) and 2.4 GHz (with 4GB of RAM).
Of course, we take all this stuff with a grain of salt until Apple actually shows it off, but the MacBook Air is in serious need of a hardware refresh, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it happen on Wednesday. Pricing on these is also rumored to be dropping from the current $1,500 starting price, with the 11.6-inch model starting at $1,100 and the 13.3-inch version going for $1,400.
As always, we will have all the details from this Wednesday's event as they happen.
Read More | Cult of Mac
Apple has been on such a mobile tear lately that many have worried that OS X was being given the shaft. However, Apple’s next press event looks to be all about the Mac hardware and the OS X operating system. The invitation is above, and clearly shows a lion hiding behind that Apple logo. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to put two and two together here—each iteration os OS X has been named after some sort of wild cat, and Lion must be the name of Mac OS X 10.7. News Macs and finally news on Apple’s next major OS? We can’t wait.