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New tip has MacBook Air due in 11- and 13-inch sizes

updated 11:45 am EDT, Sat October 16, 2010

Next MacBook Air leak has two sizes, no port doors

Yet more details about the next MacBook Air have emerged that hint at different sizes. The same source that hinted at an 11.6-inch model has followed up and said both it and a 13.3-inch model would exist side-by-side in Apple's lineup. AppleInsider saw the prototype as at least somewhat reflective of Apple's final design as it was told that the new design could drop the port door in favor of regular ports and would put the bare SSD on a card attached to the mainboard through SATA.

The new Air would be an achievement in engineering, the source added, as it would be only just thicker than a USB port even while adding the second USB port and SD card reader. Battery life should also go up through the new design, which is still unibody like the original. Either size notebook would have the "buttonless" glass trackpad that has been on most MacBooks since October 2008.

Whether or not Apple will advance the processor and RAM beyond the prototype is still an unknown, but it's thought likely that it will at least move ahead in clock speed and that Apple will use a faster GeForce 320M for graphics. The company may make up for having to use a Core 2 Duo by giving one or both of the new models a much lower price, in part to close the gap with falling Windows PC prices. An 11.6-inch design would compete against CULV-based notebooks like Acer's TimelineX, which starts out with a newer Core i3 at $600 but could actually be slower since it uses ultra-low voltage chips and much slower Intel video.

Full details are expected at the October 20 "Back to the Mac" event and could see the new models shipping quickly.


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By Electronista Staff
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  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -12

    11 & 13?

    Sorry, not Apple's style. They may remove the optical bay from the current 13" and make that a lot slimmer, and then release an all-new 11" model that's ridiculously thin, but I do not foresee new 11 & 13 inch Airs.

  1. bobolicious

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +3

    usb3 would be helpful...

    ...especially if storage capacity is limited by the 'drive', and a 2G ram may be a bottleneck as well ?

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    +2

    Dude..

    Dude the Air doesn't have an optical drive... that's kinda the point.

    To be honest I'd love if they had an option to remove the optical drive from the MacBook Pro 13 inch and either stick more battery in there or an extra HDD or something. Fact is my optical drives always go on my laptops.

  1. AllanCook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2006

    +1

    Wondering

    if the absence of on-board storage presages a day -- coming soon, I think -- when all of our apps, data, photos, music, etc., will be stored in the cloud and we'll just access it through slender devices like the MacBook Air through wi-fi.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    0

    11.6" MacBook regular, 13.3" MacBook Air?

    The white plastic low-end MacBook is due for a refresh. How about an 11.6" base MacBook, finally with unibody aluminum construction? And an ultra-high-tech 13.3" MacBook Air with carbon fiber construction and bonded aluminum skin? (Maybe not: carbon fiber has a high "carbon footprint" obviously, and may not be easily recyclable.)

    I still think one of the last steps in enabling a super-slim MacBook Air is replacing the mechanical keyboard with some kind of self-illuminating (Super AMOLED?) touch-screen keyboard + trackpad unit. No physical keys, no LED backlight system, vastly fewer assembly steps, and extreme thinness.

    The touchscreen keyboard would cost more, component-wise, but there would be far fewer assembly steps, and it would be software-configurable for all international keyboard layouts. Fewer assembly steps and simpler configuration will help to keep overall production cost down.

  1. Paul Huang

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +2

    4GB should be a given

    I can't imagine anything smaller than 4GB.

    Maybe iPad + keyboard as a package?

  1. OkieDoc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    "carbon footprint"

    "MacBook Air with carbon fiber construction and bonded aluminum skin? (Maybe not: carbon fiber has a high "carbon footprint" obviously, and may not be easily recyclable.)"

    Um, where do you get that carbon fiber has a bigger carbon footprint? Is it that much more energy-intensive to manufacture than the aluminum unibody construction? USING carbon doesn't increase a product's "carbon footprint." Conceivably, it would LOWER it.

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