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andygabriel
Dec 10, 2009, 12:11 AM
Hi everyone,

i decided to start this thread because i'm thinking of buying a macbook air in the future. I think it's a wonderful machine and i'd like it to be my main machine since i only do basic stuff(Browsing, email, Ms Office, iLife suite, Watch movies, Itunes). So, i'm expecting 4GB RAM and bigger SSD!

Do you guys think Apple will redesign the Air in 2010. Many people complain about the lack of USB port. Why doesn't apple put another USB port on the other side of the AIR. You know how in the Air there's the little door(port hatch) that open for the USB, phone jacks, mini display). Why don't they put another one on the left handside? I think it's feasible.





What do you think will happen to the macbook Air in 2010? Any major upgrade(Design or Specs).



rotorblade69
Dec 10, 2009, 01:20 AM
Hi everyone,

i decided to start this thread because i'm thinking of buying a macbook air in the future. I think it's a wonderful machine and i'd like it to be my main machine since i only do basic stuff(Browsing, email, Ms Office, iLife suite, Watch movies, Itunes). So, i'm expecting 4GB RAM and bigger SSD!

Do you guys think Apple will redesign the Air in 2010. Many people complain about the lack of USB port. Why doesn't apple put another USB port on the other side of the AIR. You know how in the Air there's the little door(port hatch) that open for the USB, phone jacks, mini display). Why don't they put another one on the left handside? I think it's feasible.





What do you think will happen to the macbook Air in 2010? Any major upgrade(Design or Specs).


4 Gig of ram and a Bigger SSD is expected and if not more capacity cheaper price or standard in all air trims. Interesting note about an extra door if the power port was included in a door you could easily get another USB or say firewire or even SD card slot in it for the same space as the current door only on the other side.

Although personally I tend to think the air, in its current form and what it actually was designed for, is history.
Don't ask my all the details just understand, I have multiple theories. I can argue with my self.
I think now the MBPro 13" and 15" will be Air's and the MBP 17 will still have the Optical drive and look essentially the same. The switch to arrandale (I think its arrandale thats the next gen from intel right?wrong?) may need the extra space so getting rid of the Optical in the 15" and putting the 13" air in the pro line would be something apple would do. I really do think apple will put the 13 out in carbon fiber and go to a black look. Think about it Announce AC/DC on iTunes and then the new 13" MBP Air "Back IN Black".

Most have said that the if you want to know the future of apple notebook design look at the air.


I for one would love a 15" air. Just not as an Ultra portable, but as a lighter more manageable 15" Pro.
I have always said that the 15" notebooks are the best overall when it comes to specs display usability over all a good trade off both ways.

OH and dude its 1:00AM O'Dark 30 go to bed.

Ivan P
Dec 10, 2009, 01:26 AM
I know it's just a mockup, but the way that picture is structured is just not feasible. By that I mean... are the ports supposed to just disappear into nonexistent space when you close that flip-down part? There's no space for it to close if you actually look at it for a second. ;)

:D

chrono1081
Dec 10, 2009, 02:16 AM
I want to see a black bezel so it matches my MBP and ACD :D

I used to think the black was hideous until I saw it in person. Now silver looks ancient to me.

iBookG4user
Dec 10, 2009, 02:20 AM
I really hope that they do not create it with the black bezel! And please, no glassy screen, glossy is bad enough...

Other than those, another USB port would be very nice, as well as a FireWire port. A longer battery life would be very handy as well.

Shrek-Moscow
Dec 10, 2009, 02:40 AM
My wish list:

More memory
Tighter hinges
Bigger SSD (although 128 GB is pretty liveable)
Longer battery life
SD slot
FW or second USB

Scottsdale
Dec 10, 2009, 03:32 AM
I am 90% certain we WILL see a new design with the next update to the MBA.

I don't know what Apple will do with the graphics, but that is by far my biggest concern. Apple has lost out on the Nvidia chipset/GPU design with the Intel v. Nvidia dispute; now Nvidia is done building chipsets which is a huge loss for Mac buyers. If Apple only includes an Intel's integrated chipset, the MBA will take a gigantic leap backwards in capabilities. At the same time, I don't know that Apple would include a dedicated graphics card with the MBA? It's definitely a problem, and the problem is magnified by a thinner and lighter weight MBA.

I believe we will see one other major change... something new and innovative not found in other Mac notebooks. I cannot even speculate...

I don't expect nor want any additional ports. I would prefer the USB be updated to 3.0. I don't want an SD slot and a hole in my MBA. Extra ports are of no value to me and just ruin the design of the MBA. I think the most sought after improvement is the boost to 4 GB RAM. I don't believe that 256 GB of SSD drive space is necessary, and I don't know if we will see that update.

I doubt a carbon fiber shell will find its way due to space/heat sink capabilities of aluminum. I vote no to a shiny black bezel and no to glass no matter how lightweight they make it.

I would still recommend people buy the current MBA if they want an MBA. With its current price point, it's a no lose situation. For Apple to truly upgrade the components, there is no way it can drop the pricing. I doubt we see lower prices and expect higher prices for a high end model MBA. Right now, the MBA is the best buy it has ever been. With pricing from $1349/$1549 refurbished with SSD, it's exceptional. It's one heck of a Mac, while being super thin, lightweight, and perfect whether traveling or at the desk plugged into a 24" ACD.

Good luck.

scottness
Dec 10, 2009, 03:38 AM
I'd like to see FW added. Probably won't happen though. :(

Santabean2000
Dec 10, 2009, 05:56 AM
I think the most sought after improvement is the boost to 4 GB RAM. I don't believe that 256 GB of SSD drive space is necessary, and I don't know if we will see that update.


Absolutely. MBA is not for heavy hitters, but many folk like to have a lot of apps open at once. Nothing worse than having to start closing /reopening apps just to free up RAM.

