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Apple cuts MacBook Air price to $1,099, updates $1,299 MacBook Pro

Students get an additional $100 off, too. But the controversial butterfly switch keyboards remain.

macbook-air-2018-analisis-4

College students can save some money on MacBooks. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple is getting ready for the school-shopping season, giving the MacBook Air a display upgrade and a discount for college students. It's also updating its MacBook Pro and offering the same education discount. 

The price of the MacBook Air is dropping to $1,099 -- a $100 savings on its previous price. College students will get an additional $100 off, bringing the price to $999, the company said Tuesday. The updated MacBook Air will also get True Tone technology added to its Retina display, which should offer better color reproduction. 

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The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is getting a bigger overhaul. The $1,299 model will now 8th-generation quad-core processor, which the company says will make it twice as powerful. But that same laptop will now offer Touch Bar and Touch ID, as well as the True Tone Retina display, the Apple T2 Security Chip, wider stereo speakers and the three-mic array found on higher-end MacBook Pros. That's the first time those features will be available at that low of a price point on the Pro line. Students can get the same $100 price cut on it, too. 

The Mac maker confirmed all of its MacBooks will include the third-generation butterfly keyboard but with small tweaks to avoid issues users have had in the past. Keys will now have a rubber-like material underneath that will help keep them free of debris and dust while giving them an extra bounce. In March, Apple acknowledged the keyboard issues that MacBook owners were experiencing. The company reportedly will change the design soon to feature glass fiber sometime in the future.

The new, more affordable laptops effectively replace older models being culled from Apple's line. The 12-inch MacBook, the "classic" non-Retina MacBook Air and the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro are all officially gone, though you can still find them in some retail channels, as well as Apple's own refurb store

Apple's back-to-school promotion, which starts today, also includes Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones with the purchase of qualifying Mac notebooks and iMacs. 

Originally published July 9, 5:34 a.m. PT.
Update, 5:59 a.m. PT: Adds more background details. 7:25 a.m. PT: Adds more upgrade details. 8:46 a.m. PT: Adds additional context.

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