Intel: Next MacBook Air Could Be Almost 66% Thinner, Have Twice The Battery Life [CES 2012]



LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Although most of Intel’s ultrabook presser was a wash for Mac fans, the chipmaker did drop one extraordinarily interesting slide, showing exactly how Apple could make its next MacBook Air redesign almost 66% thinner. Holy crap. Here’s how Apple would do it.

Intel VP Mooly Eden says that in next-gen ultrabooks, 18mm thickness will be just the beginning. He says that the form factor can be slimmed down dramatically, and it all has to do with advantages in battery technology.

Here’s the deal. Right now, the battery pack is the thickest element of the MacBook Air. They are cylindrical batteries that make up the bulk of the Air’s thickness, but thanks to prismatic batteries, the MacBook Air’s battery thickness could be reduced to just 6.5mm. That’s almost two-thirds less thick as current Airs, with no sacrifice in battery life.

There’s no telling if Apple will actually continue to slim down the MacBook Air. Even carved out of unibody aluminum, there’s only so thin you can make a device before the thinness becomes a liability. Still, if Apple has proven anything, it’s that they are constantly on the lookout to make their devices even more sleek and wafer-like, and even if the MacBook Air is thin enough for Ive, thinner batteries mean even more battery life. Since the new batteries are almost one-thirds as thick, you could cram twice as much battery into each MacBook Air.

If Intel’s right, expect the new MacBook Air redesign to be an amazing one. It may be thinner, it may have better battery life, or it may be both. Swoon.

  • mrmansamusa

    One word…. How?

  • TylerHoj

    I don’t think the MacBook Air will get a redesign this year. Although I do think Apple will be overhauling the Pro line of notebooks, so this is good news for anyone holding out on a thinner Pro. I personally think Apple is going to release both 15” and 17” redesigned Pro’s this year. Catch me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s an extremely thin ultrabook-like 17” portable in the market. 

  • Len Williams

    The batteries could be two-thirds thinner, but this wouldn’t mean the whole laptop will be the same. After all, there has to be room for the other components. I could see possibly half the thickness of current Airs.

    What I’d like to see is a thinner MacBook Pro line, especially the 17″ model, but still with the USB and Firewire 800 ports. While Thunderbolt seems promising, I don’t see very many peripherals that are compatible with the new port, and frankly I’d hate to have to carry along yet another adapter or special cable to make my existing Firewire 800 devices work with the laptop.

  • taylerz

    I’m sure Apple is aware of this technology, but thanks for making sure they do.

  • redasian

    frikkin’ prisms man! haha j/k

  • Clive S. Matthews

    I think Apple started using a new technique for designing their batteries in 2008: 1:30 into video
    The change helped improve the battery life further.They no longer design them cylindrical but this could help reduce the size even further.

  • John Boutros

    That would be amazing. But at what point is thin- too thin? I would rather have it stay the same in thickness but have 15+ hour battery life, or iPad 2 like battery life. 

  • NearOffice

    Apple will corner the Santoku knife business.

  • Christian Minassian

    I have to disagree. Even though the battery on the macbook air takes up most of the space, the batteries are at the slimmest part of the laptop while the bulk at the back is made by the logic board, solid state drive, fans and ports not to mentin that the battery cells are not of the cylindrical type. These are flat pads as you can see on the link, just like the Li.po batteries that cell phones and other devices use.….