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View Full Version : Hunger for 2013 MBA - not as much as in the past?




Jobsian
Feb 5, 2013, 04:16 AM
For every iteration of the MBA there had been glaring deficiencies (in my eyes) that've made me hungry for the next version, eg RAM, CPU, hinge, backlighting, SSD capacity etc in previous MBAs. But my 2012 11" MBA doesn't really have any. It does everything I want it to do, and while a beefier CPU and GPU would speed things up a bit, there's no one upgrade that'd make me automatically buy a 2013 model. I guess the closest for me is battery, which I can't imagine would be substantially upgraded.

Anyone feeling the same or differently?



Abazigal
Feb 5, 2013, 05:00 AM
There isn't really much you can do to make a laptop better, barring better specs. Stuff like better screen or inbuilt 3G/4G will likely come at the expense of shorter battery life. Not many people who use an air would have need for more than 4gb of ram. I doubt Apple will be changing its signature wedge design anytime soon. Material maybe?

jabingla2810
Feb 5, 2013, 05:11 AM
For every iteration of the MBA there had been glaring deficiencies (in my eyes) that've made me hungry for the next version, eg RAM, CPU, hinge, backlighting, SSD capacity etc in previous MBAs. But my 2012 11" MBA doesn't really have any. It does everything I want it to do, and while a beefier CPU and GPU would speed things up a bit, there's no one upgrade that'd make me automatically buy a 2013 model. I guess the closest for me is battery, which I can't imagine would be substantially upgraded.

Anyone feeling the same or differently?

Retina display.

Violet1337
Feb 5, 2013, 06:03 AM
For every iteration of the MBA there had been glaring deficiencies (in my eyes) that've made me hungry for the next version, eg RAM, CPU, hinge, backlighting, SSD capacity etc in previous MBAs. But my 2012 11" MBA doesn't really have any. It does everything I want it to do, and while a beefier CPU and GPU would speed things up a bit, there's no one upgrade that'd make me automatically buy a 2013 model. I guess the closest for me is battery, which I can't imagine would be substantially upgraded.

Anyone feeling the same or differently?

I must say, I would be really happy if they inserted backlights for all external ports such as the USB ports, headphone jack, etc. I hope that comes out in 2013!

MacLappy
Feb 5, 2013, 08:42 AM
For every iteration of the MBA there had been glaring deficiencies (in my eyes) that've made me hungry for the next version, eg RAM, CPU, hinge, backlighting, SSD capacity etc in previous MBAs. But my 2012 11" MBA doesn't really have any. It does everything I want it to do, and while a beefier CPU and GPU would speed things up a bit, there's no one upgrade that'd make me automatically buy a 2013 model. I guess the closest for me is battery, which I can't imagine would be substantially upgraded.

Anyone feeling the same or differently?

Had both the 13" 2010, 2011 base models, upgraded to 11" i7/8/128 2012 model last year. I too can't see myself upgrading this year for the same reason.

ctdonath
Feb 5, 2013, 08:59 AM
Retina.

Once you've seriously used it, everything else just looks grainy.

David58117
Feb 5, 2013, 11:34 AM
Retina.

Once you've seriously used it, everything else just looks grainy.

For awhile.

Then you adjust.

Atleast I do..

Mrbobb
Feb 5, 2013, 11:49 AM
I must say, I would be really happy if they inserted backlights for all external ports such as the USB ports, headphone jack, etc. I hope that comes out in 2013!


The "breathing" ring around old plastic Macbooks' power port was cool. However look at the currently Air, there is no room whatsoever to place a ring around anything and it would be unthinkable Apple doesn't make a even THINNER product than last generation's

sdilley14
Feb 5, 2013, 12:20 PM
Retina.

Once you've seriously used it, everything else just looks grainy.

This. The display on the 2011 MBA is fine enough, but after using my iPhone for so long it would really be nice if all of my devices had "retina or better" displays. Lack of a retina quality display is why I chose not to buy the first gen. iPad mini.

MonkeyCookie
Feb 5, 2013, 12:53 PM
There's a possibility (I'd say it's likely) that the 2013 MBA refresh will have Intel's Haswell processor and related integrated graphics in it. Haswell uses much less power than previous generations and the integrated graphics hardware has improved a lot, so the battery life and graphics capability of the MBA will go up tremendously, not to mention a much faster processor. For me that's a promising upgrade.

