Apple Thunderbolts in new MacBook Airs

Just as the earlier leak suggested it would, Apple has announced the new MacBook Air range for 2011.

The new MacBook Airs, an 11-inch model and a 13 inch one, have a similar design to the 2010 designs, with the aluminium unibody enclosure measuring 2.8mm at its thinnest point and 17mm at its thickest, but will come packing a much harder hardware punch including Thunderbolt connectivity and Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 CPUs.

Starting with the smaller of the two, the base model will host a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage - so not all that different from 2010's 11-incher bar an extra 0.2GHz of power.

But, this spec is the minimum. You can opt for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of RAM, or even bump the processor up to 1.8GHz and increase flash storage to 256GB.

The 13.3-inch model comes with a 1.7GHz chip as standard, with 4GB or RAM and 128GB of storage. This is configurable to a 1.8GHz chip and double the storage.

The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are both available now. The 1.6 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air is available for £849 (2GB RAM, 64GB storage) or £999 (4GB, 128GB). The 1.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air is £1,099 for 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage or £1349 for double the storage.

Configure-to-order options and accessories include a 1.8 GHz Core i7 processor, additional flash storage, MacBook Air SuperDrive and a USB Ethernet Adapter.