I bought a 13" MBP (referb, 2.26GHz 2GB RAM) as a cheaper 'tie-me-over' machine until the new MBA arrives. Definitely know now that that was the right call.

Was tempted to get current top end MBA, but pleased I didn't drop a lot of cash on it as I now know (as much as I love the design/weight) that it's just not capable enough of being a suitable machine for work. I need 4GB RAM!!

andygabriel
Dec 10, 2009, 07:09 AM
I know it's just a mockup, but the way that picture is structured is just not feasible. By that I mean... are the ports supposed to just disappear into nonexistent space when you close that flip-down part? There's no space for it to close if you actually look at it for a second. ;)

:D

This picture is not a mock up. It's the actual Macbook air door. I put that this picture to show that Apple could put another door on the other side therefore giving us more ports.

I'm also wondering if anyone uses the Air as their main machine. As i stated i only use the Air for basic things( Browsing, iLife, Email, Itunes). I have a white macbook 2.4Ghz 4GB ram 320HD(early 2008 model). And my macbook is fast enough for all my needs. But i'd like an AIR because it's lighter and more portable than my Macbook. I also rarely use the optical drive. So this is not an issue for me. The reason i don't wanna get a AIR at the moment is RAM and the 128 GB since i need space for pictures and music and i like my most of my media with me all the time. A 256GB SSD would be enough for me as well as 4GB of Ram since i use Parallel and Boot camp for Windows.

coast1ja
Dec 10, 2009, 11:32 AM
This picture is not a mock up. It's the actual Macbook air door. I put that this picture to show that Apple could put another door on the other side therefore giving us more ports.

I'm also wondering if anyone uses the Air as their main machine. As i stated i only use the Air for basic things( Browsing, iLife, Email, Itunes). I have a white macbook 2.4Ghz 4GB ram 320HD(early 2008 model). And my macbook is fast enough for all my needs. But i'd like an AIR because it's lighter and more portable than my Macbook. I also rarely use the optical drive. So this is not an issue for me. The reason i don't wanna get a AIR at the moment is RAM and the 128 GB since i need space for pictures and music and i like my most of my media with me all the time. A 256GB SSD would be enough for me as well as 4GB of Ram since i use Parallel and Boot camp for Windows.

I know Scottsdale uses his Rev. C with a Runcore SSD as his primary machine. I am currently using my Rev. B with stock SSD as my primary machine, so it can be done. I would love 4gb of ram just so my VMs wouldn't be so slow. I tried a 13" MBP 2.53 SSD for a couple weeks and sure, it was screaming fast, but I definitely like the weight of the MBA better.

Thunder82
Dec 10, 2009, 12:01 PM
My wish list:

More memory
Tighter hinges
Bigger SSD (although 128 GB is pretty liveable)
Longer battery life
SD slot
FW or second USB

I'm wishing the same. I'm holding off for a "rev D" in hopes of seeing some of these upgrades.

I also would love to see an increased resolution screen.. although i highly doubt we'll see that.

MultiFinder17
Dec 10, 2009, 12:40 PM
I'm not sure why people keep saying that the Air will be redesigned in the next revision. Most of the reasoning seems to be saying that the design is getting old now. Lets take a look back through history, shall we?

PowerBook G3 case: March 1998 - January 2001
Titanium PowerBook G4 case: January 2001 - September 2003
Aluminum PowerBook G4 case: January 2003 - January 2009
Unibody MacBook Family case: January 2008 - ?

Really people, it's been just under two years for the Air, and just over a year for the rest of the line. Apple tends to pick a design they like and stick with it for several years. The PowerBook G3 design lasted 22 months, The TiBook stuck around for 32 months, the AlBooks were with us for 72 months, so they have been sticking with their designs for longer and longer periods of time. Personally, I like the current design of the Air. The only real upgrade that I would like to see, beyond the normal speed bumps, would be a bump up to 4gigs of RAM.

Apple's designs for their laptops are all about simplifying the look of it. If you look at, say, the evolution of the 15" Apple laptop since 2001, you will see that it is all about making the machine look simpler, more refined, and just boiling the outer look down to its absolute basics.

For those of you picking apart my dates and noting how the start and end times don't match up, don't forget that Apple has made a habit of introducing new designs bit by bit. The 15" Titanium PowerBook stuck around until the 15" AlBook in september 2003. The first Unibody was the Air in Jan. 2008, followed by the 13" MB and 15" MBP in October. The 17" MBP didn't go Unibody until January of this year.

andygabriel
Dec 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
I know Scottsdale uses his Rev. C with a Runcore SSD as his primary machine. I am currently using my Rev. B with stock SSD as my primary machine, so it can be done. I would love 4gb of ram just so my VMs wouldn't be so slow. I tried a 13" MBP 2.53 SSD for a couple weeks and sure, it was screaming fast, but I definitely like the weight of the MBA better.

I should say that i want an AIR as main and only machine. Do you think it'll be fine for basic usage? I would sell my white macbook. I guess the Top REV C With SSD is faster than my 2008 white macbook 2.4ghz , 4gb ram. True or false.

Cabbit
Dec 10, 2009, 12:49 PM
Double the battery life make it more robust all over and finally make it run cooler to the touch.
Thats my wish list.
Price and performance are fine as is the size of the SSD though of course bigger is better, however it needs to run very cool and for a very long time to hit its market right.

BeachChair
Dec 10, 2009, 01:05 PM
I bought a 13" MBP (referb, 2.26GHz 2GB RAM) as a cheaper 'tie-me-over' machine until the new MBA arrives. Definitely know now that that was the right call.

Me too. I'm expecting a design update as well since Apple really has to bring it up to par, designwise, with the excellent aluminum unibodies. They are the MBA's biggest competitor.

