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Lighter than Air - and a bit smaller?

Most electronics companies release far more new products each year than Apple. But because Apple release so few, there's an almighty fuss each time there's something new - which, in turn, makes it seem like they're releasing a lot of new stuff. Clever, eh? You don't become the world's most valuable technology company by getting up late.

This week Apple'll be having another of those special events, and the theme is 'back to the Mac.' Specifically, all the speculation revolves around the MacBook Air, which has been around a while and is due for what tech types call a 'refresh.'

The Air was a revelation when it first came along - paper-thin and feather-light. But since then we've seen the likes of the iPad and thin computers don't seem that exciting any more. So there's a lot of speculation Apple will release a smaller, cheaper MacBook Air, competing more directly with the netbook market. (Mind you, right now a MacBook Air costs a grand, so they'd have to knock the price down A LOT to compete with a £300 Samsung.)

On the other hand, Engadget reckon they've obtained pictures of the innards of the new Air, and what they're seeing retains the 13.3 inch size of the current model. For their part, Gizmodo reckon Apple will use Wednesday to announce a new, multi-touch-based version of Mac OS X.

So basically it's anyone's guess. Come back on Wednesday and we'll be sure to tell you all you need to know, when we know. In the meantime, you should feel very free to guess wildly in the comments.

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