In a bid to expand the market of the ultra-thin laptop, Apple is preparing to release a new version of the MacBook Air, providing for two versions one $999 and one $1099—making both of them extremely economically priced for similar offerings in the market—alongside two 15-inch MacBook Pros. During the WWDC 2012 conference in San Francisco, CA Apple announced that these new machines will integrate Intel Ivy Bridge, Nvidia graphics, and the next-generation Retina display.
This is the next generation of MacBooks.
This is essentially the little sister of the 15-inch version of the MacBook Pro, also being announced at WWDC 2012 by Apple. The entire line has been reinvented, the announcement says, an entirely new paradigm approaching the guts of the machines on display.
The $999 11-inch MacBook Air has a 1366×768 display with 1.7GHz dual-core i5, 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 64GB Flash storage, 5 hours of battery life, and weighs in around 2.38 lbs; the second version simply doubles the carrying capacity of the Flash storage to 128GB for +$100 on the price tag.
The big sister 15-inch MacBook Pro 1440×900 display with 2.3GHz quad-core i7, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Geforce GT 650M 512MB, 7 hours battery life, and weighs in at 5.6 lbs. The standard version runs for $1,799 and the next upgrade adds a GeForce GT 650M 1GB graphics card, 8GB RAM, and 750GB HDD for $2199.
Looking at media integration, we’re seeing USB2 and USB3 ports available, as well as Firewire integration on the 15-inch MacBook Pro; an HDMI interface and an SD slot. As well as two Apple Thunderbolt I/O ports for extreme wired high-speed data transfer.
The MacBook’s boast a new Retina display with an extremely high pixel DPI and fidelity, “the pixels are so small, the retina cannot discern them,” on one of the thinnest MacBook’s ever produced running at 0.71 inches.
During the announcement, Apple also pointed out that Diablo III looks gorgeous on the Retina display (probably for the 15-inch laptop primarily and its heavy lifting graphics cards.) Although with an Intel dual-core i5 inside the 11-inch, it shouldn’t be far behind on graphical capability and the ability to run a game such as Diablo III smoothly. Certainly Blizzard is patting themselves on the back for having a Mac client right now—especially after having so much popularity that it staggered the video game’s launch.
The updated Ivy-bridge Intel chips and the Retina display will be shipping today.
With these developments and enhancements in the next generation of MacBook products, Apple might be seeing some catch up against Microsoft’s market line up this year.