Need to know – MacBook Air 2011

The sticky label has been removed, the specs have been officially confimred. Here's what you need to know...

I spy a doppelganger

We heard the MacBook Air wouldn't be undergoing any major cosmetic changes, and unsurprisingly, it hasn't altered its minimalist design. But seeing as we like its aluminium unibody so much, you'll hear no complaining from us – it's just as skinny, gorgeously styled and manbag-friendly as it was before.

Processing pumped

Keeping up with the times, both models now feature Intel's next-gen Core i5 and i7 processors, replacing the current Core 2 duo chips in the 2010 models. More interestingly, though, is the option to boost performance to a whopping 1.8GHz for two and a half times the processing performance over last year's bunch. Coupled with an Intel Graphics 3000 processor, you're looking at one smooth operator.

Turn the light back on

As speculated, Apple has reinstated the MacBook Air's backlit keyboard. So there'll be no more squinting at your keys in a dimly lit room. Incidentally, what are you doing on your computer in a dimly lit room?

Touchy feely

Thanks to the almighty roar of Mac OS X Lion, a whole host of multitouch capabilities are waiting to be played with. Whether it's a three-finger swipe to activate Mission Control or a four-finger pinch to pull up Launchpad, the spacious trackpad is on hand for all your multitouch needs.

Flash power

The MacBook Air line was completely solid state, but for the first time in MacBook Air history you can boost the 11-inch model's flash storage up to 256GB when building to order.

Thunderbolt I/O ready

Cosmetic changes may be off the menu, but the next best thing in data transfer sits pretty on the side of the new MacBook Air. This means high speed data transfer up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0, direct connection to Apple's new Thunderbolt Display and no more slow-processing related related tantrums. The rest of the industry may not have caught up yet, but rest assured your new slice of tech is at the forefront of what's happening.

Also

Apple Mac launch – all the stories

Mac OS X Lion ultimate guide

iPhone 5 September release date confirmed all but by Apple

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