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View Full Version : Bad news for the outlook of the MBA 3,1... Are we waiting for MBA v 2,2 or v 3,1?




Scottsdale
Apr 13, 2010, 08:19 AM
All of you hopeful for an MBA update today were disappointed. I am certainly extremely disappointed too. However, I did fear this in the sense of what is possibly happening with the MBA. Apple has a lot of updates to do this year, and it has to have something great lined up for WWDC. I believe the MBA will be updated then.

I am disappointed to see that the 13" MBP got Nvidia integrated graphics AGAIN. This was supposed to be the whole validation in waiting this long. We were all extremely hopeful to get Core i7 with a dedicated graphics card in the MBA. I believe this could mean the MBA will get a slight update with the same C2D CPUs and the same Nvidia 320m GPU/chipset. I had actually said before that it would be better than Core i7-6x0UM with solely Intel graphics.

The MBP news was terrible. People had hopes of ATI dedicated graphics in all the MBPs. Most wanted an Core i5 in the low-end 13" MBP, but they're stuck with C2D. People were hopeful for Blu Ray, IPS displays, HD displays, ATI 5830 graphics, USB 3.0, and more... the 13" MBP buyers got almost NOTHING for their wait.

What does this mean for the MBA??? I suppose one of two things (three if I want to be honest with myself).

1. MBA v 2,2. SL9x00 CPUs *same, Nvidia 320m, 4 GB RAM, glass trackpad, and no other improvements.

2. MBA v 3,1. Core i7 *either low voltage or ultra low voltage, Intel HD graphics only, 4 GB RAM, probably a case redesign, and maybe some surprises worth our wait.

Of these two options, I WILL GLADLY TAKE NUMBER ONE! I would be devastated if option number two was our only choice.

Today shows us Apple is still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to graphics. Even on the high-end MBP, Apple is only going with the 330 GT and only 510 MB VRAM which is inferior to most consumer grade mid range laptops. For the MBP to get those shows us Apple has no plans for better/dedicated graphics in the MBA. What we can really hope for is Apple to come up with its own damn chip so we can get a graphics package worthy of our wait but that is years off.

Finally, there is one last option that I dismiss, although my worst fears have been somewhat realized as potential today, that the MBA will be EOL'd. No, I really don't believe this, but at the same time I am shocked that Apple has updated the 13" MB PRO without its own graphics card and same C2D CPU. We all hoped Steve Jobs was being serious when he said the Mac notebooks were being taken to the next level... what a disappointment for the MBP fans. What an imaginative mind Steve Jobs has!!!



soundtonoise
Apr 13, 2010, 08:36 AM
How does Apple let its customers know when a product is going to be (or gets) EOL'd?

OasisNYK
Apr 13, 2010, 08:46 AM
If Jobs comes out and says the Macbooks are getting A+ upgrades and being taken to the next level, then something like today happens - doesnt it bring into question his marketing credibility?

Dont get me wrong, there were a few updates in there that I thought were great (intel i5/i7, and finally a higher res screen on the 15 inchers). But these are hardly A+ updates...I was thinking something more revolutionary.

I still love the products but was really hoping for an updated Air like the rest of you - I need a second laptop to bring with me on trips (I am a consultant) and I want something thin and light with some power.

Here's to waiting :-)

JonTok
Apr 13, 2010, 08:55 AM
To say the MBP news was terrible is simply melodramatic and wrong - I think a major section of these boards will be delighted and that sales of the 15 inchers especially will go through the roof.
That the 13 inch didn't get i5 is a shame but talking about C2D like it's something out of the dark ages is plain wrong for 95% of people's computing needs. That the base 13 gets a bigger processor, double the memory, better graphics and better battery is probably going to make it even more popular than it is already - I'll be getting one, instead of what I thought would be an updated MBA - c'est la vie - I'm not complaining of far more MBP for the same money. Anyone who does complain seems narrow minded and purely self-interested. Apple is here to make great computers and tons of money - it's doing both, and no, it ain't perfect.

gwsat
Apr 13, 2010, 09:03 AM
Finally, there is one last option that I dismiss, although my worst fears have been somewhat realized as potential today, that the MBA will be EOL'd. No, I really don't believe this, but at the same time I am shocked that Apple has updated the 13" MB PRO without its own graphics card and same C2D CPU. We all hoped Steve Jobs was being serious when he said the Mac notebooks were being taken to the next level... what a disappointment for the MBP fans. What an imaginative mind Steve Jobs has!!!
Apple's failure to refresh the MBA and halfhearted upgrade of the MBP have convinced me to stop waiting on them to introduce an MBA I can use and simply buy an iPad. The iPad has a lot of weaknesses, God knows, but it also does a lot of stuff that I need right out of the box. Thus, I guess I'll buy one just as soon an the Apple Store gets some more 16Gb iPads. At least I will have a super portable Web browser and save a bunch of money in the bargain. For me, at least, the MBA is for much later, if then.

pol0001
Apr 13, 2010, 09:21 AM
Just relax. It took Apple about 1,5 years to refresh the MacMini. So you're still fine. ;)

Scottsdale
Apr 13, 2010, 10:13 AM
I think today was a terrible day for the MBP overall. It's sad that there is NOTHING new in terms of features. The Arrandale CPUs are the same damn price as the C2D before them. The graphics are behind anything in any other "PRO" laptop. The 13" MBP is the biggest joke ever.

The problem is Apple is letting everything cool about tech bypass it. Apple used to always have the coolest products not just in terms of looks but also in terms of cool tech, new ports, unique features, and etc. There is NOTHING about the new MBPs that isn't available on PC "consumer-grade" notebooks at half the price OR LESS. That's the problem!

Apple is at 4.5 lb. in its 13" MBP that is literally HALF the computer that the Sony Vaio Z is at 3 lb. In addition, the Sony has Blu Ray, higher resolution display, far superior graphics, Core i7 Arrandale, and more.

I truly believe that Apple has made a change in strategy to completely abandon its resources from focusing on the Pro markets at all. Seriously, the iPad has obviously had 1000 x the attention given to it as this MBP update.

I find it shocking that anyone would be happy about this... but then there are people who just read Core i5 and think they're golden. One guy over in the new MBP thread said he just bought a Core i5 13" MBP with dedicated graphics!!! This is how clueless people are... they don't even read the damned specs anymore!

No USB 3. No ATI graphics. No Blu Ray. No lightweight transformation. No IPS display. No boost in VRAM for graphics. No benefit added at all other than an option to upgrade the display resolution in the 15" model. Other than that, it was shear disappointment in my estimation.

flynz4
Apr 13, 2010, 10:13 AM
I love my MBA... but I really want to waterfall it to my wife, and get an updated model. She would be delighted to get my current rev C w/SSD. I will be doing this as soon as new MBA models are introduced. If she didn't want the MBA so badly, I would hold on to my Rev C for a while longer.

For my work computer, I have a choice to replace my 3 year old 15" MBP with either the new 13",15", or 17" MBP. I am choosing the 13". After using the MBA as my personal laptop, I am just too spoiled and my 15" feels old and clunky by comparison.

Prior to owning my MBA... I always used my work laptop for personal as well as business use. The MBA is so spectacular that I prefer to purchase and use it as my main personal machine... even though it means having two machines. I really wish my employer would buy MBAs... but that does not seem likely... if they did, I would use it as a combo business and personal machine.

/Jim

macboy4
Apr 13, 2010, 10:17 AM
If Jobs comes out and says the Macbooks are getting A+ upgrades and being taken to the next level, then something like today happens - doesnt it bring into question his marketing credibility?

Dont get me wrong, there were a few updates in there that I thought were great (intel i5/i7, and finally a higher res screen on the 15 inchers). But these are hardly A+ updates...I was thinking something more revolutionary.

I still love the products but was really hoping for an updated Air like the rest of you - I need a second laptop to bring with me on trips (I am a consultant) and I want something thin and light with some power.

Here's to waiting :-)

What were you expecting to be "revolutionary" for the 15 inchers? They've been brought up to date with the PC world.

Bobjob186
Apr 13, 2010, 10:30 AM
If we can't get updated processors in the 13" pro's we're not getting anything for the MBA's. Seriously i7 in a macbook air!? Not gonna happen when we can't get an i5 in all the pros and the i7 is a bto option. 4 laptops should have been updated today, 3 were and unfortunately number 4 is going to be discontinued :(

Bobjob186
Apr 13, 2010, 10:41 AM
correction, the i7 isn't bto on the high end 15" but it is on the 17".

gri
Apr 13, 2010, 10:47 AM
What were you expecting to be "revolutionary" for the 15 inchers? They've been brought up to date with the PC world.

