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View Full Version : *WWDC Macbook Air Rev D Update Thread* (if it happens) 7-11 June 2010. Likely specs?




Jobsian
Apr 30, 2010, 04:24 PM
We now know WWDC is 7-11 June 2010 (contrary to earlier estimates of a late June WWDC). Apple didn't even touch the Air during the recent Macbook Pro updates. I hope they're planning a massive revamp, to be unveiled at WWDC, but even a minor spec update would do me (that darn RAM!).

I'm probably going to use this thread to post rumors/leaks as well as for when WWDC actually starts!

I'm going to give 2 scenarios in order of likelihood:

1) Minor, silent, update:
Current Design
4 GB RAM
320m Nvidia or even no non-integrated GPU
Same Intel Core 2 Duo, less throttle
192GB SSD

Nothing else. Even with this update, I'll probably buy it on Day 1.


2) A more major revision - perhaps introduced by Jobs as a "and one more thing" moment :D
Current or new design with better cooling
4GB RAM, Maybe 6GB high end
Low TDP Nvidia or ATI GPU
Core i7 680UM processor - ULV 1.46GHz, Turbo to 2.53GHz
256GB SSD
Glass trackpad
Better battery technology like the MBP
+/- IPS Screen
+/- USB 3.0

Ok this is the update I want. I would literally buy this in an instant if this were to be announced. The difference between this one and the MBA above is that for this one I'd cancel any engagement I had on release day and wake up early to be at the Apple store well before opening time. For the MBA above this one, I wouldn't go as out of my way and would probably get it in the evening or on the weekend if there's any timetable clash.


The Core i7 680UM
The key for me here is the recently rumored (http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/28/intel-said-to-be-prepping-1-46ghz-core-i7-ulv-processor-for-this/) Intel Core i7 680UM processor.

Why is this processor the key? I've had a rethink on my previous wishes for MBA. Previously I (and many others here) wished for Intel's LV (not ULV) Core i7 640LM which has a base clock of 2.13GHz and Turbos to 2.93GHz. But after reading about, and experiencing the realities of the new 32nm processes, I have to say they're still hotter than I would have hoped.

This Core i7 640LM 2.93GHz Turbo that we used to dream about is 25W TDP but I guess would just be too hot for the type of surfing I like to do on ultraportables, namely lap, bed and sofa-surfing...it would literally transform the MBA chassis into a kiln!

This, combined with the fact that I do not need the full grunt of the Intel processor the vast majority of the time means that the 1.46GHz (remember still Core i tech and not Atom) will be perfectly sufficient. If I ever need to do some video edit/encodes etc, well I'll just set this on the hardtop table and fire away its 2.53GHz Turbo.

Th 1.46GHz i7 is ULV and only 18W TDP. I used to despise ULV chips because of how underpowered they are but this is on another level, especially with 2.53GHz Turbo. It only has 4MB L3 Cache (2 less than current Air chips) but it's more than i5 and i3 Arrandales (3MB) and it has Core i7 architecture (increased clock-per-clock performance compared with C2D).

Finally, we'll get that battery bump that we've wanted on the Air without having to compromise on the weight of extra battery! The 2.93GHz Turbo i7 would devour the battery.

I'm now really hoping Apple get early stock of this CPU and put them in an updated Air (the CPUs are rumored for a "Fall" release).

Your thoughts?



jdechko
Apr 30, 2010, 04:29 PM
I don't think we will see the i7 at this time because it can't be paired with the 320M. It's either i7+intel HD or C2D+320M. If the new 13" MBP is any indication, it will be the C2D+320M.

Best I can speculate for when we will see an i7 in the 13" computers (Air and Pro) is the next revision, after Apple has had time to redesign the logic boards. At that time, I'd also speculate that the Air will be redesigned to accommodate the changes.

Hellhammer
Apr 30, 2010, 04:34 PM
There can't be more than 4GB of DDR3 unless Apple adds another RAM slot. There are no bigger than 4GB SODIMM DDR3 modules

Jobsian
Apr 30, 2010, 04:45 PM
I don't think we will see the i7 at this time because it can't be paired with the 320M. It's either i7+intel HD or C2D+320M. If the new 13" MBP is any indication, it will be the C2D+320M.
True I forgot about that, my mistake.

