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Apple rolls out new, cheaper MacBook Airs

Apple's smallest new MacBook Air notebook starts at $899, a $100 price cut from the last model.

Story highlights

  • Apple on Tuesday rolled out new MacBook Air laptops with faster processors
  • Apple also cut prices on all Air models by $100
  • Design remains the same for now; a bigger refresh may come later this year

Apple has refreshed its line of MacBook Air notebooks, dropping in more powerful processors and knocking $100 off the price.

The 11-inch Air, with 128GB of storage, now sells for $899 and options range up to a 13-inch screen with 256GB of storage for $1,199.

The new versions of the computers, which Apple announced Tuesday, contain fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

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Apple says the new processors work with its OS X Mavericks operating system to provide 12 hours of battery life on the 13-inch models and 9 hours on the 11-inch MacBook Airs.

A more radical overhaul of the popular laptop line is expected later this year. Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is developing a hybrid, 12-inch MacBook Air that would perform like the larger, more powerful model while being almost as portable as the current 11-inch Air.

In the meantime, the company appears to be addressing one of the common gripes from the anti-Apple crowd -- that more powerful PCs can be had for a fraction of the cost of Apple's laptop and desktop offerings.

    "With MacBook Air starting at $899, there's no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, said in a written statement. "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."

    The new models are now available online, in Apple's retail stores and at select authorized retailers.