Apple just announced its MacBook Air and the thing looks stunning. If you haven’t already seen the specs, here’s what we’re looking at:

3 lbs
0.16” - 0.76” x 12.8” x 8.94” (H x W x D)
Full Size keyboard from the MacBook
13.3” 1280 x 800 LED backlit screen
2GB DDR2-667
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz, 800MHz FSB, 4MB shared L2
80GB 1.8” 4200RPM HDD or optional 64GB SSD
802.11n/Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Starting at $1799

The MacBook Air looks to be a very well designed ultra portable, making very few compromises (no optical drive, but you get a full sized keyboard) while keeping the size down.


One feature that stood out from Steve’s announcement of the Air was that it appears to use a low-voltage Merom based Core 2 Duo instead of an Ultra Low Voltage Merom like most of its competitors.

Standard Merom (65nm) based Core 2 Duo processors run off of a 1.0375 - 1.3000V core voltage under normal operating conditions (full clock frequency). These chips range from 1.8GHz all the way up to 2.6GHz (not including Extreme Edition parts).

Low Voltage Core 2 Duo processors are lower yielding parts that can work at lower voltages, and thus Intel charges a small premium for these chips since they aren’t as common. These LV Core 2 Duos run at 0.9V - 1.2000V under normal operating conditions, and they are available in 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz speeds. We believe that these are the cores Apple is using in the MacBook Air.

Ultra Low Voltage Core 2 Duos drop operating voltage even lower, down to 0.8V - 0.975V, but clock speeds are limited to 1.06 - 1.33GHz. Mobile Penryn will eventually be offered in a ULV version, at which point we expect clock speeds to jump a bit but not enough for Apple’s needs.

Apple wanted the MacBook Air to be no-compromises, and thus the LV Core 2 Duo made the most sense. Mobile Penryn would’ve actually made even more sense, since the move to 45nm not only increases battery life but reduces thermal output; unfortunately there are no Low Voltage versions of the new core, not to mention that availability is extremely limited.

So with relative certainty we know what CPU core Apple is using in the MacBook Pro (there is no 4MB L2 Penryn and Intel wouldn’t spin a new version of a CPU just for Apple so we’re dealing with a 65nm Merom), but the bigger question is one of packaging size.

Intel's SFF Merom: Just for Apple
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  • michal1980 - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    yes brown nose to apple some more.

    I never said that was a perfect example. Its 6+ months old.

    BUT AT THE SAME THICKNESS AS THE AIR:

    IT HAS:

    PC CARD SLOT
    DVD DRIVE
    ETHERNET
    MORE USB
    SD CARD READER

    And is still as thick as the air. And as light, and the battery lasts nearly enough.

    You apple fan boi's are as bad as the people that by bose. You think by paying for the name you are getting something 'different' and unique. when in fact other compainies are doing the same thing if not better.

    But OMG, it has a apple sticker on the front.
    Reply
  • BZDTemp - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    > yes brown nose to apple some more.

    LOL - way to go. Very intelligent comment.

    > I never said that was a perfect example. Its 6+ months old.
    >
    > BUT AT THE SAME THICKNESS AS THE AIR:
    >
    Check the details again. At the thickets place the Air is like your example and on the thinnest it's like nothing while your example is the same all over so on average the air is half the thickness.


    > IT HAS:
    >
    > PC CARD SLOT

    And when did anybody last use one? I have an old P3 where I use it for a wireless NIC but thats the first time ever I found use for that slot.


    > DVD DRIVE

    Needed for? Unless you rent movies you would hardly ever need it so who cares - when needed hook one up or use the one in a different machine.


    > ETHERNET

    Because? If really needed there is USB to ethernet that cost peanuts.

    > MORE USB

    Again - why? Mouse, keyboard - it has Bluetooth.

    > SD CARD READER
    >
    Just hook up the camera instead or get a mem card with wireless on it for $99.

    > And is still as thick as the air. And as light, and the battery > lasts nearly enough.

    5 hours sound okay. Once the battery is dead the machine will be obsolete anyway and door stops don't need battery power.


    > You apple fan boi's are as bad as the people that by bose. You
    > think by paying for the name you are getting something 'different' > and unique. when in fact other compainies are doing the same thing > if not better.
    >
    How about showing a piece with the same solutions then. It's a free world just get what you like and stop the name calling.


    > But OMG, it has a apple sticker on the front.

    I could care less. Quality, functionality, design, price and so on matters. Brands mean nothing. Except please tell us what you buy so we can avoid being associated with your kind in any way :-)
    Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, January 17, 2008 - link

    Heh... yeah... because Steve told you so, you don't need any of those things. Excellent reason to dismiss those features as unnecessary. The thing is that Steve is advertising this as a total solution when it obviously lacks numerous features that many people use daily. Of course, this thing isn't for everyone regardless of Steve's statement so get what works for you.

    Can it boot from a shared media device over the wireless network? Hopefully it can either do that or boot from USB DVD drives or else you're up a creek when something goes 'bad', for example. Can you use the Bluetooth mouse/keyboard while booting (drivers loaded during boot of the OS installer of choice)? Sometimes 'simple' is pretty important.
    Reply
  • themadmilkman - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    Then get the 64GB SSD that's offered. Sure, it's an extra $1,000, but it solves your HD speed issue. Just because you don't fit the target market doesn't make the product crap. Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - link

    Its the usual apple "optional" rip-off scheme - only this time you basicly have to go for it if you want to actually work with this puppy. With an additional 900 bucks this thing unfortunately doesnt look so attractive anymore. Reply
  • michal1980 - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    you mean the target market of idiots?


    its a good looking piece of crap.
    Reply
  • rsasp - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    wow, no optical drive, and not even an all in one card reader? how am I suppose to get my files on to the computer when I'm on my business trip?
    Reply
  • motrimer - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    An all-in-one card reader? There's a absolute deluge of macs with that built-in.... Complain about the integrated graphics, about no expresscard slot, but stick your cards, you're flaky optical media..... :)
    Windows OEM's buy gaming companies so they can sell well-designed behemoths with too many options. There is no real parallel to Apple, and if you follow their choices it's dumb obvious why they are able to get away with what truly seems preposterous every once in a while.
    CES who?
    Reply
  • Scott66 - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    I forgot bluetooth as well Reply
  • Scott66 - Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - link

    Research "Back to my Mac" or use .mac or jump drive or wireless. If none of those work what ancient system are you trying to connect to. Reply

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