My white Macbook is getting pretty old, and I've been waiting for a Haswell MBA before I upgrade. If Haswell delivers what it promises, then it will be a big step up from the previous revision.

MTD's Mac
Feb 5, 2013, 01:34 PM
The "breathing" ring around old plastic Macbooks' power port was cool. However look at the currently Air, there is no room whatsoever to place a ring around anything and it would be unthinkable Apple doesn't make a even THINNER product than last generation's

When I went from a MBP 13" to an Air I did kind of miss the "breathing" indicator. Has Apple removed it from the Retina MacBook Pros, and/or the latest iMacs too? I feel like it might have been a nice touch 5 years ago to make the devices seem more alive, but today it feels a little tacky.

QCassidy352
Feb 5, 2013, 01:38 PM
There's a possibility (I'd say it's likely) that the 2013 MBA refresh will have Intel's Haswell processor and related integrated graphics in it. Haswell uses much less power than previous generations and the integrated graphics hardware has improved a lot, so the battery life and graphics capability of the MBA will go up tremendously, not to mention a much faster processor. For me that's a promising upgrade.

My white Macbook is getting pretty old, and I've been waiting for a Haswell MBA before I upgrade. If Haswell delivers what it promises, then it will be a big step up from the previous revision.

This nails it - graphics power and battery life. No retina, thanks, unless and until it can be done without hits to battery life/thickness/weight/heat.

But yeah, the 2012 is a great, great laptop as-is. My favorite current Mac model.

KPOM
Feb 5, 2013, 03:43 PM
When I went from a MBP 13" to an Air I did kind of miss the "breathing" indicator. Has Apple removed it from the Retina MacBook Pros, and/or the latest iMacs too? I feel like it might have been a nice touch 5 years ago to make the devices seem more alive, but today it feels a little tacky.

It is not on the rMBPs either.

dss10
Feb 5, 2013, 03:59 PM
I have a late 2010 ultimate and am wrestling with my own upgrade schedule. A lit key board would be nice but I have 4gb ram and 256 of storage and need nothing more. I think the only real reason to upgrade is if there is a new must have OS that requires more ram or if they come out with an 11" with a LTE chip....

SnowLeopard2008
Feb 5, 2013, 04:09 PM
When I went from a MBP 13" to an Air I did kind of miss the "breathing" indicator. Has Apple removed it from the Retina MacBook Pros, and/or the latest iMacs too? I feel like it might have been a nice touch 5 years ago to make the devices seem more alive, but today it feels a little tacky.

No MBP 13" ever had that? I remember my iBook G4 did. Not even my white MacBook from 2007.

TouchMint.com
Feb 5, 2013, 04:41 PM
I just dont think retina will happen on the air ever. It would eat up their retina pro sales. It would be like putting voice/3g/lte on the ipod touch while it would be cool it does not make sense and they wont do it.

calvol
Feb 5, 2013, 04:50 PM
I love my 2010 13 MBA, and can't see upgrading unless the 2013 gets at least 10 hours battery life, which I now get now with no problem using Coolbook. Really is nice on long international flights, between the 2010 MBA and my iPad2 I could fly halfway around the world on one charge.

MTD's Mac
Feb 5, 2013, 07:26 PM
No MBP 13" ever had that? I remember my iBook G4 did. Not even my white MacBook from 2007.

13" unibody MBP did/does?, on the front near the IR sensor...

daonesteven
Feb 5, 2013, 09:12 PM
When I went from a MBP 13" to an Air I did kind of miss the "breathing" indicator. Has Apple removed it from the Retina MacBook Pros, and/or the latest iMacs too? I feel like it might have been a nice touch 5 years ago to make the devices seem more alive, but today it feels a little tacky.

same here, it's funny how such a meaningless feature can mean so much but it would really be a nice touch to incorporate this somehow into the mba...

adnbek
Feb 5, 2013, 09:38 PM
same here, it's funny how such a meaningless feature can mean so much but it would really be a nice touch to incorporate this somehow into the mba...

Not a meaningless feature. It tells you when it's asleep and the hard drive has spun down. It's necessary so that you aren't moving the laptop abruptly while it's still writing to the hard drive.

