MacBook Air-alikes on the way

February 1, 2008 | 10:54

Tags: #air #laptop #macbook #notebook #umpc

Companies: #fujitsu #lenovo

Fancy a MacBook Air, but don't much care for lining Steve's pockets via the exorbitant pricetag? You may well be in luck, as it's soon to be the victim of the ever-popular game lets rip off Apple's design.

Laptop manufacturers Lenovo – the company responsible for building IBM notebooks for lo these many years – and Fujitsu-Siemens are planning to buy in the specially-designed low-power Core 2 Duo chip used in the Air and build their own designs around it, if rumours currently circulating are true.

The custom Core 2 Duo, specially tweaked for minimal physical size, heat output and low-voltage running, was requested of Intel by Apple specifically for the Air ultra-slim notebook. Intel, ever the opportunist, designed the chip for Apple and are now touting it to anyone who's interested. The brazen hussies.

Lenovo and Fujitsu have yet to officially comment on their plans, but if they're shelling out for the custom chip it seems likely that they're looking to build an Air-style ultra-portable. If not, it would seem like a waste of an expensive chip when they could just use a standard mobile Core 2 Duo for a fraction of the cost.

Keep your eyes peeled over the coming months, as I think the Eee and the Air are just the start of the mass-market UMPC trend.

What would you prefer: to buy from a company known for stunning design and extortionate pricing, or a company known for producing robust units that are completely uninspiring to look at? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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