Apple MacBook Air (Early 2014)

If you’ve been holding out for a truly new MacBook from Apple, you probably won’t be thrilled by the just-released Early 2014 edition of the MacBook Air ($899+). The updated model has seen a minor speed bump and lower prices compared to the last update. While the speed increase may not compel you to go out and buy a whole new machine, they certainly don’t hurt the thin laptop’s appeal to those who are already in the market for one. Just make sure to keep up with the rumor mill if you’re in that in-between space: a Retina-equipped, 12” model is supposedly due later in 2014.

The new stock MacBook Air model comes with a 1.4GHz i5 processor, up from 1.3GHz, and Turbo Boost is a little faster too, but everything else is the same when it comes to graphics, memory, and storage options; the company claims 1-2-hour improvements in video playback times for each model due to greater processor efficiency. That said, Apple hasn’t even bumped the Thunderbolt port to Thunderbolt 2, leaving the Air behind the curve relative to its other computers. The price drop isn’t insignificant though: $100 has been cut across the board, meaning you can now get an 11” Air for $899, or a 13” model for $999. Considering the crazy high price points Apple originally chose for its thinnest notebooks, it’s kind of cool to see the price drop so low while it still remains such a competent machine.

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