∞ MacBook Air gains Thunderbolt, backlit keyboard, Lion

Apple on Wednesday introduced new MacBook Air models with high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, a backlit keyboard and Mac OS X Lion pre-installed. It’s available in 11 and 13-inch models starting at $999.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The refreshed MacBook Air models feature new Intel Core i5 and i7 dual-core microprocessors paired with Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated graphics. A USB 2.0 interface can be found on either side, with a Thunderbolt port on the right side, along with an SD card slot. Systems retain 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking capabilities, along with Bluetooth 4.0 support.

The 11-inch model uses an i5 processor clocked at 1.6GHz. $999 gets you 64GB of flash-based storage along with 2GB RAM; $1199 increases that to 128GB of storage and 4GB RAM.

The 13-inch model’s i5 processor is clocked at 1.7GHz and it’s available in either 4/128 or 4/256 configurations for $1299 and $1599 respectively; a 1.8GHz i7 processor is also a configure-to-order option.