Apple appears to be readying itself for a brand spanking new MacBook Air. It's driven down supplies of the current stock at its major US retailers, according to a report - an almost certain sign that something new is in the offing.
Certain versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air are suddenly showing up as "Not available"at most major retailers including Amazon and Best Buy. This could mean they're making way for a new MacBook Air, or, in the case of Best Buy, it could just be they're hopeless at managing inventory. I do love that store, but it's a rare visit to Best Buy that has me walking out with the item I went in looking for.
MacRumor, which tracks how long it has been between updates of Apple products, already has the MacBook Air in the "Don't Buy" zone, due to the fact it's been 342 days since the last update, a relatively long time for that product.
Here in the Digital Life Labs, we've already moved into the Don't Buy zone for most notebooks, Windows or Mac, due to the fact that the Intel Core processor that typically drives them is due for a major upgrade in the next few weeks.
At the Computex trade show in Taiwan in early June, Intel is expected to officially launch the new "Haswell" version of the Core processor, a version Intel has been talking about for years and years.
Intel says that Haswell is the first Core processor to have been designed from the ground up with power consumption in front of mind, meaning it should be the perfect processor for the MacBook Air, which is designed to be used on the road, where battery life is a big, big issue.
The promised power improvements of Haswell lead to a rather delicious dilemma for Apple, and for those of us who like to speculate about its products. On the one hand, it would be great if the power savings were put towards battery longevity, so you could safely use a MacBook Air for the entire duration of a flight to the US, say.
On the other hand, it would be great if the power savings were put towards a Retina display. Depending on just how much less power Haswell uses compared to the current Core chips, Apple could put a marvellous, very-high-definition display in the new MacBook Airs, and still get roughly the same battery life of its current Airs.
It's hard to say which is the better option.
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