News out of the company's Taiwanese supply chain suggests that the new model will be available for sale later this month. According to typically reliable sources out of Taiwan, 380,000 of the new notebooks are on their way stateside.
The "refresh" — a term typically used by Apple to signal incremental hardware upgrades and additions — is expected to bring the Thunderbolt high speed transfer technology to the Air for the first time. The new laptops are also expected to get the top-of-the-line "Sandy Bridge" microprocessors from Intel, which should provide a generous speed boost to the already speedy hardware.
The MacBook Air is the lightweight brother of Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks. It uses a solid state hard drive which doesn't spin like a typical disk drive, allowing the notebooks to be made much slimmer than a typical laptop, and also an order of magnitude faster. Apple hasn't officially announced the launch date of the refreshed Air line, but expect to hear more about it later this month.