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New MacBook Air narrowed to mid-July

updated 08:05 am EDT, Wed June 29, 2011

MacBook Air 2011 to be identical on outside

More leaks Wednesday have narrowed down the release schedule for new MacBook Air systems. The ultraportables are now expected to ship in mid-July and possibly on July 14. An extra 9to5 tip emphasized that the systems would be virtually identical in external design outside of the switch from Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt.

The systems are already known to be shipping with Lion and hint that Apple will be making the new OS available on or near the same day. Intel's newly shipping low-voltage Core i5 and i7 chips are widely presumed to be coming along, although Apple may only use these for the 11-inch Air and reserve existing, faster 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz processors for the 13-inch system.

The new Air is expected to be a major leap in performance. Although the Intel integrated graphics will just be on par with the GeForce 320M they replace, the underlying processors will bring Apple's systems from behind equivalents in performance to equivalent or sometimes ahead. An update is also an opportunity to close gaps in RAM or storage.

One rumor has the 11-inch Air dropping to $899 to lure in more buyers. Apple's typical pattern is more often to upgrade features for the same price, and it may consider this a top priority given just 64GB of storage in its starter model.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Where's my backlit keyboard?

    I want to add backlit keyboard to the upgrade speculation. Do it Apple, I know you want it, too.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the fascinating thing ...

    The fascinating thing about the Macbook Air, is the range of possibility for surprise is small. Practically every aspect of it will be about the same as the current computer, but slightly improved. Since people love the current MBA, it won't be surprising that improving every aspect slightly will cause them to love it more.

    The only thing that would be REALLY surprising would be if there were Verizon and AT&T versions of the MBA. I don't see that happening at ALL.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: the fascinating thing

    The only thing that would be REALLY surprising would be if there were Verizon and AT&T versions of the MBA. I don't see that happening at ALL.

    Why would I need an ATT or verizon version? Wouldn't it be far easier to just add a SIM slot and be done with it?

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