Maybe then one of the low TDP ATIs a possibility?

Scottsdale
Apr 30, 2010, 05:08 PM
You have a major problem with your major redesign option. With the Arrandale CPUs, Apple cannot use an Nvidia GPU/chipset. I believe the past tells us Apple will use the same setup as is used in the 13" MBP, unless Apple forgoes an update for the MBA at this time.

An update later would definitely lose the C2D CPUs because Intel is done making them at the end of 2010. That means Nvidia GPU/chipset is not an option at that time. That leaves us with an Intel HD graphics option and Intel chipset, or AMD CPU/graphics, or even a dedicated graphics solution which is almost not even a possibility especially if Apple couldn't put one in the 13" MBP.

I still think we're at 80% for an MBA update before or at WWDC with the same C2D CPU, 320m GPU/chipset, 4 GB RAM in both models, 128 GB SSD low-end, 192/256 GB SSD high-end, glass trackpad, and possibly IPS HD display.

I am not looking forward to a "big" update as I fear it will mean Core i7-640UM or even Core i7-640LM with sole use of Intel's GMA IGP. I don't see that as a win-win for any MBA user who needs graphics performance or who expects to use their MBA as a primary Mac. The fear I have is Apple trying to get ten hours of battery on its Mac notebooks. I don't want a 10-hour battery because it will come at a huge cost to performance as Apple isn't going to add weight or thickness to the MBA. I say this is a 20% possibility and will happen at WWDC or later. It could be that Apple even moves away from Intel with the MBA first. An update anytime after WWDC could lead down that path.

The real money is still on Apple using one basic strategy for all five Macs I have mentioned many times... the 13" MBP, MB, MBA, Mac mini, and 21.5" iMac all use the same basic configuration in terms of CPU, GPU/chipset, and etc. Apple made a successful MBA when it got rid of Intel GMA and used the same strategy across all five of these Mac products. I have to believe it will stick with what works. In addition, I believe an update now would make a lot of sense with these same configurations across all five products. I see updates to the iMacs, Mac mini, MB, and MBA all before or at WWDC.

I am looking for the update now. I want Apple to just give us the GPU upgrade, de-throttle the CPU, give us more RAM, a better SSD, glass trackpad, and maybe an IPS display. I am fearful that the big update will get away from an MBA that is capable of being MY Primary Mac.

Late last September, I learned of an inside FACT that lead me to believe Apple will eventually go ultra low voltage in the MBA. I had hoped that if Apple did that at least we would get a dedicated graphics card for our loss in CPU capabilities. With the recent 13" MBP update, I have to believe Apple will not go forward with any dedicated graphics for any of the five Macs that use the same base configuration. Even if the 13" MBP had an Nvidia 310m with 256 MB vRAM, we could have had some hope that Apple might give us a dedicated card in the MBA.

Now ultra low voltage seems fine for the CPU, IF we can get similar performance from the CPU (around 1.6 GHz boosting to over 2 GHz) and we get a tremendous graphics boost and a dedicated card at that. It would really make sense for Apple to use AMD graphics as they use such low energy compared to Nvidia in dedicated graphics.

With Apple sticking with Nvidia, not moving forward with Core i-in the 13" MBP, not using dedicated graphics in the 13" MBP, AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, Apple trying to get a 10-hour battery in the 13" MBP, I believe the MBA is in serious trouble with its next update beyond C2D and Nvidia GPU.

I just hope we get one more MBA with a C2D and Nvidia 320m and the updates we have wanted for two years... that would allow me to be happy for two years. It would give Apple time to figure out how to make the MBA just as capable while reducing the CPU voltage and using a graphics solution.

I vote for an MBA with the same case -
2.13 GHz Penryn C2D (de-throttled)
320m Nvidia GPU
4 GB RAM (probably soldered to the board) but two RAM slots would be great
256 GB SSD
glass trackpad
IPS display
USB 3.0 (no real hope for it)

I believe an update beyond WWDC will skip the last C2D MBA with Nvidia GPU. That update will probably disappoint those of us who want to use the MBA as our primary Mac as it will probably use only the Intel GMA HD for graphics. I sure hope Apple has one last Nvidia-based GPU/chipset for us!

