CNET Tech Review
New MacBook Airs no lightweightsThis week on the CNET Tech Review: MacBook Airs get a peppy refresh; Mac OS X Lion roars into the App Store; Brian Tong tours Comic-Con; and find out what all the Spotify fuss is about.
This week on CNET Tech Review, Mac OS X Lion arrives, while Apple eats its young with the new MacBook Air. We'll also show you how to upgrade the RAM in your iMac. Spotify helps find the music your friends are listening to, oh joy, and possibly the real world 5.1 system we'd ever tested can make it all sound great. That's all coming up right now. Hello folks, I'm Brian Cooley and welcome to the CNET Tech review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech as well as offer our own special wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start off with the good. New this week on the laptop front was a pair of updates to Apple's MacBook Air line up. These ultra lights are already have pretty darn impressive specs, but as your Dan Ackerman shows us there's always room for a little improvement. - I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a very first look at the latest version of Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air. Now, physically from the outside if you'd open up the box. This looks a heck of a lot like the previous MacBook Air and in fact physically it's pretty much the same box except that this guy has a backlit keyboard something that was in the original Air missing from the second generation now back here again and the other big changes. I'm gonna show you right here on the side. This DisplayPort jack right here on the back is now a Thunderbolt-compatible jack. So, that you can hook up a display to it but you can also hook up Thunderbolt peripherals if you happen to ran across in there or couple of hard drives and Apple's gonna have a really nice looking big laptop oriented monitor later on in the summer that you can actually connect this directly too and that's gonna have an internet port and a FireWire and some other jacks. That through that single Thunderbolt connection, you can now access from your laptop. Under the hood, the biggest change with this latest generation of MacBook Air systems is the move from Intel Core-2 Duo CPUs to the latest second generation Core i-Series that's a two-generation leap for the processor. You've got Core i5 in the 11-inch and the 13-inch MacBooks and in both of those, you can actually upgrade to the faster core i7 processors. These are all the low-voltage versions and you've got to start with the more expensive upgraded base models for both of those in order to get that core i7 processor. As it is just start out with a 128 GB Solid State Drive in the 13-inch version and 4 GB of RAM or you can upgrade that to a 256 GB Solid State Drive which should be big enough for just about everybody. Once you start doing that, your MacBook Air can get a little bit expensive. We've still got the same 16x10 display. They haven't move to 16x9 yet on the 13-inch models. The gigantic multi-track touchpad is the same. They have however add it for the OS X Lion operating system upgrade that comes with these. A bunch of new gestures that took us a little while to get used too but of bunches that were actually pretty useful and you're gonna have to train yourself to use those instead of some of the previous versions of these Multi-Touch Gestures. So, following the traditional Apple upgrade cycle, what they have done is they've kept the price with the same $12.99 and $15.99 for the two different base models of the 13-inch MacBook Air while upgrading the components inside most notably of course that core i5 processor and the Thunderbolt port. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Air. -Now with the introduction of new MacBook Air, the basic 13-inch MacBook the one that cost $999 quietly vanished. So, these new airs are now Apple's entry level portable computers. If you're not convinced, check out Scott Stein's further impression of the 11-inch model right now at CNETTV.com. Perhaps more important than the new hardware is that fact that--