We waited so long - for THIS? Still C2D in the 13 inch, no improved graphics and even worse still no sight of a real MBA. This:mad:

roxygal9
Apr 13, 2010, 11:06 AM
Apple's failure to refresh the MBA and halfhearted upgrade of the MBP have convinced me to stop waiting on them to introduce an MBA I can use and simply buy an iPad. The iPad has a lot of weaknesses, God knows, but it also does a lot of stuff that I need right out of the box. Thus, I guess I'll buy one just as soon an the Apple Store gets some more 16Gb iPads. At least I will have a super portable Web browser and save a bunch of money in the bargain. For me, at least, the MBA is for much later, if then.

Im with u gwsat. What a disappointing update for 13 in. And null for mba. Id like to goto osx but the crrnt updatebwith c2d is unacceptable for tht price. Im still looking at mba i hope they update to 4gb ram otherwise i may entertain 2gb one hate to though. Should i wait go with crrnt mba or goto z?

gri
Apr 13, 2010, 11:07 AM
Question - I am now seriously contemplating buying a refurbished MBA privately. Any tips, which one? I would still buy a new one if it ever comes out (through work). This way I would at least be able to use a MBA on the road (and could still profit from the new model once it comes out...).:confused:

manhattanboy
Apr 13, 2010, 11:17 AM
All of you hopeful for an MBA update today were disappointed. I am certainly extremely disappointed too.

No, I really don't believe this, but at the same time I am shocked that Apple has updated the 13" MB PRO without its own graphics card and same C2D CPU. We all hoped Steve Jobs was being serious when he said the Mac notebooks were being taken to the next level... what a disappointment for the MBP fans. What an imaginative mind Steve Jobs has!!!

Hate to say I told you so!!:rolleyes:
Apple is overcome with hubris.
It's only a matter of time before it self-destructs like Toyota

Scottsdale
Apr 13, 2010, 11:54 AM
If Jobs comes out and says the Macbooks are getting A+ upgrades and being taken to the next level, then something like today happens - doesnt it bring into question his marketing credibility?

Dont get me wrong, there were a few updates in there that I thought were great (intel i5/i7, and finally a higher res screen on the 15 inchers). But these are hardly A+ updates...I was thinking something more revolutionary.

I still love the products but was really hoping for an updated Air like the rest of you - I need a second laptop to bring with me on trips (I am a consultant) and I want something thin and light with some power.

Here's to waiting :-)

I agree. The biggest problem here is the wait for 10.5 months for a PRO MB and then to get this extremely minor update. The 13" MBP was supposed to show us POSITIVES for the future of the MBA if the MBA itself wasn't upgraded today.

As an MBA lover, the biggest thing I fear is the graphics strategy of Apple. It appears Apple doesn't want to stick people with just Intel graphics, but then it sticks them with C2D CPUs that are seriously outdated now. When one considers a PRO laptop, doesn't one think that for $1199 and $1499 Apple could put 256 MB of dedicated VRAM? Think of the MBA now stuck with its 2 GB of RAM, and 256 MB of that is shared with the GPU. It just seems CHEAP. No it seems TOO CHEAP in this day and age to have these graphics strategies. Why in the hell cannot Apple give us more than 256 MB of RAM in an iPad, 2 GB of RAM in an MBA, 256 MB of dedicated VRAM in a $1999 15" MBP?

When one considers the CPU in the 13" MBP, it's no different than the original MB with Intel processors introduced over three years ago. The higher end black MB was a 2.4 GHz. I know it's slightly faster with Penryn over Santa Rosa, but why? Worst yet, how is the 13" MB Pro even a "Pro?" I think the 15" is quite far from any pro PC notebook, so what's the 13" MBP?

We read the Mac mini rumors a few months ago. Those rumors said the mini would get another C2D CPU with the successor to the Nvidia 9400m. This has happened. In the past, Apple used one graphics solution across all products except the Mac Pro (low-end MBPs/iMacs). Does this mean we're going to have C2D for another 10.5+ months? Seriously? I didn't expect that. If we were to get a C2D I would guess it for four to six months until Apple could give us a proper graphics solution (but Apple could have upgraded the MBA last October with 4 GB of RAM and this 320m integrated GPU and the same two SL9x00 CPUs). Why make us wait so long for NOTHING?

How about something like USB 3.0? Normally Apple comes through with one futuristic port like this. eSata, HDMI, and Express Card are all questionable in terms of need for a computer user, but a USB 3.0 port is what would make the Mac usable for several years also keeping it relevant and worth the seriously high price tags to own Macs in the first place.

Nevermind how nearly every PC notebook priced at $700 or more has a BluRay drive in it (I mean sale laptops we see at Best Buy every Sunday - so don't go find the most expensive one to compare it). Apple is so damned used to its margins on the iPhone OS products that it's just not going to give us what we want anymore in the Macs. HELL, I am willing to pay twice or three times of four times as much for my Mac, BUT I WANT RELEVANT AND CURRENT COMPONENTS AND 4 GB OF RAM!

I guess the thing is what I heard last October from a friend... the MBA was being tested with something like an Atom CPU and was going to at some point get some changes to make the MBA weigh even less... well I have since found out that chip was an ultra low voltage CPU "test chip" (not a real Core CPU but probably an Atom) meant to show performance and draw of a CPU like the Core i7-6x0UM. Also, the information lead to a new display tech being used at some point which is why I have been predicting HD IPS, 3D or OLED - something crazy and new. I found the information disturbing at the time, and I really thought the iPad would change that one prototype's purpose for the MBA. Maybe not now. It makes me wonder WTF is Apple doing? I can accept C2D in a current form factor MBA. Today showed me that Apple still doesn't give a damn about graphics, and that's the biggest concern for the next MBA. How does Apple go smaller or with an Arrandale ultra low voltage CPU and give us the graphics performance we are used to in the MBA? Or is Apple truly planning on sticking us with only Intel's GMA IGP? That isn't necessarily what we're seeing because Apple did at least bump from the 9400m to the 320m. It is still shared RAM which is disappointing. At this price level, I really want a damned graphics card for the MBA. I guess that is out of the question.

I guess I am just frustrated. I really really wanted an MBA or some great information. To me a great update today to the MBPs would have been a Core i5 in the low-end and 13" MBPs with a 310m dedicated card and 512 MB of VRAM, I would have been completely happy with the direction.

When the MBA was introduced in October 2008 it was the most powerful ultraportable with a C2D Penryn 1.86 GHz CPU, it had the best GPU in an ultraportable, it had a 128 GB SSD unheard of at the time, it had 2 GB of DDR3 FAST RAM, it had SATA-II drive controller, it was the thinnest ultraportable, it was the lightest weight ultraportable, it had the best LED backlit display in an ultraportable, it had the best aluminum unibody case, it had a mini display port capable of driving a 30" ACD at its native resolution, it had a backlit keyboard, and the design was truly amazing featuring even more than the other Mac notebooks by concealing the ports via the port tray.

Where has Apple gone with the MBA? NOWHERE. The MBA used to blow away every other ultraportable out there. In addition, any one component was better than that exact component on any other ultraportable, and it had ten great features blowing away every competitor. Look at how the time has changed. What has Apple done, NOTHING. Apple doesn't even give a damn, as if it doesn't run iPhone OS it's not worthy of taking Apple employees' time. SAD!

entatlrg
Apr 13, 2010, 12:02 PM
Wow, we all have some common thoughts and we're all sounding grumpy ... for GOOD REASON I might add.

Dammit Apple, just when I was "all in" things seem to be stumbling along in a bad way ...

We may need a cure for the iPad fever, I dunno I'm still stunned by today's updates ... what they did and what they could of done, blah.

Scottsdale
Apr 13, 2010, 12:06 PM
Hate to say I told you so!!:rolleyes:
Apple is overcome with hubris.
It's only a matter of time before it self-destructs like Toyota

I don't know that it will self destruct, but what it appears to be doing is ignoring the customer base that made it the successful brand it is today. The Mac users are being left out, and we can see it when Apple is so focused on an iPad that hadn't sold one damn iPad and it gave all of its attention to the iPad rather than its MBPs. We all can read the rumors that Apple isn't working on OS X 10.7, because every employee available is working on the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch or the iPhone OS.

