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MacRumors
May 31, 2011, 12:32 AM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/31/macbook-air-supplies-constrained-ahead-of-refresh/)


http://cdn.macrumors.com/article/2011/02/11/094654-mba.jpg


Both CNet (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/11/macbook-air-sandy-bridge-update-in-june/) and Digitimes (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/18/apple-to-launch-new-macbook-air-in-june-july/) have pinpointed the 2011 Macbook Air refreshes for the June-July timeframe. So, it should be no surprise that according to retail sources (http://www.9to5mac.com/69797/macbook-air-supplies-constrained-ahead-of-summer-refresh/) of 9to5mac, Apple's MacBook Air supplies are becoming constrained around the world.

The 2011 MacBook Air is believed to adopt the latest Sandy Bridge processors which come with Intel's embedded graphics chipset. This is a decision that Apple has already made for the latest low-end MacBook Pros, so we expect they will make the same decision in the new MacBook Airs. The new Airs should also adopt the Thunderbolt high speed connector that was introduced earlier this year.

Article Link: MacBook Air Supplies Constrained Ahead of Refresh? (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/31/macbook-air-supplies-constrained-ahead-of-refresh/)



lostngone
May 31, 2011, 12:40 AM
Come on Apple how about you show the Mac Pro some love!

appleguy123
May 31, 2011, 12:40 AM
Mac Mini and MacBook are also in desperate need of upgrades. :(

42streetsdown
May 31, 2011, 12:43 AM
sooo exciting! i've been waiting for this

asdf542
May 31, 2011, 12:47 AM
Come on Apple how about you show the Mac Pro some love!

Intel's Xeon processors slated for the Mac Pro won't be out until Q4 2011.

TMar
May 31, 2011, 12:50 AM
Can't wait for all the incoming complaints about Intel graphics and how they won't be able to game on their airs. :rolleyes:

kjjnk
May 31, 2011, 12:54 AM
Can't wait for all the incoming complaints about Intel graphics and how they won't be able to game on their airs. :rolleyes:
It will outperform the 9400M which is good enough for the majority of people. The 9400M makes up 30% of Valve's Steam Mac users (http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=mac).

powtail
May 31, 2011, 12:55 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

appleguy123
May 31, 2011, 12:55 AM
It will outperform the 9400M which is good enough for the majority of people. The 9400M makes up 30% of Valve's Steam Mac users.

I don't think that this is true. The intel graphics are worse than the Nvidia ones.

ikir
May 31, 2011, 01:01 AM
With good drivers (probably in Lion GMA HD will have full OpenGL 3.0 support) and if software company support it, GMA HD 3000 on MacBook Pro 13" is quite good for a little notebook, it should perform little better than 320M. Some recent mac games show you can play the same or better compared to 320M.

As you can see in this graph (http://mac.ikirsector.it/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=84) which was made at new MBP launch, GMA HD 3000 can defend itself, now drivers are better and will be much more better with 10.7. The real problem is software houses support, but in these weekes many games that were incompatible with GMA are now supporting it.

Full of Win
May 31, 2011, 01:01 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Yeah, no matter how fast they are, how much better they benchmark, ect.... the one factor that will make or break them will be backlit keyboards. Not saying I don't want a backlit keyboard, I just don't think its presence is that critical of an issue.

dawnrazor
May 31, 2011, 01:03 AM
Awesome....

My wife's getting my 11" MBA and I'm getting a maxed out top of the line 13" MBA when they come out, the addition of the Thunderbolt is very welcome indeed as doing backups via USB2 is so slow....

kjjnk
May 31, 2011, 01:03 AM
I don't think that this is true. The intel graphics are worse than the Nvidia ones.

Based on what? Want me to link you to some benchmarks? Don't go by brand names. The HD 3000 outperforms the 9400M.

appleguy123
May 31, 2011, 01:05 AM
Based on what? Want me to link you to some benchmarks? Don't go by brand names. The HD 3000 outperforms the 9400M.

That's odd. I said that because it said in the article that graphics would likely be a "step down."
The article has now been edited, so maybe you're right. :confused::confused::confused:

Reach9
May 31, 2011, 01:06 AM
Who said there won't be any hardware upgrades in this year's WWDC? :rolleyes:

Icaras
May 31, 2011, 01:08 AM
Awesome....

My wife's getting my 11" MBA and I'm getting a maxed out top of the line 13" MBA when they come out, the addition of the Thunderbolt is very welcome indeed as doing backups via USB2 is so slow....

I was thinking of doing the same, except I will get the maxed out 11" for 2011. :)

kjjnk
May 31, 2011, 01:10 AM
That's odd. I said that because it said in the article that graphics would likely be a "step down."
The article has now been edited, so maybe you're right. :confused::confused::confused:

The HD 3000 outperforms the 9400M. The HD 3000 included in the MacBook Pro occasionally outperforms the 320M under OS X (although not all the time). The HD 3000 included in the next generation MacBook Air will be weaker than the one included in the 13" MacBook Pro but will still outperform the 9400M. It will perform worse than the 320M and HD Graphics 3000 in the MBP.

So the GPU chart goes as follow:
9400M < HD 3000 (MBA) < HD 3000 (MBP) <=> 320M

TMar
May 31, 2011, 01:14 AM
It will outperform the 9400M which is good enough for the majority of people. The 9400M makes up 30% of Valve's Steam Mac users (http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=mac).

Never said it wasn't good enough. Being "good enough" never stops the GMA complaints though.

Caliber26
May 31, 2011, 01:14 AM
Yeah, no matter how fast they are, how much better they benchmark, ect.... the one factor that will make or break them will be backlit keyboards. Not saying I don't want a backlit keyboard, I just don't think its presence is that critical of an issue.

Although I am dying to see a backlit keyboard featured on the next MBA, I have to agree. Ultimately, its absence does not disrupt my ability to view or use my keyboard, while using it in the dark.

JesterJJZ
May 31, 2011, 01:16 AM
Come on Apple how about you show the Mac Pro some love!

Why would someone rate this comment a negative. Bumped it back to 0 for ya!

Crixus
May 31, 2011, 01:16 AM
Backlit keyboard, I'll buy one as soon as possible.

No backlit keyboard, I'll go for an entry level 13" Macbook Pro.

caspersoong
May 31, 2011, 01:16 AM
Nice. About time. Hope they follow the speedy shipping of the iPad 2 and get it here within a month.

PurpleLogix
May 31, 2011, 01:23 AM
yay. Been waiting for this.

kjjnk
May 31, 2011, 01:27 AM
Never said it wasn't good enough. Being "good enough" never stops the GMA complaints though.

Only difference is this time Intel's GPU performance is acceptable.

tsadi
May 31, 2011, 01:36 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

I almost purchased the present generation Air when it was released, then held back when I learned that they removed the back-lit keyboard.

It will be the same story for me for the next-gen Air. No back-lit keyboard = no upgrade.

kpm1301
May 31, 2011, 01:56 AM
Got a feeling they're not going to change the exterior much at all and they're just release it without much of a big annoucement like the iMac and MacBook pro of this year.

I wish at least they'll put in a black bezel like the MacBook pro.

TMar
May 31, 2011, 01:56 AM
Only difference is this time Intel's GPU performance is acceptable.

OMG, yes I know this, you know this, everyone should know this. My point still stands people are going to complain about it. Some people just hear Intel graphics and cringe.

kjjnk
May 31, 2011, 01:57 AM
OMG, yes I know this, you know this, everyone should know this. My point still stands people are going to complain about it. Some people just hear Intel graphics and cringe.

Some people hear Core 2 Duo and cringe. Who the hell cares? :rolleyes:

AppleScruff1
May 31, 2011, 02:04 AM
These will be really nice machines, better than the current MBA by a good margin.

Dammit Cubs
May 31, 2011, 02:25 AM
You are out of your mind if you think it's gonna come with backlit keyboard

Cougarcat
May 31, 2011, 02:37 AM
You are out of your mind if you think it's gonna come with backlit keyboard

Why? The original had it.

pimentoLoaf
May 31, 2011, 02:44 AM
Although I am dying to see a backlit keyboard featured on the next MBA, I have to agree. Ultimately, its absence does not disrupt my ability to view or use my keyboard, while using it in the dark.