I would sacrifice stuff like processor speed, hard drive space, ports and optical drive for a MBA, but I dont wanna take a step back on build quality, glass trackpad and convenience matters like how hot it runs in my lap or how noisy the fans get.

Maybe we'll see a new MBA design with optional OLED in 2010.

Barbie
Dec 10, 2009, 02:09 PM
well firstly the MacBook Air needs to me much thinner :D

I mean come on, 0.16 inches? thats the new size 14

but really: glass trackpad; a better looking, completely aluminum hinge; and better iSight resolution.

hitekalex
Dec 10, 2009, 02:47 PM
I should say that i want an AIR as main and only machine. Do you think it'll be fine for basic usage? I would sell my white macbook. I guess the Top REV C With SSD is faster than my 2008 white macbook 2.4ghz , 4gb ram. True or false.

Yes, Rev-C/SSD is fine as the main machine.. as long as you don't do advanced graphic design or HD video creation.

I don't know if it will be "faster" than your 2.4Ghz MB, but it will certainly feel faster for certain tasks, like app opens.

Thunder82
Dec 10, 2009, 03:07 PM
The only real upgrade that I would like to see, beyond the normal speed bumps, would be a bump up to 4gigs of RAM.

Honestly, the only thing I "have" to have is the 4GB of RAM. 2nd USB port, larger SSD, increased battery life, and the plethora of other things that have been listed would certainly be nice, but the 4GB is a requirement for me. Especially considering im moving from a 17" uMBP to an Air :)

odedia
Dec 10, 2009, 03:35 PM
Honestly, the only thing I "have" to have is the 4GB of RAM. 2nd USB port, larger SSD, increased battery life, and the plethora of other things that have been listed would certainly be nice, but the 4GB is a requirement for me. Especially considering im moving from a 17" uMBP to an Air :)

Wow. That's some move you're making there!

I was the opposite. Wanted the air, then played with all the machines and feel like buying the 17".

At any case, i'll be waiting for the next revision, it seems to be coming any minute now.

Jayomat
Dec 10, 2009, 04:16 PM
more battery life (although it could only be achieved by more power efficient hardware (CPU, HDD, screen...) or a redesigned interior (more space -> bigger battery) the battery life for the MBPs only expanded because they removed the option to "easily remove the battery"), +1 USB port, 4GB RAM and im settled ;)

jimboutilier
Dec 10, 2009, 04:17 PM
I should say that i want an AIR as main and only machine. Do you think it'll be fine for basic usage? I would sell my white macbook. I guess the Top REV C With SSD is faster than my 2008 white macbook 2.4ghz , 4gb ram. True or false.

I used a RevA 1.6/2/80 for about a year as my primary machine and while it was not as fast as the MBP I came from, my only real complaint was the limited HD size.

From my Rev A I went to a uMB 2.4/4/320 and while it was not near as enjoyable as the Air it had plenty of speed and capacity. I was hoping for quite a while for Apple to release a MBA 2.x/4/256, I finally caved in last week and got a RevC 2.13/2/128.

Yes, the RevC generally feels much faster than my 2.4ghz uMB in most everyday tasks. If you do things that require heavy sustained cpu or graphics use, its clear the MBA slows things down to reduce heat and at that point is clearly slower than the uMB. Fortunately for me that seldom happens to me.

I'm very pleased with my RevC and think it could be an only machine for me. So far the only accommodations I've had to make are switching from Carbonite to Mozy for online backups (Carbonite keeps the cpu and fans spinning too high), and optimizing my Virtual machines and limiting their use to one at a time, and of limited duration. In my case this is not too big a deal.

nph
Dec 10, 2009, 10:13 PM
I just came from the Apple store and after watching the new white macbook with the same screen as the MBA I dont see a big change in the MBA design.
Possibly a 4G RAM but that is about it and maybe some bigger drive.
HOwever I do agree with Jennifer above, I only have two issues with my rev B the battery life and the heat that gets going as soon as I start anything remotely intensive.

However I was impressed the other day when I ran Parallel 5 and a Windows Vista VM. It was not much than running it on my current pc!

Scottsdale
Dec 11, 2009, 12:26 PM
I'm not sure why people keep saying that the Air will be redesigned in the next revision. Most of the reasoning seems to be saying that the design is getting old now. Lets take a look back through history, shall we?

PowerBook G3 case: March 1998 - January 2001
Titanium PowerBook G4 case: January 2001 - September 2003
Aluminum PowerBook G4 case: January 2003 - January 2009
Unibody MacBook Family case: January 2008 - ?

Really people, it's been just under two years for the Air, and just over a year for the rest of the line. Apple tends to pick a design they like and stick with it for several years. The PowerBook G3 design lasted 22 months, The TiBook stuck around for 32 months, the AlBooks were with us for 72 months, so they have been sticking with their designs for longer and longer periods of time. Personally, I like the current design of the Air. The only real upgrade that I would like to see, beyond the normal speed bumps, would be a bump up to 4gigs of RAM.

Apple's designs for their laptops are all about simplifying the look of it. If you look at, say, the evolution of the 15" Apple laptop since 2001, you will see that it is all about making the machine look simpler, more refined, and just boiling the outer look down to its absolute basics.

For those of you picking apart my dates and noting how the start and end times don't match up, don't forget that Apple has made a habit of introducing new designs bit by bit. The 15" Titanium PowerBook stuck around until the 15" AlBook in september 2003. The first Unibody was the Air in Jan. 2008, followed by the 13" MB and 15" MBP in October. The 17" MBP didn't go Unibody until January of this year.

While I don't believe the MBA will stay in its same form factor with its next update, I sure hope you're right. The current design is absolutely perfect in my opinion. I don't want any changes other than maybe a slightly larger display in the same footprint. Or a slightly smaller footprint wasting less space around the display and keyboard. But its probably cheaper to just keep it the same, and update the components. And Apple seems to be focusing far less on Macs.

