Apple’s 2011 MacBook Air gives new value

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It is widely believed that Apple will be releasing its new range of MacBook Airs anytime soon. It is thought the line will be released soon after Mac OS X Lion is made available. But before it is even announced it is thought that Apple’s 2011 MacBook Air gives new value to potential owners.

Kasper Jade of AppleInsider is reporting that the new range will increase in value because of increases to standard memory and storage components. This is on top of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors which will be powering the laptops.

Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst from Concord Securities has said that industry checks have found that Apple is not ordering MacBook Airs with 2GB of RAM anymore. The company is now placing orders for its 11.6 and 13.3-inch models which will have 4GB of RAM as standard. This will improve performance of the units which will have Mac OS X Lion pre-installed.

The same checks hinted that the 64GB models will be replaced with 128GB and 256GB versions as standard. Recent reports of the SSD drives being soldered to the logic board have been rubbished, so the drives will remain pluggable.

With regards to the Sandy Bridge processors Apple have chosen for the range, Kuo pointed to three specific Intel ultra-low voltage chips. Based on the checks it is thought the Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz), i7-2637M (1.7GHz), and i7-2677M (1.8GHz) will be the chips Apple will be using. Each of them only consumes seventeen watts, which is ideal for the slim Air and can support up to 8GB of memory.

Kuo has a good track record in predicting Apple’s new products, and was the first to mention the 11.6-inch MacBook Air. Meanwhile other manufactures are finding it hard to compete with the current range of MacBook Airs. Focus Taiwan is reporting that the thin and light Ultrabook prototype promoted by Intel Corp is not yet ready to boost notebook demand this year. This has been put down too high prices of the components.

Last month at the Computex trade show Intel and Asustek revealed the ultra-thin laptops which were equipped with Intel’s next gen chips, and was codenamed Ivy Bridge. Intel said the chip brings better power efficiency with increased responsiveness and enhanced security.

Daiwa Securities Group in Taipei said the Ultrabook is just an old trick but with a new name. This was because Intel was cutting the prices of its low voltage processors again, and will help major OEM’s premium models become the mainstream.

But for the Ultrabook to compare with the MacBook Air it still needs other more advanced and also expensive components. This includes the likes of solid state drives, metal casings, ultra thin panels, polymer batteries, and high density interconnect. It will come even harder for rival companies if the new standard features do come with the new MacBook Air.

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