We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Apple has abandoned lightweight Mac computing with hardcore iPad Pro tablets because “what’s a computer?”

But in any case, market analysts and supply chain sources have said that the MacBook Air is due for an upgrade three years after its last iteration and that it would come in relatively affordably.

Part of that cost-cutting goes to what gets put inside of a MacBook Air. Industry sources to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News have suggested that the powerhouse will be from Intel and based on 7th-generation core technology instead of the latest 8th-generation tech that was introduced to the MacBook Pro last month.

The updated MacBook Pro variants use Intel Core i5, i7 and i9 processors based off of the “Coffee Lake” architecture with an advanced-stage 14nm transistor fabrication. While the MacBook Air update is said to use “Kaby Lake” cores, the transistors will be updated to the same advanced-stage 14nm die, making for slightly better performance when compared to laptops with the original Kaby Lake chipsets.

Apple will rely on Taiwan-based Quanta to manufacture the new laptops with jobs beginning late this year — in time for a holiday season sales launch — and the bulk of activity coming in 2019. The new models will feature 13-inch screens and would theoretically be superior to the current 12-inch MacBook models, but come in at a starting price below $1,000.

The recent thermal throttling debacle on the latest top-end Pro models, which was recently resolved, may have generated enough publicity to slow their sales as suppliers say orders have been shipping at a slower rate than initially expected.

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