Same here. I do lots of writing, but I'm a good touch-typist so I rarely have an issue. My maxxed-out 11" also handles FileMaker and non-spreadsheet financials. Backlighting would be a nice upgrade.

Wouldn't it be great if Apple offered upgrades to current owners to install the backlighting for a nominal fee?

johneaston
May 31, 2011, 02:54 AM
Awesome....

My wife's getting my 11" MBA and I'm getting a maxed out top of the line 13" MBA when they come out, the addition of the Thunderbolt is very welcome indeed as doing backups via USB2 is so slow....

It'll be even slower on your new one when you realise there's no Thunderbolt external drives...

Winni
May 31, 2011, 03:05 AM
It will outperform the 9400M which is good enough for the majority of people. The 9400M makes up 30% of Valve's Steam Mac users (http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=mac).

Okay, so in summary, 9400M users make up around, what, one percent of the total number of Valve's Steam users? 30% of nothing is still nothing.

dawnrazor
May 31, 2011, 03:09 AM
I was thinking of doing the same, except I will get the maxed out 11" for 2011. :)

As great as the maxed out 11" is, I struggle with the screen size after not very long. Looking forward to a bit more screen estate!

GregA
May 31, 2011, 03:24 AM
Who said there won't be any hardware upgrades in this year's WWDC? :rolleyes:

It shows how much focus there is on iPhone's eh?

Of all the upgrades possible this is probably perfect.


Cloud release for storage of files, music, photos online - for iOS and OSX. Perhaps a new paradigm for computing
iOS5 showcased with all its new features - converging towards OSX,
OSX Lion showcased with its new features - converging towards iOS
And then the Air laptop - the Apple hardware that converges an iPad with a MacBook.

Perhaps they'll add touch screen to the MBA.

alectheking
May 31, 2011, 03:30 AM
Perhaps they'll add touch screen to the MBA.

and that's where you started sounding crazy..

JS77
May 31, 2011, 03:48 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Yep, I'm with you... SB Processors are a given, but to "complete the package" I'm really, really hoping they bring back the backlit keyboard.

applemagnet
May 31, 2011, 03:55 AM
If I read one more message about people demanding a backlit keyboard on the new Macbook Air, I'm gonna kill myself!

It's really not that important to anyone who knows how to type!

Learn to type people!!!! The amount of time you will save will be far greater than any gains a backlit keyboard will get you.

:D

ChrisFaw
May 31, 2011, 04:02 AM
I already ordered a maxed out MBA 13" and it will arrive next week. So i will have the current model for a good 5-6 weeks. a w e s o m e.

BTW, backlit kb was a nice feature to have (i had it in my late 1.86 80GB Air), but c'mon! Be serious! It is NOWHERE near being the dealbreaker here. However, I do believe the least they can do is putting a nice 2nd gen SB Core i3 in it. Graphics? If you cared about that, you'd be getting the MBP. As long as it plays video smoothly and it doesnt lag when using exposť or spaces (that happens with my business partner's 11.6 baseline Air) im #HappyLikeTheHippo.

Optimus Frag
May 31, 2011, 04:16 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Sooo getting a maxed 11".

I can understand the love for a backlit keyboard but I think that battery life is such important part of the package for the majority of buyers that Apple won't do anything that compromise battery life. And a backlit keyboard will be seen as such. I'd turn it off for that reason and I'd be slightly annoyed if I had to pay for an extra I'd not use. Build to order option by all means but don't be sticking it in and bumping the price please.

What I'm more interested in is a speed bump, increased ram and SSD options.

The graphics being intel don't put me off. If I can station spin, trade and skill train in Eve, with low settings, while on my travels I'll be happy.

MattInOz
May 31, 2011, 04:23 AM
If I read one more message about people demanding a backlit keyboard on the new Macbook Air, I'm gonna kill myself!

It's really not that important to anyone who knows how to type!

Learn to type people!!!! The amount of time you will save will be far greater than any gains a backlit keyboard will get you.

:D
Touch typing works when your seated and wrist don't move to much.
What if they aren't typing but using the keyboard as a control device in conjunction with say another device like a mouse or special control interface.

In which case it's easier to set yourself in the first position you need from there yet set and muscle memory has some hope for working.

ratzzo
May 31, 2011, 04:26 AM
Fresh supplies :)

johneaston
May 31, 2011, 04:31 AM
Anyone familiar with this care to hazard a guess at a release? If supplies are 'constrained' today does that mean we'll be seeing new MBAs today (it is a Tuesday) or is it likely still several weeks away?

Michael383
May 31, 2011, 04:37 AM
Looking forward to seeing the new MBA's.

Optimus Frag
May 31, 2011, 04:39 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Anyone familiar with this care to hazard a guess at a release? If supplies are 'constrained' today does that mean we'll be seeing new MBAs today (it is a Tuesday) or is it likely still several weeks away?

I'd say at least till Lion ships. They'll either have it installed already or the USB stick that ships with them will have it on.

So we know that Lion will be coming soon at least. WWDC I'd guess.

Formul
May 31, 2011, 04:43 AM
should i keep hoping fro 15" AIR or should i buy the new sandy bridge 13"? :(
also are you all serious about the backlit keyboard, my ancient MBP has it and i never use it, its just distracting at night

MartiNZ
May 31, 2011, 04:44 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

If the new one comes with backlit keyboard I'll be even happier with my late 2010 13"! It's so nice having that extra function key to use for exposť show desktop! Plus not having ambient light sensor means you can put your hands anywhere. I never intentionally used my backlit on my '08 MBP; usually it was boot camp turning it on stupidly, but even that is fixed now; I'd sooner have been without it in general - that was one of the big ups of the original MBA, the option to have no backlit keyboard - but I'm pretty sure the function keys recovered on that machine couldn't be reassigned so late 2010 went one better! I can see them doing it though, and just taking off the useless eject key.

Oh and also, perfectly happy to have not waited for 3000 gpu, and happily for this post to go negative - ain't that a great system :)!

Seoras
May 31, 2011, 05:07 AM
Saw this post on slashdot yesterday and immediately thought "MB Air refresh".
"NVIDIA Announces New GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520MX Mobile GPUs"
http://hothardware.com/News/NVIDIA-Announced-New-GeForce-GTX-560M-and-GT-520MX-Mobile-GPUs/

No comments on this?

Apple has stuck with the ancient Intel Core2Duo processor in it's Air range partly due to the legal fight between Nvidia and Intel which has now been resolved.
Apple's logic appears to have been that the GPU was of greater importance than the CPU. I tend to agree given how much is off loaded onto GPU's now (Video CODEC especially).

There was a recent post on Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5/i7 here on Macrumors.
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/20/intel-preps-1-7ghz-and-1-8ghz-processors-suitable-for-next-macbook-air/
I can't see Apple releasing another Core2Duo MB Air.
I'm wondering if the new MB Air will offer both Intel and Nvidia's latest offerings?

zedsdead
May 31, 2011, 05:10 AM
If they bring back the IR Sensor and Backlit Keyboard, I would sell mine and upgrade. Otherwise, the speed bump is not a thing I need currently.

Bring on a refreshed Mini!

johneaston
May 31, 2011, 05:22 AM
I'd say at least till Lion ships. They'll either have it installed already or the USB stick that ships with them will have it on.

So we know that Lion will be coming soon at least. WWDC I'd guess.

I thought Lion wasn't due until Sept/Oct 2011?

Optimus Frag
May 31, 2011, 05:29 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Saw this post on slashdot yesterday and immediately thought "MB Air refresh".
"NVIDIA Announces New GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520MX Mobile GPUs"
http://hothardware.com/News/NVIDIA-Announced-New-GeForce-GTX-560M-and-GT-520MX-Mobile-GPUs/

No comments on this?

Apple has stuck with the ancient Intel Core2Duo processor in it's Air range partly due to the legal fight between Nvidia and Intel which has now been resolved.
Apple's logic appears to have been that the GPU was of greater importance than the CPU. I tend to agree given how much is off loaded onto GPU's now (Video CODEC especially).

There was a recent post on Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5/i7 here on Macrumors.
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/20/intel-preps-1-7ghz-and-1-8ghz-processors-suitable-for-next-macbook-air/
I can't see Apple releasing another Core2Duo MB Air.
I'm wondering if the new MB Air will offer both Intel and Nvidia's latest offerings?

Yes to the new intel chips. No to the Nvidia GPU in my opinion.

