The new MacBook Air is cheaper, faster and longer-lasting. Apple debuted a new version of its superthin laptop for 2014, and it features better hardware and a price drop. That makes the MacBook Air a better deal for small business users on a budget. The upgrades apply to both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions of the MacBook Air, which are now on sale.
But Apple didn't completely overhaul the notebook. A rumored version of the MacBook Air featuring a super-high-res Retina display, like the one on Apple's flagship MacBook Pro, failed to materialize this year. Still, the updated machine is more enticing than ever for business users in the market for a fast, portable notebook they can depend on. Here are three features that make it good for work.
1. Price drop
Apple's MacBook Air is a premium notebook for a premium price, but a price drop makes it more affordable for budget-minded business users. Apple slashed the price of both models by $100, so the 13-inch version now starts at $999 and the 11-inch version now starts at $899.
2. Faster processor
Business users can expect a performance boost in the new MacBook Air. Each configuration features a 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, with a 100 MHz speed bump from preceding models. That amounts to smoother multitasking in daily use, and better performance during processor-intensive tasks. Other hardware highlights include Intel's integrated HD Graphics 5000 chip and 4GB of RAM.
3. Longer battery life
Battery life is important for business users who depend on their notebook to help them stay productive when they're away from the office, and both new MacBook Air models have gotten a battery boost. According to Apple, the 13-inch model is now rated for 12 hours of movie playback (up from 10 hours), and the 11-inch version is expected to get 9 hours (up from 8 hours). That means both notebooks will have better longevity for work and productivity tasks.