In what seems to be a never-ending cycle of rumors, the MacBook Air is in the news again, this time with rumors suggesting that the sexy, thin laptop will be getting a RAM upgrade alongside a bigger SSD. Both rumors have been circulating for quite some time, so it’s no surprise that they keep popping up from time to time before the Lion release. But this time there’s a little extra clout behind the news. Supply chain checks have revealed that the spec bump is indeed on the way.
Simply put, Lion needs more power, and if Apple’s about to release major hardware upgrades, it only makes sense that they start maximizing the power under the hood of the MacBook Air. My Lion test machine (a MacBook Pro) has a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and it’s struggling. It’s not struggling in the iOS 4 on a 3G iPhone sense, but it has certainly begun showing the age of my machine. With Snow Leopard there was very little lag and crash problems, but with the Lion gold master as it stands, I’m considering upgrading my machine in the very near future. To compare, the current MacBook Air (11-inch model) has a 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB of memory. The MacBook Pro clearly wins in this regard; however the MacBook Air has an SSD and my MacBook Pro does not. So some of the bottleneck has clearly been lifted in the MacBook Air, but is it enough to fully show off Lion in all of its glory?
What’s my point? Well, the 11-inch MacBook Air, as it stands, could struggle pretty heavily with Lion. We’re not saying that Lion won’t run on the machine, but we are saying it may not run optimally. If Apple’s about to pull the trigger on a MacBook Air upgrade, more RAM and a bigger/faster SSD would surely be at the top of their “must-upgrade” list. The rumor passed along to AppleInsider from Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the new MacBook Air will ship with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. That would easily double the spec of the new MacBook Air over the current version, and clearly make it better equipped for Lion.
This is what all the new rumors have been suggesting. Apple is preparing to refresh their hardware lineup, but they’re waiting for Lion to ship before they release the spec updated products into the wild. Between now and Lion’s release, we’ll probably hear a lot of rumors of this variety. Prepare yourself.