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Monday, May 10, 2010, 04:45 am PT (07:45 am ET)

Update for Apple's MacBook Air rumored to arrive Tuesday

Following a refresh of its MacBook Pro line of notebooks in April, Apple could update its lightweight MacBook Air this week, with a new model expected to arrive on Tuesday.

In April, the Australian Macworld correctly reported the arrival of new MacBook Pros. The same source has come again to the Aussie publication, this time to send word of a MacBook Air refresh allegedly set to happen Tuesday.

The source said a new product will arrive Tuesday with the model MC516LL/A K87 BETTER BTR-USA. The "better" distinction reportedly means it is likely to be a Mac product, leading the tipster to suggest the refresh is a MacBook Air.

The report noted that there is "some potential" the listing could instead refer to a new 27-inch Cinema Display. But the source said there are several thousand of the product headed to Australia, "which suggests a major new product." In March, AppleInsider reported that Apple was working on a larger version of its LED Cinema Display, with a new 27-inch screen known by the identifier "K59" expected to arrive by June.

Further evidence for the MacBook Air refresh was provided by the Australian Macworld, with "whisperings" that the current model is "difficult to come by." However, the lightweight notebook, starting at $1,499 U.S., still ships within 24 hours from Apple's online store.

In January, it was suggested that the MacBook Air refresh might have seen a delay due to limited availability of Intel's Core i5 ultramobile processors. Those reports suggested Apple could adopt the ultra-thin 18W TDP processor. The Core i5-520UM has a maximum processor speed of 1.86GHz, and an integrated GPU with 500MHz of processing power. The 32nm dual-core chip also includes 3MB of L3 cache.

Apple last updated the MacBook Air in June 2009, dropping its entry price to $1,499 for a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based system. Apple's full line of MacBook Pros are also based on the Core 2 Duo processor.

In April, Apple updated its MacBook Pro line of notebook computers, with the high-end systems receiving Intel's latest Core i7 and Core i5 mobile processors and new automated graphics switching technology.