Since Apple doesn’t seem interested in updating the MacBook Air, a Chinese clone specialist is having a crack at it, albeit in a laptop running Windows 10.
Chuwi, the company behind a number of Microsoft’s Surface brand lookalikes, is launching the LapBook Air, a notebook that apparently «feels just like touching the real MacBook».
The company teased the new laptop in a statement containing scant details about specs. However, the LapBook Air has 14.1-inch display, a full metal design and will weigh 1.3kg, or 2.9lb. The real MacBook Air of course has a 13.3-inch display and weighs 1.35kg (3lb).
Chuwi hasn’t released pricing details yet, but it’s made something of a name for itself by delivering laptops and 2-in-1s with decent specs at budget prices.
The company suggests it might offer an improvement on the MacBook Air’s still-wide bezels. The LapBook Air is said to have a «close-to-zero bezel design». It’s hard to tell exactly how narrow they are from the images supplied.
The company writes: «Full lamination makes the whole piece bezel-less glass stay close knit with LCD panel, making it so detailed and vibrant when the screen is on, and when you close it, the pure black surfaces itself.»
Chuwi’s numerous Surface clones include the recently launched 12.3-inch Lapbook, a laptop version of its clone of the Surface Pro 4 2-in-1, the Surbook.
That device cost $349, less than half the cost of Microsoft’s 2-in-1, and delivered the same display size at a 2,736 x 1,824-pixel resolution. It cut costs by using an Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processor but with a respectable 6GB of RAM.
ZDNet asked Chuwi for some additional details about the LapBook Air but the company could not reveal more beyond saying the device will be its thinnest laptop to date. It’s 6mm, or 0.24in, at the thinnest edge.
Obviously, the LapBook Air won’t be running macOS, but it wouldn’t be so difficult for Chuwi to outdo the MacBook Air on several fronts.
Apple originally touted MacBook Air as its thinnest laptop, but that title has been lost to the more powerful MacBook Pro.
The minor bump the MacBook Air got earlier this year gave it a slightly faster processor, but it’s still on Intel’s fifth-gen Broadwell chip. It’s not clear whether the LapBook Air will have a touchscreen, but its Surface clones do.
Previous and related coverage
Windows 10 Surface Pro 4 lookalike: Chuwi’s Surbook goes the budget route
Chuwi has unveiled a Surface Pro 4 clone, but one that features Intel’s lower-end Apollo Lake processor.
Chuwi’s Hi13 13.5-inch convertible tablet is $369 Surface Book alternative
As you might expect from the budget price, the Chinese manufacturer can’t compare with Microsoft’s device on specs, only cost.
Chuwi Hi13 review: The tablet that thinks it’s a laptop
If you want to have the flexibility of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop, then the Chuwi Hi13 will fit the bill rather nicely.
Windows 10 laptops: Chuwi prices its new hi-res display Lapbook 12.3 at $350
The 12.3-inch Chuwi Lapbook laptop will be available for purchase in May.