Apple beefs up new MacBook Airs with Ivy Bridge, from $999

The new MacBook Airs will sport the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller touts the MacBook Air's new specs.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller touts the MacBook Air's new specs. CNET

Apple's new MacBook Airs are getting a dose of Ivy Bridge and a few other upgrades, but no Retina Display.

Announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference today, the new MacBook Airs will be equipped with the latest Intel Ivy Bridge chips, offering up to a 2.0 Ghz dual-core i7 processor. But the added Turbo Boost can bump the processor speed up to 3.2GHz.

Other options include a 512GB solid-state drive with a read speed of 500MBps, faster than any other hard drive, according to Apple. Also on the feature list is 8GB of 1600Mhz memory. And Apple has made the move to Intel's HD Graphics 400, which Apple says will boost the graphics speed by 60 percent.

And not one, but two USB 3.0 ports will be part of the package. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said that other PC makers have added USB 3.0 to their machines, but sometimes they add one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0. Apple, however, is adding two ports that work for both technologies, Schiller said.

A FaceTime HD 720-pixel camera is on the front, so MacBook Air owners can chat via video with iPhone and iPad users.

One possible negative, though -- no Retina Display for the MacBook Airs. The 11-inch MacBook Air still offers a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, while the 13-incher is sticking with a 1,440x900-pixel resolution.

Prices? The 11-inch edition will sell for anywhere from $999 and $1,099, depending on the configuration, while the 13-inch model will run anywhere from $1,199 to $1,499.

Commenting on the flood of ultrabooks hitting the market, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said of the MacBook Air at WWDC today that "everyone is trying to copy it, but they find it's not so easy."

 

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