Put that combo in a MacBook Air and the 13inch MBP is instantly a dead duck.

StellarSoul
May 31, 2011, 05:30 AM
My wishlist for the high end 13"...

1) Intel Sandy Bridge processor
2) Thunderbolt port
3) Backlit keys
4) IR receiver
5) Maybe a RAM upgrade?

That is all...

P.s. USB 3 possible this gen? Or is that an Intel thing?

kpm1301
May 31, 2011, 05:35 AM
Anyone familiar with this care to hazard a guess at a release? If supplies are 'constrained' today does that mean we'll be seeing new MBAs today (it is a Tuesday) or is it likely still several weeks away?

when they announced the same thing about the imac being constrained, it took i believe less than 2 weeks for the new one to arrive in store
from comparing similar previous articles on 9to5mac.

Optimus Frag
May 31, 2011, 05:36 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)


I'd say at least till Lion ships. They'll either have it installed already or the USB stick that ships with them will have it on.

So we know that Lion will be coming soon at least. WWDC I'd guess.

I thought Lion wasn't due until Sept/Oct 2011?

They say that it's due then. But with the rumours that it's just about done and with it's likely distribution on the Mac App store rather than on disc, all they have to link it in the app store so when Steve says it's available today, he means right now. That'll be the surprise for this years WWDC. Just my thoughts.

425
May 31, 2011, 06:08 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Hmm... Interesting.... Unfortunately, the 11" is too small for me, and on the current price scale, the 13" is too expensive. I would like to see the price hierarchy change to Low end 11" < Low end 13" < High end 11" < High end 13".

Otherwise, I'm getting a MB.

fat jez
May 31, 2011, 06:11 AM
I'm wondering if the new MB Air will offer both Intel and Nvidia's latest offerings?

I don't see it, for the same reason that Apple have not been able to offer a discrete GPU on the 13" MBP. There's just not enough space on the logic board for a northbridge type chip and a discrete GPU. They need something that does both. The nVidia chipsets only support up to the C2D processors, which is why they were in the MBA and the 2010 13" MBP. With the HD 3000 built into the Sandybridge CPU's offering comparable (if not quite identical) performance to the nVidia chips, that's where my money is going - low end Sandybridge CPU with no discrete graphics. Not sure we'll see them offering Thunderbolt either, as that's also a separate chip, although they found room in the 2011 13" MBP for one.

gri
May 31, 2011, 06:18 AM
Back lit keyboard pretty please! That was the biggest and dumbest mistake Apple ever made recently, to leave it out. Going backwards.

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 06:18 AM
Saw this post on slashdot yesterday and immediately thought "MB Air refresh".
"NVIDIA Announces New GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520MX Mobile GPUs"
http://hothardware.com/News/NVIDIA-Announced-New-GeForce-GTX-560M-and-GT-520MX-Mobile-GPUs/

No comments on this?

Apple has stuck with the ancient Intel Core2Duo processor in it's Air range partly due to the legal fight between Nvidia and Intel which has now been resolved.
Apple's logic appears to have been that the GPU was of greater importance than the CPU. I tend to agree given how much is off loaded onto GPU's now (Video CODEC especially).

There was a recent post on Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5/i7 here on Macrumors.
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/20/intel-preps-1-7ghz-and-1-8ghz-processors-suitable-for-next-macbook-air/
I can't see Apple releasing another Core2Duo MB Air.
I'm wondering if the new MB Air will offer both Intel and Nvidia's latest offerings?

Impossible. Those are dedicated mobile GPUs. The Air has always had an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor). nVidia cannot make IGPs for the new Core iX line of processors anymore, so you will not see an nVidia GPU in the next Air.

The nVidia announcement doesn't change anything at all. That's why there was no comment on it nor did anyone bring it up.

With the HD 3000 built into the Sandybridge CPU's offering lower (if not quite abysmal) performance compared to the nVidia chips

Fixed that there for you. The HD 3000 never performed on par with the 320m. The benchmarks AnandTech did that showed any similar performance were for CPU bound tasks which were a result of the Sandy Bridge CPU being much faster than the Core 2 Duo CPU paired with the 320m.

All benchmarks for pure graphics (3D marks and others) show the true story. The HD 3000 is about half the performance of the 320m and twice the performance of the 9400m. It's a downgrade for us current Air owners that value the GPU more than the CPU.

Ivy Bridge won't fix this either. They'll still be slower than comparable offerings from AMD and nVidia, except by then, we won't have had a modern IGP paired with an Intel CPU in quite a while, so comparisons will be impossible. We'll be back in the dark ages where all laptops sucked for gaming again (the early days pre-nVidia doing mobile IGPs).

Back lit keyboard pretty please! That was the biggest and dumbest mistake Apple ever made recently, to leave it out. Going backwards.

Yeah, what a mistake, the MBA was their best seller for the quarter after October 2010. Imagine if it did have the backlit keyboard! They might have sold 2 more!

Seriously, Apple made the right choice. It's obvious they dropped the backlit keyboard because of a design reason, not out of spite for users who like it. That design choice paid off and the MBA went from niche to mainstream with the last refresh.

gri
May 31, 2011, 06:21 AM
If I read one more message about people demanding a backlit keyboard on the new Macbook Air, I'm gonna kill myself!

It's really not that important to anyone who knows how to type!

Learn to type people!!!! The amount of time you will save will be far greater than any gains a backlit keyboard will get you.

:D

Here for you again: backlit key board please. Now feel free to go ahead - one intolerant person less...:rolleyes:

JS77
May 31, 2011, 06:41 AM
It's obvious they dropped the backlit keyboard because of a design reason, not out of spite for users who like it. That design choice paid off and the MBA went from niche to mainstream with the last refresh.

Did you really just attribute the success of the Macbook Air to the fact they removed the backlight?? :eek:

gri
May 31, 2011, 06:43 AM
Did you really just attribute the success of the Macbook Air to the fact they removed the backlight?? :eek:

That more than anything else prevented people from buying it. Just look around at MR under that topic or in Apple's own fora...

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 06:52 AM
Did you really just attribute the success of the Macbook Air to the fact they removed the backlight?? :eek:

Nope, I didn't. Read my post again.

Better yet, let me again repeat myself : I attributed the current MBA's success to its current design. I said the lack of backlit keyboard was for sure a design compromise Apple had to make, but in light of the success of this design, the compromise was a wise choice on their part.

Apple didn't remove the backlit keyboard to spite anyone. They didn't do it to "bring it back later to force upgrades either". There probably came a time in the design process where it was either scrap it or lose the design. Seeing how successful this design was, it seems to me the guy who decided to scrap the backlights made the right choice in the end, even if a few users missed the feature.

That more than anything else prevented people from buying it.

They still sold more than they ever did and it was the best selling Mac for that quarter. So in a sense, maybe preventing a few people from buying it resulted in more people buying it thanks to the new design.

jmoore5196
May 31, 2011, 06:57 AM
Best Buy has had the majority of their Mac line-up - including the Airs they stock - "on sale" for the past several weeks now. Much as I'd like to see a refresh at WWDC, the Best Buy "sale" doesn't go too far to point the way, as I see it.

The Samurai
May 31, 2011, 07:02 AM
For what its worth, Amazon.co.uk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=macbook+air&x=0&y=0) has ran out of all MBA 2010 stock - only marketplace sellers. No specific date when 'Amazon' is shipping the current gen's.

trip1ex
May 31, 2011, 07:14 AM
Awesome....

My wife's getting my 11" MBA and I'm getting a maxed out top of the line 13" MBA when they come out, the addition of the Thunderbolt is very welcome indeed as doing backups via USB2 is so slow....

USB2 isn't that bad. :D Not like there is much data to back up on today's 11" MBA. And not like Time Machine doesn't work in the background.

TB is welcome, but I suspect the pricing of TB backup drives will keep me away at least for awhile. We'll see.

I would actually say the beauty of a slower backup drive mated to a fast SSD is that the speed of the SSD isn't maxed out and thus maintains responsiveness while using the computer during a backup. That's off the top of my head. I'll have to give that one some more thought.

silentnite
May 31, 2011, 07:28 AM
My local Best Buy ran out on Monday and for good reason they were telling customers they had sold out a week ago but were really holding out stock for Mondays Memorial day sale. Finally when they begin to sell they had a line half way down the block.