On the MBA with its SSD, it would be meaningless though as there are no moving parts.

Still love that little blinker though... :o

DisMyMac
Feb 5, 2013, 10:55 PM
I just dont think retina will happen on the air ever. It would eat up their retina pro sales.

They will probably merge the lines totally. They will simply be "MacBooks" like they used to be called.

12, 14, and 16" with less bezel? Let's wait and see.

catracho
Feb 6, 2013, 07:04 AM
Do you think that 2013 MacBook Air model will have 8GB of RAM?

My country doesn´t have apple store and I have to buy "stock" models but I don't think that only 4GB of RAM is good fot the future considering that you cant upgrade after.

Violet1337
Feb 6, 2013, 07:11 AM
Do you think that 2013 MacBook Air model will have 8GB of RAM?

My country doesn´t have apple store and I have to buy "stock" models but I don't think that only 4GB of RAM is good fot the future considering that you cant upgrade after.

I sure hope that 8GB RAM becomes standard in the 2013 refresh. Is this likely to happen or will it remain as option?

zedsdead
Feb 6, 2013, 07:19 AM
I am VERY hungry to see what the 2013 Air has in store.

Once the laptop line is updated this year I will be upgrading from my 2010 Air, and will either go with the Air or Retina Pro.

If the Air gets an IPS screen with that new laminated process from the iMac then I might stick with the Air. I'd like a Retina screen, but I really enjoy the wedge form factor.

As for performance, the Haswell Air will be more than enough for me (the HD4600 will be an excellent improvement in graphics).

I do need something that will edit 1080p in FCPX better, but only need to do it occasionally. The Core2Duo in my current model can't keep up, but any Sandy Bridge forward processor will be fine. Haswell will be more than enough there.

I do think Apple may finally bring the black aluminum that is seen in the iPhone and iPad Mini to the Air line...would be a way to "redesign" it.

We shall see. Also want to see if the cost of the 13" rMBP comes come with the next gen.

kulimer
Feb 6, 2013, 10:45 AM
Retina display.

I hate retina display, they hurt my eyes so bad.

jabingla2810
Feb 6, 2013, 11:14 AM
I hate retina display, they hurt my eyes so bad.

What are you talking about?

kulimer
Feb 6, 2013, 11:20 AM
What are you talking about?

The retina display hurts my eyes. I tried to work on that fine screen for an hour, I was seeing double images of lights on the ceiling.

If there is a way to avoid retina, I would.

Mac Boy-Canada
Feb 6, 2013, 11:44 AM
I really like this year's MBA, but one thing could change: reduce the thickness of the bevel around the 11.6" MBA. It could add another inch approximately to the screen and make it look that much nicer.

Also, can the MBA body even accommodate a retina display and the battery needed to drive it?

jabingla2810
Feb 6, 2013, 12:46 PM
The retina display hurts my eyes. I tried to work on that fine screen for an hour, I was seeing double images of lights on the ceiling.

If there is a way to avoid retina, I would.

LOL, I suppose your going to have to stop using computers in a couple of years when all displays are high resolution. Enjoy it while you can I guess.

hkim1983
Feb 6, 2013, 06:35 PM
The retina display hurts my eyes. I tried to work on that fine screen for an hour, I was seeing double images of lights on the ceiling.

If there is a way to avoid retina, I would.

Did you try lowering the brightness? I thought the Retinas were overwhelming to look at it too until I lowered the brightness.

mikeray
Feb 8, 2013, 01:42 AM
Haswell of course

tshrimp
Feb 8, 2013, 11:08 PM
What are you talking about?

Everyone has their own opinion. I am not as wowed by the Retina as others either. Nice thing about that is I saved a bundle :)

flynz4
Feb 8, 2013, 11:52 PM
I really like this year's MBA, but one thing could change: reduce the thickness of the bevel around the 11.6" MBA. It could add another inch approximately to the screen and make it look that much nicer.

If you look at the profile of the lid... it is clear that the wider than average bezel is used to taper the lid to make it appear razor thin. If they were to use a larger display... they would not have enough room to taper the lid... so the lid would appear thicker... possibly even squared off like most PC lids.

Since "thin" is a major selling point for the MBA... I do not think this will happen.

