Bonnie Cha

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Apple Unveils MacBook Air With All-Day Battery Life

As expected, software was the star of the show at WWDC, with the introduction of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. But for those who were looking for shiny new gadgets, there was some of that, too.

MacBook Air

Asking the question, “What is the future of notebooks?” Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller introduced a new line of MacBook Airs today centered around two themes: Speed and longevity.

The biggest change to the laptops is the switch to Intel’s latest Haswell processor. Schiller said the two companies worked hard together so that the new MacBook Air can deliver “all-day” battery life.

The current 11-inch MacBook Air promises up to five hours of battery life, but the new model will offer nine hours. Meanwhile, the 13-inch MackBook Air will go from seven hours of battery life to 12 hours. With an estimated video playback time of 10 hours, Schiller half-joked that you can almost watch the entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy on the new laptops.

In addition with the new Intel HD Graphics 5000 graphics card, performance for games and graphics-intensive apps should be about 40 percent faster.

The refreshed MacBook Air is also capable of running on 802.1ac Wi-Fi network, which is up to three times speedier than the current 802.11n network. Of course, to support those faster speeds, you need a new router, so Schiller introduced a redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule.

While some were expecting (or hoping) for a MacBook Air with a Retina display, that was not in the cards today.

One thing everyone should be happy to hear: Apple has lowered the entry price of the new MacBook Airs. Pricing for the new 11-inch MacBook Air begins at $999 for 128GB flash storage, 4GB RAM and a 1.3GHz processor and the 13-inch MacBook Air will start at $1,099 for the same configuration. Meanwhile, the AirPort Extreme costs $199, and the AirPort Time Capsule is $299 with two Terabytes of storage or $399 for the 3TB model. Everything is available starting today.

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