New Apple MacBook Air Refresh: What Price for 2011 Update?

We’ve already seen the refreshed lineup for the Apple MacBook Pro back in February, and only last week the new iMac arrived so our thoughts have now turned to the MacBook Air refresh. Recently we speculated on what features there might be on the new MacBook Airs and asked what you wanted to see. Now we want to turn our attention to what price the 2011 refreshed MacBook Airs will be and what you will be willing to pay?

We’re hoping to see the new MacBook Air launch next month and we’re pretty convinced that the new laptops will feature the latest Sandy Bridge processors and also the Thunderbolt technology that appeared on the refreshed MacBook Pro and iMac. Other features that many of you would like to see are an increased display resolution, backlit keyboard, improved graphics and socketed RAM but improvements such as these will come at an increased price…or will they?

Current prices for the Apple MacBook Air start at $999 for the base 11-inch model ranging to $1,599 for the high-end 13-inch model, with configurable options adding to these prices so, at first glance you’d expect these prices to rise with the improvements hoped for. However recently Apple has really made an attempt to hold back pricing increases and there’s evidence to suggest that higher specs may not necessarily add to the finishing price. The Apple iPad 2 was launched in March at the same price as the original iPad and with the refresh of both the MacBook Pro and iMac this year with improved technology, Apple managed to maintain the same starting prices.

So the question we’re asking is how much more you’d be willing to pay for upgraded specs on the next MacBook Air, or are you expecting improvements for the same as the current pricing? Also if you’re willing to pay more, how much more, and for what particular feature/s? We’d be interested to hear what you think about this so why not let us know with your comments.

  • http://twitter.com/TravelDeckCDA @TravelDeckCDA

    I'm looking to spend about $2000 CAD to get a 13" Air that has sandy bridge, backlit keyboard, minimum 4 GB RAM, minimum 256 GB SSD, a good graphics card and long battery life for on-the-go travel photography. This price would include Aperture software.

  • Paul

    To me, the pixel density to viewing distance is perfectly fine. So I think an increase in resolution won't offer any visible benefits. I also don't want to see socketable RAM: Buy what you need right off the bat, spend the extra $50 for the RAM upgrade right away.

    What I'd love to see are the following (as touched on in the article):
    – Backlit keyboard
    – Sandybridge processor
    – Better graphics
    – Thunderbolt (though honestly this isn't a huge deal to me)
    – Increased standard baseline to 4GB RAM
    – Improved camera

    I actually am expecting all of this at no increase in cost. What I would pay a little more for would be an IPS screen panel, if it doesn't have one already. Other than that… honestly I think the product is all I could ask for.

  • Daniel Priutilov

    Backlit keyboard
    Sandybridge processor
    Better graphics
    Higher resolution like 1920×1080
    4 GB up to 8 Gb DDR3 ram!

  • http://twitter.com/digbillmccarthy @digbillmccarthy

    I would like to see an 11'' Air with Sanybridge that can view HD video pretty well. I would also would love to see a price drop. For 11'' and not enough power to do any extensive work (i.e. video editing) I would feel more comfortable spending $600-800 than $1000+. A plastic model wouldn't hurt either for around $400-500 for basic social networking and youtubing. I would carry one with me everywhere.

  • jensonlim

    Any upgrades on the battery life?

  • Deep

    Prices are normally close to Macbook pro and specs are too low. Unless its the pure portability as the biggest requirement. I would not want to pay more for it whatsoever.

    What I expect is core i7 quad core
    4 gigs of ram
    A good graphic card for efficient vid editing n games on go.
    Hi-Res. Option for Antiglare screen (Wont mind paying a bit extra for it).
    Having huge hdd doesn’t matter to me as I have a habit of carrying portable external hdd. Min 2 usb ports, thunderbolt.

    Yes ofcourse all this would cost money. But the thing to notice here is. Apple runs on a premium scale. This is mainly for those to whom Apple is a brand image. A company worth paying for its products. However recently due to increase market share Apple has gained those upper n general middle class people ‘s interest. Which if Apple wishes to continue, they will certainly need to remain low and on competitive edge with other rivals.

    Being a student myself, I seriously consider various other options before I could come to a conclusion. So paying roughly the same price is what I would stick to. Else would consider Macbook Pro from Amazon.co.uk as they offer pretty low prices for same models.

  • stpgh

    Nobody wants 3 or 4G like me ?

  • Stephanie

    – backlit keyboard
    – antiglare screen
    – up to 8GB RAM would be nice

    I would definitely pay more for them.

  • Secret

    i want more ram
    faster cpu
    and a better graphics card

  • Craig

    Agree, 3G/4G built in cell modem, like in the iPad would be a key feature for me.

  • krush22

    Hey, I am hoping to see Retina display version option with longer than 12 hours battery life and under 4lbs with the same thickness. Built in secure tracking features for lost or stolen notebooks. Free multiple platform video chat, with cloud access harddrive. Hey and of course 4g on board modem.

  • Greg

    Sandy Bridge
    Matte Screen (no charge)
    New 15 inch version
    4GB/256GB SSD
    10 hour battery
    $1800 for 13 inch
    $2000 for 15 inch

  • Slalou

    I just want one powerful 11" And let Apple keep the cheaper version but to give options for the people who don't mind to pay some extra money for 256GB SSD, 4 or 8GB RAM and a faster processor!
    Also 2 USB ports and backlit keyboard please :) I'd buy such computer immediately! I want to be able to do my work while I'm traveling. I like the apple OS most of all, don't want to change. Just let them be openminded as always and give full options for all their customers and fans

  • Anonymous

    8GB DDR3
    Sandy Bridge
    2.3 Ghz i7 Quad-Core Threaded (Tops)
    256GB SSD upgradable 512GB SSD
    Thunderbolt
    Matte Screen (No Charge) I love that!
    10 hour battery +
    2G/3G/4G/ LTE Modem
    Back lit keyboard
    Higher resolution like 1920×1080

    I know all of this is a dream especially expecting to get this all in a 11″ MBA

    O I would be willing to pay $2K – $2.5K for this to be in a 11″ MBA, much less installed in a 13″

  • Anonymous

    8GB DDR3
    Sandy Bridge
    2.3 Ghz i7 Quad-Core Threaded (Tops)
    256GB SSD upgradable 512GB SSD
    Thunderbolt
    Matte Screen (No Charge) I love that!
    10 hour battery +
    2G/3G/4G/ LTE Modem
    Back lit keyboard
    Higher resolution like 1920×1080

    I know all of this is a dream especially expecting to get this all in a 11″ MBA

    O I would be willing to pay $2K – $2.5K for this to be in a 11″ MBA, much less installed in a 13″

  • Anonymous

    8GB DDR3
    Sandy Bridge
    2.3 Ghz i7 Quad-Core Threaded (Tops)
    256GB SSD upgradable 512GB SSD
    Thunderbolt
    Matte Screen (No Charge) I love that!
    10 hour battery +
    2G/3G/4G/ LTE Modem
    Back lit keyboard
    Higher resolution like 1920×1080

    I know all of this is a dream especially expecting to get this all in a 11″ MBA

    O I would be willing to pay $2K – $2.5K for this to be in a 11″ MBA, much less installed in a 13″

  • R SMITSMAN

    I would like to have a touchscreen

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jojo-Peňaranda-Aruta/100000567770469 Jojo Peňaranda Aruta

    i want the macbook air price be cut for even just a bit,maybe $100 less, because if there should not be a price cut, the asus ux21 will be our final option…