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View Full Version : The 2013 Macbook Air Update - What would you like to see?




Jobsian
Jan 12, 2013, 01:56 AM
Ok it's 2013. The MBA is the finest piece of notebook architecture I've ever seen and has been an incredibly handy and mobile machine. I've already run my 2012 MBA into the ground, sitting on 226 battery cycles which is a lot considering it was released just 212 days ago!

CPU:
I don't push the current CPU too much though a minor bump would be welcome to cut down encoding times a bit (the few times I do them). The main thing I want to see here is reduced TDP CPUs for more battery. Heat and noise haven't been a problem AT ALL for my 11" i7. The Intel roadmap seems to put mobile Haswell for release in late 2013 so this cycle might be prolonged if Apple don't go to another architecture but I don't see that happening...

Battery:
True 8 hours for 11" and 12 hours for 13". This is THE upgrade I would like to see. As I've said I zero the battery very regularly. How can they achieve this? apart from shrinking everything else in the chassis, I don't know and am not aware of any new battery tech.

GPU: I don't tax this much as it's weak as it is. I may install more games with a Haswell bump as the GPU is said to be much stronger (I think at least twice as powerful).

RAM:
I'm happy with my current 8GB, not concerned about this.

SSD:
I'm having to juggle files with my TC so I want 512GB minimum but would consider higher if available/reasonably priced.

Display:
I'm happy with the current display but yes the retina displays I browse at the Apple store are pretty beautiful. If its inclusion doesn't kill battery that much I'm all for it, otherwise no big deal.

Connectivity:
Same I/O plus integrated LTE if feasible on power (new modules are dramatically less hungry). I'd also guess 802.11ac WiFi is likely.

Design:
These things would look spectacular in black. Lighter and thinner a bonus but not necessary. I would LOVE to see the bezel shaved right down and have for example a 12-13" panel on the current 11" chassis if possible. I want an L-shaped Magsafe or at least a more powerful T-shape. The current one dislodges WAY too easily and I have to dedicate a clear area around it when surfing on a sofa/cushion/bed.


Reviewing that, there's not actually that much that Apple could do to enhance their current MBAs for my use. The only thing that would absolutely guarantee I'd get a new one on release day would be if the battery was significantly better.

What would you like to see improved over your current MBA?



kage207
Jan 12, 2013, 02:03 AM
10 hour battery life. That's it.

Mrbobb
Jan 12, 2013, 02:19 AM
A 11" without that big aluminum bezel. More viewable screen, less bezel.

I go back and forth, but I would like a HD activity and a sleep/powerNap indicator. I realize the Zen simplicity of not having those extras but gosh I want to be re-assure that yes, the HD is being accessed, yes, the machine REALLY went to sleep!

U guys can talk about the specs.

macs4nw
Jan 12, 2013, 05:24 AM
Battery life definitely sucks, but hasn't been much of a problem for me, as I use it about 60-70% of the time on my desk, while plugged-in.

My maxed-out 13" Air is a dream machine to use as it is, but if I had to come up with anything at all, my two wishes are Haswell and 802.11ac. If they could, with or without Retina, cram a 14" display in that 13" model, with a thinner bezel, without making it appreciably heavier, that would be icing on the cake!

designs216
Jan 12, 2013, 07:48 AM
In order of importance:

1) 12 hour battery
2) 16GB RAM option
3) Antiglare option

bonskovsky
Jan 12, 2013, 07:52 AM
My mind could not get around the MacBook Air, it's so thin, yet so powerful. I literally fainted thinking about it. It doesn't make sense!

The only thing they need to add now is a retina display. Adding that alone would make it the most powerful laptop in the world.

iamsen47
Jan 12, 2013, 08:00 AM
IPS. That's all I ask for.

Abazigal
Jan 12, 2013, 08:44 AM
I doubt we will see touch screens on macbooks anytime soon. However, I would like to see some new feature that is not readily replicable on windows laptops, beyond straightforward spec bumps (which will likely be priced too much for me to consider them anyways), so as to give it a unique selling point beyond just "OSX vs Windows".

