The rumours of a new MacBook Air release have gotten to the point where there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that it’s coming soon.
The new Airs will likely sport Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” processors, which are designed to use up less power in portable devices. Apple also has plans to add Thunderbolt, the port that lets you transfer data at 10 Gbps. (That’s way, way faster than your current USB port.)
We’re expecting an official announcement from Apple any day now. In the meantime, check out all the latest rumours about the MacBook Air refresh below.
The new MacBook Airs will probably get a Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt is Intel's technology that allows data transfers of up to 10 Gbps. That means you can transfer a full HD movie in about 30 seconds. Apple has been adding Thunderbolt to all of its Macs, so it makes sense for the Air to get one too.
Intel's Sandy Bridge processors (Core i5 and i7) are powerful, low-power processors designed for devices just like the MacBook Air. It'd be a nice step up from the Air's current Core 2 Duo processors.
Although there have been reports of Apple testing A5 processors in MacBook Airs, there is little to no chance they'll ever see the light of day. But that is a sign Apple is experimenting with iOS on devices other than tablets and phones. It's possible a future version of the Air will be more iPad than Mac.
Most speculate that the new MacBook Airs will begin shipping soon after Mac OS X Lion launches next month. There's no solid date on that yet, but since Snow Leopard is almost dead, it makes sense for Apple to wait.
Last week DigiTimes published a report saying Apple is preparing to ship 8 million new MacBook Airs in Q3. That number seems far too high to us, but it does seem like Apple is still ramping up production.
Beta News spoke to a couple of analysts about Apple potentially offering a cheaper version of the MacBook Air to appeal to more users. The analysts think a $799 would be the sweetspot, but there's almost no chance of that happening. Airs will probably start at $999, just like they do now.
When rumours of a MacBook Air refresh first began, many speculated it would launch by the end of June. Since we're there now, a July launch looks more likely. It's a safe bet that if a refresh is on the way, it will happen around Mac OS X Lion's launch next month.
According to most rumours, it looks like there won't be much of a change when it comes to memory and storage. Right now you can get between 64 GB and 256 GB of storage and up to 4 GB of memory.
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