The problem is that Steve Jobs is king of thin and lightweight, and the MBA just doesn't compete now. There are many thin and lightweight PCs that I believe will push Apple to change the design to thinner. I just hope that if we get thinner and less weight, it still keeps the performance characteristics the current MBA has of being primary Mac capable. Let's just hope Steve is busy with his iTablet and doesn't do any design modifications to the MBA.

I agree that Apple keeps designs for a longer time, BUT Apple also usually has the thinnest and lightest weight notebooks. Think how the MBP really competes well, and the MB has competed well for years. Apple's whole marketing of the MBA was/is that it fits in an envelop and was the thinnest and lightest notebook ever, and no other notebook was able to do that. The biggest problem is how lightweight Sony has its competitor and how thin Dell has its competitor. Apple is directly competing with those two, and Apple has lost both battles. Apple is also competing against MSI's great thin and lightweight ultraportables. Asus has the UL30vt. HP has the Envy that is more powerful and has many innovative features. Dell also competes with its Vostro v13 that is an ultraportable with Windows 7 for only $450!

Did anyone ever expect a thinner notebook than the MBA? I didn't, not by competitors. Now there are many notebooks thinner and less weight than the MBA. There are more powerful notebooks at half the price with the same weight and just as thin. There are lightweight notebooks that weigh half as much. There are thinner notebooks that are half as thin.

I just believe Apple still wants to have the best ultraportable... and all around Apple likes to win thin and lightweight. The MBA wins at nothing except OS X and even that's debatable with Windows 7. There are thinner notebooks. There are notebooks that weigh less than half as much. There are notebooks that are the same size that have more RAM, more drive space, and more battery life.

How does Apple win??? A newly designed MBA.

skifst
Jan 17, 2010, 06:58 PM
I should say that i want an AIR as main and only machine. Do you think it'll be fine for basic usage? I would sell my white macbook. I guess the Top REV C With SSD is faster than my 2008 white macbook 2.4ghz , 4gb ram. True or false.

my humble thoughts...

I have used the MBA rev b (albeit not with the ssd) as primary machine. I found it a bit clunky with a number of apps open, but worse than that, the fan would spin at 7000 and sound like a jet taking off. Prior to that I was on a black macbook and subsequently I have switched to a MB 13 unibody and now MBP 13.

Little things like the ethernet dongle (ended up owning 3 after forgetting on biz trips), the fact that high end ear buds (shure 530) need a 'dongle' as well are acceptable for the type of hardware we are looking at. But the lower than advertised batter life and the jet engine made it unusable full time.

And having said all this, I am dying to get a new one as I love the size/wt for travel.

Bosman
Jan 17, 2010, 07:11 PM
This picture is not a mock up. It's the actual Macbook air door. I put that this picture to show that Apple could put another door on the other side therefore giving us more ports.

No more doors please! It really is anti apple to add more moving parts isn't it? I would put less bevel into the sides allowing for the ports to come flush out to the sides like the newer designed MBPs.. my $.02

Bosman
Jan 17, 2010, 07:26 PM
I should say that i want an AIR as main and only machine. Do you think it'll be fine for basic usage? I would sell my white macbook. I guess the Top REV C With SSD is faster than my 2008 white macbook 2.4ghz , 4gb ram. True or false.

This vid kinda sold the air with ssd as an option for me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PqD_ULy-TM

coast1ja
Jan 17, 2010, 07:28 PM
No more doors please! It really is anti apple to add more moving parts isn't it? I would put less bevel into the sides allowing for the ports to come flush out to the sides like the newer designed MBPs.. my $.02

I think the door is fine... maybe add another... it's the hinges that need work!

Honestly though, There is no reason the next air should be more than 10mm thick (like the Adamo XPS). Right now the thickest thing inside the case that can't be made thinner is the hard drive at 5mm. add a mm to each side of that for the outer casing, and that gets us to 7mm. That means the screen has to be 3mm or less (LG revealed a 6.9mm thick HUGE LED TV at CES... they should be able to make a 3mm thick 13" screen). I bet if it were 10mm uniform thickness, it would have even more space inside than the current air.

The next question is the CPU, ram, and GPU, but those have all been discussed thoroughly.

brendu
Jan 17, 2010, 10:47 PM
I think the door is fine... maybe add another... it's the hinges that need work!

+1

Mactagonist
Jan 17, 2010, 11:39 PM
Making the Air uniform in thickness or taking some of its tapered bezel away just isnt going to happen. One of the key design elements of the Air is the way it seems to levitate and look even thinner then it actually is when sitting on a flat surface. That is entirely due to the tapered shape of the chassis. Take that away and you have an Adamo. Apple doesnt make Adamos.

emvy
Jan 18, 2010, 06:41 AM
The new MBA will differ from the current one primarily not in CPU, RAM specs as most people already mentioned, but in form size and human-computer-interaction:

a) Smaller overall laptop size by trimming a bit from left and right of the keyboard and screen. 13" Screen size will remain because is optimal both in terms of size and screen real estate (12" is simply too small for any usable computer).

b) Now, the biggest difference will be in the keyboard, or the lack of it! The new MBA will use a touch sensitive interface as keyboard ala iPhone. This will allow people to use different keyboard types and/or key spacing, move keys around etc. A patent application from apple surfaced some time ago, that described how to implement "micro-bumps" on a touch sensitive area. They might use it for this MBA incarnation or for a later one, but it seems clear that such a patent is directed toward a keyboard interface in mind.

c) High-res screen is almost sure.

