MacBook Air refresh: The latest rumor roundup

It's safe to expect an updated MacBook Air next week, but the change may be incremental.

Apple's "Back to the Mac" event is set for Wednesday, but you can get a sneak peek of an alleged new Mac laptop today.

Yesterday Engadget received a few images from an anonymous source of the purported guts of a new MacBook Air. The images come on the heels of rumors that suggest the device will see an 11.6-inch refresh to fill the gap between the iPad and the traditional MacBook.

Engadget is suggesting if these photos are genuine the new MacBook Air might not be what was expected.

"Contrary to popular belief, the machine appears to be another 13.3-incher, with the primary modification being extra room for battery cells and apparently no room for a hard drive," Engadget writer Paul Miller said.

Other sites are suggesting Apple might offer multiple versions of its thinnest, lightest and slowest laptop.

AppleInsider also took a stab at the rumors, reporting that "several independent sources" claim Apple will debut an 11.6-inch notebook. The new device will "will do away with existing options for a conventional hard-disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) in favor something described as an "SSD Card" that lacks a traditional drive enclosure and more closely resembles a stick of RAM, yet is not easily user-replaceable."

Not easily user-replaceable sounds like standard Apple policy for many new devices.

To be fair, AppleInsider is saying moving to iPhone/iPad/iPod like storage options could result in lower prices, faster boot times and "instant-on" wake up from sleep.

It's probably safe to say we'll see some sort of update to the MacBook Air come Wednesday. The current model has been sitting on shelves since June 2009, not to mention PC World writer Ian Paul put a New MacBook Air in the "Caption Obvious" category in his "Back to the Mac" wish list.

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)
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