I think its current strategy is bad news for Mac customers, but I don't know that it will destroy Apple. The bottom line is Apple likes selling consumer electronics now, and it really has left out its Mac computers. Look at these MBP updates. It appears that there was almost ZERO effort to improve these things. In addition, Apple raised the price because it had to further the margins to make it worth selling Macs. Look at the Mac Pro at nearly 17 months old. Look at the MBA that hasn't had an update since October 2008 (June 2009 was due to Intel changing the SL9x00 CPU specs). Look at the MBA that has 2 GB of RAM. Look at the iMac with ATI 4XXX graphics. Look at the Mac mini, MB, and iMac already six plus months old still not with Arrandale CPUs. Look at the AppleTV. Look at the Time Capsule drive offerings. Look at every aspect of the Mac... Apple has lost its way. Never before did the MacBook Pro take 10.5 months to update. When it did take over six months to update, the wait was usually worth it. We went through unibody updates, glass trackpads, backlit displays, backlit keyboards, chiclet keyboard, multitouch trackpad, mini display port, FW 800, HUGE battery gains (today's batteries are the same size the loss in graphics performance is the savings), and price drops. What did today bring? Nothing making the MacBook Pros better... a slightly faster CPU, and graphics that are only two years outdated instead of three years outdated (when figuring VRAM).

If Apple loses its battle with Google and Android, it might not have any Mac fans or OS X to fall back on. It is quickly abandoning its Pro users. Its model with consumers is to sell them an iPad not a Mac. In the long run, Apple is going to have a problem if it puts all its eggs into this one iPhone OS basket and LOSES. Sure, it looks bright now, but competition is improving in the smartphone and pad markets. Windows Phone 7, Android, Chrome, WebOS (Palm), and RIM are all going to challenge well. I would prefer Apple focus half its energy on what made it the company it is today, the Mac.

Scottsdale
Apr 13, 2010, 12:12 PM
Wow, we all have some common thoughts and we're all sounding grumpy ... for GOOD REASON I might add.

Dammit Apple, just when I was "all in" things seem to be stumbling along in a bad way ...

We may need a cure for the iPad fever, I dunno I'm still stunned by today's updates ... what they did and what they could of done, blah.

Stunned is the perfect word. Some of these MBP fans have been waiting so long they're not even looking at the raw deal they were just dealt. What happened to innovation and the Mac? What happened? Seriously, never before have Macs been so out of line in terms of technological and innovative qualities vs. the competition for the grossly outrageous prices.

I want to pay a ***** load of money and get the MacBook Air I want... why doesn't Apple give a damn about our market? Why is Steve so caught up with his damn iPad that he has shifted all of Apple's resources away from the Mac for the iPhone OS?

I am concerned as an AAPL shareholder, and I am concerned as a Mac fan. I am seriously contemplating the Vaio Z. I have to think about it for another couple of days... in case anyone forgot, I said if the MBA didn't get an update by April 14th I was buying a Vaio Z at least to hold me out through the MBA update.

We can all hope for an update at WWDC, but will Apple even give a damn? I just don't know anymore.

STUNNED!

entatlrg
Apr 13, 2010, 12:19 PM
They got drunk over the iPhone's success and plan/hope to do it again with the iPad perhaps.

Scottsdale you make good points, people should come back and read this 6 months and a year from now when iPad fever wears off ... plus any little hiccup in Apple's consumer market endeavors and and they won't have the market that made them famous - the business market to fall back on....

The more I think about it the more it sucks.

Keep in mind, Apple apparently sells 20,000 MBA's worldwide a week. That's coming from our Corporate Apple Rep ... she's mentioned that more than once...

bloodycape
Apr 13, 2010, 12:31 PM
I have to agree with you Scottsdale, your concerns are reasonable. It is really shame the 15 and 17in MBP only got the nvidia GT330m. They should have at least given it 1gb GT335m, and then give the 13in GT310m with at least 1gb of ram.

glitch44
Apr 13, 2010, 12:52 PM
Christ, you guys are being melodramatic. "Hubris"? "Stunned"? Come on.

You guys expect every update to be revolutionary. Well, sometimes they're just evolutionary. Maybe it's not the pro updates you want and we'd all certainly like a MBA update, but Apple's not "self destructing" just because the laptop updates aren't exactly what you want. That's just silly.

The MBA is a niche market product. We all know this. At this point I see the MBA a couple different ways. Either they switch to a long update timeline (like the mini) or they completely EOL it. So I guess I'm hoping for an update in Q4 2010. There was a rumor that the MBP would be updated in April and the MBA in the fall, so this seems fit.

skate71290
Apr 13, 2010, 01:05 PM
What were you expecting to be "revolutionary" for the 15 inchers? They've been brought up to date with the PC world.

Seriously? The day Apple Laptops are up to the same specification standard as PC Laptops will be the same day: Pigs Fly; Hell Freezes Over; Flash is supported by Apple and actually works; and the Apple Laptops are actually worth buying..... :D

Jobsian
Apr 13, 2010, 01:10 PM
Ah Scotts, good to see a thread here that's outright honest. I still can't believe the giddy posts elsewhere as much as I can't believe the updates. I'm truly, exceptionally disappointed. The volume of people who keep asking for Core i3s is almost unbelievable.

The 15" and 17" updates are ok but not earth-shattering or exciting. The 13" update is almost soul-destroying.

Wild-Bill
Apr 13, 2010, 01:22 PM
Stunned is the perfect word. Some of these MBP fans have been waiting so long they're not even looking at the raw deal they were just dealt. What happened to innovation and the Mac? What happened? Seriously, never before have Macs been so out of line in terms of technological and innovative qualities vs. the competition for the grossly outrageous prices.

STUNNED!

Could not have said it better myself. That, Scottsdale, is the perfect summation for today's MBP updates.

carlgo
Apr 13, 2010, 01:35 PM
Go to the mall. Check out which store has the most people in it. It is the Apple Store. Amazing. And guess what? Those people don't care at all if the graphics card is this one or that one, if the Dell in the Electronic Debris store is twice as fast or half the price or anything, actually.

We Apple people are going to pay more and we are going to get a product that is usable for us, even enjoyable and attractive, but it won't have the best specs.

The scary thing for Apple's competitors is that Apple is hardly even competing and is still killing them. Apple has ignored much of the phone market and only offers a pretty limited variety of computer products designed mostly for home use. Even those don't compete in price or specs. If Apple ever gets serious, watch out.

gri
Apr 13, 2010, 01:59 PM
...If Apple ever gets serious, watch out.

Oh how I wish...:rolleyes:

Hands Sandon
Apr 13, 2010, 02:14 PM
Apple has kept the 13" MBP affordable which is great and added nice custom graphics, therefore an excellent update. The only part to this update I would have really liked to have seen is a higher resolution 13" and USB 3.0 would have been nice, but not a deal breaker. However, that's where the MB Air will come in and that's really going to be a worthwhile wait. All in all, from my perspective, sensible and worthwhile upgrades.

Huubster
Apr 13, 2010, 04:52 PM
All of you hopeful for an MBA update today were disappointed. I am certainly extremely disappointed too. However, I did fear this in the sense of what is possibly happening with the MBA. Apple has a lot of updates to do this year, and it has to have something great lined up for WWDC. I believe the MBA will be updated then.

With all due respect. Your background info may be the best on any MBA forum. But your predictions are flawed, and based on hope.

That what the "next level" MBP 13" update is falls short of most of your MBA predictions. Why would the rev D MBA be better than that? Why even hope for a decent MBA update when the Vaio Z (pretty much an ultra portable) is even capable to kick "next level" 17" MBP ass performance wise?

hoogen82
Apr 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
I have been silent reader of these forums since about last year... I am primarily a windows user and do want to get my first Mac.. And I did believe an MBA would solve most of my requirements... Scottsdale Jobsian and everyone have been really contributing well to this forum...

The only thing I wanted was more Ram, Glass trackpad and possibly a larger screen... I am still waiting...

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 01:03 AM
With all due respect. Your background info may be the best on any MBA forum. But your predictions are flawed, and based on hope.

That what the "next level" MBP 13" update is falls short of most of your MBA predictions. Why would the rev D MBA be better than that? Why even hope for a decent MBA update when the Vaio Z (pretty much an ultra portable) is even capable to kick "next level" 17" MBP ass performance wise?

Probably true.

hohohong
Apr 14, 2010, 01:32 AM
Probably true.

This is not typical Scottsdale answer. Too short!

I guess Scottsdale is speechless! :rolleyes:

innominato5090
Apr 14, 2010, 01:53 AM
the only thing I can say is that I'm very happy: I bought a refurb rev C MBA just 1 month and half ago; I knew it was close to a refresh... but I could't wait any longer! I'd have been very upset today!

gri
Apr 14, 2010, 02:12 AM
I am afraid that at the WWDC they rather are going to introduce new MP and iPhone than a MBA. The MP have a bigger market I believe

emvy
Apr 14, 2010, 08:47 AM
I am concerned as an AAPL shareholder, and I am concerned as a Mac fan.


Judging by the latest rally of the stock, I think you should not worry!
The AAPL marketing team are not new to this game...

Apple is moving slowly away from keyboard oriented devices.
Most people don't really need a physical keyboard as they are mostly 'consumers' of information rather than 'producers'.