Hope this helps.

coast1ja
Jan 18, 2010, 09:20 AM
Making the Air uniform in thickness or taking some of its tapered bezel away just isnt going to happen. One of the key design elements of the Air is the way it seems to levitate and look even thinner then it actually is when sitting on a flat surface. That is entirely due to the tapered shape of the chassis. Take that away and you have an Adamo. Apple doesnt make Adamos.

Yes, I agree, but does the whole thing have to be a wedge? If they kept a uniform thickness until about 3cm from the edge and tapered it there, the whole thing could be thinner overall and still look like it's floating.

coast1ja
Jan 18, 2010, 09:22 AM
The new MBA will differ from the current one primarily not in CPU, RAM specs as most people already mentioned, but in form size and human-computer-interaction:

a) Smaller overall laptop size by trimming a bit from left and right of the keyboard and screen. 13" Screen size will remain because is optimal both in terms of size and screen real estate (12" is simply too small for any usable computer).

b) Now, the biggest difference will be in the keyboard, or the lack of it! The new MBA will use a touch sensitive interface as keyboard ala iPhone. This will allow people to use different keyboard types and/or key spacing, move keys around etc. A patent application from apple surfaced some time ago, that described how to implement "micro-bumps" on a touch sensitive area. They might use it for this MBA incarnation or for a later one, but it seems clear that such a patent is directed toward a keyboard interface in mind.

c) High-res screen is almost sure.

Hope this helps.

I thought the touch keyboard with active bumps was slated for the tablet? It would make sense to use it for the air, but then why not just make it a larger tablet? If the keyboard is already like a touchscreen, why not go all the way?

Adam0306
Jan 18, 2010, 11:47 AM
I think now the MBPro 13" and 15" will be Air's and the MBP 17 will still have the Optical drive and look essentially the same.

This would be cool but I just don't see Apple doing it for some reason.

Scottsdale
Jan 18, 2010, 11:24 PM
I thought the touch keyboard with active bumps was slated for the tablet? It would make sense to use it for the air, but then why not just make it a larger tablet? If the keyboard is already like a touchscreen, why not go all the way?

Yes, I agree with you. The keyboard mentioned will be the technology used in the tablet. The MBA needs to be workable as a primary computer. Many people need not just the tactile feedback but also the actual keys themselves to touch their fingers on continually to ensure proper key positioning. In addition, it makes no sense on the MBA, NONE. The MBA has space for a keyboard, whereas the tablet will need the space that's the keyboard for the display also.

I believe the next "new feature" on the MBA will be an incredible display. It will be either OLED, HD (higher resolution), or 3D.

Let's say the display is not the next great new feature on the MBA, what do you think it might be? Black aluminum? Carbon fiber? Smaller form factor? Aluminum capped keys? 8-hour battery? Dedicated graphics? 2/4 Ram slots? What else??? What are your ideas??? What will be the one defining new feature???

thegoldenmackid
Jan 18, 2010, 11:54 PM
Given the 3D at CES, I don't see how. A big part to non-active 3D has to do with light and the quality of active 3D isn't that great. Also, the costs would be ridiculous.

Techhie
Jan 18, 2010, 11:57 PM
Given the 3D at CES, I don't see how. A big part to non-active 3D has to do with light and the quality of active 3D isn't that great. Also, the costs would be ridiculous.

Wouldn't stop them from the 3D BTO option, just like the cost of the initial MBA SSDs

Scottsdale
Jan 19, 2010, 09:41 AM
Wouldn't stop them from the 3D BTO option, just like the cost of the initial MBA SSDs

Yes, I don't see such a display as necessarily standard. I do believe that the displays are the next logical evolution item in Macs. Sure they're nice with LED but they aren't advanced compared to competitor displays. In addition, the MBA has a poor quality display compared to the MBPs. Since the MBA is targeting the premium market, an advanced display seems reasonable.

I obviously consider the OLED to be most possible, while HD is very possible, and 3D would be a stretch. I just think it would make sense for Apple to leverage its LG display contract to get a revolutionary display. I think the MBA is Apple's test platform. And OLED is now very possible as the technology is ready and large production could reduce costs to within the range needed for an MBA (even if it's just the high-end or BTO option).

Sure 3D is unlikely, but I don't know that the costs are out of line for the MBA?

Anyone else wondering if the MBA will get an update at all? It has been 7.5 months since we have seen an update on the MBA and MBP, so it seems likely based on the past updates. However, I sure don't like the lack of MBA rumors. I think the update could be a silent one if the MBA retains its form factor. If Apple waits to show it off at the 27th mobility event, it's probably going to be a big deal.

EIGHT DAYS AND COUNTING...

jimboutilier
Jan 19, 2010, 10:27 AM
Yes, I don't see such a display as necessarily standard. I do believe that the displays are the next logical evolution item in Macs. Sure they're nice with LED but they aren't advanced compared to competitor displays. In addition, the MBA has a poor quality display compared to the MBPs. Since the MBA is targeting the premium market, an advanced display seems reasonable.

I obviously consider the OLED to be most possible, while HD is very possible, and 3D would be a stretch. I just think it would make sense for Apple to leverage its LG display contract to get a revolutionary display. I think the MBA is Apple's test platform. And OLED is now very possible as the technology is ready and large production could reduce costs to within the range needed for an MBA (even if it's just the high-end or BTO option).

Sure 3D is unlikely, but I don't know that the costs are out of line for the MBA?

Anyone else wondering if the MBA will get an update at all? It has been 7.5 months since we have seen an update on the MBA and MBP, so it seems likely based on the past updates. However, I sure don't like the lack of MBA rumors. I think the update could be a silent one if the MBA retains its form factor. If Apple waits to show it off at the 27th mobility event, it's probably going to be a big deal.

EIGHT DAYS AND COUNTING...

I think the MBA will definitely see an update this year. Its a niche machine but sales have been pretty strong given that. Not sure the media Event later this month will include that announcement.