Say running both Intel and Arm processors (for whatever reason, I am sure Apple can think of something). The macbook could switch to arm for less intensive tasks like surfing the web, and back to intel chips for more resource-hungry tasks like imovie.

I am thinking about some emulation feature which will let OSX run IOS apps. Just imagine the utility of goodreader or tapatalk or simply the vast quantities of IOS games now available on macs. App developers are going to have a fit over pricing models though.

NutsNGum
Jan 12, 2013, 09:24 AM
IPS screen minimum. Retina would be an added bonus, struggling to read from a laptop screen due to poor contrast is not how things should be in 2013.

Stetrain
Jan 12, 2013, 09:31 AM
A nice quality (IPS) display with the same low-glare glass and black bezel used in the retina MBPs, just without the extra resolution.

Miat
Jan 12, 2013, 09:50 AM
Top Priority: IPS screen (at same res as current model)

Plus

802.11ac WiFi
512 GB SSD
Haswell chipset

Price: $2000 (AUD)

:)

Saturn1217
Jan 12, 2013, 10:08 AM
Hmmm...I'm still in the honeymoon phase for my new 2012 MBA but if I had to improve anything...

1) better battery life. I get ~6.5hrs out of the battery now which is great but if I could really have all day battery life that I could use like a tablet (aka not worrying about using it on battery everyday and the battery life dying after a year) that would be fantastic.

2) less bezel for both 13" and 11" - they've already done this with the 13" rMBP and it looks great.

3) Better screen (IPS) but not any change in resolution. I personally am not ready from a software standpoint for retina and I'd appreciate Apple moving gradually with this new screen tech. Although I do have to say that after I finally found the right calibration profile my screen looks nearly as good as my 13" MBP. I have an LG screen btw.

4) not sure how they would fix this but I came to the unfortunate discovery the other day that even though the usb ports are on opposite sides of the computer which I though would be much better than being so close together on my MBP, they are so close to the power and thunderbolt ports than if you are using both ports (which I am at work) you cannot use ANY usb drives that are bulky without unplugging something whereas before I had at least one usb port available...

Frosties
Jan 12, 2013, 10:26 AM
4) not sure how they would fix this but I came to the unfortunate discovery the other day that even though the usb ports are on opposite sides of the computer which I though would be much better than being so close together on my MBP, they are so close to the power and thunderbolt ports than if you are using both ports (which I am at work) you cannot use ANY usb drives that are bulky without unplugging something whereas before I had at least one usb port available...

For me the placement of usb ports on both sides is a good way to use my 3G-modem as it was too bulky to use together with the second usb-port right beside it on my 2010 macbook pro. Taking away the dvd-slot was for me a good thing here.

coldjeanzzz
Jan 12, 2013, 11:34 AM
Better wifi

The wifi on my MBA only works properly if I am on the opposite side of my room closer to the door. If I use it where my desk is the signal is abysmal. So I had to move my desk to the other side just so I could use it :confused: I was very disgusted by that

robvas
Jan 12, 2013, 11:58 AM
Edge to edge IPS screen. Retina would be nice but I just want more pixels, 1600x900 in the 11" form factor would be incredible.

Mrbobb
Jan 12, 2013, 12:18 PM
Better wifi

The wifi on my MBA only works properly if I am on the opposite side of my room closer to the door. If I use it where my desk is the signal is abysmal. So I had to move my desk to the other side just so I could use it :confused: I was very disgusted by that

Perhaps the problem is not MBA. Perhaps it's your WIFI router and/or its placement.

----------

Say running both Intel and Arm processor

An HYBRID. That would be cool. Doesn't sound like Apple though. I bet Arm doesn't have a x86 instruction set, so this probly won happen. Intel is really missing the portable boat. I don't know why, AMD and now defunct Transmeta were beating Intel on power specs. Their Atom gone nowhere.

robvas
Jan 12, 2013, 12:44 PM
Intel is really missing the portable boat. I don't know why, AMD and now defunct Transmeta were beating Intel on power specs. Their Atom gone nowhere.

