Apple edges closer to netbook space with 11.6-inch MacBook Air

18 Oct 2010

There is no doubt that whatever Apple reveals this week it is bound to wow the world. This time the money is in an even slimmer and sleeker MacBook Air that will come with an 11.6-inch screen and a new kind of optical drive.

The rumour mill is in overdrive that Apple is set to unveil a new format MacBook Air that will have a screen that measures just 11.6 inches versus the current 13.5-inch that is standard.

The first models of the smaller MacBook Air are rumoured to be flowing off assembly lines in Taiwan.

New storage format

One rumour that won’t go away is the suggestion Apple is planning to dispense with the traditional hard-disk drive or solid state (SSD) drive and will opt instead for a new storage format called an SSD card.

This new portable device, it is rumoured, will resemble a “stick of RAM”.

The new device will integrate with Macs in the same fashion as how Flash memory is used in devices like the iPad, the iPhone and iPod devices.

Standardising SSD technology will give Apple access to cheaper flash memory and make the MacBook Air affordable.

Such a move would help Apple break into wider markets. It may also mean Apple has no intention of missing out on the rise of computing demand in developing markets, instead of focusing on the rich-but-smug user base of developed markets where demand for its devices are strong.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years