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Apple Presents New Macbook Air Notebooks

Apple finally unveiled its duo of new Macbook Air laptops earlier this morning and both are essentially updates to the existing range of MBA devices which was launched in October 2010.

The fifth generation Macbook Air comes with a choice of three processors that replace the ageing Core 2 Duo processor that had been used in the last three generations of Apple's ultra thin laptops.

For the first time, users will be able to choose either a 32nm Sandy-Bridge Core i5 or i7 processor which was announced back in June 2011. The main highlight of the new update apart from the processor swap is the inclusion of Mac OS X 10.7, otherwise known as Lion.

Another major difference is that Apple has chosen to bypass any discrete graphics chip; since late 2008, Apple has been using an Nvidia based solution in its Macbook Air.

Not everyone will be pleased with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor which reduces the overall amount of system memory by up to 384MB. The bigger 13-inch Macbook Air now sports 4GB memory with the storage options remaining the same.

The new Macbook Air is also the first to come with the new Thunderbolt port which was introduced on the Macbook Pro, and is one of the first devices to come with Bluetooth 4.0 which has a much wider range (up to 50m) and consumes the same amount of power as NFC.

Apple is already selling (opens in new tab) the new MBA range with a delivery time of only 24 hours; as expected the four models on offer cost between £849 and £1349.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.