Apple updates the MacBook Air, beats the competition with Intel 4th gen in stores

Intel hasn’t even officially launched its new processors locally (that’s Wednesday), but Apple has new laptops with the tech ready to go, and apparently, it’s even in stores.

It’s about this time that Apple updates its MacBook Air, and low and behold, that’s exactly what the company has done.

Shown at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco this morning, the new MacBook Air updates yesterday’s ultra-thin Apple laptop with slightly new innards, while keeping pretty much everything else the same, including the screen, the chassis, and the price.

New to the machine is Intel’s fourth-generation Core processor technology, codenamed “Haswell,” which offers improvements to performance, a new graphics chipset (HD 5000), and better battery life, the latter of which is expected to make the new MacBook Airs more capable of offering “all-day life.”

“MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we’ve set the bar even higher,” said Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.

Up to nine hours can apparently now be found in the 11 inch MacBook Air, while the 13 inch offers up to 12 hours, with a minimum of 128GB storage standard across the range. Other features include Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 720p FaceTime HD camera.

Apple’s displays in the laptops haven’t been updated to new resolutions, though, but support for the 802.11 ac wireless networking has. If you have one of the new ac routers, these MacBooks can now take advantage of it.

If you don’t, the company is updating the AirPort wireless base stations to support it, as well as the Time Capsule backup hard drive system, which now offers either 2TB or 3TB drives.

Apple's 802.11ac AirPort Extreme wireless base station

All of the products are available in stores already, as well as the online store, with the MacBook Air 11 starting from $1099, the MacBook Air 13 from $1249, the AirPort Extreme from $249, and the AirPort Time Capsule from $349.