***BATTERY DISCLAIMER***
Oh, and I don't want a 10-hour battery nor a true 7-hour battery as that will mean the end of the MBA as we know/love it. We simply cannot get those battery capabilities without seriously losing CPU/graphics performance to a Core i7-640UM with only Intel GMA HD, and probably adding weight to the MBA with a denser battery. So if people want a 10-hour MBA they can have it labeled as a 13" MBP. That is truly the difference in the 13" MB/MBP vs. the MBA, the weight and size of the battery is limited by the small thin case of the MBA with a goal of a 3 lb. Mac. We are all going to LOSE BIG to get even a 7-hour battery. I would prefer we get a true 5-hour battery by slightly modifying the battery with the flat cells and keeping the size, shape, and weight exactly the same.

stoconnell
Apr 30, 2010, 10:26 PM
There can't be more than 4GB of DDR3 unless Apple adds another RAM slot. There are no bigger than 4GB SODIMM DDR3 modules

The memory is soldered onto the motherboard as 16x1Gb (small b) chips 8 per side yielding 2GB (big b) of RAM. Apple could easily move to using 2Gb or (gasp) 4Gb DDR3 chip (these were announced quite a while ago). My only sense is that the 1Gb ones are dirt cheap and help with the profit margin -- unless it would require more power or the large capacity chips are physically larger requiring a complete reworking of the mobo.

halledise
May 1, 2010, 02:02 AM
either on 18.May or 8.June the refreshments will appear and we will all - well most of us anyways - be pleasantly surprised :rolleyes:

Huubster
May 1, 2010, 09:26 AM
Blame Apple for not updating the MBA so we could come up with a new topic of discussion then.

Well, good point, seems everybody has developed a certain frustration during the (too) long wait.

Hellhammer
May 1, 2010, 09:29 AM
The memory is soldered onto the motherboard as 16x1Gb (small b) chips 8 per side yielding 2GB (big b) of RAM. Apple could easily move to using 2Gb or (gasp) 4Gb DDR3 chip (these were announced quite a while ago). My only sense is that the 1Gb ones are dirt cheap and help with the profit margin -- unless it would require more power or the large capacity chips are physically larger requiring a complete reworking of the mobo.

Ahh so MBA has no individual RAM module but it has integrated small chips (same as found in modules), right? It just lacks the module i.e. upgradeability?

stoconnell
May 1, 2010, 10:01 AM
Ahh so MBA has no individual RAM module but it has integrated small chips (same as found in modules), right? It just lacks the module i.e. upgradeability?

That is correct.

gwsat
May 1, 2010, 12:05 PM
Well, good point, seems everybody has developed a certain frustration during the (too) long wait.
I agree. Apple's infuriating delay in updating the MBA has made those of us who have been waiting a little testy. I suspect that if we get a significant upgrade, which alas is not a given, all of our moods will improve dramatically.:)

Scottsdale
May 1, 2010, 01:13 PM
I agree. Apple's infuriating delay in updating the MBA has made those of us who have been waiting a little testy. I suspect that if we get a significant upgrade, which alas is not a given, all of our moods will improve dramatically.:)

We have essentially been waiting since October 2008... the June 2009 "update" was just a swap of the high-end CPU since Intel moved to the SL9600 at 2.13 GHz and a very nice $700 price drop. I really believed that we were going to get the "real" update in October/November 2009... and we're still waiting.

To me it seems obvious Apple really wants to stick with Nvidia and C2D as long as it can. Since Intel is going to stop making C2D CPUs at the end of 2010, I really believe Apple will give the MBA the same update to the 320m GPU/chipset soon. If Apple gives the MBA nothing more than the 320m, 4 GB RAM, and at least a 192 GB SSD, I believe it could double the MBA's best sales sales half-year ever and at a price tag of $1999. When I read or hear why a potential MBA buyer didn't buy, it's almost always the RAM or drive space... and not the money, CPU, or GPU (I am talking potential MBA buyers not MB buyers who want low cost).

