MacBook Air as Back to School Laptop: New Refresh Hard to Beat

We’ve been giving you plenty of information recently about ‘back to school’ with a selection of tech accessories and tablets and details of the Apple back to school promotion and how it’s already proving popular. We also gave you a selection of ideal back to school laptops, one of which was the Apple MacBook Air. Now we wanted to take a further look at the new MacBook Air as a back to school laptop with the refresh rumored to be coming this week and how it would be hard to beat either for students or anyone else.

Several rumored release dates for the new MacBook Air 2011 have come and gone but the latest seems to suggest the launch will be on July 21 or 22 so only a few days to go…fingers crossed! We’ve also written about rumored specs for the new MacBook Air for some time and certainly the ones that we think are the most plausible are the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors and also Thunderbolt technology. Now we’ve spotted an article by Zack Whittaker over on ZDNet who has rounded up the expected specs for the refreshed Airs and tells us why it will be the perfect student laptop.

As far as specs go, apart from the above Whittaker also lists Mac OS X Lion pre-installed (rumored to be the reason why the new MacBook Air didn’t arrive sooner), a backlit keyboard, 128 or 256GB SSD’s and 4GB of RAM. In the comments to our previous articles about the MacBook Air many of our readers wanted these features and specs so it looks like a lot of people will be very pleased. So impressive does this laptop seem that although I only purchased my MacBook Air late last year I’m tempted to upgrade to the new version on release.

The Air would be particularly great for students as it’s ultraportable and superslim for those on the go. Although many have turned to a tablet device and they certainly have their place, for writing essays the MacBook Air comes into its own. Also it’s suitable for those who want to use Windows or the Mac OS X and very importantly for students it has excellent battery performance. Although the Samsung Series 9 is a very decent laptop and the new Sony Vaio Z series is also ultraslim and portable (but with a hefty price), we’d have difficulty finding anything better than the MacBook Air and ZDNet seems to agree. In fact Whittaker goes as far as saying that if the rumored specs are accurate then “the new MacBook Air — even the 11″ smaller model — is the most powerful laptop for its size and weight on the market, now and ever.”

The MacBook Air is not at the cheapest end of the market, although compared to the Vaio Z series it looks like an economy purchase, but the outlay will undoubtedly serve any student (or their parents) well. An article on Apple Insider today reiterates the rumors of the MacBook Air refresh coming this week and says they could be with us as early as Wednesday. One source has even given a time of 8:30 am ET though of course we haven’t anything to back that up.

Will you be purchasing a MacBook Air for yourself or the student in your family? Remember to wait a few more days for the refresh if you are. We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the MacBook Air as a back to school device so let us have your comments.

  • Will Botha

    Yes I am a student. Yes I want this macbook air. Yes if it does not come out on wednesday I will kill something.

    How many times can they give a date and then change it! Rumours suck.

    However: Sandybridge, thunderbolt, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, backlit keyboard, throw a Lion into the mix…I will buy the base model 11.6 inch straight away even if the price opens at US$1200. If one of these elements is missing I may reconsider at that price however. IT NEEDS THEM ALL.