Apple releases Mac OS X Lion for $30, new MacBook Airs

By on July 20, 2011, 8:54 AM

Apple has officially flipped the switch on its next major update to OS X: version 10.7, codenamed Lion, is now available from the Mac App Store as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard -- you'll need to have version 10.6.8 installed on your machine. The eighth major OS X release brings more than new 250 features and 3,000 developer APIs, including new auto-save and application restore abilities, plus a few others we detailed here.

The 4GB download will set you back a mere $30 and it can be installed on multiple Macs associated with one iTunes account. It requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Mac OS X Lion will ship on all new Macs, including the new versions of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air being released today, and will be available at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an authorized reseller on or after June 6, 2011 -- provided they request the upgrade within 30 days of their purchase.

As mentioned above, the company also refreshed its thin-and-light MacBook Air lineup, adding Thunderbolt and Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors to the mix, as expected, as well as backlit keyboards on all models.

The 11-inch model is available in two configurations: one with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor, 2GB of memory, 64GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of $999, and one with double the RAM and flash storage for $1,199.

Meanwhile, the 13-inch MacBook Air models get a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-2637M processor, 4GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of flash storage for $1,299 or $1,599, respectively. Configure to order options include a 1.8 GHz Core i7-2677M processor and additional flash storage, but unfortunately no discrete graphics, only the built-in HD 3000 from Intel.




User Comments: 32

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Guest said:

I have an Imac (dual boot win7 and OSX).

I don't have an Iphone, Ipad. I don't use Itunes.

What does Lion have that I need?

Jibberish18 said:

Guest said:

I have an Imac (dual boot win7 and OSX).

I don't have an Iphone, Ipad. I don't use Itunes.

What does Lion have that I need?

Well, what did Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard all have that you really needed?

Guest said:

Good question.

I guess it would be mostly incremental improvements.

hojnikb said:

They could put in something better than Intel HD 3000 inside of these Airs ....

Its sad that you can buy a 1.599$$ laptop with an Intel GPU....

Guest said:

Once again Apple is telling what hardware we can or cannot use.

Leeky Leeky said:

Cool, will get a copy in the coming days so I can try it out on the Mac

Guest said:

Is it me, or are the prices for an Apple laptop outrageous.

I know they are slick and nice technology, but the price tags are quite incredible.

Leeky Leeky said:

Is it me, or are the prices for an Apple laptop outrageous.

I know they are slick and nice technology, but the price tags are quite incredible.

Their OS price is completely reasonable though.

Guest said:

The problem is that Apple destroys anyone attempting to make a hardware clone.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

True, the OS UPGRADE prices are very good, but the cost to get the hardware in the forst place is completely stupid.

If they had put in, maybe an ATI 6680m or Nvidia 540GT as a descrete card on the Macbook Air's but they haven't which makes that price just simply unbareable.

I still stand by the fact that you can get a HP Envy which is just as well made but much higher spec and cheaper with a real OS on it, can easily been seen as the smart and much more effective buy for pretty much everyone. I cannot believe people will actually buy the new Air as well. It kinda sadens me

Guest said:

Some people like Ford Mustangs others like Ferrari... it all just depends on what you re really looking to spend in the computer you like. Sure some are cheaper than others.. but hell we live in a world were people Spend at least $2 for a cup of coffee. It is just all about how much you are willing to spend for that product you like plain and simple.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

Some people like Ford Mustangs others like Ferrari... it all just depends on what you re really looking to spend in the computer you like. Sure some are cheaper than others.. but hell we live in a world were people Spend at least $2 for a cup of coffee. It is just all about how much you are willing to spend for that product you like plain and simple.

You didn't get the memo? Macs are analogous to BMWs if you're going to make a car analogy.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You didn't get the memo? Macs are analogous to BMWs if you're going to make a car analogy.
YUP---per.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Guest said:

I have an Imac (dual boot win7 and OSX).

I don't have an Iphone, Ipad. I don't use Itunes.

What does Lion have that I need?

If you can't use any of these features (http://www.techspot.com/guides/371-mac-osx-lion-preview/), then maybe you should be running Linux, and stay away from anything mainstream.

Guest said:

So how will this work if your hard drive crashes and you have to do a clean install after the HD replacement? Kind of hard to connect to the app store from a machine that does not have an OS...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

So how will this work if your hard drive crashes and you have to do a clean install after the HD replacement? Kind of hard to connect to the app store from a machine that does not have an OS...

