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.