Talking tech since 2003

Yesterday, rumors swirled that today Apple would be releasing a new model of its entry level laptop, the Macbook Air. As it turns out, the rumors were true, but with a twist: in addition to offering a new version of the Macbook Air, Apple has also cut the price down by an extra hundred dollars. That means you can buy a faster computer for less money. How often does that happen?

The main upgrade applied by Apple here a new processor for the Macbook Air, specifically the slightly faster 1.4GHz Core i5 Haswell processor. Previously, the Macbook Air line was outfitted with a 1.3GHz processor. So, yes, the processor is only a little bit faster.

But, as mentioned above, the price is also now a hundred dollars cheaper across the line. That means that you can score a brand new 11-inch laptop with 128GB of internal storage for only $899. The 13-inch model comes in at a grand, while doubling the internal storage fore each model bumps their prices up by $200 apiece.

While those are still relatively hefty price tags for computers on any day, Apple’s computers have typically come with a premium price. Today’s move is a welcome change for fans of affordable pricing and getting what you pay for.

A post on Neowin today also points out that the $899 price point for the 11-inch model makes Apple’s most modest offering less expensive than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2. It’s an intriguing fact considering that Microsoft has long played the affordability and productivity card in its war against Apple’s competing computers. The Surface Pro 2 is most definitely in a different category than the Macbook Air, doubling as an extremely powerful Windows 8 tablet.

But now that new computer buyers can consider a stylish Macbook for less than Microsoft’s flashiest offering, Satya Nadella and the rest of the gang at the Redmond office might have to rethink the Surface Pro line’s price point. Hopefully this inspires them to start selling it for under $900.

And just remember, whether you’re a Windows fan or a diehard Mac-head, one thing is always true: when companies compete on price, consumers win.

[Apple’s Macbook Air]

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