Apple revamps MacBook Air lineup

13:27, July 21, 2011      

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Apple on Wednesday updated its MacBook Air lineup with faster processors and a Thunderbolt port, along with the introduction of the new OS X Lion operating system, a new Mac Mini desktop and a Thunderbolt display.

According to Apple, the new MacBook Air is up to twice as fast as the previous generation with the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors.

The new device has one Intel Thunderbolt I/O port, which brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition display onto a single cable. The transfer speed of Thunderbolt port is twice the speed of USB 3.0, 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0.

The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air also have a backlit keyboard, a feature which was absent on the 2010 version of the device. With price ranging from 999 U.S. dollars to 1,599 dollars, MacBook Air is available for order on Wednesday and in stores on Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, Apple unveiled what it calls "world's first Thunderbolt display," a 27-inch display allowing users to connect their Macs through Thunderbolt I/O technology. With a price of 999 dollars, the display also boasts a 2.1 speaker system, three USB 2. 0 ports, FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Meanwhile, Apple also introduced Thunderbolt port and latest dual-core Intel Core i5 as well as Intel Core i7 to its latest version of the Mac Mini desktop.

The new Mac Mini does not have a DVD drive. "Mac Mini is designed without an optical disc drive. Because these days, you don't need one," Apple said in a statement.

With the eighth major release of the OS X Lion, Apple added more than 250 features to the operating system, such as multitouch gestures on the trackpad. Users can download the latest version through the Mac App Store for a price of 29.99 dollars.

Following announcements of the new devices, Apple also quietly discontinued the white MacBook, which is no longer available in Apple's online store.

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