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Apple Bumps MacBook Air to 1.4 GHz Core i5, Drops Price

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Looks like Apple is giving the MacBook Air a little springtime makeover.

Apple has quietly given its MacBook Air a little speed bump in the form of Intel's 1.4 GHz Core i5. This is a slight upgrade for the 2013 MacBook Air, which launched last year with 1.3 GHz under the hood. Turbo Boost speed jumps from 2.7 GHz on the 2013 MacBook Air to 2.6 GHz on the 2014 version of the notebook.

Processor aside, there isn't much else Apple has changed with the 2014 MacBook Air. In fact, the company has only changed one other aspect of the laptop, but it's probably the most important detail: the price. With the addition of a faster processor, Apple has slashed the price of the MacBook Air by $100. That means the entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air can now be picked up for $899 in the United States. Those of you looking to pick up a 13-inch model can expect to pay $999. 

While the price puts a little bit of distance between the MacBook Air and the Retina display-toting MacBook Pro, it's possible Apple is preparing for the introduction of a Retina display MacBook Air. Right now, anyone buying a MacBook and trying to choose between the Pro and the Air is going to be swayed by a couple of obvious differences, and one of the biggest is probably the difference in screen resolution. If the MacBook Air does get a Retina display, then the choice becomes a bit harder.

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  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , April 29, 2014 8:40 PM
    Whooo hooooooooooo. Said no one this year about the Macbook Air.
    Needs a regular voltage CPU and innovative cooling so it can be powerful.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , April 29, 2014 8:50 PM
    The $100 price drop is welcome and puts it more in line with where its specs are. However, I would still be hesitant to buy now when rumors of an all new model later this year are still flying around.
  • 0 Hide
    pills161 , April 29, 2014 9:03 PM
    /yawn. And a whopping $100 off, I wouldn't consider that "slashing".
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    danny2000 , April 29, 2014 9:08 PM
    way way way over-priced still!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    stridervm , April 29, 2014 9:20 PM
    Great upgrade. Now the Macbook Air is now competitive to a Laptop released in 2010.
  • 0 Hide
    mrmez , April 29, 2014 9:26 PM
    $100 off is more than 10% for most of the line.
    For a premium priced brand to drop 10% IS a big deal.

    Also, they aren't meant to be powerful. You want power get normal Macbook.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , April 29, 2014 10:13 PM
    Need $300 off to be in line with other laptops with similar specs.
  • 0 Hide
    crikey2 , April 29, 2014 11:31 PM
    "Turbo Boost speed jumps from 2.7Ghz ... to 2.6GHz"
    Since when is a change from 2.7Ghz down to 2.6GHz considered a jump?
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 30, 2014 3:43 AM
    Quote:
    Needs a regular voltage CPU and innovative cooling so it can be powerful.


    It doesn't need to be. It's meant as a basic ultrabook for low-requirement users. As for CPU, ULV Haswells only lose to regular ones on multithread loads (less cores) or very heavy loads (low TDP limit). Neither is the intended use of MB Air. I have an Asus N550JV with an i7-4700HQ and I'm realizing that I'm not doing ANYTHING with those 4 cores/8 threads, all serious work gets done on desktop. Would have been fine with a ULV Haswell paired with the same GPU (GT 750M) for games I do play on the go (Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3). What matters the most to user experience is SSD and egough RAM to have tons of browser tabs open; ULV Haswell is enough. MBA is NOT a heavy production machine, it doesn't need a regular CPU. Want that - buy something else. Why not an Asus N550JK? :p 
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 30, 2014 3:45 AM
    Quote:
    The $100 price drop is welcome and puts it more in line with where its specs are. However, I would still be hesitant to buy now when rumors of an all new model later this year are still flying around.


    They didn't do the most desired upgrade - Retina Air. So I think you have a good point there, they'll have to do it. After all, there's already a Retina MBP 13, so Air will have to follow soon.
  • 0 Hide
    nil404 , April 30, 2014 4:14 AM
    Removing stock for new retina MBA.
  • 0 Hide
    nil404 , April 30, 2014 4:16 AM
    Quote:
    Need $300 off to be in line with other laptops with similar specs.


    You mean the plastic ones?
  • 0 Hide
    Hspito , April 30, 2014 6:24 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Need $300 off to be in line with other laptops with similar specs.


    You mean the plastic ones?


    And half the battery life.
  • 0 Hide
    colson79 , April 30, 2014 6:44 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Need $300 off to be in line with other laptops with similar specs.


    You mean the plastic ones?


    And half the battery life.


    Yes, please post me a link to this mysterious other ultra book with an all aluminum body and great battery life for $699, I would love to buy one.
  • 0 Hide
    bombebomb , April 30, 2014 7:06 AM
    If you need an aluminum laptop that bad, you most likely need a new hard drive also once you're not beating on it.
  • 0 Hide
    anirudh1 , April 30, 2014 7:40 AM
    Oh. So aluminium body > A bigger HDD + Ethernet + More CPU and GPU power + HDMI + more USB ports! Hmmmm...

    And by the way, check out HP ProBook. Aluminum body - Price - <$699
  • 0 Hide
    neon neophyte , April 30, 2014 8:58 AM
    "You want power get normal Macbook."

    that's adorable.
  • 0 Hide
    atminside , April 30, 2014 10:29 AM
    you can get another 100 off with a college student discount.......looks like I might get one
  • 0 Hide
    wussupi83 , April 30, 2014 10:48 AM
    I honestly though that netbooks were useless until I got one - I much prefer to do things like read e-books and type documents on the netbook. And I still love the flexibility of a normal laptop and a desktop for other tasks. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced a low power device but certain tasks are more pleasurable on them.
  • 1 Hide
    k33g0rz , April 30, 2014 12:04 PM
    Quote:
    "Turbo Boost speed jumps from 2.7Ghz ... to 2.6GHz"
    Since when is a change from 2.7Ghz down to 2.6GHz considered a jump?


    Article is wrong. 1.3 boost 2.6.// 1.4 boost 2.7. Look at tech spec page on apple.com to confirm
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