It just makes a lot of sense to bump the MBA and keep MBA fans somewhat happy as it has been a long wait. I then think we will get a "major" update and a new design in Early 2011. By that time, Intel will have new CPUs with double the graphics capabilities, faster ultraportables, and a better selection of better suited CPUs. In addition, Apple could use AMD and ATI or even just use a dedicated ATI solution along with Intel CPUs. I believe that when Apple pursues a different strategy it will not mimic the new MBPs. I cannot believe Apple is happy with the Arrandale MBPs. The graphics are terrible, the Intel chipset and GMA IGP are a train wreck. We could see the new "Airized" MBPs in Early 2011 with LightPeak, less the optical drives and a new chipset strategy.

gwsat
May 1, 2010, 02:05 PM
When I read or hear why a potential MBA buyer didn't buy, it's almost always the RAM or drive space... and not the money, CPU, or GPU (I am talking potential MBA buyers not MB buyers who want low cost).
I have never worried about the prospect of having to pay a premium for an MBA. Its elegant design and SSD would make it well worth its price but for its maddening RAM limitation. Ah, well, hope springs eternal, although I hope that I don't have to be institutionalized while I'm still waiting for Apple to refresh the MBA.:)

roxygal9
May 2, 2010, 08:33 PM
I see the MBA was last updated in June 09. Was this also during the WWDC? If so, perhaps it is a trend Apple is starting?:confused:

If it does gt updated with the same specs as the 13 MBP, do you think they will raise the price?

Jobsian
May 3, 2010, 03:27 AM
Hmm good observation, it must have been, or at least around the time, anyone remember whether it was announced at WWDC?

Another point, no-one has discussed the idea of the ULV 18W TDP Core i7 680UM 1.46GHz 2.53GHz Turbo as discussed in the OP. I'm warming to it much more than to the LV 25W TDP i7 640LM for the reasons I discussed. I believe we'd see performance gains, battery gains, cooling...gains, especially with a low W TDP GPU.

Scottsdale, Gswat et al?

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 09:27 AM
Hmm good observation, it must have been, or at least around the time, anyone remember whether it was announced at WWDC?

Another point, no-one has discussed the idea of the ULV 18W TDP Core i7 680UM 1.46GHz 2.53GHz Turbo as discussed in the OP. I'm warming to it much more than to the LV 25W TDP i7 640LM for the reasons I discussed. I believe we'd see performance gains, battery gains, cooling...gains, especially with a low W TDP GPU.

Scottsdale, Gswat et al?
As nice as it would be, it appears to me that the ULV Core i7, or any other Arrandale chip, is a nonstarter because Apple would be unable to use an NVIDIA GPU with it. At least that's what the big boys seem to be saying.:)

jdechko
May 3, 2010, 10:42 AM
An update later would definitely lose the C2D CPUs because Intel is done making them at the end of 2010. That means Nvidia GPU/chipset is not an option at that time. That leaves us with an Intel HD graphics option and Intel chipset, or AMD CPU/graphics, or even a dedicated graphics solution which is almost not even a possibility especially if Apple couldn't put one in the 13" MBP.

A major computer manufacturer like Apple certainly wasn't caught off guard by the licensing dispute between Intel and nVidia, so it's had plenty of time to come up with a viable long-term strategy.

My take on the situation is this:

Given that Apple relies so heavily on the GPU going forward, I can't see them using Intel only right now unless Intel starts supporting some of the technologies in OS X. That means that they have to use a 3rd party GPU in their machines.

Switching to AMD seems somewhat odd. I'm not sure what they have coming up that will compete with Intel, and I'm not sure they have the manufacturing capability to meet Apple's demands (given Scottsdale's excellent 5-product platform theory).

Going back to what I said originally, though, Apple has known that this day was going to come, when they'd have to deal with the licensing issue between nVidia and Intel. I think Apple will eventually move back to dedicated graphics across all lines, you know, the way it was before the Intel transition. I also agree that, at this time, a dedicated card in the Air is unlikely given the new w13" MBP. There isn't enough room for a dedicated chip in these models yet. However, a logic board/case redesign for some models could be in the cards and would allow Apple to have power and performance.

(After RTFT: Honestly, though, it could be a space reason or a thermal one. If it's thermal, then a switch to the 680UM might be an eventual solution.)