Keyboard is primarily useful if you are a professional writer or a coder.
How many of us really are? I am the later but still 50% of my computer time I only browse the internet. Do I really need a keyboard during this time? No.
For short texts, a virtual keyboard is fine. Not to mention singificantly *flatter*, which is something that Apple is really concerned about.

MBP Updates are ok I believe. A flavor of i5 and i7 to keep the sales going. Nonetheless, I expect something major during the MBA update. May or June seem like possible release dates, just to keep the upward stock trend!

xerenthar
Apr 14, 2010, 10:25 AM
apple is also huge in the student market. how the hell am i supposed to take notes and make outlines for class on an iPad? not a chance.

Veinticinco
Apr 14, 2010, 10:34 AM
I don't which is more depressing. That yesterday's news didn't bring any tangible goodies to either MBP or MBA fans, or that the news didn't surprise me in the slightest.

I agree 100% and have posted before on the pro/producer vs. consumer positioning shift that Apple has clearly now implemented.

What really gets to me though is the lack of information. I realise the irony of that statement given this is a rumour site. But when there's a lack of rumours, it's time to worry. Each suggested timeline whizzes past with still no mention of a refresh or update. Why the silence? Why not have Steve or one of his email patsies just reply to someone asking about the MBA with 'be patient, we're working on it'. I can only assume because they ARE working on it, but are way behind the development curve having gone in some very strange directions (the Atom processor experiment that Scottsdale alluded to). We would at least understand if there were some obstacles.

However, if they plan on EOLing it, then why not say so now? Frustrated potential purchasers will at least know and focus their needs on an alternative product, either the 13 MBP or go over to the Dark Side and cough up for a Vaio Z for example.

Why not just release a statement saying that Apple are "suspending production of the MacBook Air indefinitely"? I remember that release from 2001 when they mothballed my 1-year old first-off-the-line G4 Cube. Can't take it any further and not selling well. Fair enough. At least they had the decency to tell everyone - communication is key, even for a notoriously secretive company like Apple.

It's not the despair I can't stand, it's the hope that kills me.

Fraaaa
Apr 14, 2010, 02:16 PM
Just want to say: ENOUGH WITH THE USB 3.0 ISSUE!

That is not up to Apple, you won't get USB 3.0 until 2011 because Intel has no interest at the moment on focusing on them, and if you have read anything about that you could understand why.

Beside, I understand everyone disappointment but now that we know what Apple is after - heat and battery life concern - can we start figure out what are we likely to get on the new MBA?

Are we going to get 7 to 9 hrs battery life?

i5 or C2D?

Apple dropped RAM prices, are they going to put 4GB or stick to the 2GB?

Graphic card: is it going to be a 320m?

128GB SSD as standard?

SD slot & 3G?

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 02:28 PM
I have been silent reader of these forums since about last year... I am primarily a windows user and do want to get my first Mac.. And I did believe an MBA would solve most of my requirements... Scottsdale Jobsian and everyone have been really contributing well to this forum...

The only thing I wanted was more Ram, Glass trackpad and possibly a larger screen... I am still waiting...

Thanks for signing up and posting here.

I believe MBA fans would have been overjoyed with ANYTHING... for example, how about updating the MBA with the Nvidia 320m GPU and same CPU as now. But then upgrade the RAM to 4 GB, upgrade to the glass trackpad, and add a few BTO options like a larger SSD. I would have been ecstatic as that was one of my two ideas for the MBA update. Sure it might be WWDC now, but is that a good thing? Apple could have given us this C2D with Nvidia 320m months ago, so why make us wait for WWDC or later? Look at the value of the MBA vs. itself going on eleven months ago.

The problem is there has been ZERO innovation with the MBA since October 2008, while competitors innovate on a timely basis.

The more I read about the Nvidia 320m, and with my theory that we will be better off with Core 2 Duo and Nvidia than just Core i7 with Intel's worthless graphics, the more I feel the Nvidia 320m is a serious upgrade especially for the MBA where a dedicated graphics solution might not be possible. After reading Steve Jobs's reply about C2D in the 13" MBP, I realize it was the same theory I had been saying. The products don't need faster CPUs. The Macs need better graphics, more RAM, and more innovative features.

I am now feeling positive about the MBA's future if we can get the same C2D CPU and this Nvidia 320m. It operates 80% better than the 9400m. That is an upgrade. At least Apple didn't stick the 13" MBP with a Core i3/i5 and solely Intel's GMA IGP. Apple truly did the 13" MBP fans a favor whether they know it or not. The Core series chips are nice except they force companies to use Intel's chipset and GMA IGP which is terribly inferior to the Nvidia offerings.

Where I am still frustrated is that Apple normally offers something new and innovative with every update... whether it's a new tech like a larger glass multitouch trackpad, or backlit keyboard displays, or LED backlit displays, or a new method to make the Mac better not via a component offered by another company but by a feature. There are no new innovative features with these Macs except the 15" MBP's display upgrade to HD 1680x1050 (or whatever the hell it is).

I was wrong to so highly criticize the Nvidia 320m and the C2D. Especially when I have said that if the MBA cannot have a dedicated graphics card, we're much better off to have C2D and Nvidia GPU/chipset. This was an alternative I even looked for, but I think it was the lack of any MBA update at all and the disappointment in no dedicated graphics that I was negative and incorrect.

We are all going to be a hell of a lot better off with a C2D SL9x00 CPU and this Nvidia 320m GPU/chipset in the next MBA than a Core i7 ultra low voltage and/or only Intel's GMA IGP for graphics. Steve Jobs is correct. If Apple would have given the 13" MBP just a Core i3/i5 with solely Intel's GMA IGP, it would have boosted the CPU by 20% and dropped the graphics performance by greater than 50%. What Apple did was bump the CPU by 10% and bump the GPU by 80%. Every day of the week, that's an upgrade over the alternative bump to the CPU with a loss in graphics.

At the same time, not to be negative, but ATI offers dedicated graphics at half the TDP as Nvidia dedicated graphics... is Jobs looking only to Nvidia because of his displeasure with the ATI leadership just as he seems to do with other companies? This guy is finicky.

bloodycape
Apr 14, 2010, 02:34 PM
From what I am reading the version of the 320m being used in the MBP is actually integrated solution because if it was dedicated it would be more like most of the nvidia gt3x0m line in windows machines with 1gb of dedicated ram instead of 256mb or so of shared ram. I know ram is one part of performance of the gpu, but at that low of a ram and with Apple typically down-clocking the gpu, it maybe an improvement over previous 9400, but still a bit away from the PC counterparts, which makes it a shame. Also, depending on where you look the new intel HD is said to perform equally to the 9400m. I don't really believe it until I see it, but yeah.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 02:41 PM
This is not typical Scottsdale answer. Too short!

I guess Scottsdale is speechless! :rolleyes:

Actually, I was extremely tired. I travelled yesterday and had a layover of several hours because I missed my connecting flight. Then I had to connect via two small flights rather than one big flight. So I took three flights instead of two and had a terrible day. Then I got in and had to watch Lost... I simply replied before bedtime way too late. Look at the time of day...

However, at the same time, it is true. I often make predictions of HOPE when pertaining to TIME. I feel my predictions are pretty true about possibilities most of the time, and I feel I knew where Apple was going with Macs until yesterday (I really thought dedicated cards with more VRAM was a guarantee yesterday at least in the MBPs). However, I hear something or read some other rumors, and I suspect it's going to happen NOW. It rarely works that way. Some of the information I have heard didn't come to fruition for over a year with Apple products... so there is where I make mistakes. I assume or HOPE it's coming sooner when the real truth is Apple plans these things out for years in advance. I am positive Apple is working on the next MBA, meaning beyond the one we're going to see with this next update. The next MBA to us is already completely ready, but it will take time to make it and there's the issue of the MBA not selling as well as MBPs. When the production lines have some free time for the MBA, I am sure they will start rolling. I bet the MBPs have been ready for six months in terms of the exact specs, and probably three months ago they went into production in terms of getting the mainboard factory equipment ready, determining all of the engineering, and etc.

I often HOPE things are coming now when most of the time they're coming... later.

Very correct, I am wrong wrong wrong when it comes to timing.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 02:48 PM
I am afraid that at the WWDC they rather are going to introduce new MP and iPhone than a MBA. The MP have a bigger market I believe

Actually, nobody knows for sure, but I would guess Apple sells 4X as many MBAs as MPs.

As badly as my timing predictions have been, I still expect an MBA soon. Apple could even have a new Mac presentation keynote before WWDC. The Mac Pro needs an update worse than any other Mac product, the iMac needs an update, the Mac mini needs an update, the MB needs an update, the MBA really needs an update, the ACDs need an update, the AppleTV needs an update, the Time Capsule needs an update to drive sizes if not tech, and iLife needs an update... in addition, we're all expecting iPhone updates and iPod Touch updates. Apple could update the MP and MBA at WWDC, but then focus on the iPhone. However, unless there are huge transformations, we could get silent updates when the products are ready or just a simple presentation at the start of WWDC. In addition, it does seem that the MBA will get an update annually now. It seems that Apple updated to the v 2,1 MBA because of the original's failures. It seems that Apple views the MBA as it does an iPhone or iPad.

