Each June, just like clockwork, Apple refreshes its MacBook Air line -- sometimes with a new design, and always with brand new processors. Well, today is June 10th, and it's the start of WWDC, which means it's time to bring out the 2013 models. The company just unveiled the new 11- and 13-inch Airs, both of which step up to Haswell CPUs and 802.11ac WiFi, and also promise significantly longer battery life. In particular, the 11-inch model claims nine hours of runtime, up from five, while the 13-incher is said to last 12 hours (up from seven). As for processing performance, you get fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, along with Intel HD 5000 graphics, which should translate to 40 percent faster graphics, according to Apple.
The one thing we can't glean from Apple's brief tease at WWDC is whether these new models boast higher-res screens than the previous-generation models. (We feel like Apple would make that clear if that were the case, no?) On the plus side, both models now come standard with 128GB SSDs (as opposed to 64 gigs on the 11-inch model). They're available today, with the 11-inch version still priced from $999, and the 13-incher starting at $1,099.
Update: The Apple Store is once again live, which means we've had a chance to look at the product page for the new MacBook Air. As we suspected, the screen resolution has not changed.
WWDC 2013: MacBook Air
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Apple Brings All Day Battery Life to MacBook Air
SAN FRANCISCO-June 10, 2013-Apple today updated MacBook Air with all day battery life, fourth generation Intel Core processors with faster graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and flash storage that is up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation. The ultimate everyday notebook is now an even better value, with 11-inch models featuring double the storage and 13-inch models starting at a new lower price of £949. Apple today also introduced completely redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance.
"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 Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "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 MacBook Air features power-efficient fourth generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors that give the 13-inch MacBook Air up to 12 hours of battery life and up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. The 11-inch MacBook Air delivers up to 9 hours of battery life and up to 8 hours of iTunes movie playback.* MacBook Air now supports next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi for wireless performance that is up to three times faster when connected to an 802.11ac base station. New Intel HD Graphics 5000 gives MacBook Air up to 40 percent faster performance for gaming and graphics intensive apps, and new flash storage provides speeds up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation and nine times faster than traditional hard drives.**
The incredibly thin and light design features dual microphones, a FaceTime HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports. MacBook Air also supports dual displays and video mirroring while simultaneously supporting full native resolution on the built-in display.
Continuing Apple's commitment to energy efficiency and the environment, the new MacBook Air meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves an EPEAT Gold rating.*** Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminium and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Apple notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed of highly recyclable materials.
MacBook Air ships with OS X Mountain Lion, bringing Messages, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Dictation, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper to your Mac. With iCloud built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Apple also introduced redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations that feature 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 maximise range and performance. 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. Featuring 2TB or 3TB hard drives, AirPort Time Capsule works in conjunction with Time Machine in OS X and is the simplest way to wirelessly backup multiple Macs. Measuring just 3.85-inches by 3.85-inches and 6.6-inches tall, these new base stations can be placed almost anywhere in the home.