Apple Plans to Bite Back at Ultrabook Push with $799 MacBook Air in Q3

MacBook Air laptops start at a grand for an 11.6-inch model with a Core i5 processor clocked at 1.8GHz with 3MB of shared L3 cache, 2GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000, and 64GB of flash-based storage. On the other side of the fence, Ultrabooks can be had for as little as $700, such as the Samsung Series 5 model at Best Buy, which is a 14-inch devices with a Core i5 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000, 500GB SATA hard drive, and DVD burner. Or there's the $800 HP Folio, a 13.3-inch Ultrabook with a 128GB solid state drive. And for $50 less than a lower end MacBook Air, you can snag the mighty Zenbook from Asus.

These examples aren't the exception to the rule, they're representative of a push towards lower priced Ultrabooks as Intel pushes for more $700 models from manufacturers in the second half of 2012. But rather than sit idly by, DigiTimes claims Apple is prepping a $799 MacBook Air model to remain relevant in the thin and light space.

It's unclear what size screen it would wield or what specs would sit underneath the thin chassis, but unless Apple completely gimps the hardware, a $799 MacBook Air could prove immensely popular and a thorn in Intel's side. Throw in the uncertainty surrounding Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system and things could get awfully interesting in a hurry.