Apple's opinion of netbook devices is well known
, but it looks as though things might be changing with rumours of a 11.6" MacBook model that sounds remarkably netbook-like on the horizon.
Industry rumour-broker DigiTimes has gone on record
as stating that Apple will be launching a new edition of its MacBook Air ultraportable laptop featuring a 11.6in screen and an even smaller form factor - the closest thing to an official Apple netbook that you'll ever see.
While the form factor of the device is netbook-like, the specifications are anything but: DigiTimes analyst Mingchi Kuo believes that the 11.6" MacBook Air will feature the same processor and memory setup as the current model, meaning full-scale performance from an extremely small-scale device. Sadly, if the specifications are duplicated exactly, it also means frustrations like a single USB port - an awkward limitation for a device which has no on-board wired networking capabilities.
The other distinguishing factor is, of course, the price: with the current MacBook Air starting at a whopping £1,174, a smaller and lighter edition is likely to cost even more - despite the smaller screen size. With netbooks commonly costing below £300 - and sometimes even below £200 - that's a tall order.
DigiTimes also claims that Apple will be releasing a new iPod Touch towards the end of the year, which will use the same A4 processor found in the iPad and feature a 3 megapixel camera on the rear.
Would you be interested in a smaller MacBook Air as your portable computer of choice, or should Apple just bite the bullet and release a true, low-cost netbook? Share your thoughts over in the forums