Scottological
May 31, 2011, 07:28 AM
"Backlit keyboard" is the new "more cowbell."

As in:

OMG Appul totully went bakkwards by not puttting in moar cowbell!!?!

Or:

Quite simply, if Apple fails to inclusify more cowbell in the purported Air update, I shall refuse to purchase it once again! Please, Mr. Jobs, hear our entreaties for MORE COWBELL!

MartiNZ
May 31, 2011, 07:29 AM
Nope, I didn't. Read my post again.

After all that I kind of wish you had :). But I agree, better the awesome design and such an unnecessary feature lacking than the alternative.

Mal67
May 31, 2011, 07:34 AM
If I read one more message about people demanding a backlit keyboard on the new Macbook Air, I'm gonna kill myself!

It's really not that important to anyone who knows how to type!

Learn to type people!!!! The amount of time you will save will be far greater than any gains a backlit keyboard will get you.

:D

Well I'm hoping to see backlit keyboard to! :-)

kazmac
May 31, 2011, 07:36 AM
Well it's either refreshed Mac Mini or MBA 13" ultimate for me if I don't wait. As much as I'd like to ditch my iMac soon for something much smaller, I've learned a lot in the last 16 months as far as what works, what I need and I what I want.

I really liked the 13" Air (and will probably like it more once with a mouse should that be the way I go); but the battery life didn't justify the cost. If they get the battery life up to 9 hours, I'll reconsider.

Lion? Not a big deal to me. As long as my current software and peripherals run on it, I'm in no hurry to upgrade my OS.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2011, 07:43 AM
Impossible. Those are dedicated mobile GPUs. The Air has always had an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor). nVidia cannot make IGPs for the new Core iX line of processors anymore, so you will not see an nVidia GPU in the next Air.

The nVidia announcement doesn't change anything at all. That's why there was no comment on it nor did anyone bring it up.



Fixed that there for you. The HD 3000 never performed on par with the 320m. The benchmarks AnandTech did that showed any similar performance were for CPU bound tasks which were a result of the Sandy Bridge CPU being much faster than the Core 2 Duo CPU paired with the 320m.

All benchmarks for pure graphics (3D marks and others) show the true story. The HD 3000 is about half the performance of the 320m and twice the performance of the 9400m. It's a downgrade for us current Air owners that value the GPU more than the CPU.

Ivy Bridge won't fix this either. They'll still be slower than comparable offerings from AMD and nVidia, except by then, we won't have had a modern IGP paired with an Intel CPU in quite a while, so comparisons will be impossible. We'll be back in the dark ages where all laptops sucked for gaming again (the early days pre-nVidia doing mobile IGPs).



Finally, someone who speaks the truth about what the Intel IGP means for the MBA.

Most people here are using the 13" MBP with standard voltage Sandy Bridge as a measure of how the HD 3000 would compare in the MBA. The truth is we can expect a 45% decrease or more with an ultra low voltage SB IGP. The clock speed of the Intel SB ULV CPU's IGP is LOWER therefore meaning a slower graphics performance than the Intel HD 3000 used in the 13" MBP. It is not like a standalone GPU whether discrete or integrated that can operate at the same clock speed like the 320m does in the 11" MBA with ULV, 13" MBA with LV, or MacBook with SV CPUs.

We can look at the Samsung Series 9 13" notebook and see the possible same CPU that Apple could use in the MBA, as it has a ULV Sandy Bridge CPU. The IGP is much much slower than the IGP in the 13" MBP because they run at different clock speeds.

The only thing that will prove the difference is an actual MBA released with the SB IGP, but I still hope Apple has some sort of workaround. It really means a step backwards in graphics performance to maybe even the 9400m. So it gets a faster CPU which performs most tasks faster, but it completely eliminates other elements like OpenCL and gaming for starters.

I hope Apple has MBA users interest in mind and at least delivers a solution that compares on all measures to the prior generation MBA. We shouldn't have to take any step backwards in graphics performance, and this is the problem when fair competition isn't allowed; it is sad for all Mac users affected by the loss of the Nvidia GPU whether they realize it or not. We should be happy to get Sandy Bridge paired with a next generation Nvidia GPU/chipset and we could have had it if freedom of competition prevailed. Consumers are the big losers while Intel shareholders win big in the victory of anti-competitiveness in Intel's BIG DOG strategy which paid nVidia a fortune after voiding its license to pair nVidia GPU/chipsets with Intel CPUs beyond C2D.

I think the reporting about the truth of this information has been lacking and misleading. Even MR often compares the HD 3000 to former Intel GMA IGPs in comparison rather than comparing the Intel IGP in all forms versus the nVidia 320m. And everyone seems to completely ignore where nVidia GPU/chipsets would be beyond the 320m had they not been forced out so unfortunately. I would praise any reporting body that would mention the truth about the entire scenario and how it costs Mac users in terms of graphics performance.

ciTiger
May 31, 2011, 07:44 AM
There are several models waiting for updates but Apple likes to stretch tings along to have news every couple of weeks.

Popeye206
May 31, 2011, 07:45 AM
Nope, I didn't. Read my post again.

Better yet, let me again repeat myself : I attributed the current MBA's success to its current design. I said the lack of backlit keyboard was for sure a design compromise Apple had to make, but in light of the success of this design, the compromise was a wise choice on their part.

Apple didn't remove the backlit keyboard to spite anyone. They didn't do it to "bring it back later to force upgrades either". There probably came a time in the design process where it was either scrap it or lose the design. Seeing how successful this design was, it seems to me the guy who decided to scrap the backlights made the right choice in the end, even if a few users missed the feature.

They still sold more than they ever did and it was the best selling Mac for that quarter. So in a sense, maybe preventing a few people from buying it resulted in more people buying it thanks to the new design.

+1 A very educated and well written response.

I love how people who don't know product development process will confuse time and design constraints with a company just trying to be mean and "take something away". I'm sure some features get moved to the "later for an upgrade" category, but again, time and other constraints put it on that list to begin with. I know in our company, if I could give it all to my customers in the next upgrade, I would. But it's not realistic if I ever want to ship a product.

jonnysods
May 31, 2011, 07:53 AM
Don't even! I JUST bought a new 13" MBP i7.

If they have a storage option above 500gb that doesn't cost $1400 I will freak out!!

toddybody
May 31, 2011, 08:08 AM
Totally stoked for this refresh (hoping to get a heavily discounted current gen). BL keyboard would be nice, but not essential...that said, I do think it was rather silly for Apple to not include it from the previous gen. IMHO, they intentionally omitted it, so to further differentiate the MBA from the MBP.

Anyhoo...Im excited to see geekbench results for the SB CPU's. Though the IGP wont be anything special:(

fat jez
May 31, 2011, 08:13 AM
Most people here are using the 13" MBP with standard voltage Sandy Bridge as a measure of how the HD 3000 would compare in the MBA. The truth is we can expect a 45% decrease or more with an ultra low voltage SB IGP. The clock speed of the Intel SB ULV CPU's IGP is LOWER therefore meaning a slower graphics performance than the Intel HD 3000 used in the 13" MBP. It is not like a standalone GPU whether discrete or integrated that can operate at the same clock speed like the 320m does in the 11" MBA with ULV, 13" MBA with LV, or MacBook with SV CPUs.

But do you believe this is really an issue? I don't think Apple are viewing even an underclocked HD3000 as a problem, since it really only affects people who place high demands on the GPU (typically gamers or OpenCL users). Even an underclocked HD3000 should still work well with Quicktime or Safari's web acceleration.

I think they see the MBA's market as people who want a business style experience with a highly portable laptop (e.g. email, web, Office) and expect anyone who wants a higher end GPU to look at the MBP. There are, after all, compromises to be made to fit everything into the MBA's form factor, as evidenced by not using SODIMM sockets.

sishaw
May 31, 2011, 08:14 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Not going to happen, it would cannibalize the Pros.

DonkiestOfKongs
May 31, 2011, 08:16 AM
Hurry up apple. I am itching to get the 13 inch ultmate on launch day. Give it a backlit keyboard and I will buy with enthusiasm. No backlit keyboard and I will buy with slightly more reserved enthusiasm. Either way just hurry up. I need a new computer and this will be my first mac.

Cougarcat
May 31, 2011, 08:16 AM
It'll be even slower on your new one when you realise there's no Thunderbolt external drives...

