The announcement of the MacBook Air yesterday means that a large portion of Apple’s laptops are powered by Intel “Y” processors. The fanless 12-inch MacBook was the first to include one of these low-power chips. The new MacBook Air is the second, but this time Apple is using it quite differently.
Because Apple doesn’t post model numbers for the processors in its laptops, it’s difficult to know what exactly is going on inside them. This is compounded by the fact that the company now has three computers — the 12-inch MacBook, the entry-level MacBook Pro, and the new Air — in the same price range, all configurable with “dual-core i5” processors. If you’re thinking of buying one of Apple’s “cheap” laptops, it’s worth knowing what makes them different from one another.