A slightly larger, higher-resolution display to set it apart a little more from the basic Macbook, even just the most basic and cost-insignificant tweaks to the ports (a second USB2 port, or even a third, presents neither technical nor design problems and sources at Infinite Loop have repeatedly confirmed this; the existing USB2 controller supports three separate busses/ports and there’s plenty of room on the sides of the enclosure….just changing this will not harm its elegant, uncluttered lines) to go with the faster processors at 2.1 and 2.5GHz — and we’d have a machine that instantly erases the issues which have held it back thus far.
Why has Apple attached so little attention/fanfare to this price drop?
Several reasons, according to the usual sources in Cupertino; primarily, the biggest difference only impacts potential buyers of the SSD-based model and as many readers already know, recent benchmarking & power-draw testing has shown that SSD drives, while relatively fast, don’t really save on battery life and in many cases, the performance benefits aren’t in proportion with the added cost.
So, in truth, these price drops are really only bringing the high-end Macbook Air configuration more into line with a realistic price-performance equation.
Also, the wait for the second-generation Air may be a somewhat long one — not because the Intel/chipset components aren’t in place; they most definitely are, and have been for a good solid two-plus months now.
First & foremost, the delay is a combination of Apple not wanting to change the Air until the Macbook and Macbook Pro have been correspondingly updated (or until those updates are imminent) — and also, several non-motherboard components, as well as the new version of the Air’s uniquely thin and strong enclosure with an even tougher ribbed-frame reinforcement design intended to save even more weight (helping to offset the grams added by the new components/ports/chips), are expected to take at least another two months before being ready to ship in volume.
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