They will arrive soon enough. Lacie's are coming this summer.


Not going to happen, it would cannibalize the Pros.

You do realize the old MBA had a backlit keyboard right? KnightWRX is right, it was a design decision. Has nothing to do with cannibalization--they are already differentiated enough from the MBP.

gri
May 31, 2011, 08:17 AM
Nope, I didn't. Read my post again.

Better yet, let me again repeat myself : I attributed the current MBA's success to its current design. I said the lack of backlit keyboard was for sure a design compromise Apple had to make, but in light of the success of this design, the compromise was a wise choice on their part.

Apple didn't remove the backlit keyboard to spite anyone. They didn't do it to "bring it back later to force upgrades either". There probably came a time in the design process where it was either scrap it or lose the design. Seeing how successful this design was, it seems to me the guy who decided to scrap the backlights made the right choice in the end, even if a few users missed the feature.

I doubt that it was a design decision. the 1 mm doesn't really cut it or make you decide to buy or not to buy, does it. Oh its 1 cm - oh no, 1.1 cm, I won't buy it now...? It fit into the prior version which also had a rounded body (versus the squared one now) so less space inside. So I doubt it is internal space. The famous/infamous on off key - just loose the BL off key and keep the two other (brighter, and less brighter) keys, that would work as well. Battery - just switch it off if you need more battery or have even an automated "more battery life" setting that deactivates it for you. So - why?

ghostlyorb
May 31, 2011, 08:17 AM
Wwdc!

Karnivore
May 31, 2011, 08:18 AM
Not going to happen, it would cannibalize the Pros.

Huh? Backlit keyboard is not a differentiating feature, otherwise it wouldn't be present on previous MBA's. MBP users and MBA users are in entirely different categories and having a BLKB is not going to sway people either way.

gri
May 31, 2011, 08:18 AM
"Backlit keyboard" is the new "more cowbell."

As in:

OMG Appul totully went bakkwards by not puttting in moar cowbell!!?!

Or:

Quite simply, if Apple fails to inclusify more cowbell in the purported Air update, I shall refuse to purchase it once again! Please, Mr. Jobs, hear our entreaties for MORE COWBELL!

Huh?:confused:

toddybody
May 31, 2011, 08:24 AM
"Backlit keyboard" is the new "more cowbell."

As in:

OMG Appul totully went bakkwards by not puttting in moar cowbell!!?!

Or:

Quite simply, if Apple fails to inclusify more cowbell in the purported Air update, I shall refuse to purchase it once again! Please, Mr. Jobs, hear our entreaties for MORE COWBELL!


Seems like crazy talk. Anyways...I wouldnt equate a BL keyboard to "more cowbell"...RAM perhaps?

Hastings101
May 31, 2011, 08:49 AM
Intel's Xeon processors slated for the Mac Pro won't be out until Q4 2011.

Well "some love" could be a graphics bump or something nice like that :)

Optimus Frag
May 31, 2011, 08:51 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Am I the only one beginning to feel some are getting too hung up on certain things. If an fps of 80+ on COD 2 on full settings is what you require, this ain't the machine that will deliver it. It just isn't. Get a dedicated gaming laptop. If you want a general all round ultra portable laptop however....

fat jez
May 31, 2011, 08:53 AM
Am I the only one beginning to feel some are getting too hung up on certain things. If an fps of 80+ on COD 2 on full settings is what you require, this ain't the machine that will deliver it. It just isn't. Get a dedicated gaming laptop. If you want a general all round ultra portable laptop however....

This man speaks sense. An ultra portable laptop doesn't need anything more than integrated graphics capable of accelerating the OS functions that require it and nothing more.

Taej
May 31, 2011, 08:54 AM
That they're on sale doesn't necessarily mean a new model is coming out. Best Buy has had EVERY MB, MBP & MBA model on sale the whole month of May. I agree the MBA is due for an upgrade, but, the fact that it's on sale does not mean there's a new model coming. In retail they usually don't drop in price until the new model is actually released.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2011, 08:57 AM
But do you believe this is really an issue? I don't think Apple are viewing even an underclocked HD3000 as a problem, since it really only affects people who place high demands on the GPU (typically gamers or OpenCL users). Even an underclocked HD3000 should still work well with Quicktime or Safari's web acceleration.

I think they see the MBA's market as people who want a business style experience with a highly portable laptop (e.g. email, web, Office) and expect anyone who wants a higher end GPU to look at the MBP. There are, after all, compromises to be made to fit everything into the MBA's form factor, as evidenced by not using SODIMM sockets.

Sure it is a compromise to go from an MBA that is capable of OpenCL, light gaming and etc to one that cannot perform those graphics tasks. Many of the MBA users state how their gaming performance has been great on the MBA for light gaming away from their main rig. No, it's not a discrete high performance GPU but the 320m is well capable compared to the HD 3000 and even more troubling is the lower clock speed of the LV and ULV SB IGPs.

Consider this, The original MBA had an Intel IGP in it paired with the Merom CPU. When released it was a joke. It couldn't do anything without overeating, so in October 2008 Apple introduced the Nvidia 9400m which saved the MBA. However, the Intel IGP seriously damaged the brand. Now, the HD3000 is better than the GMA 3100, but is nowhere near an advancement over the nearly three year old 9400m. Consider where it could be with an nVidia chipset GPU beyond the 320m. It is a gigantic step backward in graphics performance. It is sad that freedom of competition didn't prevail.

I just hope Apple actually solves a problem rather than takes a graphics hit to get a faster CPU. That is one gigantic COMPROMISE!

I understand why people want Sandy Bridge but I don't think most people know or take seriously the hit in graphics performance and confusingly think the ULV/LV SB IGP will perform re same as SV SB used in the 13" MBP. It is a mistake to make that assumption. At least the latest SB IGP in ULV variants is producing faster IGP clock speeds than the initial SB ULV/LV IGPs. Ivy Bridge would help too with OpenCL support.

I just think most fail to see the great loss in graphics performance and will not truly comprehend until it's too late.

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 09:09 AM
I doubt that it was a design decision. the 1 mm doesn't really cut it or make you decide to buy or not to buy, does it. Oh its 1 cm - oh no, 1.1 cm, I won't buy it now...? It fit into the prior version which also had a rounded body (versus the squared one now) so less space inside. So I doubt it is internal space. The famous/infamous on off key - just loose the BL off key and keep the two other (brighter, and less brighter) keys, that would work as well. Battery - just switch it off if you need more battery or have even an automated "more battery life" setting that deactivates it for you. So - why?

You can doubt it all you want, but knowing Apple, if they had a design going and mid-project found out the LEDs for the backlights didn't fit the case, it's pretty much guaranteed Apple scraps the LEDs.

I'm pretty sure it came down to it as I think.

They will arrive soon enough. Lacie's are coming this summer.

Lacie's is not a consumer offering though. It's a high-end raid storage array is it not ? Why spend so much money for raid storage that's not connected to your network and that's not portable at all ?

BounouGod
May 31, 2011, 09:25 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

It is the last factor in my decision, if they get backlit keyboards i am ordering one as soon as they are available, if not probably get a 13" MBP

Yeah, no matter how fast they are, how much better they benchmark, ect.... the one factor that will make or break them will be backlit keyboards. Not saying I don't want a backlit keyboard, I just don't think its presence is that critical of an issue.

For me yeah, i mean it has to have Sandy Bridge, Face time HD camera and thunderbolt but all those features are no brainers really.

A better quality screen and a black bezel would be nice but the only deal breaker is the backlit keyboard.

KPOM
May 31, 2011, 09:29 AM
That's odd. I said that because it said in the article that graphics would likely be a "step down."
The article has now been edited, so maybe you're right. :confused::confused::confused:

It's a step down from the NVIDIA 320m used in the current MacBook Air, but a step up from the 9400m used in the older MacBook Air models (pre-late-2010). On the whole, however, I'm looking forward to the upgrade. I don't do gaming, but would like the improved CPU power for when I use Windows.

fat jez
May 31, 2011, 09:37 AM
Sure it is a compromise to go from an MBA that is capable of OpenCL, light gaming and etc to one that cannot perform those graphics tasks.

What tasks do you believe it will not be able to perform? This is not intended as a gaming machine.


