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

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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.