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Intel says competitors to Apple can use the CPU found in the MacBook Air; 45nm CPU refresh coming this Fall

When Apple unveiled the MacBook Air most every technophile stifled a lustful moan.  However, the paltry specifications included in the Air leave something to be desired -- even to the most ardent of Steve Jobs protégés.

PC manufacturers expect to fill the gap. InformationWeek reports that two PC makers will release similarly size Windows systems using the miniaturized Core 2 Duo processor found in the svelte MacBook Air. 

The low-voltage Core 2 Duo processor found in the MacBook Air is not present in any other computer to date.  Some would claim Intel designed the processor specifically for Apple, though Intel roadmaps designate the ultra-low voltage processor as "publicly available" to any system integrator. 

The low-voltage Core 2 Duo played a big part in the ability for Apple to make the Air so thin. The processor is built on the older Intel Merom processor family, though the "mini" version is 60% smaller that other Merom processors.

The 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo certainly won't set any speed records.   In fact, the 65nm processor first got its debut at 1.8 GHz in 2006.  Similar performing 65nm Yonah processors at 1.8 GHz debuted almost a year before that. 

Intel announced its 45nm processor line last month, just a week before the MacBook Air announcement.  However, those interested in sacrificing performance for slim footprints won't have to wait long: Intel's corporate roadmap claims 45nm versions of Penryn, the current processor generation, will be available this fall.

Even if PC manufacturers incorporate the mini Merom processor in upcoming notebooks before this Fall,  Apple will certainly opt for the 45nm processor in the next-generation MacBook Air. 

Intel has not released the names of the PC manufacturers anticipating to release slim PCs based on the "mini" Merom processors.

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Isnt this backwards?
By retrospooty on 2/1/2008 4:45:50 PM , Rating: 5
didnt thin PC laptops get an Apple competitor when the Macbook air came out?

By Possessed Freak on 2/1/2008 4:51:15 PM , Rating: 4
This probably is a Yakov Smirnoff joke somewhere.

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By Randum on 2/1/2008 5:06:00 PM , Rating: 5
yeah it is is always been just re-releasing existing products... its a trend not a technology with apple

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By retrospooty on 2/1/2008 5:22:35 PM , Rating: 5
"apple is always been just re-releasing existing products"

Ya, but they were the frst to do that ;)

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By daftrok on 2/2/2008 3:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. I actually don't consider the Air an ultra portable laptop, I consider it an ultra thin laptop.

Ultra portable: small width and length
Ultra thin: small depth (thickness)

I was actually hoping that they were introducing the 45nm Intel processors for their notebooks and desktops and maybe even the introduction to a 12" touchscreen Macbook. Knowing Apple they would have made that as thin as possible in all three dimensions.

But since 13" laptops are made by other companies and have been for a while, I don't see how introducing a laptop with the same screen size and making too many sacrifices (battery life the Macbook has more than the Air, speed, optical drive, inputs, PRICE, hard drive space) just for a few perks (two pounds lighter, 1/4" thinner, multi touch pad, backlit keyboard, bluetooth 2.1, LED screen).

I would have rather seen a new 13" Macbook with an LED screen, 45 nm C2D, bluetooth 2.1, backlit keyboard, maybe new aluminum casing and maintain a similar price point. Only time can tell what the future of the Air will be (I'm predicting it'll flop) and an upgrade in the Macbooks.

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By bigboxes on 2/2/2008 9:04:35 AM , Rating: 3
At first I found myself disagreeing with you, but then I thought about it and must admit that you are right. If you gotta lug a ton of periphials around just to make it functional then it's really not portable. Let's see, to make this product useful you'll need a usb ethernet adapter, an external battery, a keyboard, mouse, dvd burner, possibly a monitor. But it is thin...

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By Polynikes on 2/2/2008 11:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, it'll be OK for people who for whatever stupid reason want to buy a laptop for use at home (I'd prefer a desktop any day) but it definitely won't be as portable or useful as a thicker laptop.

RE: Isnt this backwards?
By psychobriggsy on 2/3/2008 10:16:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well all but the Ethernet issue apply to other ultra-lite computers as well, except that arguably they have more need of a separate keyboard due to having more cramped keyboards whereas the Air does have a full sized laptop keyboard. It's not like the USB Ethernet adaptor is that bulky either. Guess we also need to factor in the size of the power supply as that has to be transported as well.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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