/Jim

Wokis
Feb 9, 2013, 09:12 AM
I think battery life will be the main change in the new mba. Due to the new haswell idle state, casual web surfers and office-users will probably see a great increase in battery life.

Retina? Don't count on it..

Agent-P
Feb 9, 2013, 06:49 PM
For me the draw of the new Airs will be hopefully Haswell processors. That alone would be enough for me to upgrade my 2012 MBA due to the increase in battery life Haswell promises. Retina isn't a big deal for me as I usually use an external monitor anyway.

David58117
Feb 10, 2013, 12:05 AM
For me the draw of the new Airs will be hopefully Haswell processors. That alone would be enough for me to upgrade my 2012 MBA due to the increase in battery life Haswell promises. Retina isn't a big deal for me as I usually use an external monitor anyway.

How much extra battery life would make it worthwhile for you to upgrade?

Rob.G
Feb 10, 2013, 12:25 AM
Retina isn't likely to happen.

If battery life increases significantly due to Haswell, I'll probably upgrade. My little 11" only has (realistically) four hours of life. I'd love it if it had six (or better). That'd be enough to upgrade, and I'd probably get the 512 SSD too.

My current one is nice, but I'm not all that happy with the display. I've had the 2010 and 2011 models too, and they both had the Samsung display. This one has the LG. It was a refurb, and it's probably why it was returned. It just doesn't have the "depth" or contrast or whatever you want to call it. My 27" just looks so much nicer. That's even having calibrated it a dozen times and various color profiles. But other than that, I love it.

Rob

Jobsian
Feb 10, 2013, 12:33 AM
Thing is, I keep hearing about 'battery life upgrades' for every single iteration of the MBA, I remember when it was Sandy Bridge that would cut power, then Ivy Bridge that would also do the same by a huge margin due to the process shrink to 22nm, Haswell is also 22nm and despite some other technical advances, I really don't have high hopes for any significant battery improvement.

Any power consumption upgrade will probably be gobbled up by whatever OS upgrade Apple have in store. I really, really hope I'm wrong as a significant battery bump would also make me instantly upgrade.

Agent-P
Feb 10, 2013, 01:21 AM
How much extra battery life would make it worthwhile for you to upgrade?

For me every little bit matters. I start off my morning carrying my Air to classes and then in the evening I need it at work too. So ideally I'd like it to last the entire time on only battery power. I'm not expecting any major battery life bumps with Haswell, but even a little bit would be good for me.

LachlanH
Feb 10, 2013, 04:04 AM
I am VERY hungry to see what the 2013 Air has in store.

Once the laptop line is updated this year I will be upgrading from my 2010 Air, and will either go with the Air or Retina Pro.

If the Air gets an IPS screen with that new laminated process from the iMac then I might stick with the Air. I'd like a Retina screen, but I really enjoy the wedge form factor.

As for performance, the Haswell Air will be more than enough for me (the HD4600 will be an excellent improvement in graphics).

I do need something that will edit 1080p in FCPX better, but only need to do it occasionally. The Core2Duo in my current model can't keep up, but any Sandy Bridge forward processor will be fine. Haswell will be more than enough there.

I do think Apple may finally bring the black aluminum that is seen in the iPhone and iPad Mini to the Air line...would be a way to "redesign" it.

We shall see. Also want to see if the cost of the 13" rMBP comes come with the next gen.


A black aluminium MBA would probably mean retirement for my '11 13inch MBP

David58117
Feb 10, 2013, 12:28 PM
For me every little bit matters. I start off my morning carrying my Air to classes and then in the evening I need it at work too. So ideally I'd like it to last the entire time on only battery power. I'm not expecting any major battery life bumps with Haswell, but even a little bit would be good for me.

I'd like more battery life too, but even so you're still going to need to bring and use the charger. Is there really much of a difference between plugging it in an hour later vs now?

I think until they can last 12 or 24 hours, external batteries are what I would look into.

Agent-P
Feb 10, 2013, 04:55 PM
I'd like more battery life too, but even so you're still going to need to bring and use the charger. Is there really much of a difference between plugging it in an hour later vs now?

I think until they can last 12 or 24 hours, external batteries are what I would look into.

Funny that you mention an hour because generally it's about an hour before I go home that my MBA starts asking for the charger. If it could last that for that final hour then I could just plug it in at home.

