We all know by now that the next-gen MacBook Airs are on the runway with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge chips and Thunderbolt connector ports. If rumors are false about the MacBook Air release to coincide with OS X Lion, then the ultra slim notebooks could arrive before end of this month. And according to CNET, the Sandy Bridge chips that will be used in the new MacBook Air has just been made available on Intel's price list this past weekend.
These new chips appeared on Intel's price list on Sunday and are said to be superior to the current Sandy Bridge chips used by other ultra slim notebooks such as the Samsung Series 9. The chips are faster but just as power-efficient. Classified as ULV or ultra-low voltage, the chips have a thermal envelope of 17 watts. Intel's mainstream notebook chips measure in at about 25 or 35 watts, which is too much heat for an ultra slim design like the MacBook Air.
New Intel processors for ultraportable laptops (chips can overclock or "turbo" to higher speeds):
Core i7-2677M: 2 cores, 1.8 GHz (turbos to 2.9GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $317
Core i7-2637M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.8GHz), 4MB cache, 17 watts, $289
Core i5-2557M: 2 cores, 1.7GHz (turbos to 2.7GHz), 3MB cache, 17 watts, $250
These new processors are just the beginning of Intel getting more active in the ultraportable arena. The ASUS UX21 will be using the Core i5-2557M that's listed as part of this new batch of high-performance low-voltage Sandy Bridge series processors.