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Apple to boost MacBook Airs with faster chips

Apple is reportedly planning to upgrade its current lineup of MacBook Air laptops on Tuesday with faster processors from Intel.

The minor upgrade will see the entry-level, 13in MacBook Air get a dual-core, 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost revving the CPU clock up to 2.7GHz, up from the dual-core, 1.3GHz Intel chip with 2.6GHz Turbo Boost powering the current model, 9to5Mac reported Monday.

The site guessed that Apple would implement "similarly small boosts across the standard MacBook Air lineup (with the built-to-order models moving from 1.7GHz to 1.8GHz)" in perhaps a last tweak to current-generation 11in and 13in MacBook Airs ahead of the expected release of fanless, thinner, Retina Display-packing laptops later in the year.

9to5Mac said Apple might also "tweak the Air's storage options to round out the update" of a new crop of MacBook Airs purported to be arriving Tuesday at Apple Stores. The new laptops getting faster Intel "Haswell"-class processors are internally known as "J41A" for the 11in and "J43A" for the 13in, the site reported.

The Cupertino-based company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Apple released its current MacBook Air 11in and MacBook Air 13in in mid-2013. Since those launches, other than anticipation for the next wave of ultrathin laptops from Apple, there hasn't been a ton of drama surrounding these well-regarded machines — though Apple was compelled to replace some faulty SSDs in its MacBook Air lineup last October.

The upgraded laptops, if they are released, aren't likely to be marketed very heavily by the Cupertino firm beyond some better placement at Apple Stores, according to 9to5Mac.

"It's unclear if Apple will even promote the updated Airs," the site said.