updated 07:30 am EDT, Wed October 20, 2010
MacBook Air and new iLife given away by
Plans to launch a new MacBook Air and iLife '11 have been virtually confirmed this morning both by unofficial leaks and by Apple itself. The company's discussion forums already have placeholder categories for the "MBA" notebook as well as iMovie '11, GarageBand '11 and iPhoto '11. Polish site Spidersweb, who first found the leaks, also discovered a mystery "Reserved 10 20" category that could represent a new app or piece of hardware.
More refined details have also emerged in a rumor reinforcing many of the base specs. A new 11.6-inch model and a redesigned 13.3-inch model are still both anticipated, with a second USB port and an SD card slot improving the expansion for at least one model. Engadget has now claimed that the 11.6-inch Air may still start with just 2GB of RAM and would have a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo, with the high end falling slightly short of 2.4GHz rumors with 2.33GHz. The speeds both line up with Intel's current Core 2 Duo S models and would line up with expectations that Apple is still using older processors to deliberately avoid Intel's slow integrated graphics in favor of NVIDIA's faster GeForce 320M.
A pair of design touches may have been disclosed at the same time. The 11.6-inch model would still be as thick as its 13.3-inch counterpart, but the need to save space would move the aluminum power button on the side to a black power button next to the eject key on the keyboard. A "buttonless" glass trackpad should reach the design.
Launch details still aren't known, including the ship date or the price, but it's expected that the new Air will run well under the $1,499 asking cost of the current model and could dip below $999 for the 11.6-inch version.