New Apple MacBook Air 2011 Specs: Pro-Like, What Do You Want?

We’ve been speculating a lot over the last month or so about the refreshed iMacs expected shortly, with features you’d like to see, what price you’d pay, and rumors of a release this month or in May. We hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the new MacBook Air for 2011 though and yet we realize they will probably be receiving a refresh in the summer. Now we are wondering if they will possibly get improved specs to match those of the new MacBook Pros.

The new Apple MacBook Air refresh last year has been a huge hit for Apple and over one million were shipped in the first quarter of sales. Just as we are expecting the new Thunderbolt technology to come to the iMacs, as it did on the MacBook Pros released in February, we would be very disappointed if it didn’t also feature in the new line of MacBook Airs. We also recently heard that future versions of the iPhone and iPad might well have Thunderbolt so this looks a dead cert. Other new features on the MacBook Pros that we would expect for the new MacBook Airs are the latest Sandy Bridge processors.

We’ve also compared the new Samsung Series 9 laptop to the current MacBook Air and the Series 9 is a pretty impressive device although the current MacBook Air came out slightly on top. The new Series 9 though features the Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 processors so the likelihood that Apple won’t upgrade the processors to the same, which are also on the MacBook Pros seems very slim. Christopher Hudson over on GizmoCrunch also feels it’s likely the new MacBook Airs would feature the Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 processors and points out that either would be a significant improvement on the current MacBook Air’s Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Another upgrade we could expect for the 2011 MacBook Airs would be 4GB RAM as on the MacBook Pros, rather than the current 2GB. Other speculation includes an improved screen for the MacBook Air following news that the developers build of Mac OS X Lion may allow for higher resolution, advancing towards that of the famed Retina Display on the iPhone 4.

Over on Cnet, Brooke Crothers also speculates on the new MacBook Air and anticipates the potential of much faster speeds, similar to that of the MacBook Pro refresh and the Samsung Series 9 laptop. Crothers also notes a timeframe of this summer is likely for the new Airs. To read more check out the Cnet link above. We’re really interested to find out what you want to see on the new MacBook Air for 2011? Do you think the new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt technology are a must, or what else do you think is crucial? Let us know with your comments please.

  • bruce

    Backlit keyboard & thunderbolt would make the Air complete

  • Christopher L

    I second that: Backlit keyboard and thunderbolt. Plus, would 4gb RAM really be out of the question? It seems like apple is trying to nickel and dime us here.

  • Jovan

    Give me a MacBook Air Pro and i will upgrade.

  • Jan Erik

    Backlit keyboard
    Sandy bridge
    Faster gpu then 320m
    ….and I am all in.

  • Deft

    Better screen colors on MacBook Air – currently the reds are much duller than iPad or Pro.
    Better multitasking speeds (hopefully with Sandy Bridge).
    Better display – currently there is a high color variance when you look at it from different angles. The Pro's don't show those issues.

  • Jay

    Plus it needs to have 3g wireless

    • martha

      That's what I'm waiting for, 3G wireless. Does anyone think that will happen? Also, does it support Flash Player?

      • —-

        I don't know if there will be 3G wireless, and I'd doubt it. It does support Flash, although you need to install it when you get the MBA

  • ttt

    faster cpu
    4gb+ram
    solid state 500HD
    Long battery life 10hrs

  • Paul

    – Backlit keyboard
    – 100GB or higher standard ssd space
    – 4GB standard RAM
    – Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge based mobile processor
    – Improved screen quality (viewing angles aren't that great compared to other Apple laptops)
    – Better graphics than 320M
    – Maintain battery life

  • Guest

    It needs definitely first of all:
    – Backlit keyboard (the reason I haven't bought a MacBook Air, it makes it easier to type in dark places)
    -More memory
    -Higher graphics
    -Sandy Bridge
    -Good battery life

  • Jonathan

    -Backlit Keyboard
    -Thunderbolt
    -Sandy Bridge i3, i5, and i7
    -If possible the ability to have 6GB or mabey even 8GB RAM?
    -If possible the option for 512GB Flash?
    -Improved Battery
    I would buy it!!!!!!!

  • glenn

    the only reason i'm not typing this on a 2010 macbook air is only one… no backlit keyboard! i.m.o. a real deal breaker. i was all ready to buy one but luckily found out that apple omitted the backlit keyboard. i think it was a very dumb decision. i sincerely hope the 2011 model re-instates this worthy add on.

    • supfgt

      they ditched it for battery life, which imho is a good decision.

      maybe you could just carry a flashlight, or like learn to touch-type?

  • take2hikes

    Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt I'm betting will all that gets upgraded. They already offer 4GB of RAM for $100 upgrade. This being upped to 4GB standard and 6 or 8 upgrade would be nice, though.

    I'm still unsure about the built in graphics. If it is indeed similar or better than the NVidia card it will be replacing. I'm hoping it is though..

    As far as the backlit keyboard. Seems a bit ridiculous. I can't imagine someone buying a computer like this and not knowing how to type. Makes me wonder if you can find it to the bathroom without a night light 😉

  • Alex

    11,6" thunderbolt, sandy bridge, 4GB as standard and 6GB upgrade, 128GB ssd and 250HD and backlit keyboard £1000 will buy. At the moment well overpriced!!!

  • dingo

    antiglare display & USB3 with Thunderbolt

  • APJ

    Just release the new ones with core i7s in the first week of june and I'll get it.

  • Patrick

    anti-glare screen. the end.

  • sdfsd

    windows 98 preinstalled and dual toilet roll holders attached

  • ben

    i5 or i7 on 11", that's it. backlit keyboard desirable not a must. don't care about thunderbolt, would rather want a vga port instead.

    • sjorbs

      vga port … 2001 called …

  • http://www.facebook.com/basverweij Bas Verweij

    backlit: an absolute must…

  • David Metzlar

    GTX 560m with 1gb of memory would be nice

  • David Metzlar

    GTX 560m with 1gb of memory would be nice