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New MacBook Airs could pack A5 processors

Sources claim that Apple has been testing an A5 powered MacBook Air

It has been widely speculated that an A5 chip would find its way into something more capable than an iPhone or iPad, but there has rarely been anything concrete to support said speculation. However, we're currently hearing that the folks at Apple have been testing an ARM chip in some MacBook Air laptops, and we could end up seeing related products soon.

An earlier report by Digitimes indicated that Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs would be finding their way onto shelves sometime this June or July, but now it seems as if the laptops might not make the jump over to the 2nd generation Intel processors. According to well reputed Japanese blog Macotakara, sources within Apple have informed them that an A5-powered MacBook Air is currently being tested by the company.

Furthermore, the sources indicate that the Quanta-manufactured ARM MacBook actually performed better than expected; however, it is unclear which Apple operating system (iOS/Mac OS X) is being tested on the devices.

Although we would love an ARM powered MacBook Air, this whole process is likely just an R&D effort by the folks over at Cupertino. In addition, its hard to forget Intel's claims that an ARM powered MacBook would be "ridiculous" due to lower performance levels.

In any case, an announcement could be made at Apple’s upcoming WWDC conference (June 6th-10th) and we'll make sure to report on any news that Steve Jobs and Co. see fit to share with us. 


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Omar Qudsi, 2011-05-31 (Update: 2012-05-26)