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Apple quietly bumps up MacBook Air laptops, now faster & cheaper; prices starting at Rs 65,900

MaccEven before the start of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), scheduled for June 2-6, 2014 in San Francisco, Apple has quietly upgraded its MacBook Air range of laptops. In addition, the Cupertino-based company has also slashed the prices of its slimmest (and also the sleekest) laptops, which are now available for a starting price of Rs 65,900 in India. This is Rs 2,000 cheaper than its earlier pricing of Rs 67,900 in the country.

The technology giant had reported 4.58 per cent rise in its global revenues for the second quarter ended March 29, 2014, to $45.6 billion over the year-ago period. In addition, the company had sold 4.1 million Macs in the quarter, an almost five per cent increase on the 3.9 million units it shipped during the same quarter last year.

Here is a look at what's new.

There are no design changes in the new MacBook Air, and the only difference between it and its predecessors is in terms of what's inside. The new MacBook Air is powered by 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) processor that is configurable up to 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) processor. In comparison, its predecessor was powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz) processor.

Apart from the processor bump, the new MacBook Air's are exactly the same as their predecessors in terms of specifications. The laptops come with Intel HD Graphics 5000 and have 4GB of RAM. It runs on the OS X Mavericks operating system and, in terms of internal memory, users will have a choice between 128GB and 256GB of flash storage.

11-inch Air: This one has 11.6-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1366 x 768 pixel resolution); its dimensions are 3mm (at its thinnest point) x 300mm x 192mm and weight is 1.08 kg.

13 inch Air: This has 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1440 x 900 pixel resolution); its dimensions are 3mm x 325mm x 227mm and weight is 1.35 kg.

In addition to a FaceTime high definition (HD) camera, the device also comes with dual microphones. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, a Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports. The 11-inch Air has a built-in 38-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, which the company claims will provide up to nine hours of battery life and 30 days standby time. In comparison, the 13-inch Air has a built-in 54-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery that will provide up to 12 hours of battery life and 30 days standby time.

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Pricing & availability

In India, the MacBook Air's are priced at Rs 65,900 (128GB) and Rs 79,900 (256GB) for the 11-inch models, & Rs 72,900 (128GB) and Rs 86,900 (256GB) for the 13-inch models respectively. What this basically means is that all the devices are now Rs 2,000 cheaper than before.

In comparison, in the US, the laptops have received a much more significant price cut of $100, and are now available for $899 (Rs 54,362) and $1,099 (Rs 66,456) for the 11-inch devices (128GB and 256GB storage), and $999 (Rs 60,409) and $1,199 (Rs 72,503) for the 13-inch devices (128GB and 256GB storage). So if any of your friends/relatives happen to visit the US, our suggestion would be to ask them to get a MacBook Air for you, instead of purchasing one in the country.

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