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View Full Version : Macbook Air update at Macworld (or in Q1 2009)?




cyberwolf777
Dec 20, 2008, 06:55 PM
Although the MBA has just been updated, I was wondering if Apple would surprise us with another update at Macworld or at some point in the first quarter.

A few thoughts:

-The MBA design has not been 100% adapted to the way Apple is going now with the new MB and MBP. It is likely that the MBA will get a glass screen and the new touchpad as well.

-Many people ask themselves why to spend 3-4 times as much money on a MBA as on a netbook (EEEpc, MSI wind etc.). Although I do not think they are comparable, many people do so. I know that this point is heavily debated but I still think that the MBA therefore has to either become a bit cheaper or a bit better in terms of specifications if Apple does not want to see sales deteriorate.

-Considering that the RAM cannot be upgraded and that 2GB is now standard even in much cheaper computers, an upgrade to 4GB is imminent.

-The RAM would probably be the only technical upgrade since there is no new version of the MBA CPU, HDD/SSD, chipset is available.

-Unlikely, but on my wishlist would be a higher screen resolution (see Lenovo X300/X301!!!)

-Rumors indicate that the bottom of the MBA will be replaced by a carbon part

-Short update cycles are not unknown - Apple updated the Powerbook three months before releasing the Macbook Pro and updated the Macbook to feature Penryn processors just three months after switching to the Santa Rosa platform.

Summary: I expect a modest MBA upgrade to 4GB RAM, glass screen and new trackpad within the first quarter of 2009.

Thoughts?



macbook123
Dec 20, 2008, 07:01 PM
I thought the glass just adds a lot of unnecessary weight and gloss and would make the bezel width even more enormous than is the case with the current Air (to hold that chunk of glass in place, as in my new MBP)?

Perhaps they could just paint the bezel black to make it look more like the rest of the line?

Unlikely that there will be a major update at Macworld though, given the last one was just two months ago.

glitch44
Dec 20, 2008, 07:05 PM
There will not be an update at Macworld 2009. This fall was the laptops. January will most likely be new nvidia chipsets for the Imac and the mac mini.

cyberwolf777
Dec 20, 2008, 07:45 PM
There will not be an update at Macworld 2009. This fall was the laptops. January will most likely be new nvidia chipsets for the Imac and the mac mini.

That is why I mentioned Macworld OR Q1 2009!

Also, btw, at least one new laptop will be released for sure: The new 17" MBP.

bobbleheadbob
Dec 20, 2008, 07:57 PM
I'm not expecting a MBA update next month at MWSF. I think the focus is going to be on software, not hardware: Snow Leopard and iLife, most likely.

SummerBoy
Dec 20, 2008, 08:02 PM
Hopefully, they should fix crap screens before updating anything..:p

GoCubsGo
Dec 20, 2008, 11:00 PM
If history is any indication, January will bring Snow Leopard, the nvidia chips will be spread out across all Macs (iMac & mini), and you'll probably see something happen with the Mac Pro.

Updating the MacBook Airs when Apple only just updated them 10/2008 and royally ****ed their base model up so much that the things didn't come out until the 2nd week of December is not only stupid, but costly. Apple will find themselves having to deal with customers on the same level that they dealt with them with the early adopters of the iPhone.

6SSD4
Dec 21, 2008, 03:16 AM
Hopfully there will be no update for the MBA that event. A glass screen will be way too heavy and to make that happen they have to take off atleast 0.1inch which is kindoff impossible. Maybe the touchpad, but I don't see a reason for only updating the touchpad and presentating it at macworld. I hope the Macbook Air will keep it's look.

BornAgainMac
Dec 21, 2008, 03:52 AM
Probably June with hopefully those new specs. Then 2010 it will have 500 GB SSD drives. I wish it had a door a the bottom or even a slot to eject the hard drive and put it another.

pstoehr
Dec 21, 2008, 05:34 AM
Hi,

-The MBA design has not been 100% adapted to the way Apple is going now with the new MB and MBP. It is likely that the MBA will get a glass screen and the new touchpad as well.

Oh no, that would be a glossy nightmare:mad:


-Considering that the RAM cannot be upgraded and that 2GB is now standard even in much cheaper computers, an upgrade to 4GB is imminent.

