Next-gen MacBook Air and Mac mini details revealed

Let it never be said that Apple doesn't know how to whip up an online rumour frenzy. For months now, we've been hearing supposed details of the new MacBook Air models and now, finally, the official details seem to have spilled - along with details of a Mac mini and a Mac mini server model.

A 9to5Mac source has provided explicit specifications of the machines ahead of their official launch, which we expect to be sometime after 1.30pm UK time on 20 July - the time that Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X Lion, is scheduled to land.

The MacBook Airs, an 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch one, will feature a similar design to the 2010 designs but will come packing a much harder hardware punch including Thunderbolt connectivity and Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 CPUs.

Starting with the smaller of the two, the base model will host a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage - so not all that different from the 11-incher currently on sale bar an extra 0.2GHz of power.

But, this spec is the minimum. You can opt for 4GB of RAM and 128GB of RAM, or even bump the processor up to 1.8GHz and increase flash storage to 256GB.

The 13.3-inch model comes with a 1.7GHz chip as standard, with 4GB or RAM and 128GB of storage. This is configurable to a 1.8GHz chip and double the storage.

Moving on to the Mac mini specs and, again, Apple will apparently keep to the same design but with bumped hardware including Sandy Bridge chips.

The standard model will pack a 2.3GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD. Or you can opt for a 2.5GHz processor with 4GB of RAM. There will also be a new server model with a 2.0GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and two 500GB hard drives.

There's no confirmation that the new Apple machines will land alongside Mac OS X Lion, although it's clear that it's going to be a busy few days in Cupertino.

Be sure to check back on Pocket-lint at regular intervals though, we'll be updating you on all the official Apple news as it breaks.

Update: Apple has gone official. The details above are accurate.



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