Apple could be planning to release a $799 MacBook Air that would be designed to combat new Ultrabooks launching in the coming months. The price is $200 cheaper than the current entry-level model based on Intel’s Core i5 processor, according to a new report from DigiTimes citing a source in Apple’s upstream supply chain.
Last month, Intel’s general manager for PC client group Kirk Skaugen said that he believed we would see sub-$700 Ultrabooks in time for back-to-school sales. This would put entry-level Ultrabooks about $100 cheaper than today’s budget models although Intel may have a tougher time convincing buyers to purchase a new computer just months before Microsoft releases Windows 8.
An $800 MacBook Air would be priced right alongside current-generation Ultrabooks. If Apple can simply slash the price of the current Air rather than release a new, stripped-down version then they stand an even better chance of steering potential customers away from Intel’s offering. A base model 11-inch Air ships with an Intel Core i5 clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state drive.
The reduced-cost MacBook Air will be launched in the third quarter, lining up for a date with those heading back to school with the always-lucrative holiday buying season just a few months afterwards. The source in question believes the strategy would damage Ultrabooks and allow Apple to maintain their advantage. That is, if this rumor turns out to be true and Apple actually delivers.
Read expert reviews, pros & cons, and product information about Apple MacBook Air 11.6 inch Summer 2011 - Core i5/i7. There are 60 reviews available so far.
The 13-inch MacBook Air models get a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2637M processor, 4GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of flash storage for $1,299 or $1,599, respectively. Configure to order options include a 1.8 GHz Core i7-2677M processor and additional flash storage, but unfortunately no discrete graphics, only the built-in HD 3000 from Intel.
The Acer Aspire S3 is 0.51 inches thin and weighs only 2.98 pounds. Its chassis is made from magnesium alloy and under the hood it packs an Intel Core i7 processor, a 20GB solid-state drive operating system and the machine’s current state, as well as a 320GB hard drive for storage. The S3's LED-backlit display offers a 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution and is driven by the CPU's integrated Intel HD graphics 3000 graphics processor.
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