A lot of Apple product updates are coming this year. The longer we wait for the MBA, the more likely we're getting a bigger transformation.

Huubster
Apr 14, 2010, 02:51 PM
Scott, a good insight as usual.
A few questions remain:

Even the MBP 13" update falls short of your months of MBA predictions. Now you seem to be happy with the perspective even though it is likely that the MBA will even be lesser specced than that. What were you overlooking? (okay, you answered it as I was typing this!)

What you do call positively an upgrade with 320m falls considerably short with the main competitions offer (Vaio Z 330m). The thickness and OS X (Ubuntu is a great free alternative) can't be the sole argument. The competitor has higher resolution, cheaper memory and cheaper disk expansion, 7200rpm, 1GB dedicated graphics memory, 2USB ports, firewire. Lots more stuff the MBA does not have. Why would the choise of the inferior 320m only still make the MBA worthwhile compared to that?

Fraaaa
Apr 14, 2010, 02:51 PM
Some stuff that make me think:

They just had their custom made A4 for the iPad.

They also acquired Intrinsity.

Previously they had their custom made chip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIwv8biGbtQ&feature=related) for the MBA.

...mh...

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 03:12 PM
Just want to say: ENOUGH WITH THE USB 3.0 ISSUE!

That is not up to Apple, you won't get USB 3.0 until 2011 because Intel has no interest at the moment on focusing on them, and if you have read anything about that you could understand why.

Beside, I understand everyone disappointment but now that we know what Apple is after - heat and battery life concern - can we start figure out what are we likely to get on the new MBA?

Are we going to get 7 to 9 hrs battery life?

i5 or C2D?

Apple dropped RAM prices, are they going to put 4GB or stick to the 2GB?

Graphic card: is it going to be a 320m?

128GB SSD as standard?

SD slot & 3G?

Not true, it's simple to add an extra card to add a port. Do you believe the MBPs all have FireWire built into the chipset? How about Mini Display Port? NO, that's not how it works. Intel is not including USB 3.0 with the chipset, but it can easily be added just as FW or MDP.

We're not going to get 7 to 9 hours unless Apple is adding weight or moving us to the Intel ultra low voltage and sticking us with Intel's GMA IGP as sole graphics non-solution. I say it's doubtful given the Nvidia 320m usage in the 13" MBP. Apple will use the 320m across its entire lineup just as it did with the 9400m. Remember the Mac mini rumor of this exact 9400m successor? It tells us the 320m is the future and the Nvidia GPU/chipset will be the base for all products. How can Apple add battery without adding weight or reducing capabilities? It cannot. If we get a 1000 cycle battery we might get an extra 20% of performance from the same weight and density. Apple might advertise it as six or seven hours, but it might add an hour to get us a real five hours.

Probably going to be C2D SL9x00 and we're probably going to have it less throttled. Apple will say it found a way to give us 30% more from the same CPUs, since it's not upgrading the CPUs. Unless, Apple isn't going 320m across the lineup, then Apple can give you your nine hour MBA with an ultra low voltage Core i7 and sole use of Intel's GMA IGP. There you have your battery and the Arrandale CPU. However, this would give us about a 30% drop in CPU performance and 50% drop in graphics. So your battery life comes at a huge cost. The Core i7 replacement for the SL9x00 currently used, is a low voltage CPU. Apple could give us that and boost CPU performance by around 70% when boosting, but it would drop our GPU performance by about 50%. This would take about 10% less power assuming Apple didn't give us a dedicated graphics option. It's very possible that Apple could go Core i7-6x0UM (ultra low voltage) standard and even a BTO option for Core i7-6x0LM (low voltage). However, the C2D is making a lot of sense with the 320m Nvidia GPU/chipset. I would bet on it, unless our MBA update doesn't come until Winter. Beyond this Winter, the Intel C2D CPUs will be EOL'd by Intel. It's clearly stated in the roadmaps.

I would guess 2 GB RAM in low end, and 4 GB RAM in the high-end. What would be wonderful if it was two RAM slots, but it might just be one RAM slot or it could be soldered to the board again.

I think the 128 GB SSD is still too expensive to provide standard in the low-end MBA, but I hope I am wrong. It would be great to have a 128 GB SSD in the low-end and 256 GB SSD in the high-end. I half expected Apple to use a 32 GB SSD soldered to the board for the OS partition with the MBPs... since the MBP didn't get that feature, it seems doubtful the MBA would. Remember, Apple seems to use one component set across many Macs. At the same time, perhaps it provides a 32 GB SSD standard in the low end with a 120 GB HDD for files. The SSD would provide the OS a fast input output, while conserving costs for a larger SSD and use the HDD standard. So we would get 120 GB HDD plus 32 GB SSD. This would have to be seamless to the user.

I do expect to see an SD slot in the MBA if Apple can hide it in the port tray. If it cannot, I don't see it happening. In addition, it would probably require changing the port tray, and I don't see that happening unless the MBA's form factor (case) changes.

3G seems obvious, but it has seemed obvious for two or three years. I don't quite get this, unless Apple is waiting for Verizon to offer 4G to then provide the service. I wonder why Apple would charge $130 more for 3G in the iPad. It would seem that AT&T would pay the $25 of hardware costs for every single iPad for the potential to sell 3G services. The hardware costs are so small, that this must be Apple wanting to have the aluminum back on the iPad for those who don't wish to use 3G. 3G in the MBA seems obvious, especially given the target market of the MBA buyer. In addition, I don't see it costing more or being a BTO option at all. It would just be there standard and the MBA user would decide to turn it on or not.

I really believe Apple has negotiated something big with AT&T to give the iPad 3G service for $30 per month. I don't know how they can do it. They think the iPhone is a strain on their network, how are they going to manage download bandwidth for movies and games all day long for $30 per month? AT&T has to be getting something big in return, like maybe exclusive rights to the iPhone for another year. That could be the deal that made Steve go for it. Get his iPad out there to everyone who wants 3G for such a low monthly cost, and in turn focus less on iPhone growth for a year by keeping it connected to AT&T.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 03:39 PM
From what I am reading the version of the 320m being used in the MBP is actually integrated solution because if it was dedicated it would be more like most of the nvidia gt3x0m line in windows machines with 1gb of dedicated ram instead of 256mb or so of shared ram. I know ram is one part of performance of the gpu, but at that low of a ram and with Apple typically down-clocking the gpu, it maybe an improvement over previous 9400, but still a bit away from the PC counterparts, which makes it a shame. Also, depending on where you look the new intel HD is said to perform equally to the 9400m. I don't really believe it until I see it, but yeah.

I agree we all wanted dedicated graphics and they seemed obvious with Intel's knock out punch to Nvidia concerning Arrandale not licensed with Nvidia chipsets. However, would you agree that Apple would use one GPU/chipset across its entire lineup of 13" Macs and those that use the Nvidia chipsets in Mac mini and 21.5" iMac? Since Apple will use one chipset/GPU (it has in the past), would the MBA really accept a dedicated solution without lowering the CPU all the way down to an ultra low voltage to do it? Since the MBA, MB, 13" MBP, iMac 21.5" and Mac mini all use the same GPU/chipset, all products have to fit this one strategy. How does Apple make it work, use the Nvidia GPU/chipset in all of them to save money via economies of scale strategies. In addition, save costs in development of software production costs for drivers and also OpenCL and h.264 acceleration using this one GPU/chipset across all five devices.

It seems obvious to me that we will get an MBA update with the 320m and C2D CPUs. Apple will use the marketing of the new MBA as 80% better graphics and will relieve some of the CPU throttling to say 30% faster CPUs via the same C2D offering the same benefits as an Arrandale CPU.

It also seems obvious that Apple used the 320m because of the desire to use the Nvidia chipset in the MBA, Mac mini, MB, MBP (edited), and iMac 21.5." It would cost a lot of money to rework the 13" MBP to make the Intel chipset work with it, when Apple already is working out the Nvidia chipset for its 13" Mac notebooks.

The bottom line is Apple sees huge advantages in sticking with C2D because it can provide us greater GPU/chipset performance from Nvidia than it can by sticking us with Intel's GMA IGP and Intel's chipset.

