Thursday, July 14, 2011, 03:25 pm PT (06:25 pm ET)
Report reaffirms Apple will launch new MacBook Airs next week [u]A new report Thursday corroborates that Apple is expected to launch new MacBook Airs next week, featuring backlit keyboards and minimum 128GB solid-state hard drives.
Updated: The report from All Things D corroborates numerous details that have been published elsewhere online over the last several days. It cites "several" anonymous sources as having indicated the notebooks will go on sale late next week.
"So look for an announcement Thursday or Friday, with the new hardware spec'ing out pretty much the way rumors in AppleInsider have described: New Sandy Bridge processors from Intel, support for Apple's new high-speed Thunderbolt port, backlit keyboards and a winnowing down of configuration options to 128GB and 256GB of flash," the revised report said.
It was AppleInsider that was first and only to report last week that Apple's new MacBook Airs would have a backlit keyboard, replacing an omission from the 2010 model, and also that the hardware would debut sometime during the week of July 21. That's next Thursday, when the latest report reaffirmed the new ultraportable notebooks could arrive.
In addition, it was first reported here on Thursday that the new notebooks could do away with the entry-level 64GB solid-state flash hard drive and offer 128GB as the lowest capacity. Those details were provided in a communication with Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also indicated the devices are expected come with 4GB of RAM as the standard.
In addition to the more recent rumors in the past week, reports have indicated for months that the new MacBook Air models will feature Intel's latest generation Sandy Bridge processors, which first hit the market earlier this year. The new notebooks will also sport the high-speed Thunderbolt port that already appeared in Apple's MacBook Pro and iMac lineups earlier this year.
For more, see AppleInsider's previous extensive coverage:
Apple's new MacBook Airs to bring back backlit keyboards - sources
Apple retail plans, sources point to Mac OS X Lion launch next week
Apple may freeze new Mac introductions until release of Mac OS X Lion
Apple poised to build nearly 400K next-gen MacBook Airs this month
Apple to begin production of Thunderbolt MacBook Airs next month
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