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Apple finally gave the MacBook Air a big upgrade. I only spent a few minutes with it Tuesday, but I already think it's the Apple laptop that most people will probably buy.
By size, it fits right between the regular MacBook and the MacBook Pro. In cost, it's cheaper than both.
It starts at $1,199 — admittedly more expensive than the original $999 MacBook Air — but it's more powerful than the smaller standard MacBook, which starts at $1,299. It's sort of weird, and I can't think of many reasons to buy the smaller and more expensive MacBook, unless you just want a bit more portability. Given that iPad sales have continued to outpace Mac sales, however, its strongest competition might be Apple's new iPad Pros.
As far as the device itself goes, the Air has a new keyboard that felt good to type on, though I'm not sure if it's as good as the keyboard on the earlier MacBook Air, which I loved. It uses Apple's new design from other MacBooks, which some people don't like and I've never completely adjusted to. I like the large trackpad, which is bigger than on my work computer and makes it easy to zoom into pictures or switch between apps with gestures. I like that there's a second Thunderbolt port, since one of my biggest complaints with the regular MacBook is there's just one for my USB gadgets.
There's a retina display that is much sharper and means that text, like icons, isn't blurry like it was on the older MacBook Pro. It's the same screen used in Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro, and it's a huge upgrade.
I did try to touch the screen twice, though. Unlike Microsoft, Apple hasn't added a touchscreen to its computers, and I wish it would add one.