Apple Updates MacBook Air for 2014: Faster Haswell Parts & $100 Price Dropby Anand Lal Shimpi on April 29, 2014 10:18 AM EST
- Posted in
- MacBook Air
This morning Apple announced its 2014 MacBook Air refresh. With Intel's 14nm Broadwell SoC delayed, this mid-cycle update still uses Haswell ULT parts. The chassis and internal specs haven't changed, however the base CPU gets a slight speed bump. The 1.3GHz Core i5-4250U is replaced by a 1.4GHz Core i5-4260U. The extra 100MHz won't change much, you can expect a 0 - 3% increase in performance compared to last year's entry level model. The upgraded CPU option hasn't changed, and Apple continues to accept nothing less than Intel's HD 5000 (Haswell GT3) on any of its MBAs.
|Apple 2014 MacBook Air CPU Comparison|
|1.4GHz dual-core||1.7GHz dual-core|
|Standard On||11 & 13-inch MBA||Optional on Both|
|Intel Model||Core i5-4260U||Core i7-4650U|
|Base Clock Speed||1.4GHz||1.7GHz|
|Max SC Turbo||2.7GHz||3.3GHz|
|Max DC Turbo||2.4GHz||2.9GHz|
|Processor Graphics||Intel HD 5000||Intel HD 5000|
|GPU Clock (Base/Max)||200/1000MHz||200/1100MHz|
The bigger news is that, hot on the heels of a solid financial quarter, Apple is dropping all MBA prices by $100. The entry level 11.6-inch system now starts at $899. I suspect Apple is making room for an eventual MacBook Air with Retina Display. That design is expected to be a launch vehicle for Intel's Broadwell, but it's unclear how Intel's 14nm delays will impact the schedule for that product.
|2014 MacBook Air Refresh|
|11.6-inch||11.6-inch (high-end)||13.3-inch||13.3-inch (high-end)|
H: 0.11-0.68" (0.3-1.7cm)
W: 11.8" (30cm)
D: 7.56" (19.2cm)
H: 0.11-0.68" (0.3-1.7cm)
W: 12.8" (32.5cm)
D: 8.94" (22.7cm)
|Weight||2.38 lbs (1.08kg)||2.96 lbs (1.35kg)|
|CPU||1.4GHz dual-core Core i5||1.4GHz dual-core Core i5|
|GPU||Intel HD 5000|
|SSD||128GB PCIe SSD||256GB PCIe SSD||128GB PCIe SSD||256GB PCIe SSD|
|Display Resolution||1366 x 768||1440 x 900|
|Ports||Thunderbolt, 2x USB 3.0, headphone jack||Thunderbolt, 2x USB 3.0, SD card slot, headphone jack|
|Networking||2x2:2 802.11ac||2x2:2 802.11ac|
|Battery||38 Wh||54 Wh|
I was a fan of the 2013 MBA, and this price drop only makes the system more accessible. Unless you're holding out for a model with a Retina Display, the refresh is still a great buy.
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stacey94 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkSo you want 960x540 of working space?
Apple will never go for providing a full 1920x1080 of area on a 13" screen....mainly for usability reasons. People would complain about everything being so small. I personally don't have an issue with it, but others do.
It's an option on the 13" rMBP, but the default is still 1440x900.
Tegeril - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkIt's not an option on the 13" rMBP. That one has scaled "retina resolutions" up to 1680x1050. Only the 15" retina has a scaled resolution equivalent to 1920x1200.
uhuznaa - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkI doubt that VERY much. Apple is doing the pixel doubling to keep the UI elements large enough. With 1728x1080 on a 12" screen you need to have really good eyes to work with this. This isn't "good", it's really bad.
Yeah, geeks everywhere love more space for windows on the screen over everything, but Apple isn't primarily (if at all) catering for geeks. Even at the current resolutions the size of UI elements on the current MBA's screens borders on too small to be comfortable.
Bkord123 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkGreat points! I didn't fully understand some of the conversation here and you cleared it up. That probably sounds sarcastic, but I'm being sincere. Thanks!
solipsism - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkI'm not sure what you're doubting VERY much. You doubt Apple should do nothing with the resolution until it can double it, because the rest of your comment seems to agree with what I stated.
uhuznaa - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - linkYes, I doubt that Apple will go with a resolution of 1728x1080 on a 11/12/13" screen. The resolution will either be lower than that (to have UI elements that aren't microscopically small) or high enough to make scaling possible in a nice-looking way. What's so hard to understand about that? Apple did the same with the 13" MBP.
solipsism - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - linkWhat I do get is why you say you doubt that and then repeat what I said. You are therefore not doubting me but agreeing with me.
darwinosx - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkYou presume they can't do both. The 13" retina is only marginally thicker than an Air with a smaller circumference and it does just fine.
tecsi - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkDespite Apple's specs not mentioning this, will Intel 5000/TB2 port support 4K monitors?
Sure hope so.
solipsism - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkThe new MBAs don't have TB2 and their Tech Specs page lists 2560x1600 as the max supported resolution on an external display.