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MacBook Air With Haswell ULT: Up to 12 Hours Battery Life

Apple rolled out new MacBook Airs today at WWDC in San Francisco. The main upgrade for Apple's thinnest laptops is the move to Intel's Haswell ULT processors.

The bump to the more power-efficient processor means big gains in battery life. The 11-inch MacBook Air goes from 5 hours average use to 9 hours. The 13-inch also sees an increase from 7 hours to 12 hours.

Another benefit going to Haswell is HD Graphics 5000, which Apple says offers 40 percent faster performance over the previous generation.

Also upgraded is the Wi-Fi hardware, which is now 802.11ac. When connected to a compatible access point, Apple says the new MacBook Airs can be up to three times faster than the older model.

Apple has also updated the storage options to something a bit more affordable and realistic for today's users. The baseline configuration for both models is a 128GB SSD, which is a big bump for the 11-inch which previously started at a paltry 64GB.

As rumored, the MacBook Airs now pack dual mics, which can adapt against background noise. This should also improve voice dictation.

Oddly, the MacBook Air was the only Mac portable discussed at WWDC. Most were expecting Apple to reveal refreshed MacBook Pros, but for now, it seems that the MacBook Air has better integrated graphics than its bigger brothers.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • brandonjclark
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?
    Reply
  • house70
    10946295 said:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?

    You mean, turn it into an actually useful device? The MAC crowd will rip you to shreds, LOL.
    Reply
  • vmem
    10946295 said:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?

    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :P
    Reply
  • kingssman
    You can install windows 7. Despite the "macTax" it's an ultra portable with regular notebook performance.
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    Eh, was hoping for a Macbook Pro refresh. Only thing I really wanted out of this WWDC, but what did I get instead? An ultra-thin nearly worthless laptop, and a giant black tube.
    Reply
  • halcyon
    10946401 said:
    Eh, was hoping for a Macbook Pro refresh. Only thing I really wanted out of this WWDC, but what did I get instead? An ultra-thin nearly worthless laptop, and a giant black tube.

    They say you can't please everyone. Looks like that's still true.
    Reply
  • TomsSound
    10946373 said:
    10946295 said:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?

    you can bootcamp, but you'll have shitty drivers :P

    Or you could run Parallels, Fusion or VirtualBox... and have both and add other OS's.. :)
    Reply
  • nitrium
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.
    Reply
  • sundragon
    10946295 said:
    Can I install Win7x64 on it?

    Sure, but part of the 12 hour claim comes from enhancements made to 10.9. I love Windows 7 but it burns through battery much faster on my mac than the Beta OS does currently.
    Reply
  • sundragon
    10946937 said:
    Still no retina displays on MacBook Airs then? I thought Apple was aggressively migrating everything to include at least a retina option.

    They may introduce a mid range model in a few months with the retina screen. FWIW, the regular MBPro 13 with Retina is like 1lbs more than the MBA and nearly as thin.
    Reply