I just hope Apple actually solves a problem rather than takes a graphics hit to get a faster CPU. That is one gigantic COMPROMISE!

But for most business type users who want a small, portable machine for on the road or for people who want to check email and surf the internet, a quick machine is more important than one with a powerful GPU. It sounds like you want the power of a 15" MBP in an MBA chassis, which I don't think is possible. Not unless Intel grant permission to nVidia or AMD to create an integrated graphics chip capable of hosting an i series CPU.

Cougarcat
May 31, 2011, 09:41 AM
Lacie's is not a consumer offering though. It's a high-end raid storage array is it not ? Why spend so much money for raid storage that's not connected to your network and that's not portable at all ?

It's a Little Big Disk (http://www.lacie.com/us/technologies/technology.htm?id=10039), so it's portable. But it has two intel 250 GB SSDs, so it'll likely cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully we'll see cheaper consumer offerings by the fall.

tshort
May 31, 2011, 09:42 AM
When I was at BB yesterday, it seemed that most Macs were on sale from 5% - 10% depending on the model. It wasn't just the MBAs.

OceanView
May 31, 2011, 09:42 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Yes, Many people want it.
Bring it Apple and make everyone happy.

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 09:42 AM
It's a Little Big Disk (http://www.lacie.com/us/technologies/technology.htm?id=10039), so it's portable. But it has two intel 250 GB SSDs, so it'll likely cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully we'll see cheaper consumer offerings by the fall.

Seems a little big to carry around in a bag. I very much doubt Thunderbolt will ever be a consumer offering. Seems more of an high-end technology for workstations to me.

Scarpad
May 31, 2011, 09:43 AM
Already have a CD2 Maxed 13" air , but I would'nt mind a maxed out 11" we'll have to see on the price.

xiaoyuwang
May 31, 2011, 09:46 AM
I'm so psyched about this! MBA here I come!!!:D:D:D:D

frjonah
May 31, 2011, 09:47 AM
So sad to say, but I read this article and the main thing I thought of was, "just say no to Best Buy."

Also, the new Sandy Bridge MBAs are going to be phenomenal, as long as you don't buy them from Best Buy...

segfaultdotorg
May 31, 2011, 09:47 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

Yes!

0815
May 31, 2011, 09:49 AM
It'll be even slower on your new one when you realise there's no Thunderbolt external drives...

Maybe he is just a little bit forward thinking and knows that very soon there will be plenty of Thunderbolt devices to choose from ....

AwakenedLands
May 31, 2011, 10:02 AM
Sale may indicate "soft demand". Nice spin.

entatlrg
May 31, 2011, 10:05 AM
Sale may indicate "soft demand". Nice spin.


Sales of the MacBook Air since the October release were triple what Apple and annalists predicted....

racer1441
May 31, 2011, 10:10 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

It's a battery waste.

ts1973
May 31, 2011, 10:22 AM
How many of you actually use the cpu or graphics power available on current MBA's ? There never was a greater discrepancy between cpu power and software than today, in favor of the cpu this is. There's hardly any software out there that actually uses all your cpu cycles, and the software that does : you don't want to run that on a MBA - or any other notebook for that matter.

Graphics are the complete opposite story : there's never been a greater discrepancy between gpu power for notebooks and software than today, in favor of software this time. Almost no notebook can adequately run the latest games on its built in resolution, on adequate quality settings. Those that can have no battery life whatsoever, and behave more like a computer with an UPS system than anything else.

So Apple upgrading to Sandy Bridge : great, but not really necessary. Apple downgrading the gpu : ouch! My 2c as always...

BounouGod
May 31, 2011, 10:23 AM
when they announced the same thing about the imac being constrained, it took i believe less than 2 weeks for the new one to arrive in store
from comparing similar previous articles on 9to5mac.

2 weeks makes sense really, next week is the keynote and they probably do not want new hardware stealing any of the thunder of the new software announcements so probably see it in the store on the 14th.

fat jez
May 31, 2011, 10:32 AM
Graphics are the complete opposite story : there's never been a greater discrepancy between gpu power for notebooks and software than today, in favor of software this time. Almost no notebook can adequately run the latest games on its built in resolution, on adequate quality settings. Those that can have no battery life whatsoever, and behave more like a computer with an UPS system than anything else.

So Apple upgrading to Sandy Bridge : great, but not really necessary. Apple downgrading the gpu : ouch! My 2c as always...

I'd agree with your point in general, but before Steam came along, there really was no real incentive for Apple to worry to much about a gaming spec laptop. Even now, I think they are perhaps only paying lip-service, although it's a step in the right direction.

But if anyone is buying a MBA under the impression they can game on it, it's being mis-sold in my opinion. High end gaming graphics will chew through a battery like a hot knife through butter - not what you want for a highly portable laptop that is advertised as having a long battery life.

Jimmery
May 31, 2011, 10:45 AM
SD card slot on the 11", a big bump in SSD storage, and a backlit keyboard, please--I will buy.

iStig
May 31, 2011, 10:45 AM
The new ones better come with back-lit keyboards, otherwise they will be a big disappointment. I know for a fact, I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

A backlit keyboard is one of the most useless "features" on a laptop ever. The light from the screen provides enough illumination to see the keys even with no other light source present. It also drains battery life and adds unnecessary complexity. Finally, learn how to type and you won't need to look at the keys!

sishaw
May 31, 2011, 10:49 AM
Huh? Backlit keyboard is not a differentiating feature, otherwise it wouldn't be present on previous MBA's. MBP users and MBA users are in entirely different categories and having a BLKB is not going to sway people either way.

The several comments here and elsewhere to the effect that "if it doesn't get a backlit keyboard I'm buying the 13" Macbook Pro" belie that statement. I'm sure that's why Apple removed it in the first place, battery life being a beneficial consequence of a marketing decision.

We'll know soon enough. I predict no backlit keyboard.

strabes
May 31, 2011, 10:52 AM
I already ordered a maxed out MBA 13" and it will arrive next week. So i will have the current model for a good 5-6 weeks. a w e s o m e.

You have 30 days to return it. I bought my current 11" MBA on May 5 before I heard about the Sandy Bridge upgrade so I'm returning mine pretty soon here.

snebes
May 31, 2011, 10:53 AM
It doesn't appear to have been pointed out yet, but *ALL* Macs are on sale at Best Buy.

This must mean new iMacs are coming out new Tuesday too. Rumor is they will have temperature sensors on the Keyboard, Mouse and Memory, enforcing that all accessories are Apple certified. News at 11.

KPOM
May 31, 2011, 11:26 AM
A backlit keyboard is one of the most useless "features" on a laptop ever. The light from the screen provides enough illumination to see the keys even with no other light source present. It also drains battery life and adds unnecessary complexity. Finally, learn how to type and you won't need to look at the keys!

I disagree. On a late night flight, it can come in handy, particularly if you switch back and forth between multiple computers (e.g. a work PC or a desktop). Remember, function keys, arrow keys, etc. are often arranged slightly differently from model to model.

Cougarcat
May 31, 2011, 11:34 AM
The several comments here and elsewhere to the effect that "if it doesn't get a backlit keyboard I'm buying the 13" Macbook Pro" belie that statement. I'm sure that's why Apple removed it in the first place, battery life being a beneficial consequence of a marketing decision.



The 13" MBA costs more than a 13" MBP. What would be the benefit of keeping it for the MBP, if it's a marketing decision? They wouldn't be upselling you if you decided to go for the MBP instead.

The battery life for a LED backlight is inconsequential. It was a design decision, plain and simple.

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 11:44 AM
The 13" MBA costs more than a 13" MBP. What would be the benefit of keeping it for the MBP, if it's a marketing decision? They wouldn't be upselling you if you decided to go for the MBP instead.

The battery life for a LED backlight is inconsequential. It was a design decision, plain and simple.

And anyway, if someone goes for a MBP instead of a MBA based on the backlit keyboard, he wasn't a customer for the MBA anyway. You'd think the extra portability would matter more than whether or not the keys light up when choosing a MBA...

djrobsd
May 31, 2011, 11:44 AM
ALL Apple laptops and desktops have been on sale at Best Buy for several weeks now. I got my 15 inch Macbook Pro for $1739 instead of the regular $1799 price... WOOP-DE-DOO. ;)

What seems more news worthy to me is that my local Targets are all out of all Apple products... They only had 1 iPad on the shelf, and a couple of black iPod classics, but no touches, or nanos on their shelves. ;)

djrobsd
May 31, 2011, 11:46 AM
And anyway, if someone goes for a MBP instead of a MBA based on the backlit keyboard, he wasn't a customer for the MBA anyway. You'd think the extra portability would matter more than whether or not the keys light up when choosing a MBA...

