Report: Next MacBook Air to have 11.6” display

Longing for a Mac laptop with a display smaller than 13 inches? Then you’d better scour eBay for an old-school PowerBook G4—well, that or build a Hackintosh. If you’re ready to wait, though, DigiTimes reports that Apple will venture back into smaller notebook form factors with an 11.6" MacBook Air later this year.

The system will reportedly be "even slimmer and lighter" than the current, 13" MacBook Air, and it will pack a Core 2010 processor. Also, DigiTimes claims technologies introduced in the 11.6" Air will be "broadly used" across the rest of Apple’s products to make them more competitive. Too bad the site doesn’t say what those technologies are. Unibody unobtanium, perhaps?

Assuming this rumor is true, the big question is what Apple will charge for the machine. If it costs the same as the current MacBook Air, the 11.6" model might have the trappings of a traditional ultraportable—fast hardware, fancy features, and a highly inflated price tag. That would be a shame, since the PC notebook market is brimming with cheap consumer ultraportables that still pack eminently decent hardware. Apple doesn’t exactly have a reputation of catering to the value-conscious, though.

Comments closed
    • EyeForget
    • 12 years ago

    Have you owned an ssd Air? If so, I suggest you run Disk Warrior or DU on it and see how corrupted the disk is.

    I own a ssh Air and I’ve seen more disk errors in one year of ownership than in 25 years of probably 100 other Macs.

    The issue holding back ssd’s in enterprise is not cost, it’s disk errors. You have to stick a database consultant in front of your hardware suppliers to start getting at the truth but they are error prone.

    Given the price and the slow sequential read capability, still a gimmick.

    • crsh1976
    • 12 years ago

    The only one foolish enough to make a $1k+ netbook is Sony, see where that got them. Apple doesn’t name stuff to sound cheap anyway, even if it’s technically a netbook, it’ll be referred to as a MacPad of sorts.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    It’s more like ‘think revenues.’

    • rrode74
    • 12 years ago

    Dont call it a Netbook…..Jobs said Netbooks do nothing good. If Jobs said it, then its true.

    • PrecambrianRabbit
    • 12 years ago

    I’m pretty excited to see this device once it shows up. I’ve often wanted Apple to go further into the ultraportable space than they did with the original Air (although that was a good step). Most of the stuff in that form factor seems pretty crummy to me, and I’d hope that Apple would get it right.

    Of course, I probably won’t be willing to buy at the price that Apple wants to sell. Curse you, supply and demand.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 12 years ago

    Bad drivers most likely. ATI and Nvidia have spent a lot of money and effort optimizing drivers for windows.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    A SSD as the standard isn’t necessarily going to have an impact on the price by the time this actually shows up.

    The “gimmicky” thing Apple does that drives the prices through the roof on every last one of their computers is restricting CPU options to unnecessarily expensive models, based purely on branding. Only Xeons in Mac Pros, no Core i3s, no Pentiums, no Celerons, and best of all, not even any CULV models for the Macbook Air. They just had to go and use something pointless and off the wall. “Think different,” indeed.

    • ironoutsider
    • 12 years ago

    IMHO ssd is not gimick either. What parts on a mac are gimicky? I have yet to see the macbook wheel or other backwards technology directly descendent from cell phone texting (seriously just freaking call!). No doubt it will be boutique pricing though, but that’s mac’s whole thing. They are computer boutiques and price things accordingly. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it and watch the sheeple flock to the next ishiny buttonless toy.

    update** Oops, let my apple hate get out. Trying to stay nuetral on this though cuz they do make great laptops.

    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    I’m no Apple fan, but calling a SSD a gimmick is a bit foolish IMHO.

    • SNM
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder what the screen resolution will be. My next laptop is going to have to be a high-res 15″ Macbook Pro because I’ve just come to love screen space too much.

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    If its $1500 MAX I’d consider it depending on the screen resolution, but having the iPad makes it much eaiser for me to bite on a 15″ MBP since I won’t have to bring it with my most places.

    • PcItalian
    • 12 years ago

    I built a Hackintosh for 650 (almost 500) that out performs their ~$1500 budget system… The only junk part of the system is the fact that i get bad frame rates on my newly released steam games (Bad coding?)

    • ImSpartacus
    • 12 years ago

    After loving my MBP13, I have always wondered why Apple couldn’t make a cheap 11.6″ laptop.

    If they cut the disk drive out and pack in a modern CULV for $1000, they will have a winner. You don’t need more than 2GB of RAM and a 120-160GB 1.8″ HDD.

    But knowing Apple, it will have an SSD and other gimmicky parts. The price will increase to nearly 2 grand and it will become a boutique product.

    Well, let’s at least hope the battery life will be nice, eh?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 12 years ago

    yeah if they can get the low end build to start at 900-1000 dollars and the pimped out version around 1500 they’ll have a real winner there.

    • KyleSTL
    • 12 years ago

    If they can price it against the Alienware M11x then I think they’ll have a milllion-seller, if it continues the pricing trend of the original Macbook Air then the throngs of Macophiles will line up to donate to Mr. Jobs. If it comes in between $1000-1500 I would even consider getting one myself (last Mac I had was a IIe, besides my wife’s Macbook).

    Clearly this system is not going to be a budget system (<$1000).

    “We don’t know how to build a sub-$500 computer that is not a piece of junk,” Jobs said during an Apple earning call in 2008.

    He’s right, see:
    Mac Mini 1.1 (Core Solo)
    Mac Mini 2.1 (Core Duo, Intel GMA)
    …see they build junk that’s $500-1000

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