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NewsPoster Apr 29, 2014 05:49 AM
MacBook Air updated with processor speed boost, $100 price cut
Apple's update to the <a href="" rel='nofollow'>MacBook Air</a> has <a href="" rel='nofollow'>taken place</a>, with relatively few changes. Just as <a href=" chines/" rel='nofollow'>reported yesterday</a>, the notebook lineup has been refreshed to use 1.4GHz dual-core Haswell Intel Core i5 processors with Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz, up from the 1.3GHz version that boosts to 2.6GHz used previously, with the range also seeing a drop in price of $100 across the board.<br />
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The 128GB and 256GB 11-inch models are now priced at $899 and $1,099 respectively, with the 13-inch versions selling for $999 and $1,199 for 128GB and 256GB of storage. Customizing the MacBook Air to use a 1.7GHz Core i7 processor, with a 3.3GHz Turbo Boost, costs an extra $150. A similar reduction in price has also occurred in the <a href="" rel='nofollow'>United Kingdom</a>, with the cheapest 11-inch model priced at £749 and the cheapest 13-inch at £849.<br />
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<div align='center'><img class='mobile-img' src='' width='500' height='185' alt='' border='0' /></div><br />
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Just as before, the MacBook Air includes Intel HD Graphics 5000, 4GB of RAM upgradable to 8GB, a 1366x768 or 1440x900-resolution display depending on the physical size, two USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 38Wh or 54Wh batteries. Shipping on both the US and UK sites show the MacBook Air will ship within 24 hours.
Makosuke Apr 29, 2014 07:02 AM
Decent little mid-model bump. Now if they could just do something with the year-and-a-half-old Mini. Some of us have an use for a box somewhere between a Mac Pro and an iMac, but it's pretty hard to justify shelling out for something that's that far down the upgrade curve for a home system.

C'mon, guys, I don't wanna have to hackintosh it, just a modest refresh would be acceptable.
prl99 Apr 29, 2014 09:23 AM
The price difference between an 11-inch i5 MBA and a 128GB iPad A7 WiFi-only is only $100. I'd like to see a speed comparison between the two. The only feature difference is a touch screen isn't it? Maybe it's time for Apple to release the iPad Pro as a touch screen MBA. Of course, they'd also need to add cellular capability but at $929, the iPad 128GB with WiFi+cellular is already more expensive than the base 11" MBA so there is room. The MBA weighs 2-3lbs depending on model so it's twice as heavy (what's an extra pound?) but it is a much more capable computer.

@Makosuke, I agree with your Mac mini comment. I'd like a mini/maxi with a real GPU and a CPU closer to the iMac. I wouldn't even mind having a power brick to give more room inside the box while removing a heat source. Hum, they sell the mini as a server, what about two power bricks for a redundant power supply? I'm not really kidding about this. People complain the mini will never be a real "server" because it doesn't have a redundant power supply. Why should the server box be saddled with the power supply, keep it modular and have the PS external. This would be a great third-party addition, a dedicated Mac mini power grid with a configurable number of "blade" power supplies for a Mac mini server farm.
OtisWild Apr 29, 2014 11:48 AM
Hate to say it, but these are pretty poor. Both should have at least 1080p and touchscreens for this much money.
coffeetime Apr 29, 2014 01:28 PM
Agree. A headless iMac would be nice.
Jeronimo2000 Apr 29, 2014 02:25 PM
@OtisWild: you go try and use a vertical touchscreen for more than 5 minutes. Then get back to me with your findings.
DiabloConQueso Apr 29, 2014 03:40 PM
I agree -- why shoehorn a touchscreen into the laptop? Laptops aren't used in the same positions as tablets, and the positions they're used in is largely dictated by the methods of input they accept.

For example, when people use their tablets with external keyboards, they typically arrange them in a very much "laptop-like" fashion: keyboard flat in front of them, with the tablet propped up at an angle behind it.

It doesn't work in reverse, though -- if you put a touchscreen into a laptop, it will be difficult and fatiguing to use it in the standard laptop position. With a laptop, though, and unlike tablets, you can't easily use a laptop in the positions you'd use a tablet in. Can't lay it flat on your lap (unless you want a keyboard jutting up on one side), can't hold it in front of you, can't lay down in bed and hold it above you.

Different input methods dictate different positioning for devices, and laptops just aren't conducive for touch-screen input due to their form factor and shape. The "laptops" that do have touchscreens either don't sell well (for obvious reasons), or allow you to reconfigure the shape of the laptop into a more tablet-like form factor for when you use the touch-screen input.

If you want any usability out of a touch-screen on a MacBook Air beyond just shoehorning a touch-screen in for the hell of it, you're going to have to modify its form factor greatly, and, at that point, you're not talking about a MacBook Air anymore, you're talking about a whole different, new product.
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