Why do you think that? Ultrabooks have been a hit and they are coming out with phones/tablets that run Atoms.

Mrbobb
Jan 12, 2013, 12:58 PM
Why do you think that? Ultrabooks have been a hit

Not from the news sources I read. They are trying to beat the Air, but the price point, ouch!

That's why I got the Air 3 months ago. I was intending to buy an Ultrabook but after seeing the stickers shock, and most designs not so hot...

and they are coming out with phones/tablets that run Atoms.

A little late don't you think? So these Atom tablets, do they run Win8 or Android?

coldjeanzzz
Jan 12, 2013, 01:16 PM
Perhaps the problem is not MBA. Perhaps it's your WIFI router and/or its placement.

Doubt it. None of my other Windows laptops have this problem as the wifi works anywhere in the house. My desk used to be located in the corner of my room and for some reason that spot just gave me horrendous speeds with the MBA. Speedtest was giving me 4 mb/s download speeds but I moved to the opposite corner of my room closer to the door and now I get 28 mb/s. If I move into the hallway I get about 34 mb/s. Clearly the closer I am to the router the speeds increase. The MBA just has weak Wifi capabilities.

KPOM
Jan 12, 2013, 01:25 PM
Why do you think that? Ultrabooks have been a hit and they are coming out with phones/tablets that run Atoms.

I wouldn't say Ultrabooks are a "hit." Intel was originally predicting they would be 40% of the market right now. They are nowhere near that. That said, they are starting to get more attention, and it's about time since notebooks should get smaller.

Cheffy Dave
Jan 12, 2013, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't say Ultrabooks are a "hit." Intel was originally predicting they would be 40% of the market right now. They are nowhere near that. That said, they are starting to get more attention, and it's about time since notebooks should get smaller.

I agree, no matter how it's copied, the 11" and 13" Airs, are THE Ultra books!
All screen,no bezel would be very nice,especially in the 11",16MB of RAM,delightful the cherry on the sundae would be a retina screen:p

kage207
Jan 12, 2013, 04:42 PM
I am thinking about some emulation feature which will let OSX run IOS apps. Just imagine the utility of goodreader or tapatalk or simply the vast quantities of IOS games now available on macs. App developers are going to have a fit over pricing models though.
Why? You can develop for the OS X platform? You can ask developers to develop there. It really isn't hard after developing for iOS to move to OS X. Differences in technologies need differences in implementations.

Also, those asking for 12 hour battery life it won't happen. We will see 10 hour (if you follow Intel at all).

Raggsokk
Jan 12, 2013, 05:05 PM
two things. Better fans. QUITER fans. Jesus, playing a game on the 2012 model, I might as well move in at the local airport. And the left side gets way too warm under load.

Also I'd like a dedicated GPU. Not that it will happen.

.... and higher resolution, similar to the ASUS Zenbook.

coldjeanzzz
Jan 12, 2013, 05:29 PM
Agreed about the heat and fans. My MBA doesn't get hot at all and the fans can't even be heard...unless I'm playing a Steam game. Then the top left becomes so hot I can't even touch it and the fans go berserk. But I play very rarely so it's not a big deal to me.

Asia8
Jan 13, 2013, 04:32 AM
Better battery life
No retina
15" option
8G min ram

SlovakApple
Jan 13, 2013, 05:37 AM
A retina display for sure. But I do not know if it feasible from the technology/price/margin/etc. side...

Abazigal
Jan 13, 2013, 06:23 AM
A retina display for sure. But I do not know if it feasible from the technology/price/margin/etc. side...

Isn't the retina MBP technically the retina air as well, since they are equivalent spec-wise, just with a high-res screen?

SlovakApple
Jan 13, 2013, 07:16 AM
Can be. I do not have that of an overview of the specs. But when I think of it now, the 13 inch MBA is similar to the 13 MBPr. When I was writing the post, I was thinking of the 11 inch model.