Sounds great :)


-Rumors indicate that the bottom of the MBA will be replaced by a carbon part


Thats a tricky thing based on the fact that carbon can not be used to reduce the internal temperature of the MBA.

Peter

justit
Dec 21, 2008, 10:40 AM
I wish it had a door a the bottom or even a slot to eject the hard drive and put it another.

There is a door at the bottom, it has 10 screws ... AKA baseplate. How often do you replace a hard drive in a laptop's life? Maybe once?

Airforcekid
Dec 21, 2008, 02:20 PM
:apple:At the most they would drop 1.6 and make 1.8 and 2.0 the new processor choices. Very unlikely though!:apple:

justit
Dec 21, 2008, 02:58 PM
:apple:At the most they would drop 1.6 and make 1.8 and 2.0 the new processor choices. Very unlikely though!:apple:

Many have hinted at 2.0, but I think in this form factor 1.86 will be the max we see. Why else would they only bump from 1.8 to 1.86, it's almost laughable.

Anything higher and we start to see uncontrollable temps. It would have to be an entirely new chip design to allow for better thermal efficiency.

Ironic
Dec 21, 2008, 03:18 PM
Nope I don't see it for MacWorld

SFStateStudent
Dec 21, 2008, 03:33 PM
Not expecting anything MBA...:(

iMacmatician
Dec 21, 2008, 03:38 PM
-Considering that the RAM cannot be upgraded and that 2GB is now standard even in much cheaper computers, an upgrade to 4GB is imminent.

-Unlikely, but on my wishlist would be a higher screen resolution (see Lenovo X300/X301!!!)

-Rumors indicate that the bottom of the MBA will be replaced by a carbon partIntel is updating their SFF CPUs in Q2 2009. So I expect a MacBook Air update then. I also expect one model with 2 GB RAM and one model with 4 GB RAM.

The resolutions… all of Apple's notebooks besides the 17" MacBook Pro are behind on resolution. I have a gut feeling that they will get a bump in the next update, which would be around Q2 2009.

Also, btw, at least one new laptop will be released for sure: The new 17" MBP.We don't know for sure. Quite likely though.

Many have hinted at 2.0, but I think in this form factor 1.86 will be the max we see. Why else would they only bump from 1.8 to 1.86, it's almost laughable.

Anything higher and we start to see uncontrollable temps. It would have to be an entirely new chip design to allow for better thermal efficiency.A simple chip revision would do, just like most of the past speed bumps. I can easily see 2.0 GHz in Q2 2009 and 2.13 GHz in Q1 2010.

cyberwolf777
Dec 21, 2008, 04:23 PM
Intel is updating their SFF CPUs in Q2 2009. So I expect a MacBook Air update then.
...
A simple chip revision would do, just like most of the past speed bumps. I can easily see 2.0 GHz in Q2 2009 and 2.13 GHz in Q1 2010.

That looks likely...as far as I know, Apple is currently using a version of the Core 2 Duo SL9300/SL9400 for the MBA. The 2 Ghz SL9600 will be released around April and will likely be used in the top model whereas the 1.86Ghz SL9400 will then be used for the base model. Or...

I also expect one model with 2 GB RAM and one model with 4 GB RAM.


Another possible scenario is that apple will drastically lower the price of the base model, leaving it at 2GB RAM and with the 1.6Ghz SL9300. Looking at the fact that Dell is planning to release a competing model, we might see the MBA being sold at a $1499 and $2099 price point...that will largely depend on the market though...

iMacmatician
Dec 22, 2008, 10:40 AM
The 2 Ghz SL9600 will be released around April and will likely be used in the top modelThanks for the specifics. I knew there would be a chip like that soon.