That's a false assumption... People who use the MBA are always on the go and find themselves in dark lit situations such as on an airplane at night, or in a classroom with the lights off during a slide show presentation... During these events, I can assure you the backlit keyboard is very necessary... EXCEPT for people like me who have always been able to type without looking at the keyboard. ;)

henrystar
May 31, 2011, 11:53 AM
Why is it not priced at $1,234.59 ?

henrystar
May 31, 2011, 11:55 AM
Why is it not priced at $1,234.59 ?

Of course I meant, $1,234.56

juminoz
May 31, 2011, 12:29 PM
As long as MBA doesn't support at least 6GB RAM, it's difficult for a heavy user of VMWare Fusion like myself to switch. If they support at least 6GB RAM, I will go line up and switch the first day. I have to use at least 5 other OS'es for work so 6-8GB RAM on MBA would be ideal. I don't care if I have to throw in extra $500 for it.

KnightWRX
May 31, 2011, 12:35 PM
That's a false assumption... People who use the MBA are always on the go and find themselves in dark lit situations such as on an airplane at night, or in a classroom with the lights off during a slide show presentation... During these events, I can assure you the backlit keyboard is very necessary... EXCEPT for people like me who have always been able to type without looking at the keyboard. ;)

So for these people that value portability, they would forgoe the portability to get a much heavier and bigger MBP based only on light-up keyboards ? Because that's what I was saying, not saying the backlit keyboard is useful or not. Just that people shopping for a MBA usually don't look at it for the keyboard, but for the portability.

You're saying I'm wrong in thinking that buyers of the MBA value portability above all else ?

branjosef
May 31, 2011, 12:37 PM
Awesome! Here comes the quad-core i7. I am so getting one of these. :eek:

entatlrg
May 31, 2011, 01:00 PM
I'm guessing nothing but an update to SB ... that's it.

4gb ram will be the max offered ... they don't want to kill 13" MBP sales anymore than they already have and no backlit keyboard, (of course)

Everything else will remain exactly the same, including the standard 2gb ram unfortunate but I'd bet that will be the case.

Want more sacrifice the portability and buy a Pro ... that will be Apple's recommendation as it is now.

ChrisFaw
May 31, 2011, 01:14 PM
If they bring back the IR Sensor and Backlit Keyboard, I would sell mine and upgrade. Otherwise, the speed bump is not a thing I need currently.

Bring on a refreshed Mini!

SO TRUE! I bought the 11 Air for my business partner with the Apple Remote because i thought that, just like my old 1.86 80gb Air, it had an IR receiver!

I had to give it to my girlfriend who has the 2.2 thunderbolt 15" MBP.

The first alternative i found for it was a Targus bt remote formac, which is similarly priced. I ordered two: one for the 11" Air and one for the 13" im getting in a week.

gri
May 31, 2011, 01:17 PM
It's a battery waste.

No for me its not. And you can always switch it off. Than its like it wouldn't be there and you can work 10 minutes longer!

gri
May 31, 2011, 01:18 PM
A backlit keyboard is one of the most useless "features" on a laptop ever. The light from the screen provides enough illumination to see the keys even with no other light source present. It also drains battery life and adds unnecessary complexity. Finally, learn how to type and you won't need to look at the keys!

Learn to be tolerant towards others and you wouldn't write these stupid comments - learn how to type... Some people have different needs, ever thought of that?

gri
May 31, 2011, 01:20 PM
I disagree. On a late night flight, it can come in handy, particularly if you switch back and forth between multiple computers (e.g. a work PC or a desktop). Remember, function keys, arrow keys, etc. are often arranged slightly differently from model to model.

I remember reading somewhere here that a poster was sitting in a plane with a business lady next to him who used her iPhone to get some light onto the keys of her 11 MBA at a night flight...

ChrisFaw
May 31, 2011, 01:22 PM
This man speaks sense. An ultra portable laptop doesn't need anything more than integrated graphics capable of accelerating the OS functions that require it and nothing more.

as much as i agree, i must say that it doesnt make me happy to see how all the windows move chppily and lag when using something so basic as exposť. This happened on my late 1.86 80gb Air and still happens on a 11" current-gen Air.

GREEN4U
May 31, 2011, 01:40 PM
I second all the opinions to bring back the backlit keyboard. Heck I even have one on my G4 PowerBook! That's just sad.

scottsjack
May 31, 2011, 01:45 PM
If I read one more message about people demanding a backlit keyboard on the new Macbook Air, I'm gonna kill myself!

It's really not that important to anyone who knows how to type!

Learn to type people!!!! The amount of time you will save will be far greater than any gains a backlit keyboard will get you.

:D

Ha Ha. I'm an excellent typist and I wouldn't buy one without backlit keyboard. After using my MBP 15 it's just a must have feature.

eckthroi
May 31, 2011, 02:09 PM
I agree that a backlit keyboard is a must. I will be buying my first mac product via the air after the refresh and I must say I look forward to this as a feature. For those of you who have been so extremely rude as to imply that we who desire a baclit keyboard need to learn to touch type I want to say this: Some of us are not able to fully do this. I have practiced and tried for many years now but cannot get myself to be able to touch type. I can type between 50-60 words per minute, but I must see the keys in order to do this. This is a feature that would be of a great benefit to myself and I am sure also to many others. I understand you wanting it as a feature that can be an upgrade but not a standard feature so that it does not increase the overall cost of the machine. However what I cannot for the life of me understand how some of you can be so egotistically full of yourselves that you would try to assert yourselves as superior to those who do not touch type. To be honest it is just sad, and I truly hope that you are never measured with the same stick you appear to be measuring others with.

gri
May 31, 2011, 02:42 PM
I agree that a backlit keyboard is a must. I will be buying my first mac product via the air after the refresh and I must say I look forward to this as a feature. For those of you who have been so extremely rude as to imply that we who desire a baclit keyboard need to learn to touch type I want to say this: Some of us are not able to fully do this. I have practiced and tried for many years now but cannot get myself to be able to touch type. I can type between 50-60 words per minute, but I must see the keys in order to do this. This is a feature that would be of a great benefit to myself and I am sure also to many others. I understand you wanting it as a feature that can be an upgrade but not a standard feature so that it does not increase the overall cost of the machine. However what I cannot for the life of me understand how some of you can be so egotistically full of yourselves that you would try to assert yourselves as superior to those who do not touch type. To be honest it is just sad, and I truly hope that you are never measured with the same stick you appear to be measuring others with.

Amen to that! +1

iRun26.2
May 31, 2011, 03:07 PM
It's a battery waste.

So are headlights on cars...

macrumorsuser10
May 31, 2011, 03:13 PM
Nope, I didn't. Read my post again.

Better yet, let me again repeat myself : I attributed the current MBA's success to its current design. I said the lack of backlit keyboard was for sure a design compromise Apple had to make, but in light of the success of this design, the compromise was a wise choice on their part.

Apple didn't remove the backlit keyboard to spite anyone. They didn't do it to "bring it back later to force upgrades either". There probably came a time in the design process where it was either scrap it or lose the design. Seeing how successful this design was, it seems to me the guy who decided to scrap the backlights made the right choice in the end, even if a few users missed the feature.

They still sold more than they ever did and it was the best selling Mac for that quarter. So in a sense, maybe preventing a few people from buying it resulted in more people buying it thanks to the new design.

Your assessment is that the lack of backlit keyboard was a result of an engineering or design constraint. There is, of course, another possible explanation: the backlit keyboard could have been easily implemented, but it would have incurred a monetary production cost that would cut Apple's profit margin below their target level.

madhatter61
May 31, 2011, 05:11 PM
Mac Mini and MacBook are also in desperate need of upgrades. :(

Just my opinion, but I think Macbook is headed for extinction. The upgraded AIR will be replacing them. The Macbook was basically a student or basic notebook, and AIR fills that bill nicely ... is lighter in weight, more than adequate performance, longer battery life, better display and reasonable storage, but fast startup.

madhatter61
May 31, 2011, 05:18 PM
It shows how much focus there is on iPhone's eh?