If the new Air is released early this year I would expect a processor speed bump, possibly more Ram, slightly more more storage (160gb), a battery life tweak, and maybe an improved trackpad (touch sensitive but plastic like the new mouse).

If the release is later this year we may see new CPU/Graphics. I'm afraid thats about all I see in this economy. No screen resolution change, no OLED, no complete redesign. Evolutionary not revolutionary.

That said, if most of those evolutionary changes appeared I'd upgrade. And I'd happily eat crow if Apple does manage a full redesign or something revolutionary in the AIR.

Bosman
Jan 19, 2010, 10:44 AM
Making the Air uniform in thickness or taking some of its tapered bezel away just isnt going to happen. One of the key design elements of the Air is the way it seems to levitate and look even thinner then it actually is when sitting on a flat surface. That is entirely due to the tapered shape of the chassis. Take that away and you have an Adamo. Apple doesnt make Adamos.

agreed, and what i am saying is simply bring the bevel out to the sides more for the ports not remove the bevel. There are two ways it bevels, from the side to the bottom center and from the front to the back. Does that make sense?

Alvi
Jan 19, 2010, 11:07 AM
Although personally I tend to think the air, in its current form and what it actually was designed for, is history.
Don't ask my all the details just understand, I have multiple theories. I can argue with my self.
I think now the MBPro 13" and 15" will be Air's and the MBP 17 will still have the Optical drive and look essentially the same. The switch to arrandale (I think its arrandale thats the next gen from intel right?wrong?) may need the extra space so getting rid of the Optical in the 15" and putting the 13" air in the pro line would be something apple would do. I really do think apple will put the 13 out in carbon fiber and go to a black look. Think about it Announce AC/DC on iTunes and then the new 13" MBP Air "Back IN Black".
.

Nah, they'res no way Apple will remove optical drives in the MacBook Pro line for at least 5 years, a "Pro" computer has to be able to be compatible with all kinds of storage, however a Carbon fiber 13" MB, MBP or MB Air would be supercool :D

jimboutilier
Jan 19, 2010, 11:22 AM
agreed, and what i am saying is simply bring the bevel out to the sides more for the ports not remove the bevel. There are two ways it bevels, from the side to the bottom center and from the front to the back. Does that make sense?

When I first got a MBA I wondered if for the sake of advertising "worlds thinnest notebook" Apple made too many design compromises. I wondered if tapering it a bit less would have allowed for better cooling, more standardized parts, more battery life, more ports etc.

But the MBA is by far my all time favorite notebook for mobility. Nothing else even comes close. And I wonder if they had made it differently if this would be the case.

Maybe we'll find out in the next major redesign of the MBA!

halledise
Jan 19, 2010, 01:57 PM
like most everyone else - longer battery life and more memory would be nice.

that said, everything else is perfect imho.
my Rev C with the ssd is light, powerful and impressive performance

yet if Apple change design, screen, ports, bezel, whatever Ö Ö I'll still flip out the card on the day of release and buy one.

for my use it's ideal and the only time the fan kicks in is either when I've too many Safari windows open or am importing/ripping from my external LaCie dvd

other than that the heat generated is acceptable and warms the lap on cooler mornings

Filip Verhaeghe
Jan 19, 2010, 03:00 PM
The new MBA will differ from the current one primarily not in CPU, RAM specs as most people already mentioned, but in form size and human-computer-interaction:

a) Smaller overall laptop size by trimming a bit from left and right of the keyboard and screen. 13" Screen size will remain because is optimal both in terms of size and screen real estate (12" is simply too small for any usable computer).

b) Now, the biggest difference will be in the keyboard, or the lack of it! The new MBA will use a touch sensitive interface as keyboard ala iPhone. This will allow people to use different keyboard types and/or key spacing, move keys around etc. A patent application from apple surfaced some time ago, that described how to implement "micro-bumps" on a touch sensitive area. They might use it for this MBA incarnation or for a later one, but it seems clear that such a patent is directed toward a keyboard interface in mind.

c) High-res screen is almost sure.

Hope this helps.

Those were my thoughts too. I see keyboards disappear on all Apple products over time. So I'd expect two screens, the one in the position of the keyboard has touch, the other "real" display has high resolution graphics. The keyboard could be application-dependant. A game would provide different controls than a word processor. Numbers might display a numeric keypad at the press of a virtual button, etceteras. No more internationalisation problems either (here in Europe there are many languages to support, with different keyboards).

But the answer to the question is certainly shaped by whatever Apple introduces on the 27th. Supposing that "iSlate" is ARM based tablet, and if it also has touch-based iWorks, then I would expect the Air to evolve to be the missing link between the slate and the macbook pro, providing a nice continuum of products from iPod to MacBook Pro.

Filip

DrEasy
Jan 19, 2010, 03:49 PM
Maybe it's just me, but to me the whole point of the MBA should be that it's a machine that is powerful yet so thin, light and small that you forget you're carrying it. As it is currently, I find it still too big for travelling or using in cramped areas. Yet I don't want a netbook: I love it that the MBA runs on a good processor and is well built. And I want MacOS of course!

If they could release an MBA with an 11'' screen as well as FW I would buy one immediately.

Scottsdale
Jan 19, 2010, 03:57 PM
Those were my thoughts too. I see keyboards disappear on all Apple products over time. So I'd expect two screens, the one in the position of the keyboard has touch, the other "real" display has high resolution graphics. The keyboard could be application-dependant. A game would provide different controls than a word processor. Numbers might display a numeric keypad at the press of a virtual button, etceteras. No more internationalisation problems either (here in Europe there are many languages to support, with different keyboards).