Another possible scenario is that apple will drastically lower the price of the base model, leaving it at 2GB RAM and with the 1.6Ghz SL9300. Looking at the fact that Dell is planning to release a competing model, we might see the MBA being sold at a $1499 and $2099 price point...that will largely depend on the market though...That gap would be even bigger if the high-end model has a SSD instead of a HDD. So Apple might want to have 3 MacBook Air models, the highest-end ($2499) model with 2.0 GHz CPU and an SSD, the midrange with 4 GB RAM and 1.87 GHz CPU, and the low-end with 2 GB RAM and 1.6 GHz CPU. Three models instead of two would also promote the MacBook Air more (for lack of a better word) and that would help against the Dell.

justit
Dec 22, 2008, 11:09 AM
Not sure how all of a sudden apple is concerned over Dell laptops and prices. When the MBA was introduced it was compared to the Sony ultraportables and stayed competitive with that price range. Lowering its price would cannibalize macbooks.

iMacmatician
Dec 22, 2008, 11:27 AM
Lowering its price would cannibalize macbooks.No, it won't.

tubbymac
Dec 22, 2008, 12:08 PM
I don't think there is any chance the MBA will be updated any time soon. They could barely get the 120 gig hard drive out for xmas and are probably gonna be busy with mac mini, imac, and mac pro stuff in Q1 and Q2.

spaceballl
Dec 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
Your reasons for an update are good, but I don't think your timeline is. I hope for everything you're asking for as well.

Apple's notebook releases now are more closely tied to their hardware manufacturer's releases at this point, whether that be Intel CPUs or nVidia chipsets.

I just really want 256GB SSD offered on the MBA. Storage is one of the big things keeping me from buying it. I know a lot of people use it as a "companion" machine, but it would be my primary, hence my needing all that storage...

SFStateStudent
Dec 22, 2008, 12:46 PM
I just really want 256GB SSD offered on the MBA. Storage is one of the big things keeping me from buying it. I know a lot of people use it as a "companion" machine, but it would be my primary, hence my needing all that storage...

I was in the same boat as you when I bought my first MBA, but my second time around I decided to utilize the remote disk more often while transferring my files between Macs. Storage has not been an issue since. IMHO...

spaceballl
Dec 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
I was in the same boat as you when I bought my first MBA, but my second time around I decided to utilize the remote disk more often while transferring my files between Macs. Storage has not been an issue since. IMHO...
Yup - all depends what you need it for, though. For me, it's work. I need to have a whole heck of a lot of large files locally for development at all times. Can't use remote storage. Plus, I travel a lot and work on planes a lot. I need it all local...

cyberwolf777
Dec 22, 2008, 02:11 PM
Lowering its price would cannibalize macbooks.

Hard to say if it would. It would only cannibalize the most expensive MB, which is an oddity anyway in my opinion: $300 on top of an overpriced base model (again, IMO) for +400Mhz, +90GB HDD and a backlit keyboard is clearly a rip-off (although: apple "charges" its customers $200 for 186 Mhz with the more expensive MBA model since the 1.6Ghz with the SSD option is only 2299).

justit
Dec 22, 2008, 03:13 PM
Hard to say if it would. It would only cannibalize the most expensive MB,

Aren't they trying to cater to a niche user? Business traveler / writer / business exec / professional blogger that is comfortable at this price point? I know the uses for the MBA are far beyond, but apple has always had the high price point to keep the best margins in the industry.

glitch44
Dec 22, 2008, 03:17 PM
these "next version of the air" threads have appeared before Rev B was even shipping, but honestly i don't see an update until the summer of 2009.

fyrefly
Dec 22, 2008, 06:19 PM
AS has been stated in several "MBA RevC soon?" type threads, the Intel processors needed for a MBA update won't be out till Spring, so we'll see if they update the MBAs then. Definitely not before. The RevA HDD Models are barely shipping to customers.

The G5 iMac and G4 PB Late 05 updates were a royal screw you to customers, but based on a complete microprocessor overhaul (PowerPC-->Intel) - there's no processors or big changes they can make to the MBA to make any sort of update to the machines at all worthwhile less than a month after shipping a REvB product to customers.

K.Wu
Dec 23, 2008, 09:06 AM
This is not impossible.

Just like the IMac G5 to IMac intel-base transition, the last edition of IMac G5 launched at 12-10-2005 then 2 months later Steve announced the intel-base IMac (10-01-2006) at 2006Macworld.

Rev.b air announced at 14-14-2008,so it is not a marvel to see a new Rev.c at the coming Macworld.:)

iMacmatician
Dec 23, 2008, 09:49 AM
Hard to say if it would. It would only cannibalize the most expensive MB, Even now it has much better specs than a Q2 2009 MacBook Air, and with a MacBook update then (2.53 GHz, bigger HD, maybe 4 GB RAM), I don't think so.