updated 08:15 pm EDT, Sat October 29, 2011
MacBook Air knock-off with future Atom shows
One of the many clone developers in the Shenzhen area of southern China, Shenzhen Technology, has produced a MacBook Air clone that may draw extra fire from Apple. Where most clones are conspicuously different on the outside, the unnamed 13-inch system spotted by Shanzhaiben is much closer to Apple's actual design and actually slightly smaller and lighter. Rather than use Intel's low-voltage Core i5, though, it's using the as yet unreleased 1.86GHz Atom N2800 based on the Cedar Trail platform, making it closer to a netbook.
The PC makes a number of other sacrifices to cater to a market known for wanting lower prices whenever possible. It carries the same 2GB of RAM but just a 32GB solid-state drive. Although it supposedly has a similar-capacity battery and a more efficient processor, it gets just half the battery life at 3.5 hours.
Some of Apple's more specialized technology has also gone away. MagSafe is replaced with a regular power connector, and the temporarily Mac-only Thunderbolt port has been replaced with an HDMI jack. Its trackpad is unlikely to support multi-touch; the OS choice is unknown but is likely Windows.
Shenzhen Technology is shipping the system in November and is estimated to be aiming for a 3,000 yuan renminbi ($471) price. Similar to some of the fake Apple stores, the company insists that it's an authentic Apple product and is hoping to fool locals. Apple only seldomly pursues Chinese clones, but it may be more inclined to chase after companies more directly imitating its products. [via Giz-China]