But the answer to the question is certainly shaped by whatever Apple introduces on the 27th. Supposing that "iSlate" is ARM based tablet, and if it also has touch-based iWorks, then I would expect the Air to evolve to be the missing link between the slate and the macbook pro, providing a nice continuum of products from iPod to MacBook Pro.

Filip

I suppose the tablet will be Apple's way to further revolutionize user input technology. We know Apple has done well with it in the iPhone, and it would make all the sense in the world to have it on a tablet (as space shouldn't be wasted for a physical keyboard.

The problems with removing the keyboard from MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros are that users still need the best method of input that is possible. For fast typing, the typer needs to have a physical place to rest their fingers. I don't see how the computer will not accept resting one's fingers on the board as typing and input. Over time, voice technology and input recognition using voices has gotten much better. However, I don't think either method will replace the keyboard on machines that are meant PRIMARILY for tasking functions. Is one going to be able to type their term paper as quickly on a keyless panel? More importantly, and the reason most computers are purchased, will the user be able to perform their workload on the computer as quickly with the keyless panel?

The tablet will be okay without the keyboard as the majority of function is to entertain, surf the web, read the paper, check email, reply with short messages, and etc. The Mac still has to function as a computer.

I see alternative keyboards being "OPTIONS" for iMacs and sold individually long before it's standard on a Mac notebook. I see user input evolving over time, but not as fast as you see it. Over time, I am sure the tablet will become powerful enough for the average home user/consumer to do all their computing tasks better. But even it will change to slowly incorporate features of input advances. At first, it appears Apple wants to make it "feel" like a keyboard, so surely the "feel" should go away as it's unnecessary but learned.


Nah, they'res no way Apple will remove optical drives in the MacBook Pro line for at least 5 years, a "Pro" computer has to be able to be compatible with all kinds of storage, however a Carbon fiber 13" MB, MBP or MB Air would be supercool

I would take a bet on that. Five years? I see optical drives gone long before the keyboard. The only thing that has saved the optical drive might be Blu Ray. And if Apple has its way, Blu Ray will NEVER see the Mac notebook! Apple wants everything to be digitally deliverable over the Internet. Even software can be distributed very easily on much faster USB flash drives. The problem is lowering costs to the $0.10 that the CD/DVD cost to manufacture. I have seen a few apps that come on a flash USB drive already.

halledise
Jan 19, 2010, 04:43 PM
I see optical drives gone long before the keyboard. The only thing that has saved the optical drive might be Blu Ray. And if Apple has its way, Blu Ray will NEVER see the Mac notebook! Apple wants everything to be digitally deliverable over the Internet. Even software can be distributed very easily on much faster USB flash drives. The problem is lowering costs to the $0.10 that the CD/DVD cost to manufacture. I have seen a few apps that come on a flash USB drive already.

absolutely - don't be surprised to see an SD card slot squeezed into the Air in the future thus doing away with the need for an optical drive altogether.
between that, the new usb3 and net downloads, all media can be delivered/accessed.
(flash and SD cards are costing bugger-all to manufacture these days - my local Post Office is retailing 4gb usb sticks for $10 so the mfg cost would have to be sub-$1; possibly as low as 50 cents even now)

I'm thinking Mac OSX startup discs will be a thing of the past soonish, with a wee SD card arriving in the ever-decreasing Mac packaging

coast1ja
Jan 19, 2010, 08:46 PM
I'm thinking Mac OSX startup discs will be a thing of the past soonish, with a wee SD card arriving in the ever-decreasing Mac packaging

That's a very good idea.

I keep wondering if Apple will something totally off-beat like they did with integrating the ram into the logic board and having intel manufacture custom CPUs for it.

Perhaps the 1.8" drive will be replaced with a proprietary SSD that is thin and flat. Perhaps they will have a charging pad that it just sits on instead of the magsafe. Perhaps they will have a transparent OLED display???

There are a lot of emerging technologies that could be showcased in the next revision of the MBA... Apple only NEEDS to choose one to make it the 'must have' notebook.

wngoju
Mar 9, 2010, 09:04 PM
more memory
more battery
can easily live without other stuff mentioned

must NOT reduce screen size... just saying.

thanks
bill

skybright
Mar 11, 2010, 11:58 AM
Prediction: incremental upgrade
- won't happen until after the iPad 3G
- i3 with Intel GMA - worse graphics performance :(
- more RAM
- glass trackpad

that's it :(

I would like:
- SSD with TRIM. please, i'm begging you.
- better hinge. this won't happen until the design refresh, next year at minimum
- keep Nvidia graphics. maybe they will come to Arrandale someday.
- matte screen. i'm doubtful this will come to any 13" display

I'm going to revisit this list when the new MBAs come out to see how I did. :)

Scottsdale
Mar 11, 2010, 03:48 PM
Prediction: incremental upgrade
- won't happen until after the iPad 3G
- i3 with Intel GMA - worse graphics performance :(
- more RAM
- glass trackpad

that's it :(

I would like:
- SSD with TRIM. please, i'm begging you.
- better hinge. this won't happen until the design refresh, next year at minimum
- keep Nvidia graphics. maybe they will come to Arrandale someday.
- matte screen. i'm doubtful this will come to any 13" display

I'm going to revisit this list when the new MBAs come out to see how I did. :)

Well, is how you did a measurement of what you expect to happen or what you want from the next MBA?

I have said this in other threads, and I will say it here...

A Core i3 CPU in its current configurations will NOT, in any way, be even a remote possibility for the MBA. The Core i3 is a 35W TDP CPU. The current MBA uses a C2D Penryn SL9x00 Low Voltage CPU. The Core i3 would literally start a fire in the MBA, LOL!

This is Intel's terribly poor branding of its Nehalem Core i-series CPUs. People don't understand that Core i3 doesn't mean low power, and they don't understand that Core i7 could mean dual core or quad core.