Amad3U5
Jan 13, 2013, 09:24 AM
Better wifi

The wifi on my MBA only works properly if I am on the opposite side of my room closer to the door. If I use it where my desk is the signal is abysmal. So I had to move my desk to the other side just so I could use it :confused: I was very disgusted by that

That must be a problem with your router, because I get four bars of WiFi on my 13" and my router is all the way down the hall.

----------

two things. Better fans. QUITER fans. Jesus, playing a game on the 2012 model, I might as well move in at the local airport. And the left side gets way too warm under load.

Also I'd like a dedicated GPU. Not that it will happen.

.... and higher resolution, similar to the ASUS Zenbook.

No, dedicated graphics is not going to happen. Not only are discrete GPUs very power-consuming, but Apple will have trouble trying to cram one into the Air.

Stetrain
Jan 13, 2013, 10:18 AM
Isn't the retina MBP technically the retina air as well, since they are equivalent spec-wise, just with a high-res screen?

The 13" retina MBP has a more powerful CPU which requires more batter and better heat dissipation.

petsk
Jan 13, 2013, 11:01 AM
+Better screen & less bezel
+Longer battery life
+Lower SSD prices because current prices are ridiculously high

KPOM
Jan 13, 2013, 12:29 PM
I agree, no matter how it's copied, the 11" and 13" Airs, are THE Ultra books!
All screen,no bezel would be very nice,especially in the 11",16MB of RAM,delightful the cherry on the sundae would be a retina screen:p

I'd love a Retina display, at least as an option.

That said, I think that Apple may use the Retina Display to differentiate the Air and Pro lines for the time being, particularly since there is now a tangible difference between the 13" Air and 13" Pro. Maybe they will boost the resolution up a little (1600x900 in the 11" and 1680x1050 in the 13"), or produce an 11" MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

I just replaced my MacBook Air with a 13" rMBP. The weight takes some getting used to, but the screen is gorgeous.

Acorn
Jan 13, 2013, 02:27 PM
I dont think they can shave the bezel on the 11 inch and keep the keyboard size as it is so i am hoping they put a 12 inch screen in the same chassis. it does look like they have enough room for it. it would be the ultimate powerbook replacement. then add a 14 inch screen into the 13 inch air. so the screens would be 12 inch and 14 inch. i heard 14 inch sells like crazy in japan so thats a bonus.

apples battery tech is pretty awesome. ive never had a windows machine come close to the same battery life as my mac in the same form factor. I am always up for improvements though.

xMClass
Jan 13, 2013, 02:50 PM
Bigger SSD space for the base models - 256GB should be a minimum, Retina or higher resolution display, true 10 hour battery life, redesigned to have the same or smaller footprint than the current 13" rMBP, and lose the thick bezel around the screen.

And this most likely will not happen but anodized aluminum MacBooks anybody? It's been a long while since Apple made a black computer. Remember the black MacBook? Still one of the coolest looking Apple computers ever made. Just imagine what a MacBook Pro or Air in their current chassis would look like in the slate color.

JoEw
Jan 13, 2013, 03:01 PM
Haswell chip set, Black bezel around the screen like the MBP's. (Edge to edge isn't possible without shrinking the keyboard which is the best thing about the MMA in my opinion.) Haswell will likely bring better battery life no arguments here. IPS panel would be great. 8GB Standard with 16GB top out.

LiveinRiot
Jan 13, 2013, 04:32 PM
1 -> No retina
2 -> 8GB standard
3 -> 256GB SSD standard
4 -> more faster SSD
5 -> IPS screen
6 -> better contrast
7 -> SHARP IGZO
8 -> 10 hours or more of true battery life in 13''
9 -> less bezel
10 -> better sound
11 -> 2 microphones like retina macbook pro line

Nimravus
Jan 15, 2013, 08:00 PM
-Light up ports (USB, Power, THunderbolt, SD card slot)
-Increased battery performance to 8+ hours