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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.