Apple May Launch New Macbook Air With Sandy Bridge Within Weeks

Apple will apparently be launching new versions of its 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch Macbook laptops if rumours emerging from Taiwan are to be believed; these point to some significant improvements in the range with the adoption of Intel's Sandy Bridge hardware and the new Thunderbolt interface.

Players in Taiwan's sprawling supply chain told Digitimes that components for the new laptops will be shipped in late May from Apple's usual suppliers like Quanta Computer, Dynapack, Auras Technology and Catcher Technology.

Because Apple normally orders high volumes of high priced components, the manufacturers are hoping for a windfall gain. We suspect that Apple will use a Celeron Sandy Bridge part, the B847, for its 11.6-inch model, which has a TDP of only 17W, comes with 2MB L2 cache and has two cores clocked at 1.1GHz.

The possible inclusion of Thunderbolt would indicate that Apple is ready to roll out Thunderbolt across its whole range of portable devices with the original Macbook being the only one left out.

The current entry level Macbook Air laptop - which was released back in October 2010 - comes in at a rather steep £867 and packs a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB memory, 64GB flash, an Nvidia Geforce 320M graphics and a 1366x768 pixel screen.