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Apple May Release New MacBook Air before 2014 Ends, Intel Core M May Not Be Enough.

Apple's MacBook line received a refresh earlier this year but with concerns on lack of more innovative features. Analysts felt that Apple needs to do more with its laptop line than updates. It appears the tech giant may have something up its sleeve as reports of a new 2014 MacBook Air series surfaced. Can people expect a new laptop line?

Previously, predictions revolved around Apple releasing a 12-inch Retina MacBook Air model. However, analysts expect the release to be around the first half of 2015. This goes against a recent ( report from Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times saying that Apple may be thinking of ending the year with another refreshed MacBook Air line.

According to the report, Apple may be able to squeeze in the release thanks to Intel pulling off a batch of "Broadwell" Core M chips to ship. BGR argues that Apple already finished its holiday announcements thus the last release appears unlikely.

The Motley Fool explains that whether or not Intel can ship the Intel Core M processors on time is not the main concern. It is the compatibility. Previous reports noted that Intel's Broadwell should allow for fanless and more energy-efficient designs. They may not be enough. According to the Motley Fool, Apple may still go for higher-performing processors like the Core i5 and i7.

The 5Y70, the highest-end version of Intel's Core M processor comes with a CPU clocked a 2.6 GHz in "turbo" with the graphics going up to 850 MHz. Intel's 5Y71, on other hand, offers better performance at 2.9 GHz with the graphics clocked at 900 MHz. CPU and graphics speeds are up 11% and 5.9% respectively. While better performance is always good, the resulting changes barely counts as game changer according to the report.

Core M's primary selling point is its ability to allow fanless designs but analysts dispute that the trade-off might not be good for Apple or the user. A fanless design can lead to lower power consumption but it cannot guarantee performance which Apple may not be willing to sacrifice even at the slightest. Apple's MacBook continues to be competitive despite declining PC market sales. This is the reason why MacBook updates and refreshed lines gain as much attention. The product line can usher in new functionalities which other manufacturers can also adopt.

Apple has yet to announce officially any new MacBook updates.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Nov 11, 2014
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