Unlike last the last time Apple upgraded its MacBook Air, I’m not about to buy the latest model. That’s not because is isn’t a great product at a fair price, but because it’s not even perceptively better than the one that I bought last June.
When it comes to specs, the only difference between the new versions and the 2013 models are that they come with a slightly faster processo (to 1.4 Ghz from 1.33 Ghz) — a difference few if anyone will even notice. But the big difference is a $100 price drop, which means it starts out at $899 for the 11-inch model with 4 GB of memory and 128 gigabytes of storage. The 13-inch model now starts at $999. You can upgrade to 8 GB of memory for $100. A faster 1.7 Ghz I7 processor costs another $150.
While far from cheap, the new pricing puts them at least in the same stratosphere with premium Windows notebook PCs. And, given the superb battery life, beautiful design and reliability of the Air, it’s not all that hard to justify an Air over a Windows machine.
Love my Air
I’m extremely happy with my 13-inch 2013 model MacBook Air, which I reviewed when it came out last June. One of my favorite features is that it gets up to 12 hours on a single charge. I can now take a flight across the country, connect to the plane’s WiFi network and have power left after the plane is on the ground. Or I can go to a conference and take notes on my Air all day without having to look for a place to plug it in. It’s also a very fast, reliable and durable computer. I love the fact that it has a solid-state flash drive instead of a hard drive which, in addition to making it faster, also makes it less vulnerable to damage. I’ve dropped mine more than one with no damage to the drive. I had a 2012 version which fell nearly 5 feet from my backpack to a sidewalk. It has a small dent in the metal case, but no other damage.
New Macs coming?
Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is working on a far more radical re-design of its Mac line which could include a 12-inch model with a Retina display that could be “as portable as current 11-inch MacBook Air and productive as 13-inch MacBook Air.” And, according to the source they quote, it could potentiall” be “lower cost than current Apple notebooks.” 9To5Mac is also speculating about a new lower-cost iMac and a new full-zied iPad.