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HolidayBuyer's Guide

New MacBook Air is faster, lasts longer (pictures)

Dual microphones

Intel "Haswell" technology

More battery life

Extended iTunes movie playback

45% faster flash storage

802.11ac Wi-Fi

Available today

Pricing

Green construction

At the WWDC '13 today, Apple pulled the wraps off of the latest update to the MacBook Air ultraportable laptop. However, the changes are more than skin deep.
Caption by / Photo by Apple
The MacBook Air's exterior design is largely unchanged from the unibody design of the previous model. It still boasts 1 Thunderbolt port and two USB 3 ports, but now features dual microphones, where the previous model only had one.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The next generation of Macbook Air is powered by the fourth-generation Intel "Haswell" chips. What that gets users is up to 40% faster graphics and better power management, according to Apple.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
One clever power management trick is the ability to wake up from standby in just 1 second and run on standby for 30 days. Actual usage battery life for the 11-inch goes from 5 hours to 9 hours. The 13-inch MacBook Air goes from 7 hours up to 12 hours or battery life.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
With up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, a user could get most of the way through the Lord of the Rings Trilogy before having to recharge the 13-inch MacBook Air.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The flash memory that forms the MacBook Air's storage also gets a speed boost and is now up to 45% faster at accessing files.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The Wi-Fi antenna has been upgraded to 802.11ac, which is up to a claimed 3x faster than the 802.11n wireless receiver in the current model. To take advantage of that additional speed, Apple is also releasing new Airport stations as well.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The new Air will be available in 11 and 13-inch flavors starting today.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The Air will be available with 128 and 256 GB storage capacities. The 11-inch runs from $999 to $1,199 and the 13-inch will cost $1,099 and $1,299.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Apple also boasts a number of 'green' accolades for the new MacBook Air, including Energy Star 5.2 compliance and EPEAT Gold.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Updated:
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