Report: Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs Will Start At $899 And Come In Black



Although Apple still sells a white model, the piano black plastic MacBook is much missed. It might be Back to Black time for the MacBook line, though, as several anonymous sources are now reporting that the Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge equipped MacBook Air could get a black anodized aluminum finish when it lands in July.

MacRumors reports:

We’ve received several anonymous tips claiming that at least some models of the next-generation MacBook Air will be be available with a black finish, different from the aluminum case used on the current MacBook Air and most of Apple’s other Macs. The most specific of the claims suggests that a black anodized aluminum case would be available on a top-end MacBook Air model, in much the same way as Apple once offered a high-end black MacBook on top of the standard white offerings.

As a dissenting opinion, 9to5Mac says they’ve heard that while the next MacBook Air could start at prices of just $899 when it is released next month, a black finish is not in the cards.

I don’t know who to believe, but I know who I want to believe: a black MacBook Air sounds swank enough for me to trade in my current model for a new one. As Wesley Snipes once famously said, you should always bet on black. Would you buy a black MacBook Air?

  • Aammar Ahmed

    Good job on this article! I became interested in this content and have many of the same views as you. This is really good info.

  • dagamer34

    If $899 is in the cards, then the white plastic MacBook is basically dead.

  • Alvaro Junior

    I will never buy a black MacBook air, because I don’t think it is beatiful. But a gray MacBook Air for $899 is very probably

  • macgizmo

    I hate the silver aluminum finish Apple has fallen in love with the last few years. But I hate the white plastic even more. People have been asking for black cases for a long time. Not sure why Apple won’t just do it already.

    A black aluminum iMac with the glossy black screen bezel and backlit white Apple would look soooo cool.

  • swengoodwood

    “As Wesley Snipes once famously said, you should always bet on black.”

    I think he might have a couple of Big Black room mates right about now.

  • Gordon_Keenan

    When it all comes down to a colour, it says it all really….

  • Hugo Horta Ruivinho

    I wouldn’t buy a black anodized aluminum macbook air just because if you scratch it, you would see the silver color underneath the black. Plus is shows more dust..
    The $899 price tag is nice!

  • macgizmo

    As a side note, I have no evidence of this but, I think Apple is going to replace the MacBook completely with the MBAir. As soon as it gets cheaper to build, Apple will probably replace all but the 15 and 17 inch MBPros with Airs.

  • diesel-benz

    The Black color is gone for exactly the reason that picture shows; it clearly displays every fingerprint that it collects.

  • dale2000

    This looks like the base of the ORIGINAL MBA, with the hinged USB gate.  It does NOT look like the Late-2010 MBA.

    I realize that nothing in the article says that the picture is related to the story (though maybe that should have been clarified one way or another?), but I’m doubting that the picture is a soon-to-be-released black MBA.

  • Ben Mr.Abhorsen

    Why does it look so much like the old model? Look at the picture you’ll notice the vents on the back and the notch on the side similar to the 2008 macbook air.

  • Howie Isaacks

    Black would be awesome.  Since Apple has given us black iPod nanos, it’s always been possible to give us black anodized almunimum MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros.  I will be replacing my laptop next year, so hopefully this rumor is true.

  • anon

    “Although Apple still sells a white model, the piano black plastic MacBook is much missed.”

    I thought piano black meant glossy? There was not a glossy black MacBook, right?

  • Guest updated a similar article saying that a reliable source has not seen any black MBAir materials.. More than likely this picture is from a 2007 or more recent prototype; if anything.

  • brownlee

    We mention this directly in our post.

  • pixelbud

    Would be a nice upgrade from my black Macbook that I’m still using. The only issue I have is HD space. I’ve upgraded mine to 750GB. A 480GB SSD do-it-yourself upgrade would cost $1399.99.

  • Guest

    And so you did good sir! Although your wording wasn’t the same so I didn’t catch it while skimming. However, a well written article would quote the fact as to why “[the] black finish [MBAir] is not in the cards”; no black materials were found by the source.

    You created more emphasis on the anonymous tips from MacRumors which probably led your readers (including myself) to believe that a black finish was entirely possible regardless of the small blurb added..

    Another word of advice from a fellow writer. The post’s title is misleading – “Report: Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs Will Start At $899 And Come In Black”. The title makes the claim that it was from a report and MBAirs WILL be $899 and WILL come in black. You seem like a smart fellow but you as an editor, you shouldn’t let these misleading articles post! This isn’t a diary; you have readers and followers!

    I’m usually not confrontational but I have seen more and more of this “junk” writing come out of COM. By the comments you have been receiving in previous articles I believe it’s safe to say that maybe it’s time to find writers that know how to format their articles correctly so you don’t upset your readers everyday like you do now.