Of all the upgrades possible this is probably perfect.


Cloud release for storage of files, music, photos online - for iOS and OSX. Perhaps a new paradigm for computing
iOS5 showcased with all its new features - converging towards OSX,
OSX Lion showcased with its new features - converging towards iOS
And then the Air laptop - the Apple hardware that converges an iPad with a MacBook.

Perhaps they'll add touch screen to the MBA.

Have you ever tried using a touch screen with a built in keyboard and no mouse. It is tricky. That is why you won't see touch screen. Doesn't make sense.

madhatter61
May 31, 2011, 05:22 PM
It'll be even slower on your new one when you realise there's no Thunderbolt external drives...

Have you considered that there is thunderbolt in high performance MBP and iMac now. Those harddrives are very available.

lilo777
May 31, 2011, 05:52 PM
I remember reading somewhere here that a poster was sitting in a plane with a business lady next to him who used her iPhone to get some light onto the keys of her 11 MBA at a night flight...

Could not she just turn on the reading light?

leftywamumonkey
May 31, 2011, 05:54 PM
What kills me is that Best Buy lists the Macbook Air as having an 128GB "Hard Drive" =/

bradl
May 31, 2011, 07:13 PM
I agree that a backlit keyboard is a must. I will be buying my first mac product via the air after the refresh and I must say I look forward to this as a feature. For those of you who have been so extremely rude as to imply that we who desire a baclit keyboard need to learn to touch type I want to say this: Some of us are not able to fully do this. I have practiced and tried for many years now but cannot get myself to be able to touch type. I can type between 50-60 words per minute, but I must see the keys in order to do this. This is a feature that would be of a great benefit to myself and I am sure also to many others. I understand you wanting it as a feature that can be an upgrade but not a standard feature so that it does not increase the overall cost of the machine. However what I cannot for the life of me understand how some of you can be so egotistically full of yourselves that you would try to assert yourselves as superior to those who do not touch type. To be honest it is just sad, and I truly hope that you are never measured with the same stick you appear to be measuring others with.

I agree; I can't understand that either. And for the record, I can touch type. But I do know this.

A lot of people here take their eyesight for granted. They think that those who are complaining about the lack of a backlit keyboard should just get over it. I wonder how many of them would also be complaining if they lost their eyesight or had very poor eyesight altogether, making them totally blind, or legally blind. If they had that happen to them, then I would wonder how many of them would be complaining about the lack of a backlit keyboard.

I can tell you now the backlit keyboard, pinch/finger gestures on the trackpad, and built-in text to speech were the biggest incentives for my SO buying her MBP; and yes, she is legally blind.

BL.

mwalsh8
May 31, 2011, 07:17 PM
the Best Buy in my area had other Mac model on sale as well...

AidenShaw
May 31, 2011, 07:21 PM
What kills me is that Best Buy lists the Macbook Air as having an 128GB "Hard Drive" =/

SSDs look like hard drives to the system (block structured devices on SATA connections). You find them as a category of "hard drive" at Newegg as well.

How many cell phone "lines" does your family have? Do you "dial" your cell phone?

Sometimes the technolgy changes underneath a word or phrase, so that its literal meaning isn't always correct.

"Hard drive" is a random access block storage device on your SATA controller. Usually they have moving parts, sometimes they don't.

gri
May 31, 2011, 07:43 PM
Could not she just turn on the reading light?

Probably but I think the poster mentioned that people left and right were sleeping...

iRun26.2
May 31, 2011, 08:41 PM
I agree that a backlit keyboard is a must. I will be buying my first mac product via the air after the refresh and I must say I look forward to this as a feature. For those of you who have been so extremely rude as to imply that we who desire a baclit keyboard need to learn to touch type I want to say this: Some of us are not able to fully do this. I have practiced and tried for many years now but cannot get myself to be able to touch type. I can type between 50-60 words per minute, but I must see the keys in order to do this. This is a feature that would be of a great benefit to myself and I am sure also to many others. I understand you wanting it as a feature that can be an upgrade but not a standard feature so that it does not increase the overall cost of the machine. However what I cannot for the life of me understand how some of you can be so egotistically full of yourselves that you would try to assert yourselves as superior to those who do not touch type. To be honest it is just sad, and I truly hope that you are never measured with the same stick you appear to be measuring others with.

Thank you so much for saying that! We needed to hear that from someone from your point of view. The level of arrogance seen on these forums demanding that people need to 'Learn to touch-type!' is ridiculous.

It really is sad that people feel the need to insist that their viewpoint is the only valid one. There are clearly lots of us value the backlit keyboard.

Blue Fox
Jun 1, 2011, 10:04 AM
ALL Mac's are on-sale at Best Buy. The new iMacs, the MacBook Pro's, MacBooks and MacBook air's. Even the Mac mini is on sale. So I don't see how them just picking the MacBook Air out of this bunch as justification for this rumor.

Not to mention, this sale has been going on for the past three weeks at Best Buy on Mac Products.

Yeshto
Jun 1, 2011, 07:55 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Having a touchscreen seems to me the logical steps to fully merge the iPad and notebook line. I was expecting a touch iMac, but the OS X was not ready. With the launch of Lion, a MBA with touch and always on capability seems like a real possibility.

Hoping for the best.

iStig
Jun 2, 2011, 01:13 AM
Learn to be tolerant towards others and you wouldn't write these stupid comments - learn how to type... Some people have different needs, ever thought of that?

I said at the beginning of my post, and you completely ignored the point, the light from the screen provides sufficient illumination to see the characters on the keys easily. I have the current generation 13" Macbook Air and took it into a room as completely devoid of light save from the screen as possible. As I suspected, the screen threw off more than adequate light to see the keys clearly. So again, the backlit keyboard is more novelty than necessity.

OceanView
Jun 2, 2011, 02:12 AM
I said at the beginning of my post, and you completely ignored the point, the light from the screen provides sufficient illumination to see the characters on the keys easily. I have the current generation 13" Macbook Air and took it into a room as completely devoid of light save from the screen as possible. As I suspected, the screen threw off more than adequate light to see the keys clearly. So again, the backlit keyboard is more novelty than necessity.

Why don't you try that in the dark with the screen light at the lowest setting and the angle of the screen at more than 90 degrees.
You can't see the keys.

bradl
Jun 2, 2011, 02:28 AM
I said at the beginning of my post, and you completely ignored the point, the light from the screen provides sufficient illumination to see the characters on the keys easily. I have the current generation 13" Macbook Air and took it into a room as completely devoid of light save from the screen as possible. As I suspected, the screen threw off more than adequate light to see the keys clearly. So again, the backlit keyboard is more novelty than necessity.

And as I said in my post, which you more than likely did not read, you take your eyesight for granted. Try going without it or with a very limited version of it, and you will see how important a backlit keyboard really is. So to YOU, it may be a novelty, but to others, it definitely is an important feature.

BL.

curvephotograph
Jun 2, 2011, 05:38 AM
Just hoping they dont go all left field and drop usb totally from the air in favor of one thunderbolt connection or it will be pretty useless for some time. I don't see a rash of manufacturers rushing to make thunderbolt devices? Card readers and flash drives etc.

MartiNZ
Jun 2, 2011, 11:18 PM
Why don't you try that in the dark with the screen light at the lowest setting and the angle of the screen at more than 90 degrees.
You can't see the keys.

Lowest brightness because you're conserving battery life? And yet you'd use a keyboard backlight? Or just to not disturb others in the darkness? Either way I am yet to understand the application of the backlit keyboard - the damn thing has index finger bumps, and that's all I'm looking for.

I don't suppose the caps lock light sheds enough for usage? ;)

OceanView
Jun 2, 2011, 11:54 PM
Lowest brightness because you're conserving battery life? And yet you'd use a keyboard backlight? Or just to not disturb others in the darkness? Either way I am yet to understand the application of the backlit keyboard - the damn thing has index finger bumps, and that's all I'm looking for.

I don't suppose the caps lock light sheds enough for usage? ;)

Where did I say anything about conserving battery life?
If you're in a dark room, you want to lower the screen brightness otherwise the bright screen will make you squint your eyes. You can also control the brightness level of the keyboard.

Just cause you don't have a use for a backlit keyboard does not mean others also don't have a use for it.