Leaked Pic Shows Diskless MacBook Air
A supposedly leaked image of an early prototype MacBook Air is intensifying chatter that the new model will have no hard drive. Engadget fronted the photo
late last night, claiming that an anonymous source inside Apple told them it was of a prototype from "at least April." The prototype has the same 13-inch screen and processor as the current model in a new unibody case, in a possible indication that there will be no 11-inch model, as has long been rumored, or that the third-generation MacBook Air will come in two sizes. [UPDATE: AppleInsider's "proven" source confirms that there will be two models.]
Engadget is saying that an anonymous source sent them a picture of the prototype with the bottom case removed. It shows space for a larger battery, a 13.3-inch display with a unibody MacBook-style hinge but no space for a regular mechanical or solid-state drive. AppleInsider had reported yesterday, quoting "a person with a proven track record of pinpoint accuracy," that the new MacBook Air would have something called an "SSD Card,"
which would be a non-user upgradable stick of SDRAM more akin to the flash memory inside iDevices that would provide "incredibly fast boot times and 'instant-on' capabilities when waking up from sleep." So this would tend to confirm that report, though AppleInsider also claimed that it's "certain" the new MBA will have an 11.6-inch screen. Additionally, the report says that the new notebooks have been coming off assembly lines in Taiwan for a week already, and will be available next week or soon thereafter.
Observers are split on whether the traditional screen indicates that there will be two variants of the MacBook Air, or if they were merely using older hardware to prototype newer SSD card and battery designs. The source of the leaked images claims that the pictured prototype was built around April, and a picture of the System Profiler screen
shows the "MacBook Air 3,1" running the same 1.86 Core 2 Duo SL9400 CPU as the current model. The new unibody enclosure, however, suggests that a redesigned 13-inch MacBook was at least contemplated. Another of AppleInsider's sources claimed that the new mini-MBA's "edges appear more defined than curved and that the side profile of the unit is slightly more wedge-shaped."