  • ErinsDad


    Gettin’ tired of trying to add more memory and disk and optimize my old Blackbook.  Bring it!

  • ElVox

    If they put out a black MBA13″ I will immediately sell my current MBA13″ (bought last november) to buy a black one…I want!!!

  • Freddie Freeloader

    … WITHOUT A F_ING DOUBT ( that’s IF i have the cash of course! :D)

  • Support 18inc

    Colours, shades and tints can come in any form of finish. In this case, the piano black MacBook has a matte finish as released by Apple. Your comment is irrelevant.

  • Support 18inc

    Notice the fingerprints. This machine looks like a nightmare to clean. Cleaning the screens for MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is annoying enough, please don’t add to the headache Apple.

  • prharris2

    Piano black refers to a glossy black finish senior Dumass.

  • prharris2

    Is Paisley a color?

  • Roberto Barreto

    Hell yeah.

  • NIck

    Black is waaaaay too WINDOWS.  Aluminum is best, more suave and artistic.  Even white is better than black, which to me just screams JUNK.  Black computers make me want to barf.

  • Ta

    I’ll only upgrade to a Black MacBook Air when the 11″ has a 256g option.

  • Radek Priborsky

    It is the INTERIOR colour!

  • Support 18inc

    Yup, you proved me wrong. And here I am studying art and art history for 6 years knowing nothing about tints, shades or finishes. Something tells me you need to hop in a time Machine and watch Gabriel Ba use the matte PIANO black India ink he became known for using in art school. But hey…you’ve seen a shiny black piano before, I’m sure you know exactly what your talking about.

  • Wayne_Luke

    If the Air starts at $899.00, I’ll probably buy one. I don’t care what color it is. It will be a tool to do mobile work on, it isn’t something I’ll be staring at simply to admire. When working, I’ll be looking at keys and a monitor anyway.

  • Guest

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. If a black one comes out i may get one instead of a mac book pro… I’ve been waiting for the black ones since 2007 when i was convinced by my brother to not get a mac!!!!

  • Bryan Harman

    actually my buddy had his 2008 White anodized then put some silly tribal etchings in it… pretty gay but then so is he.  

    I actually like the white anodized look… pretty slick… maybe they are testing the waters on multi colors.  this close to release time, apple looks pretty heavily on blogs to see peoples reactions to rumored product changes.

    i guess we will see in JUL/AUG timeframe!


  • Lars Pallesen

    Anybody care for a little crazy conspiracy theory of mine? Okay, here goes:

     What you’re looking at here is not black anodized aluminum. It’s liquid metal® ! 
    Some of you will remember that Apple bought the world wide license for this new metal technology in August 2010.

    “But liquid metal alloys aren’t matte black?”, you say. No, they’re not. But they don’t look like aluminum either. So what would Apple do to keep the new “revolutionary and magic liquid metal” a secret until the new products are officially unveiled? They would give all prototypes and parts a coat of matte black paint!  And THAT would result in the exact (but unpractical) finish seen in the photo above.

    Car manufacturers have been doing this for decades when they’re trying to hide new car models from prying eyes during track tests.

    So what do you think? Should I just go and get my (liquid metal) tinfoil hat now, or … ? :-)

  • Jeremy Roe

    899 MacBook Air, why would you buy an iPad?

  • Eat Sleep Mac

    I really hope this is true, cause i’ll be first in line..

  • marioyohanes

    I’m waiting for this… Hope they have a 4GB/8GB RAM configuration, if they do, most likely gonna be my MBP replacement…

  • GingerNinja

    Whilst I am sure you know what you’re talking about, the term “piano black” is widely used across the musical & tech industry to describe a glossy finish.  Search for “piano black” alongside PC cases, monitors, AV cabinets, TVs, drums etc and you will always see a glossy finish.

    I had a MacBook Black as my first Mac and I never once heard Apple refer to it as as “piano black” finish.  It was always either just Black or Matte Black.  The only thing that was glossy on mine was the home keys, the space bar and the trackpad due to usage making the plastic shine.

  • GingerNinja

    I concur.  I immediately saw black and thought either Liquid Metal or some new carbon fibre that Apple have allegedly been playing with according to some tech blogs.


    Yep – check this MacStories article:

    Liquid metal if anything…..

  • GingerNinja

    Grey……OR BEIGE!?

  • GeekDaddy

    Captain Pedantic likes this……

  • GingerNinja

    You’re correct – the image is taken from the prototype of the original MBA that was on eBay two years back.  More details on the link below:

  • GeekDaddy

    Captain Pedantic likes this…..

  • GeekDaddy

    Captain Pedantic likes this…..
    Captain Pedantic smells sensationalist journalism afoot……

  • GingerNinja

    Will you get lost!!!?