You buy another Mac. Duuuuh!

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

So how will this work if your hard drive crashes and you have to do a clean install after the HD replacement? Kind of hard to connect to the app store from a machine that does not have an OS...

Apple's new computers support "Internet Recovery" allowing you to install Lion on a fresh hd. If you don't have a new comp, then you have to install Snow Leopard first, then upgrade to Lion.

Also, unrelated to what I quoted, but still related to this story. Next month you can get Lion on a USB Stick for $70, so it will no longer be an App Store exclusive.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

burty117 said:

True, the OS UPGRADE prices are very good, but the cost to get the hardware in the forst place is completely stupid.

If they had put in, maybe an ATI 6680m or Nvidia 540GT as a descrete card on the Macbook Air's but they haven't which makes that price just simply unbareable.

I still stand by the fact that you can get a HP Envy which is just as well made but much higher spec and cheaper with a real OS on it, can easily been seen as the smart and much more effective buy for pretty much everyone. I cannot believe people will actually buy the new Air as well. It kinda sadens me

Any Envy and Air are in two completely different leagues of laptops. The Envy is a much thicker and heavier laptop, despite still being a very portable one.

When you're buying an Air, what you are doing is sacrificing performance and value for something that is cardboard-thin. For some people that's worth it.. to most others, it is not. But the only PC comparisons you can make are the Lenovo X1, the now defunct Dell Adamo, Sony X series and *maybe* a couple of others... But you'll see the prices are all through the roof despite being PCs.

Guest said:

The Pro and the Mini are updated as well.

The Air is very popular because it hits all the right marks for typical users....

light,

thin,

small,

solid,

attractive looking,

great battery life,

fast boot,

fast for typical needs,

easy\stable\worry-free\hardware-tuned OS,

junk free,

AV optional,

loaded with great apps covering the majority of what the typical user needs,

worry-free backup with TimeMachine

The competition (Adamo etc) has tried but can't match the features nor the price.

Guest said:

There's no USB3 on the new Air Muahahah Samsung S9 > Air

Guest said:

It's not about the sheer speed, rather availability devices from different manufacturers.

I guess you will be using a thunderbolt flashdrive if it will ever exist and 27" new Led from apple for the small sum of $1,500 Muahhahahahahahhahahaha

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The Pro and the Mini are updated as well.

The Air is very popular because it hits all the right marks for typical users....

light,

thin,

small,

solid,

attractive looking,

great battery life,

fast boot,

fast for typical needs,

easy\stable\worry-free\hardware-tuned OS,

junk free,

AV optional,

loaded with great apps covering the majority of what the typical user needs,

worry-free backup with TimeMachine

The competition (Adamo etc) has tried but can't match the features nor the price.

Don't you have an Apple forum you could haunt?

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

The Pro and the Mini are updated as well.

The Air is very popular because it hits all the right marks for typical users....

light,

thin,

small,

solid,

attractive looking,

great battery life,

fast boot,

fast for typical needs,

easy\stable\worry-free\hardware-tuned OS,

junk free,

AV optional,

loaded with great apps covering the majority of what the typical user needs,

worry-free backup with TimeMachine

The competition (Adamo etc) has tried but can't match the features nor the price.

You forgot to mention the most attractive aspect of all Apple products, and that is the Apple logo itself. You dont buy the Apple air because of the reason listed above you buy it because its Apple, plain and simple.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So much free advertising we've given Apple by quoting our guest twice.....

Guest said:

aj_the_kidd,

I think some Apple products are overpriced, but the Air?

I've never owned a single Apple product (not an ipod, not an iphone, not a macbook) and I hate iTunes. Yet, if I was a student or someone who needed a laptop for travel, the MacBook air provides the most powerful CPU/SSD combo, one of the slimmest aluminum body construction laptops for "only" $1,299. Plus it has the ability to be hooked up to 2x2560x1600 monitors and still retains 7 hours of battery life. There isn't a single PC laptop that can deliver all of that for $1,300.

Then again, a laptop to me is only about portability. Right now I have a 17 inch HP with Blu-ray drive which I use at home (but it weighs 7.7 lbs). Obviously if you want a laptop for games, to watch Blu-Ray movies, or do serious video encoding work, the MacBook air isn't going to work for you. But as a portable laptop, there isn't any better for its price.

