MacBook Air to get new Intel chips?

Apple's ultrathin laptop could be getting a performance boost with the addition of new chips from Intel already expected to appear in due time inside new MacBooks.

The MacBook Air could be getting a new chip in short order. Apple

Apple's MacBook Air could be getting a fresh new look--inside at least--in the coming weeks.

Rumors of new Apple notebooks have been all over the place this summer, given the length of time since the last redesign of the MacBook and Intel's new Montevina chips. But Phone News believes that the MacBook Air will also get a new Penryn chip that will improve performance at the cost of battery life.

The MacBook Air's performance doesn't really compare to that of the rest of the MacBook lineup, but it was designed to be thin and light, not as a gaming rig. Still, adding one of the new Penryn chips to the MacBook Air could help improve performance for things like video playback, noted by some as an issue with the early MacBook Air units.

The problem is the standard Penryn chip consumes more power than the chip currently used inside the MacBook Air. Phone News thinks Apple will compensate for the increased power draw with a larger battery and a more powerful charging adapter.

Engadget points out that Intel will likely have low-voltage and ultra-low voltage Penryn-class chips out fairly soon, in line with Intel's historical product segmentation. That would ease some of the power concerns, although the lower voltage chips have historically underperformed their standard counterparts.

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