Sporting special low-voltage, 45-nanometer Core 2 Duo mobile processors from the “Penryn” family of Intel mobile CPUs, the “Mac Air” would most likely have two versions, one running at 1.8GHz and another at 2.16GHz. 2GB of onboard RAM (two banks of 1GB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM memory) would be included, and would not be upgradable or removable — just like the Macbook Air.
Although the new speculative aspects of Apple’s 2008 roadmap we are seeing emerge on the grapevine, including this new mid-level desktop and a dramatically overhauled Mac Mini, don’t exactly dovetail very well with previous, more well-confirmed information like our “spy shot” session with the prototype “Mac Nano” chassis late last year…..and there are any number of questions about how the market would respond to a desktop that has many of the compromises that make the Air so controversial and so unique.
Nonetheless, a lot of people seem very excited by the idea of a new, stripped-down Mac; not only would it help drive the Mini further down to the very lowest practical price ranges, it would address a market segment who likes the Mini but sees even that machine as too half-way of a compromise, not quite right for the entry level as is but not quite a midrange machine either.
By in essence splitting the Mini into two products, one focused on cost-effectiveness/value and the other on sheer sexiness/smallness/suitability for unique new purposes, Apple could address quite a few of the current gaps in the Mac product matrix while avoiding the creation of another “G4 Cube” that overlaps other products too much in some areas and doesn’t offer a good enough value proposition in others….but we have a lot more investigating to do before we can say with confidence that we believe the current “Mac Air” rumors are accurate.
Stay tuned to Rumors for much more on these topics, including an in-depth look at the next generation Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro in an upcoming examination of the current desktop lineup, its past & future!