Guest said:

In reply to the other guest who must work for Apple, I fix laptops for a living and Apple are the worst for maintainance. I think they are designed for the people that want it to look good and have an logo on it because most of thoes people are willing to spend that much when it goes wrong they'll just buy another. Some people have more money than sense.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Simple maintenence on Apple laptops is pretty easy. Now granted I haven't worked on every one out there but I've worked on a 15" Powerbook G4 1.67 which shared the same design as the first MBPs, a mid 2009 unibody MBP 13", and a couple white macbooks. Swapping hard drives and adding RAM ranges from extremely easy to removing about 10 screws to take off the bottom panel (at which point you have access to everything). Battery replacement on the older ones only required a coin to turn the release, the unibody ones again, the 10 screws to access everything. Never had to replace a fan on them, it can't be much more difficult though. There are guides for replacing everything on ifixit.com and they are incredibly easy to follow. Perhaps you should look there for assistance if you think working on Apple laptops is difficult.

Anything else that goes wrong is going to require a whole "logic board" replacement, just like it would on a PC laptop.

The Airs are going to be harder to work on, but that is going to be true of anything that stuffs everything in such a small frame.

Guest said:

What's with all these Mac vs PC arguments.

Would I be wrong to say that the Mac now is in fact an X86-64 PC flashed with

EFI firmware?

The Mac is essentially just a PC, the only difference is that apple made

their OS X require a non BIOS environment to function, being EFI.

The EFI rom chip is the only difference. Otherwise it's the same CPU

and motherboard chipset.

I am a PC user myself and am looking at getting an ultra thin

notebook. Surprisingle the MacBook Air is the best value

ultrathin laptop out there. The samsung is nice but it costs

more for less!

So unless something equally priced and specked comes

from Asus, Samsung etc. I'll be getting this and dual booting

Windows 7. Irrespective of how much I deslike looking

like a emo sheep or arts student with a glowing apple on

the back of my notebook :(

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

aj_the_kidd,

I think some Apple products are overpriced, but the Air?

I've never owned a single Apple product (not an ipod, not an iphone, not a macbook) and I hate iTunes. Yet, if I was a student or someone who needed a laptop for travel, the MacBook air provides the most powerful CPU/SSD combo, one of the slimmest aluminum body construction laptops for "only" $1,299. Plus it has the ability to be hooked up to 2x2560x1600 monitors and still retains 7 hours of battery life. There isn't a single PC laptop that can deliver all of that for $1,300.

Then again, a laptop to me is only about portability. Right now I have a 17 inch HP with Blu-ray drive which I use at home (but it weighs 7.7 lbs). Obviously if you want a laptop for games, to watch Blu-Ray movies, or do serious video encoding work, the MacBook air isn't going to work for you. But as a portable laptop, there isn't any better for its price.

I probably should have said most people buy apple products simply because its apple.

Look don't get me wrong, i think apple products are good including the Air, I just dont think its worth it. If your talking about students and travel, do you really need that much power? I do agree with portability when it comes to laptops i just think there are better options, granted not as powerful and not as light but still good enough to get the job done.

Guest said:

aj,

Here I found a review for you to backup my claims that it's the best laptop for $1,299 vs. its competitors, as I have already mentioned:

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/apple-macbook-air-13-
011.aspx?mode=benchmarks#LAPTOP%20File%20Transfer%20Test%2
(in%20min)

Overall, for casual games like WOW and Portal 2, transferring of files, boot times, and battery life, it beats all of its competitors (except X1 which needed a slice battery).

But on top of that, you have the best quality construction, fully aluminum unibody, unlike the Series 9 from Samsung, and you have the highest resale value 12 months from now compared to these competing PC laptops. Guys, look I am rocking a Core i7 860 @ 3.9ghz, and a 2500k @ 4.5ghz on the desktop with an HD6950 shader unlocked (so I am a PC enthusiast), but the MacBook Air easily trounces its PC laptop competition in the light and powerful laptop segment.

Intel really needs to hurry up with their UltraBook marketing campaign. Asus X21 can't get here fast enough. They should have launched 2-3 months before MacAir and beat them to the punch. Too late.

Guest said:

In case that first link doesn't work:

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/apple-macbook-air-13-
011.aspx

aj_the_kidd said:

The point that i was trying to get across is that whilst the Apple Air is good, of which i don't dispute, if i had a choice i would choose a cheaper laptop that is heavier and less powerful. As good as the Air is i can get a pretty decent laptop for allot cheaper, thats all.

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