As you stare lovingly at your new MacBook Air before you go to bed tonight, caressing its smooth aluminum shell, know this: its Thunderbolt port is inferior when compared to that of its cousins.
According to a report by Anandtech, Apple has used smaller, cheaper Thunderbolt controllers in its latest MacBook Airs in order to save space. This means they aren’t quite as fast as the Thunderbolt ports used in the company’s latest MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac mini lines, and that they are limited to just one display channel.
The full-sized Thunderbolt chip used in Apple other machines is named Light Ridge, and feature four bidirectional 10Gbps channels and support for two external displays.
The scaled down Thunderbolt chip used in the new MacBook Airs, however, is named Eagle Ridge, and features only two Thunderbolt channels — meaning it’s half as fast — with support for just one external display.
Anandtech’s report also notes that the MacBook Air’s cheaper chip is likely to be the one used by PC makers who are making machines traditionally less expensive than those from Apple.
How do you feel about your new MacBook Air now you know its inferior to its peers?