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Apple to shrink MacBook Air

Set for relaunch as 11.6in mini-laptop?

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Wonder why Apple hasn't yet updated the MacBook Air the way it has with all its other notebooks? Because the skinny laptop is about to shrunk even further, it has been claimed.

According to a market watcher with Taiwanese newssite DigiTimes, Apple will re-launch the Air at some point in the coming months with an 11.6in screen and a thinner, lighter casing

The site says the sources for this information are component makers, who indicate the Air will be produced by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Quanta.

The Air current sports a 13.3in display, big enough to give the chassis space to hold a full size keyboard.

Dropping down to 11.6in would tap into the trend toward smaller, more compact notebooks that aim to combine netbook portability with laptop performance. In addition to the Air, Apple offers two other 13.3in notebooks: the MacBook - reviewed here - and the MacBook Pro.

Maybe it now feels that three 13-inchers is too many, and it's time to set the Air below these two.

If it does, it's in danger of appearing to dip a toe into the netbook arena, a market it has said isn't worth the candle and, in any case, is ably being taken on by the iPad. ®

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