In exciting news for all fans of the Apple brand, Tim Cook just announced a new MacBook Air with a Retina display, as CNET details. Closed, it has the same wedge design as the old one. Open, it looks a lot like the 12-inch MacBook.
The MacBook Air name remains intact. There was some speculation by pundits that Apple might take this opportunity to change the name of the product line. When the laptop line was first announced, it was far from the mainstream product that it eventually became. It was initially designed as a specialty product within the ultra-portable category. Today, Apple has two products in that category, so that aspect of the product line remains slightly cluttered or confused.
Along with the Retina display, Apple gives the new Air two USB-C ports, which are both located on the left side. These ports come at the expense of traditional USB ports. There are no longer any notebooks in the Apple line with traditional USB ports.
The lack of standard USB ports will necessitate a trip to dongle town for non-Pro users. While not entirely unexpected, it will be a major shift — as most accessories are still standard USB in terms of interface. Those devices will still work, but they will require a dongle to act as intermediary.
In a somewhat surprising move, Apple is keeping the old MacBook Air around at $999. The new one, with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage with a dual-core Intel Core i5 running at 3.6 gigahertz, will start at $1,199.
Also retaining its old name, a new Mac mini made an appearance. It has the same body style as the one which it replaces, this time with a darker space gray finish.
Connectivity is much improved — featuring four USB-C ports and 2 USB ports. It maintains gigabit ethernet capability and HDMI output. While there are two fewer traditional USB ports, Apple did not remove the connectors entirely, making the machine much more versatile than before.
Needless to say, the new mini is far more powerful than the previous one. Even so, that was a pretty low bar to beat — seeing how old the previous mini was.
That said, the newest mini now uses desktop parts, if not the most powerful options on offer. The base model at $799, and comes with a quad-core Intel Core i3 with 128 gigabytes of solid state storage. As a stand-alone computer, this is probably not the one you want. The next step up in the product line comes with a more respectable 6-core Intel Core i5 and a 256 gigabyte solid state drive — starting at $1,099. Both machines can be further customized to customer preference.
Both products can be pre-ordered today, and arrive on November 7.