We are going to get better overall performance from the 13" Macs, and Macs that use the same chipset as the 13" Macs (Mac mini and iMac 21.5") with the C2D CPU and Nvidia GPU/chipset. This was all about what the costs were for dedicated graphics, not just financial costs but energy costs in terms of heat and removing heat inside of these Macs... and the costs of losing out so much graphics performance by solely using Intel's GMA IGP with Arrandale CPUs. The end user of all of these Mac products is getting a much better all around Mac with a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU/chipset than they would get with an Arrandale CPU and sole use of Intel's GMA IGP for graphics. Now, could we get more performance from an Arrandale CPU and 330 GT dedicated graphics, but probably both the financial costs, and the problem of reducing heat within the confined space of 13" Mac notebooks and Mac mini wouldn't allow the use of a dedicated card. I could even see the MBA as being the single hold-out costing the others the loss of the dedicated graphics, because Apple wants to use one solution GPU/chipset across its entire lineup of 13" Mac notebooks and those that use that one chipset (Mac mini and 21.5" iMac).

This all makes a hell of a lot of sense if we look at Apple's history and the history of one GPU/chipset being used across all 13" Macs, iMac 21.5," and the Mac mini. It is unfortunate that dedicated graphics aren't coming, but this is a hell of a lot better solution than sticking us with an Arrandale CPU and sole use of Intel's GMA IGP graphics.

This also shows us that the other Macs will be updated soon. Apple delivered the 13" MBP first because it's their biggest seller. We will get a 13" MB with a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m. We will get an MBA with the SL9x00 and the Nvidia 320m. We will get a Mac mini with a C2D and Nvidia 320m. We will get an iMac 21.5" with a C2D and Nvidia 320m. These will all come out as soon as Apple can get the new chipsets/GPUs integrated and ready to send down the assembly lines.

Also, I read one article that said the Nvidia 320m is using about 35% less TDP than the 9400m. Now, we're going to get an 80% boost in graphics performance over the 9400m, and we're going to use about 35% less TDP. What that means for the MBA. Apple can remove some of the throttling on the MBA's CPU and give us the same energy output or even less. So we're going to have an MBA that uses a 17W TDP CPU and an 8W TDP GPU/chipset. That is the exact same number as the 25W TDP Core i7-6x0LM low voltage Intel solution with Intel chipset. At the same time, the user gets a 30% boost in CPU by de-throttling the CPU somewhat, and an 80% boost in GPU performance. This is a much better solution than Intel's Arrandale with Intel chipset.

I really am changing tune on how I feel about this 320m, after I have thought about the Apple strategy with 13" Mac notebooks and the 21.5" iMac and Mac mini. I also feel that the 80% boost in performance for 35% savings in energy is an amazing boost. I also feel that Apple can boost the CPU clock speed of the non-MBA Macs, while with the MBA it can give us the same advantage of the Arrandale just by reducing the throttling. How about a 2.13 GHz SL9600 CPU that runs at or near 2.13 GHz most of the time? Would that be a bad thing over the current throttled solution that runs at 1.6 or 1.2 GHz a lot of the time?

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 03:43 PM
Some stuff that make me think:

They just had their custom made A4 for the iPad.

They also acquired Intrinsity.

Previously they had their custom made chip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIwv8biGbtQ&feature=related) for the MBA.

...mh...

At least two years out... but certainly within Apple's long term strategy. It would make a lot of sense to remove Intel from its lineup completely. It will probably result in a slower Mac in terms of CPU clock speed, but the Macs will be able to focus on what matters to the Macs, faster graphics, and a more tightly integrated and controlled system that provides the user with a seamless experience.

Fraaaa
Apr 14, 2010, 03:43 PM
(...)

Agree.

So the MBA is going to be just up to date, with no relevant upgrades. :(

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 04:08 PM
Agree.

So the MBA is going to be just up to date, with no relevant upgrades. :(

Well. At least the MBA has some room for upgrades without Apple even needing to think about it. The MBA should get the glass trackpad which will add to the user experience. In addition, 4 GB of RAM is obvious, and now Apple is changing to the chipset/GPU used as 320m. We even have hope for a RAM SLOT OR TWO! Also, add the possibility of the SD slot. Also add in the 1000 life cycle battery and slightly higher density to maybe gain 10% battery??? Where the MBP disappointed yesterday was that it offered nothing new in terms of technology or innovation over its competitors. Look at all of the MBP updates in the past... there was always something that added an advantage whether it was a backlit LED display, backlit keyboard, glass trackpad, aluminum unibody case, or etc. Something that no other PC notebook had at the time... yesterday, Apple did NOTHING in terms of innovation. It simply used a new CPU, and a less outdated dedicated graphics card.

Beyond that, I don't know. I still believe what I was told about the displays being tested and theorized for the MBAs as the next advancements in Mac notebooks. At some point (either this update or next), the MBA will get a new display type. It will probably be an HD IPS display (probably 1440 x 900 or even 1600 x 900). I also am not ruling out the possibility of an OLED or 3D display of some sort. As late ago as last August, Apple was experimenting with different displays for the MBA (I believe my source whether other people believe me or not - he has been extremely accurate about what is coming [called LED ACD, called glass trackpad, called 21.5 and 27" iMacs, mini display port, and called a few other things with exact precision], but my timing on reporting has been completely inaccurate - these prototype components all take a long time to implement so what's talked about last year happens this year or next). Apple has a partnership with LG who offers these displays. The display seems like the next obvious way to improve the Macs if we really consider current ways to improve and provide a better user experience. The MBA could get this new display tech first, because it's a premium product, and Apple has a history of this (whether aluminum unibody display, built-in battery, or large trackpad). I have been recently criticized for saying the MBA is Apple's launching pad for ideas, but I stick with it fully. While I wanted to see an IPS display update to the MBPs yesterday, it will be a heck of a lot less expensive to offer a new display tech in the MBAs first. And what a way to add back some competitive advantage and a real reason for the UPGRADE to an MBA. People also criticize me on costs of an OLED or 3D display, but these exaggerated costs reported are almost completely reduced to within a fair range of current tech costs when moving forward and mass producing something. Apple has to leverage its partnership with LG sometime... why not soon and with the MBA?

gwsat
Apr 14, 2010, 04:13 PM
I would guess 2 GB RAM in low end, and 4 GB RAM in the high-end. What would be wonderful if it was two RAM slots, but it might just be one RAM slot or it could be soldered to the board again.
It is one of my fondest wishes that the refreshed MBA will have two RAM slots. If that happens, I'll probably buy one, despite just having bought an iPad. But if the refreshed MBA is limited to no more than 4Gb of RAM, instead of the present 2, the iPad, limited though it is, will have to be it for me for awhile.

bloodycape
Apr 14, 2010, 04:22 PM
I would love to get a 13in MBA to complement my Vaio TT, but a C2D cpu with a nvidia 320m gpu with only 256mb of shared ram isn't appealing to me. Now if it had a 1gb of non-shared ram or the 320m with a better newer cpu I would for sure get one. An extra ram slot would be nice, so would the option for a matte screen. I could save my cash for the Vaio Z(I hear I can get one for $1650 new for a base, which is fine for me), and would love to get one, but making OSX fully work is a bit more work than I like. I already have a windows machine, and I like the MBA because it runs OSX easily and is compact.

If Apple wants better performance and lower power usage, why didn't they go with the ATI gpu, like something like the switchable 5350 combo(with an integrated ATI gpu)? I know the 13in Acer TimelineX is getting something like 8-9 hours with the full i5 cpu(not LV or ULV) and switchable ATI 5670 combo.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 06:17 PM
It is one of my fondest wishes that the refreshed MBA will have two RAM slots. If that happens, I'll probably buy one, despite just having bought an iPad. But if the refreshed MBA is limited to no more than 4Gb of RAM, instead of the present 2, the iPad, limited though it is, will have to be it for me for awhile.

So 256 MB of RAM in the iPad is sufficient, but 2 GB of RAM in the MBA is insufficient?

The problem here is if the user can move from an MBA to an iPad, then they didn't need 2 GB of RAM in the MBA to make it useful.

The MBA is a real computer used not just for observation as in iPad, but more importantly for input of data or creation of materials, WORK. Without an MBA, and solely an iPad, the user cannot work just look at pretty pictures, play games, or pay for the same content as is free on the MBA.

Seriously, you're looking at this picture wrong if you're okay with the iPad and its 256 MB of RAM, but you're not willing to pay for an MBA unless it has 4 GB of RAM. You don't need an MBA if what you can do can be done on the iPad. Bottom line, the iPad is not a creation tool. If you're only using the MBA for observation, you're wasting your money... buy an iPad for $499 and be done with it!

