2010 Air CPU The 2010 model Air uses Core2 CPUs, which Intel is phasing out. The fastest CPUs available in the current Air models are: 11" Air: Core2 Duo SU9600 1.6GHz, 10W TDP (full spec) 13" Air: Core2 Duo SL9600 2.13GHz, 17W TDP (full spec) 2011 Air CPU Considerations If we assume Apple plans to refresh the Air this summer, then the only real choice would appear to be Sandy Bridge CPUs (I'm not aware of any suitable AMD CPUs, but am happy to be corrected on this). Sandy Bridge CPUs include a GPU, so this could allow Apple to use higher power CPUs in the new Air. This would allow a significant increase in CPU performance with only a small loss of GPU performance. On the other hand, this heat source would be more concentrated than the Core2 + Nvidia 320 of the current model: which might make cooling a challenge. A lower power CPU would also allow Apple to increase battery life over the current Air. It's worth noting that the Samsung Series 9 sticks to the 17W TDP Core i5-2537M. It handily beats the 2010 Air in CPU benchmarks, but trails badly in graphics. (Engadget Review) Possible 2011 Air CPU models In terms of actual CPU models I believe the choice boils down to: 13" Air (high power): Core i7-2649M 2.3GHz, 25W TDP (full spec) 13" Air (low power): Core i7-2657M 1.6GHz, 17W TDP (full spec) 17W is as low as it goes for Sandy Bridge (as of April 2011). So for the 11" the choice is a 17W CPU or wait the launch of a future CPU. NB. I'm talking about the fastest CPUs available at a given power rating: the base Air would likely use a slower model. Conclusion Whichever way Apple decides there's going to be some sort of compromise. Personally I suspect they'll opt for the lower-power CPUs and play up the video acceleration capabilities of Sandy Bridge (already used by FaceTime). This would mean the next-generation Air would be significantly slower in games: but the Air isn't really about gaming. By going with the lower-power CPU we could have more CPU performance, a longer battery life and cooling should be easy. The loss of graphics performance (outside video) would be a price worth paying to maintain the ergonomics and battery life.