Apple is preparing to update its MacBook Air ultraportable with a standard Penryn-class Core 2 Duo processor, according to the latest rumors from PhoneNews. The move would see the company replacing the existing Merom-class CPU that Intel specially modified for the compact notebook. That CPU had been tweaked to save power and was only available in 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz speeds; the new processors could potentially range from 2.26GHz to 3.06GHz with a 1,066MHz FSB.
Such an increase would also see power demands rise, and the rumor suggests that both a bigger battery and a more powerful 60W AC adapter (e.g. a standard MacBook unit, up from the original 45W custom). Internal storage will also increase, in line with the usual falling prices of hard-drives, to around 120GB standard and with 160GB an option. SSDs will, they continue, be more in line with MacBook Pro prices for solid-state drives.
The existing MacBook Air design will not change. Announcement is expected imminently, and PhoneNews report that retailers have been informed to prepare for the upgrade.