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 06:54 PM
I would love to get a 13in MBA to complement my Vaio TT, but a C2D cpu with a nvidia 320m gpu with only 256mb of shared ram isn't appealing to me. Now if it had a 1gb of non-shared ram or the 320m with a better newer cpu I would for sure get one. An extra ram slot would be nice, so would the option for a matte screen. I could save my cash for the Vaio Z(I hear I can get one for $1650 new for a base, which is fine for me), and would love to get one, but making OSX fully work is a bit more work than I like. I already have a windows machine, and I like the MBA because it runs OSX easily and is compact.

If Apple wants better performance and lower power usage, why didn't they go with the ATI gpu, like something like the switchable 5350 combo(with an integrated ATI gpu)? I know the 13in Acer TimelineX is getting something like 8-9 hours with the full i5 cpu(not LV or ULV) and switchable ATI 5670 combo.

Agreed. But a lot of this is more appealing as a tech/geek "number" than real usage requirements. I remember reading about the actual VRAM used by most apps, games, and etc. It is very rare that more than 256 MB of VRAM is successfully used especially by any app most Mac users are using. In addition, 512 MB of VRAM shows about 8% improvement in speed in the very most VRAM intensive games. One GB of VRAM is even less useful... meaning the ROI for the cost of the VRAM is a waste.

However, the MBA right now would be a lot better if it had 256 MB of VRAM dedicated and another 2 GB of system RAM. Don't get me wrong, 2 GB is insufficient either way, but I see a problem with Windows 7 and OS X running at the same time without enough RAM to run the BARE MINIMUM amounts of system RAM of 1 GB per OS.

We all wish the MBA could accept a dedicated graphics card, along with 1 GB of VRAM, but would we really use it? I doubt it. How about 256 MB of dedicated RAM and 4 GB of system RAM... absolutely a lot more useful. If a dedicated card will not fit in the MBA, there is no point beating the issue. The thing is, let's have SJ tell us if that's the point... we know dedicated would fit in the 13" MBP, but we also know Apple uses one chipset/GPU across all 13" Mac notebooks and the iMac 21" and Mac mini that use the same chipsets. So it all comes down to one product that works across all of its Macs that use the smaller chipset/form factors.

I believe the problem we're all having is that we're not getting even HALF of what we're paying for. And Apple looks at this as an opportunity to sell us something that they don't have to pay for because we're not going to use it anyways. So let's say Apple cannot successfully implement a dedicated card within the TDP of the entire system... a real possibility especially with a Low Voltage card. If Apple switched to the ultra low voltage Arrandale CPUs we would lose a lot in total system performance. We would drop down to a 1.2 GHz CPU. Is that a real solution? I don't think so.

I believe the other problem we're all having is we all want progress. We all remember exactly what the MBA was when introduced in October 2008... it was the best ultraportable and beat every competitor in every single feature. Now, competitors can beat the MBA at every single feature. We want Apple to update it to provide us with the competitive advantage in our MBAs over every bit of the competition, and we want our money to be worth it for a new MBA. Apple is disappointing us, and let's face it the iPhone OS has killed Apple's care for the Mac. Even if Apple still wants to make the Mac a success, Apple and Jobs are so much more focused on the iPhone OS products that it leaves little time to give a damn about the Mac let alone the MBA.

I never thought I would say this, but I believe Apple should just go back to being a Mac computer company. Perhaps Apple would be better off to split itself into two companies or at least two very differently focused and completely split divisions with their own goals and strategies focusing on how each does individually with almost zero cross-platform workers, managers, and executives... one Mac OS X computer company and one consumer electronics company. Seriously, I am not joking here. If we had two Apple companies, we would still get the servicing and competition from the Mac computers on one side without interfering or taking from the iPhone OS products. The biggest proof that this is the problem is the factual reporting that Apple has dedicated nearly its entire workforce in terms of engineers, programmers, and etc, into working on iPhone OS products to ensure their success. OS X 10.7 has been put on the backburner, and it's completely obvious that the Pro Mac users have been put on the backburner too. Apple and Jobs have forgotten that the Mac users built this company and more importantly the branding, and Jobs has completely failed the Mac users time and time again ever since introducing his ***** iPhone OS.

In addition, the LUXURY competitive advantage of Macs are quickly going away. Forget about the professionals for a minute... how about the luxury of owning a Mac like the MBA... the competitors have all caught up. Luxury is the super thinness of the MBA, the backlit keyboard, the LED backlit display, the aluminum case that looks cool, the lightweight form factor yet full display and keyboard, and even mini display port to drive a 30" ACD. All of these features are quickly becoming available on other ultraportables. In addition, all of the competitive advantages of OS X are gone. Perhaps Apple has given up on the computer market? It just wants to sell low-end products that appeal to consumers. What happened to all of the BTO options on Macs? The MBA has NONE. MBPs have fewer and fewer.

Either way, us Mac users are going to have to adjust or migrate over to competitive products like Sony offers. I suspect other brands will successfully challenge in these luxury markets. There are a lot of people willing to spend a lot of money to get the computers and components we want. It doesn't matter if we don't use all of those components capabilities, when we're paying Apple thousands of dollars for Macs we expect exactly what we're paying for... the advantage! These advantages are all of the little things like backlit keyboard, and all of the big things like CPU, graphics, and BluRay. The advantages are much greater on a computer like Sony's Vaio Z, and that's why Apple has gone so wrong! Apple used to have all of the advantages, but it's quickly losing all of those advantages.

gwsat
Apr 14, 2010, 07:26 PM
So 256 MB of RAM in the iPad is sufficient, but 2 GB of RAM in the MBA is insufficient?

The problem here is if the user can move from an MBA to an iPad, then they didn't need 2 GB of RAM in the MBA to make it useful.

The MBA is a real computer used not just for observation as in iPad, but more importantly for input of data or creation of materials, WORK. Without an MBA, and solely an iPad, the user cannot work just look at pretty pictures, play games, or pay for the same content as is free on the MBA.

Seriously, you're looking at this picture wrong if you're okay with the iPad and its 256 MB of RAM, but you're not willing to pay for an MBA unless it has 4 GB of RAM. You don't need an MBA if what you can do can be done on the iPad. Bottom line, the iPad is not a creation tool. If you're only using the MBA for observation, you're wasting your money... buy an iPad for $499 and be done with it!
Here is what led to my decision to buy an iPad instead of the current model MBA. The iPad cost less than $500 and will handle quick and dirty Web browsing and email reading and occasional posting almost as well, and in some ways more conveniently, than the current MBA, which costs a minimum of nearly $1,500. I am frankly surprised that what to me, at least, was such an obvious decision is so hard for you to understand. My interest in the MBA is dependent on it being able to run Fusion and Windows in Unity mode, just as I do now on my MBP, which has 6Gb of RAM. I think you will concede that the current MBA can't do that. By the way, I explained all this in other threads -- more than once.

I've said this before but, apparently, I need to say it again: The iPad is not a real computer, whereas the MBA is. Nevertheless, the iPad does what it does in a small, convenient package. I like it and bought it because I thought, correctly, it could adequately do the casual tasks I needed it for, while my MBA continued to do the heavy lifting. When the MBA can do that kind of heavy lifting, I'll be interested on one. Until then, not so much.

frimple
Apr 14, 2010, 07:44 PM
Well while everyone was bitching about the MBA not getting updated :apple: just made 250 Million in revenue from iPad sales... I think they have their priorities straight :rolleyes:

AAPL below $100 was a steal :D

bloodycape
Apr 14, 2010, 08:20 PM
I agree with you Scottsdale on every point you said. I'm not sure how much FCE uses in gpu ram, but I guess its not that much. What would be cool would be 4gb of ram, with 256 of dedicated(separate ram) for the gpu, and then you could use some of that 4gb of ram to give you more vram when needed. You don't think it is possible that Apple could upgrade or give some models the GT320m gpu, while the base models have the integrated 320m model? I guess Apple is pushing some geeky and pro users to go the hackintosh route, with custom built PC's and laptops that are OSX compatible so to speak, but either cost less, are smaller, or give more for the buck. I know that what I kind of want to do as the 13in MBP is average, and lack of updated MBA announcement.

Apple @ 100 was a steal also btw.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 10:28 PM
Well while everyone was bitching about the MBA not getting updated :apple: just made 250 Million in revenue from iPad sales... I think they have their priorities straight :rolleyes:

AAPL below $100 was a steal :D

I own my AAPL portfolio at approximately $86. It was a bargain back then, and now the estimation is $300 per share. I don't know about that, but I agree the iPad gives Apple sales right now. The problem is, in the long run, Apple was built on the brand of the Mac. Right now, Apple is giving its long lasting incredible fans a big F.U.! Whatever happened to loyalty to the people that built your company and pay ridiculous sums of money for overpriced and inferior computers just because they run OS X.

I am worried about the long term value of AAPL when I say this. Apple Inc. just screwed over its Mac users AGAIN. It will continue to do such because it no longer wants to be a computer company. Apple wants to be a consumer electronics company now, and what happens if it loses massive iPhone OS share to an Android that runs Flash and is provided on better hardware with more RAM, faster CPUs, and etc?

