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MacBook Air rumor: upgradeable RAM, 8-10 hours on battery

updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon October 18, 2010

MacBook Air revamp said expandable, longer lasting

Another rumor today provided possibly strong details of the next MacBook Air ahead of its anticipated launch on Wednesday. The design is now thought to be relatively upgradeable, as users could finally choose more RAM as well as larger capacity SSD. It's not evident from the Cult of Mac tip if these would be user-replaceable, although bare SSDs aren't easily bought aftermarket and may only be build-to-order options.

The design would largely be as shown with a more wedge-like shape (mocked up below) in both 11.6- and 13.3-inch forms. The reworking would be thinner and lighter but would also have much longer battery life, running up to eight to 10 hours through a 50 percent larger battery pack.

While Apple would still have to stick to Core 2 Duos to keep fast graphics, the configurations would leap in speed to 2.1GHz and 2.4GHz while also moving to better GeForce 320M video. The subjective speed, however, would be much faster: it's "unbelievable" how quickly it starts, the source said. Responsiveness was reportedly a personal goal of Steve Jobs after he said he wanted to get closer to the iPad's instant-on behavior.

More expansion is purportedly confirmed and would outfit the new Air with a second USB port and an SD card reader along with the existing Mini DisplayPort. Electronista has also heard the 13-inch model may have a 1440x900 display, but this hasn't been confirmed.

Whether or not the system would ship immediately isn't known, but the pricing would potentially overlap that of the plastic MacBook, possibly at $999 for the 11.6-inch model and $1,099. The costs have been cast into doubt as they would create a direct overlap and would cast the fate of the white MacBook itself into doubt. They also contradict Apple's philosophy of equating screen size to price if the white MacBook remains, and industry observers have suggested Apple may use the Air as a way to bridge the gap between the $699 64GB Wi-Fi iPad and the $999 MacBook.

by MacNN Staff



  1. medelegant

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what are the odds on Retina

    It would certainly be interesting if Apple used the new Air to launch Retina displays on the laptop range.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Joined: Dec 1969


    11.6", At last...

    At last, a replacement for my 12" Powerbook. Time to retire the faithful Lenovo Hackintosh and return to the faithful....

    Please be true!

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Retina? Highly unlikely.

    A very high resolution display would only make sense if the user interface scaled in proportion to it - otherwise you would have a menu bar approx. 0.1 inch high with 2 point text. Look at the current MacBook Pro 15", there's a HD option for it... the text on UI elements like the menu bar or palettes is really tiny.

    I expect Apple to introduce resolution indepence in 10.7. We'll see on Wednesday.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agreed on the retina display

    I highly doubt Apple can hit the $1,000 price point with an 11" or 13" retina display.

    Methinks we're going to be stuck with the standard ~120ppi (+/- ~10) displays on laptop/notebook Macs for some time to come.

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