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A new cheaper Apple MacBook could be here very soon

It’s been three years since Apple killed off the 11-inch MacBook Air. That move left Apple laptops starting at a wallet-unfriendly price of £949.

But it looks like Apple is planning to make something that, if not cheap exactly, is a little more affordable than its current MacBook range.

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The theory comes from a DigiTimes story, which mentions that Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta is expecting to shift more than 10 million units in Q4 thanks to “orders for Apple’s new inexpensive notebooks”.

It’s hard to read too much into a single sentence, but the plural is interesting, suggesting that Apple is planning on launching more than one. That could just mean different configurations of the same laptop (more RAM, a faster processor, etc.) but it could also mean different sizes, as it did with the original MacBook Air.

Speaking of the Air, the rumour mill is quite keen on the idea that any new affordable notebooks will be part of that family. The MacBook Air hasn’t seen any serious updates since the £749 11-inch model was killed off, with just a minor clock speed bump for the 13-inch model in 2017.

That creaky architecture is ripe for an upgrade, and last month, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reported that new MacBook Airs would be powered by the eighth-generation Kaby Lake Intel processors. That would be a pretty big step-up from the Broadwell chips that currently power the range.

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The MacBook Air is still missing the Retina display as well, which would be another fairly straightforward improvement to be made, albeit one that would eat into profit margins if affordable is indeed the watch word. On that note, the design hasn’t changed too dramatically since the slim laptops adopted SSDs in 2011.

Whatever improvements are on the wishlist, the MacBook Air is due an upgrade, and these reports – if true – suggest all will become clear in the next couple of months.

Are you keen on a new MacBook Air, or has the notebook had its day? Let us know what you think on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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