Apple May Have Considered Releasing a 2018 MacBook Air With Faster Core i7 Processor

While the new MacBook Air with a Retina display can only be configured with one processor option, a 1.6GHz dual‑core eighth‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Apple may have prototyped a faster version too.

A benchmark result on Geekbench last week has surfaced via Slashleaks for an unreleased Mac, codenamed AAPJ140K1,1, powered by a dual-core eighth-generation Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz. The exact model is not listed, but its logic board has the same part number as the new MacBook Air.

As further evidence, the benchmark result lists 16GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, an existing upgrade option for the new MacBook Air. And the Core i7-8510Y appears to be part of Intel's low-power Amber Lake lineup, as is the Core i5 in the new MacBook Air, although it's not listed on Intel's ARK database.

The apparent MacBook Air with a Core i7 chip has a multi-core score of 8,553 on Geekbench, which would make it roughly 8.5 percent faster than the average multi-core score of the existing option with a Core i5.

Geekbench founder John Poole told MacRumors that nothing about the benchmark result looks fake to him, although that possibility can't be entirely ruled out. If real, however, it suggests that a 2018 MacBook Air with a Core i7 exists within Apple, but obviously hasn't been released to the public.

It's reasonable to assume that Apple prototypes several different versions of its products, and not all of them see the light of day. Why the MacBook Air with a Core i7 wasn't released is anyone's guess — maybe it ran too hot, or Apple elected to keep the dual-core Core i7 a MacBook Pro option, or something else.

If Apple does plan to add the Core i7 as an upgrade option for the new MacBook Air, it's hard to envision that it would do so anytime soon considering the notebook was just refreshed. Apple has bumped up the MacBook Air's processor mid-product-cycle in the past, though, so there is some precedence for the move.

All in all, there is possibly a new MacBook Air with a Core i7 in the wild that Apple decided not to ship or may ship at a later date.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Just think of the milliseconds that could be saved performing tasks on this unreleased MacBook…

Rating: 15 Votes
16 months ago
Still ludicrously overpriced for the spec.
Rating: 9 Votes
16 months ago
I would consider a new MacBook Air over a pro if they did bring out a I7 version :)
Rating: 8 Votes
16 months ago
It is still miserably slow compared to even the iPad Pro, much less the MacBook Pro. Apple could literally drop in an A12X as-is and blow away that i7 with much longer battery life, and I can't even begin to imagine what a chip designed specifically for the Mac would bench at. I'm really starting to think that next year is a bad time for me to upgrade my Mac unless they drop Intel earlier than expected.
Rating: 7 Votes
16 months ago
If it was a quad core i7 they'd tested, then I'd really stand up and take notice...but going from 1.6Ghz to

At this point Macbook's and Airs should all be quad core with Pro's being more. It's so far behind the phones at this point that have quads I believe (including the $750 Xr).

Amazing Intel has blown it (their manufacturing process stuck at 14nm) for so long that we're expecting dual core laptops these days.
Rating: 7 Votes
16 months ago
March 2019. Release the i7 option starting at 1599, discontinue the Non-Touchbar Macbook Pro.

Macbook 12'' M3 Dual Core 256GB 1249
Macbook Air 13.3'' i5 Dual Core 128GB 1199
Macbook Air 13.3'' i5 Dual Core 256GB 1399
Macbook Air 13.3'' i7 Dual Core 256GB 1599
Macbook Pro 13.3'' i5 Quad Core 256GB 1799
Macbook Pro 15'' i7 Hexa Core 256GB 2399

For me the 128GB MBA model shouldn't exist, it's just too low an amount of storage for that price, although the alternative option is to pay another 200! Looks good for marketing though ''The MBA 2018 only 1199 with a retina screen''.
Rating: 5 Votes
16 months ago
Going to hazard a guess the i7-8510Y was not ready for volume production in the time frame Apple needed to meet the launch date. So maybe early next year it will become an option.
Rating: 4 Votes
16 months ago
I'm sure Apple considered it, but it would compete with the MacBook Pro.

The Retina display already encroaches on MacBook Pro territory. Given Apple's love for feature rationing in several of their product lines, I'm not surprised the final decision came down to 1.6 GHz. I wouldn't be surprised if a 1.4 GHz version of the Air comes out later for $1,099.
Rating: 3 Votes
16 months ago
Welcome to Immediate Obsoletion:
Products becoming underdimensioned not to disrupt or obsolete other products (MacBook)

This earmarks a new tragic episode in stalemate Mac innovation
Rating: 3 Votes
16 months ago

So you now realize that you were wrong about only ONE release every year? Now you’re gonna admit it’s “close to” one release every year? I never insinuated 180 day cycles. The average is *below* one year, which means two releases per a year on average. Which means that what I said was true. Which supports the idea that Apple has been milkin it with their MBP lineup. And you’re welcome. Glad I could help clear things up for you.

* MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid/Late 2007)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2008)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011) ***
* MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) ***
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) ***
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016)

* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2017)

* MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2018)

That's twelve calendar years and 16 models. Three of them (***) were definitely only speed bumps (same CPU generation, no changes to features and exterior). The parallel release of an updated non-retina MBP and the retina MBP in 2012 can also not really be counted as two separate refreshes. That leaves us with twelve 'full' refreshes in twelve years plus three speed bumps.

Or said differently, a refresh cycle of 12 months and if we include the speed bumps, an average cycle of 9.6 months.
Rating: 2 Votes

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