Apple's Rumored MacBook Air Successor Said to Use Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh Processors

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is widely expected to launch a new lower-priced notebook later this year, likely with a 13-inch Retina display and a starting price below $1,000. It's unclear if it will be branded as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or otherwise, but it'll be a new lower-cost, lower-spec option below the MacBook Pro.


    According to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, the notebook will be powered by Intel's eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, released in the second half of 2017.

    The translated report suggests that Apple's decision to use the Kaby Lake Refresh processors, manufactured based on a 14nm process, is due to repeated delays with Intel's transition to Cannon Lake chips, based on a 10nm process. The latest word is that Cannon Lake won't be ready until the end of 2019.

    The Kaby Lake Refresh lineup includes quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors with base clock speeds between 1.6GHz and 1.9GHz, and max Turbo Boost speeds between 3.4GHz and 4.2GHz. The 15W chips feature integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, with support for up to 32GB of DDR4 or LPDDR3 RAM.

    This means Apple's lower-priced notebook would be significantly faster than the latest MacBook Air models, which is unsurprising, given they use Intel's fifth-generation, dual-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors released in 2015. It'd also be much faster than the 12-inch MacBook, which uses ultra-low-power chips.

    Kaby Lake Refresh chips are already nearly one year old, and Intel will be releasing faster Whiskey Lake processors suitable for Apple's notebook in the second half of 2018, but they might not be ready in time, as manufacturing needs to begin over the summer for the notebook to launch in the fall.

    It appears Apple will have a jam-packed September event, with a trio of new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and AirPower, so the Mac and iPad Pro could see some attention at an October event.

    It's not entirely clear how Apple will shake up its notebook lineup below the MacBook Pro. The new notebook could be the first MacBook Air with a Retina display, or replace the MacBook Air entirely, or slot into the MacBook family, with price adjustments across the line, but it all remains to be seen.

    Apple's plans for the notebook have been detailed by reliable Apple sources Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman in recent months.

    Beyond the mid-range notebook, an October event could see refreshes to the 12-inch MacBook lineup with Intel's upcoming low-power Amber Lake chips, a refreshed Mac mini with Kaby Lake Refresh chips, and new standard iMac models with faster processors and a significant display-related upgrade.

    Article Link: Apple's Rumored MacBook Air Successor Said to Use Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh Processors
  2. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
  3. KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    Intel is still playing catch-up with the die!
  4. Johnny Steps macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

    Jun 29, 2011
    I'm surprised they didn't just brand those other regular MacBooks as MacBook Airs..
  5. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
  6. Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    It'll be interesting to see what they do here. If they drop all the ports and magsafe (which is expected) - it may be tough to find many buyers here, the CPU upgrade from Macbook may be enough though.
  7. tresmith, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

    tresmith macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2014
    Something tells me the first version of this laptop is going to be fraught with issues.


    And by issues I don't necessarily mean of the technical kind.

    I'm just thinking that an even thinner (cause Apple just can't help itself but to make things thinner) retina MBA for less than $1000 is going to be full of compromises and no telling what issues/problems those compromises will lead to.
  8. Relentless Power, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    They would likely have a separate Keynote from the iPhone, and if they did hold a MacBook/update, it would be October or November in all likeliness for 2018.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am sure they mean Whiskey Lake and not Kaby Lake R? Or maybe even Amber Lake for the MB refresh?
  10. DrJohnnyN Suspended


    Jan 27, 2010
  11. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009
    So these will wont be fanless like the Macbook, wonder how close to the form factor of the macbook they will be.
  12. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    As long as it has the same form factor and useful ports (and lacks the crap butterfly keyboard) it'll have some succes as a thin-and-light packing some quad-core punch underneath.

    If Apple can cool it properly, of course.
  13. ghostface147 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2008
    What'd be perfect for me is a non-Pro 15.6" MacBook and the four USB-C ports. Anything smaller isn't efficient for me, display wise. I use my current MacBook Pro for work (2011 17") and just use email, the web, RDP and occasionally a Windows VM for AS/400 work. Of course Apple isn't going to cater to me exclusively.
  14. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Apple needs to move on from Intel, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last Intel version of this machine. Drop the Air name, just roll with MacBook.
  15. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
  16. MacFather macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2012
    Time to screw up the last great Mac notebook from Steve Jobs era. RIP MagSafe, glowing Apple, SD card slot and a reliable quiet keyboard.
  17. Spytap macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2010
    What's the usual performance differential between 15W chips and 45W chips?
  18. beermode macrumors member


    Apr 18, 2016
    And go with...?
  19. Spytap macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2010
    No longer a big fan of the glowing Apple logo since I can see the outline through my screen. :/
  20. Zdigital2015 macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    October event is most likely, so as not to take away from the iPhone and iPad releases which are typically in September. However, the window for new releases for the year ends on Black Friday, since no one intros new stuff after the Christmas buying season commences.
  21. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    All's Apple has to do is take the current Macbook Air, put a edge to edge Retina display in it and update the internals. THATS IT. Macbook Air is seriously amazing form factor even today.

    Also space grey option would be nice. :oops:
  22. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I suspect it'll have Kaby Lake R in order to keep the price down ($999 is the goal)...Apple's main goal of a MacBook Air replacement will be cost so I suspect they won't wait for Whiskey Lake.

    The Macbook is in a weird place of course, given the higher price point that still has not been reduced. I always felt a larger version like a 14" model of the Macbook would do well also.

    But in general, Apple needs to differentiate and simplify the lines again. The "Macbook" naming screwed things up since in reality it was a rMBA for the future in philosophy but not cost. The current nTB MacBook Pro has similar components to the current AIR and is the successor in components.

    It will be interesting to see if the nTB MacBook Pro simply becomes this new machine (feel like they would have to downgrade the screen a little bit to keep the costs down). Also, will there been any legacy ports at all (or even Thunderbolt 3 for that matter...they might just be standard USB-C ports like the Macbook).

    Hopefully Apple will get its Mac lineup figured out finally.
  23. Martius macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    Prague, CZ
    I hope they will also introduce something a little bigger than 13". It would be really nice to have "portable" 15" laptop. I don't really need the MBP performance for webdevelopment, but I would like to have bigger screen with a little more performance than the basic MB, with optional eGPU and some reasonable price tag.
  24. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    Apple will make it the "MacBook Air Pro" by having two Thunderbolt 3 ports and no headphone jack. It will have the 4th or 5th generation Butterfly keyboard. Maybe 6th.

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