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Apple could use Kaby Lake processors in 2018 MacBook Air refresh

Apple could use 8th-generation Kaby Lake processors in mid-range MacBook or MacBook Air models later this year, a Taiwanese report claims, with Apple thought to be using the more established processors from last year instead of newer variants due to implementation issues.




A report from the Economic Daily News advises an incoming 13-inch Apple notebook may have slower shipments than first thought, due to Apple deciding to use the refreshed Kaby Lake processors. It is suggested the decision was made because of potential cooling issues with newer generations of processor, as well as Intel's continued delays in producing newer generations of processor.

It is claimed Apple was keen to use 10-nanometer Cannon Lake chips in the Macbook, but continued deferment leaves Apple with little choice but to use the older 14-nanometer Kaby Lake versions.

It is unclear what computer the article refers to, as it mentions a "13-inch MacBook." The MacBook line has a 12-inch monitor, while the MacBook Air has a 13-inch display. Of the two, it is more likely to be the MacBook Air, if the 13-inch display distinction is accurate.

While not Cannon Lake, the change to Kaby Lake is likely to give the MacBook Air line a boost, as they currently employ fifth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 Processors.

A lower-cost MacBook Air update has been rumored for a while, with initial suggestions having pointed to a second-quarter 2018 update for the product line —which was clearly missed.

The new model is expected to be priced in line with, or slightly above, the current generation MacBook Air's starting price of $999 for a 128GB-capacity storage model. A more expensive version with double the onboard flash storage could sell for $1,199.

The key feature for the model is a speculated resolution jump for the display, moving from 1,440 by 900 pixels in the current generation to a Retina-level 2,560-by-1,600-pixel LG-produced screen, possibly produced by LG.