Report: MacBook Airs Get Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt in June or July

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Ready, set, Sandy Bridge! It looks like Apple’s MacBook Air may finally get the processor and chipset update it’s long deserved in the coming mid-summer months.

Digitimes cites a Taiwan-based supplier as reporting Apple will begin shipping new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models packing Sandy Bridge (faster, cooler, lower power) as well as Thunderbolt (high-speed external I/O, more power output) by the end of this month for introduction as soon as June or July.

That should please any of you standing by for ultra-light Apple laptops with processors worth a darn. The MacBook Air remains the only MacBook-class device still chug-a-lugging with comparably creaky Core 2 Duo (launched in 2006) processors.

Of course there’s still “Ivy Bridge” to think about, Intel’s upcoming 22 nanometer shrink due later this year that’ll add “3D” tri-gate transistor tech, further reducing power consumption and, according to Intel, boosting performance 20 to 30% over Sandy Bridge tech.

Though if you want that in a MacBook Air, you’ll probably have to wait until next year.