Apple lowers price of MacBook Air with solid-state drive

Since January, Apple has offered its ultra-thin MacBook Air notebook in two flavors: a base $1,799 configuration with a 1.8" 80GB hard drive, and a pricier system with a 64GB solid-state drive. The SSD-based model cost $3,098 at launch, but Apple has now lowered it to $2,598.

This cut seems to go hand-in-hand with a decrease in SSD prices. For the record, Super Talent recently unveiled its 1.8" MasterDrive KX line, which includes a 60GB drive with a suggested price of "only" $449—about half what many 64GB SSDs cost when the Air came out. OCZ also rolled out a 2.5" 64GB SSD costing just $259 earlier this month.

Apple's price cut also makes the Air more competitive with comparable systems like Lenovo's ThinkPad X300, which recently came down in price, as well. The cheapest X300 config today costs $2,580, and it includes a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, a 64GB solid-state drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a pair of removable three-cell batteries. For $18 more, the SSD-based Air has a 1.8GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a single, non-removable battery.

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