The whole thing here is Apple should be building the Apple brand by catering to BOTH its Mac loyal fan base AND its newfound success in the smartphone OS business. There is no reason to alienate its loyal long-term customers to develop iPhone OS products. Google can beat Apple at the smartphone OS market, it's possible. I am not saying it will be easy, but it can provide a better OS as it's more flexible and it doesn't constantly screw over its developers and change the rules. Google cannot beat Apple at Mac OS X, so why not at least keep the same great advantage there while also pursuing the smartphone OS industry. The iPad is great, but don't screw over the loyal long-term customers that made AAPL shares this valuable and more importantly the Apple brand value so amazing.

Scottsdale
Apr 14, 2010, 10:39 PM
I agree with you Scottsdale on every point you said. I'm not sure how much FCE uses in gpu ram, but I guess its not that much. What would be cool would be 4gb of ram, with 256 of dedicated(separate ram) for the gpu, and then you could use some of that 4gb of ram to give you more vram when needed. You don't think it is possible that Apple could upgrade or give some models the GT320m gpu, while the base models have the integrated 320m model? I guess Apple is pushing some geeky and pro users to go the hackintosh route, with custom built PC's and laptops that are OSX compatible so to speak, but either cost less, are smaller, or give more for the buck. I know that what I kind of want to do as the 13in MBP is average, and lack of updated MBA announcement.

Apple @ 100 was a steal also btw.

No, I wish Apple could make two possibilities for the GPU, but that's not how an integrated graphics system works. About the best Apple could do is solder 256 MB of RAM to the board added to the system memory, then use a RAM slot(s) so when a RAM DIMM is inserted the first 256 MB which is used by the GPU would be there... but it would really just add 256 MB to the system RAM. So a 4 GB RAM DIMM would really be 4GB + 256MB of system RAM. That way we could have the full 4 GB of RAM for system performance.

Apple is so damned CHEAP when it comes to RAM. It cannot even put more than 256 MB of RAM in its iPad. I would gladly pay double or triple for an iPad with an ARM Cortex 9 CPU and 1 GB of RAM or more. But that's not the consumer electronics way. Remember here, Apple wants to be a consumer electronics company. These companies don't advertise or brag about CPUs and RAM in their products... that is where Apple wants to take its Macs. Then, it will truly succeed at screwing people over without them knowing it - but they don't like to say it or think about it like that. How many people do you know that know there's only 128 MB of RAM in their iPhone 3G while there's 256 MB of RAM in an iPhone 3GS. Same thing with the iPad... if they have to sell extra RAM, then they FAILED. But that's what I want... I want to pay more money for the fastest and absolutely best of everything, but that's not consumer electronics THAT is COMPUTERS! Apple isn't a computer company anymore.

ermir4444
Apr 15, 2010, 01:07 AM
I think it is not Apple's fault for not updating the cpu this time around. Intel hasn't given them a worthy successor to the Sl9xx line with 17W TDP. The only arrandales with 17W TDP max out at 1.2 ghz wich is a joke.
The i7 LM wich would be great for the air comes with a 25W TDP and the GFX and i think its exactly that GFX that is stopping Apple from putting that processor in the MBA an selling it for $1500.
On the other hand there isn't any faster sl9xxx to upgrade to since they top out at the current 2.13 used in the Air. So in that sense Apple is stuck.
But on the other hand nothing stops them from putting 4 GB of RAM as standard and upgrading trackpad and screen and maybe the graphics chip. Maybe intel will prepare them a unique solution as they did back in 2008 and give them a custom i7 chip with a 17W TDP and around 2.0 GHZ clock speed. I guess we shall wait and see. Hope its not too long...

Scottsdale
Apr 15, 2010, 03:37 PM
I think it is not Apple's fault for not updating the cpu this time around. Intel hasn't given them a worthy successor to the Sl9xx line with 17W TDP. The only arrandales with 17W TDP max out at 1.2 ghz wich is a joke.
The i7 LM wich would be great for the air comes with a 25W TDP and the GFX and i think its exactly that GFX that is stopping Apple from putting that processor in the MBA an selling it for $1500.
On the other hand there isn't any faster sl9xxx to upgrade to since they top out at the current 2.13 used in the Air. So in that sense Apple is stuck.
But on the other hand nothing stops them from putting 4 GB of RAM as standard and upgrading trackpad and screen and maybe the graphics chip. Maybe intel will prepare them a unique solution as they did back in 2008 and give them a custom i7 chip with a 17W TDP and around 2.0 GHZ clock speed. I guess we shall wait and see. Hope its not too long...

Well, the official replacement for the SL9x00 CPUs are the Core i7-6x0LM low voltage CPUs. Yes they are 25w TDP, but they include the graphics/chipset which is 4w savings over the current SL9x00 plus Nvidia 9400m. The problem is, as you stated, the graphics tied to that Intel Core i7 CPU series. Steve Jobs said their logic when he replied about the 13" MBP. Apple was able to get 80% better performance in graphics over the 9400m. In addition, the 9400m is 100% faster than the Arrandale GMA IGP (or GMA IGP is 50% as fast as the Nvidia 9400m). Apple obviously is saying they couldn't use a dedicated card, probably not because there wasn't enough space for it and cooling it in the 13" MBP but that Apple will use one logicboard/chipset strategy across its entire line of 13" mobility boards (MB, 13" MBP, MBA, Mac mini, and 21.5" iMac).

I think Intel's Core i7 replacement for the SL9x00 is amazing. It runs at a real 2.13 GHz while the MBA's CPU normally runs at 1.6 GHz or even 800 MHz. While the Core i7 can boost up to 2.93 GHz. If that isn't a hell of an upgrade in the CPU, I don't know what is. So let's assume that Apple isn't shorting us on the dedicated card over money, but that Apple truly cannot get both a Core i7-6x0LM and a dedicated Nvidia 310m in an MBA... what is the better choice for us? I truly believe Apple can give us a 30% upgrade in CPU performance from the exact same SL9x00 CPUs. It will reduce the throttling. The energy savings will come by the Nvidia 320m GPU/chipset using 35% less TDP (8w instead of 12w). We will be at 17W SL9x00 plus 8W Nvidia 320m. That is the same as a Core i7-6x0LM with sole use of the Intel GMA IGP.

I think we're better off with a C2D SL9x00 with less throttling and an Nvidia 320m than an Intel Core i7-6x0LM with only GMA IGP. Of course, we all want the Intel Core i7-6x0LM and a dedicated graphics card, but we're not going to get it as is obvious because Apple wouldn't even give it to a 13" MBP. So, of the two options, we're much better of with C2D SL9x00 and Nvidia 320m. I don't think the problem is a bad chip by Intel, but rather Nvidia having no license to make a chipset for the Nehalem Arrandale CPUs. Apple is probably going to change course at some point and switch from Intel to its own chips. Intel is playing bully with Nvidia because Nvidia beats the crap out of Intel when it comes to integrated GPUs/chipsets. Apple is stuck with the situation, and Apple can only get C2D CPUs until the end of the year. At the end of 2010, the Intel roadmap shows ceasing of production of ALL C2D CPUs.

I wonder if Apple could have used an Intel Core i7-6x0UM ultra low voltage CPU with a dedicated card, but those chips run at 1.2 GHz and boost to around 2 GHz. I don't believe that is much different than the SL9x00 CPUs are truly performing at most of the time, BUT try marketing a 1.2 GHz CPU as somehow better than the 2.13 GHz CPUs you have been selling since June of 2009!

The longer we wait for an update, the more likely Apple will be forced to switch over to a successor to C2D, AMD, or ARM chip.

frimple
Apr 15, 2010, 06:27 PM
The whole thing here is Apple should be building the Apple brand by catering to BOTH its Mac loyal fan base AND its newfound success in the smartphone OS business.

No arguing that point, but would I argue that we're the vocal minority in a sea of relatively happy customers. They've done one thing fantastically well and that's build an image that they sell, it's become less and less about the equipment (not that it ever really was I suppose) but more about the perception of owning a mac. I mean just look at how people on the forum describe their computers? We talk about them as the 09 or 08 models! They've effectively made computers cars now and can market the same crap each year with little to no updates. The vast majority of people no longer compare features or specs on computers they compare years, :apple: led the way in this and it's brilliant from a brand perspective.

The longer we wait for an update, the more likely Apple will be forced to switch over to a successor to C2D, AMD, or ARM chip.

I doubt they'd switch their chip architecture back to ARM or RISC based processors. They just spent a ton of time and money to get to 10.6 and pissed off all the old PPC users. A move like that would piss off their growing base. At best this move would be YEARS out.