What people also don't understand is that Apple uses a very expensive CPU in the MBA. It provides the same clock speed as a more powerful CPU using low voltage of 17W. It's an expensive chip with 6MB of L2 Cache, which is a huge advantage over the 3MB available in the MB or 13" MBP. People are getting a $300+ CPU in their MBA whether they know it or not.

Intel has listed the Core i7-6x0LM 25W Low Voltage (including IGP) as the replacement series for the Core 2 Duo Penryn 17W Low Voltage SL9x00 CPU series. The pricing of the Core i7-620LM and Core i7-640LM are a few bucks less than the SL9400 and SL9600 they're replacing. Also, the difference in TDP is 8W but that includes graphics. In the current MBA, 12W is used by the Nvidia GPU.

Core i7-620LM - 4MB L3 Cache, 2 GHz (boost to 2.8 GHz)

Core i7-640LM - 4MB L3 Cache, 2.13 GHz (boost to 2.93 GHz)


If Apple decided to change from a Low Voltage to an Ultra Low Voltage, it could use the Core i7-6x0UM at 18W or the Core i5-520UM at 18W.

Core i7-620UM - 4MB L3 Cache, 1.06 GHz (boost to 2.13 GHz)

Core i7-640UM - 4MB L3 Cache, 1.2 GHz (boost to 2.26 GHz)

Core i5-520UM - 3MB L3 Cache - 1.86 GHz (no boost and only 800MHz RAM supported)


A case could be made for the Ultra Low Voltage CPUs. Apple could have plenty of TDP available for a dedicated graphics solution if it only used 18W TDP for the Ultra Low Voltage CPUs. In addition, the Core i7-6x0UM CPUs actually aren't too different from the way Apple is currently using the SL9x00 CPUs. Apple throttles the CPUs so they run at lower speeds as most people who use CoolBook realize. In a sense, it's no different than the potential to boost up to 2.13 and 2.26 GHz respectively. The Core i5-520UM makes less sense, as it takes two steps backwards from the current CPUs... it loses clock speed potential and it lowers the RAM speed.

In my opinion, this is a no brainer. APPLE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY USES A Core i7 CPU WHEN/IF IT TRANSITIONS TO NEHALEM!


Moving onto your other predictions...

Only using Arrandale's IGP - I seriously doubt this given Apple's history of moving away from the Intel IGP and marketing not just the MBA, but also the MB, 13" al. MB/MBP, Mac mini, and OS X as taking advantage of the 5X performance of the 9400m over the GMA 3100. Apple has heavily marketed this transition and taking advantage of the GPU's processing capabilities.

The MBA does have less room to cool the graphics, but the Intel IGP can be turned off. In addition, there is Optimus by Nvidia which would work perfectly in the MBA with an Nvidia 310m. This setup would provide a 25% graphics performance gain, dedicated VRAM, and power savings when the 310m is not needed. In addition, Sony has a software solution to get hybrid use of Nvidia dedicated 330 GT and Intel IGP. ATI is also working on such a solution. All of these hybrid solutions reward the user by using only the Intel IGP when graphics performance isn't needed which can save a lot of power with basic tasks. When graphics performance is needed, the user has it. This is truly the best of both worlds, and it makes a lot of sense in the "Greenest Family of MacBooks Ever!"

We definitely agree on the RAM being bumped. It will probably be bumped to 4 GB. And hopefully the graphics will have 512 MB dedicated but could be as low as 256 MB.

I definitely hope it's a glass trackpad, but either way it does away with the single button to a buttonless design. The most important part is the buttonless design, and that will definitely happen.

With regards to what you want...

SSD trim... is that OS X support for the drive? I don't know much about that.

Hinge... sure, I wish I could open mine farther at times, but I don't know that it needs redesigning or just a better material used. For example, treat the steel hinge differently to make it stronger??? Just a thought, I am no expert on it.

Nvidia graphics... yes, I do believe we will get Nvidia graphics whether it's the successor to the 9400m or a dedicated version I just don't know. It's entirely possible Apple will give us one more Core 2 Duo update to give it time to solve the graphics problem. We all know if we get Core 2 Duo, we can keep the Nvidia GPU/chipset. I don't personally care about the CPU at all. A dedicated Nvidia card sounds better if it can all be done without a melting MBA.

Anti-glare graphics... I do believe you can buy an aftermarket anti-glare display and install it in your MBA. I found several from Chinese suppliers when I was researching line issues in MBA's display. I don't believe Apple will ever give us anti-glare in a non-"pro" Mac notebook.

I believe the MBA is an upgrade or two away from getting a new display technology. I don't know whether it will be IPS, IPS & HD, 3D, or OLED... but I believe the display will be the next evolutionary component change in the MBA.

Finally, I have some hope for an update next Tuesday. It has been rumored all over the Internet that the Mac Pro is getting an update Tuesday March 16th. Apple did update Macs right before original iPhone. There still is hope for an update.

iZac
Mar 12, 2010, 08:40 AM
No more doors please! It really is anti apple to add more moving parts isn't it? I would put less bevel into the sides allowing for the ports to come flush out to the sides like the newer designed MBPs.. my $.02

This makes sense. From what I remember, the bevelled edges were also almost entirely aluminium in the teardowns. So although the long shallow bevels increase the illusion of it being a thinner device than it is, they're pretty useless. Sharper bevels will let them, lose perhaps 1cm on three edges and will bring the ports flush to the edge without a stupid flappy panel.

hohohong
Apr 7, 2010, 11:33 PM
It's entirely possible Apple will give us one more Core 2 Duo update to give it time to solve the graphics problem. We all know if we get Core 2 Duo, we can keep the Nvidia GPU/chipset.


This is written in March. Itís April now. With Core 2 Duo obsolete now, do u still think next MBA update will still be C2D?