I've considered picking up an external battery pack, but I've never looked into it.

Rob.G
Feb 10, 2013, 05:03 PM
I picked up a Magic Box so I can charge the thing off of a 12v outlet. I also picked up a cheap Chinese knock-off power supply to hack up for use with the Magic Box. Both work great.

Rob

Jobsian
Feb 10, 2013, 08:02 PM
Ok let me add a complete U-turn on my initial assertion that my hunger isn't high. I've just had utter grief with this flaming T-shaped magsafe getting dislodged at merely brushing against anything else. I utterly HATE it. Make it stronger and I'm sold on any new MBA, I don't care what the other specs are anymore. Utterly terrible design compared to the L-connector. I don't know if I've just had a bad batch with a weak magnet or whether this is the norm for them. Rubbish.

Disclaimer - This has been an acutely rage-driven rant and my views may revert once my frustration subsides. Bah.

asting
Feb 10, 2013, 09:30 PM
Honestly they will have to step up their pricing and specs significantly if they wanted to get my business in the next year or so.
I just bought a 2012 Macbook air when they were released, and while I love it, it seems like the competition has caught up rather quickly. While I think I made the right choice then, the Asus ultrabooks are damn tempting, and even dell has a higher res touchscreen ultrabook for nearly the same price. If I were buying today I would not be purchasing an air.

Like I said, I just bought one and I just use it for casual photoshop and bridge, occasional gaming, some videos, and internet browsing. For those things it's great. The battery life is just fine (I get 8-9hrs depending on usage). I will not be buying the 2013, as nothing they can offer will be enough. However, 3-4 years down the line when I'm looking to upgrade I hope they can regain their edge.

For 2013, haswell seems like it will offer large graphics improvements. The HD4000 is a HUGE step up from the HD3000. I can play just about any game on low-medium settings with this thing, which is perfect for on the go gaming. Haswell is supposed to be a large increase from that, allowing for higher settings or lower heat production/cpu consumption (saving battery and your lap).

As far as retina, you can expect it will be coming. Maybe it will be delayed a year or two to make early adopters pay through the nose for it, but it will be coming. Apple is already falling behind on this front, as plenty of manufacturers are offering higher resolution displays at lower prices.

Stingray454
Feb 10, 2013, 09:58 PM
I must say I'm very, very happy with the 2012 Air. The CPU and GPU are perfectly fine for most gaming and professional work you need to do. But there are still lots I'd like, things like:

- Better GPU (= haswell) will be nice. I can for example run World of Warcraft on the built-in display in perfectly fins speed (30 fps:ish), but when I connect it to a monitor (1600x1000 or greater) the performance hit is very noticeable. Decent gaming on external displays would be nice.
- Optical audio out would be nice - had this on my previous Pro's, nice for watching movies and such.
- Not exactly Air specific, but I really hope Apple comes up with a solution for external GPU's through thunderbolt. The speed is enough, and some third party companies have made some half-assed versions of it, but if Apple could make a solid, working solution for this, I'd be very happy.
- 802.11ac, ie high speed WiFi. Will probably be in the next Air, I guess Apple will make it standard in all new computers in 2013.
- Maybe 16Gb memory option. Even though 8 GB is enough in 90% of the case for me, sometimes when working I can get to 10-12 GB used memory. Sure the Air handles it great due to fast SSD, but more memory is better than swapping.
- Screen bezel. It seems a bit too large if you ask me. On the 11" Air you could almost fit a 13" screen if you had a very thin bezel (seen computers with edges of just a few millimeters, so it's possible). Would be awesome.
- Maybe new material - the aluminium has been here since 2008, maybe time to try something new? I'm sure apple could come up with something even better looking.
- Battery time - probably not much room for improvement here. Personally I wouldn't mind a slightly less wedge-shaped computer (maybe more like a smaller rMBP - evenly thin) if that meant a big improvement on battery life.
- Retina I don't want at all. On the 11" content look sharp enough, and with retina the GPU would have at least 4 times the work to do to display the same picture (= 75% performance loss not counting GPU improvements). Not worth it imo.

Still some room for improvement, though the current Air is really fantastic. I don't know if I'll upgrade this year again, but maybe if they come up with something nice :) Can't wait to find out.