Apple quietly releases more affordable MacBook Airs starting at $899 [u]

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As expected, Apple on Monday released faster versions of its MacBook Air lineup, with the 11-inch and 13-inch thin-and-lights getting 100MHz speed boosts compared to outgoing models, as well as a price reduction of $100 [updated].

Each base model MacBook Air comes with a dual-core 1.4GHz Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 2.70GHz, while the upgraded version boasts a 1.7GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz. The speed increases represent a 100MHz bump from the respective outgoing versions.

The U.S. Online Apple Store now has the new MacBook Air for sale starting from $899 for the 11-inch model with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage. Build to order options include a 1.7GHz Core i7 CPU with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz for $150, 8GB of RAM for $100 and 512GB of flash storage for $300.

"With MacBook Air starting at $899, there's no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Macs have never been more popular, and today we've boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook."

An Interim Update

As anticipated last week, the new MacBook Airs' CPU specifications line up with Intel's power-sipping Haswell chip architecture. The update, however, does not deliver any styling or major internal changes to the thin-and-light notebook lineup.

Apple is said to be reserving those efforts for a more significant update to the MacBook Air line that will begin with the launch of an all-new, super-slim 12-inch design much later this year. In addition to a Retina display, the next-gen notebook is also said to sport features such as fan-less cooling system and new trackpad that lacks a mechanical click button component.

Pricing, Availability & Discounts

Until then, Apple's new base MacBook Air configurations are priced as follows:

  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $899
  • 11-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1099
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD - $999
  • 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD - $1199

All base models are available to ship within 24 hours, while build-to-order deliveries are quoted at two to four days. Readers looking for discounts on Apple's standard pricing, to save on sales tax, or to save on MacBook Air + AppleCare bundles, should check out AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide and Mac + AppleCare Price Guides over the next 24 hours as they're populated with the new models and exclusive discount coupons from Apple Authorized Resellers.

For example, MacMall offers AppleInsider readers an additional 3% off its already reduced pricing when using the links in the Price Guides and applying Promo Code APPLEINSIDER01, and also only charging sales tax on orders shipped to CA, CO, GA, IL, MN, NC, NY, TN, and WI. Similarly, B&H only charges sales tax on orders shipped to NY and offers readers 3-Year MacBook Air AppleCare Protection Plans for $179.99 (here's how), when purchased on the same order — a discount of $69. All early orders from these retailers are being filled on a first come, first served basis and should start shipping late Tuesday or early Wednesday.