PreetinderBajwa
May 3, 2010, 11:12 AM
I guess the boast of the slimmest laptop ever has caught Apple's B@LL5 in a knot.:apple:

To make it functionally viable.....in the future making the laptop a bit thicker is not an option as it kind of implies that design was wrong in the first place !:eek:

A decent capacity Hard Disk/SSD and a graphics chip and changeable RAM are already an issue. Add to that the heat of the i3/5/7 chips and the already smoldering aluminum design ... and you have the heat of hell on your laps !

The design is beautiful and desirable... but is it becoming the reason of its own future functional limitation ?

I would hope Apple would surprise us all and prove us wrong, I love everything about the MBA but the future doesn't look bright !

Just my 2 cents

Hellhammer
May 3, 2010, 11:15 AM
I guess the boast of the slimmest laptop ever has caught Apple's B@LL5 in a knot.:apple:

To make it functionally viable.....in the future making the laptop a bit thicker is not an option as it kind of implies that design was wrong in the first place !:eek:

A decent capacity Hard Disk/SSD and a graphics chip and changeable RAM are already an issue. Add to that the heat of the i3/5/7 chips and the already smoldering aluminum design ... and you have the heat of hell on your laps !

The design is beautiful and desirable... but is it becoming the reason of its own future functional limitation ?

I would hope Apple would surprise us all and prove us wrong, I love everything about the MBA but the future doesn't look bright !

Just my 2 cents

If they make it bigger, it would be same as discontinuing it... It's only advantage over MacBook (Pro) is its size, so to make it comparable, it has to be made even smaller

jdechko
May 3, 2010, 11:56 AM
If they make it bigger, it would be same as discontinuing it... It's only advantage over MacBook (Pro) is its size, so to make it comparable, it has to be made even smaller

I've often thought that when/if Apple redesigns the Air, they'd drop the taper. They could conceivably make the thickest point a bit thinner (possibly down to 1.5-1.6cm). At the very least, apple could spread a few things out for heat dissipation, maybe add a second USB port and a second speaker, a larger battery, and user-upgradable RAM (or some combination).

It may add some weight, but if they keep it less than 3.3 lbs, I don't really see it being that much of an issue.

Hellhammer
May 3, 2010, 12:02 PM
I've often thought that when/if Apple redesigns the Air, they'd drop the taper. They could conceivably make the thickest point a bit thinner (possibly down to 1.5-1.6cm). At the very least, apple could spread a few things out for heat dissipation, maybe add a second USB port and a second speaker, a larger battery, and user-upgradable RAM (or some combination).

It may add some weight, but if they keep it less than 3.3 lbs, I don't really see it being that much of an issue.

IMO it would kill the whole Air. All who buys it knows that they are making sacrifices for the extra portability it gives. For most people the 13" MacBook (Pro) is portable enough so I don't really get it why Air should be made bigger and heavier as it might lose its small market due that

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 12:21 PM
I guess the boast of the slimmest laptop ever has caught Apple's B@LL5 in a knot.:apple:

To make it functionally viable.....in the future making the laptop a bit thicker is not an option as it kind of implies that design was wrong in the first place !:eek:

A decent capacity Hard Disk/SSD and a graphics chip and changeable RAM are already an issue. Add to that the heat of the i3/5/7 chips and the already smoldering aluminum design ... and you have the heat of hell on your laps !

The design is beautiful and desirable... but is it becoming the reason of its own future functional limitation ?

I would hope Apple would surprise us all and prove us wrong, I love everything about the MBA but the future doesn't look bright !

Just my 2 cents
I think you might be on to something. If Apple could add real RAM slots, give us a cooler running machine, and longer battery life, by giving the MBA a slightly thickened form factor and a 10 percent, or less, weight increase, I would be tempted to buy it. Finally I agree with your observation that as beautifully designed, and remarkably thin and light, as the MBA is, Apple really does seem to have painted itself into a corner with it.

jdechko
May 3, 2010, 01:02 PM
IMO it would kill the whole Air. All who buys it knows that they are making sacrifices for the extra portability it gives. For most people the 13" MacBook (Pro) is portable enough so I don't really get it why Air should be made bigger and heavier as it might lose its small market due that

I'm definitely not saying that they should make it bigger (I suppose it could be larger by volume, but not dimensionally), and I'm only saying it might be justified being slightly heavier if we gained a lot in return.

Scottsdale
May 3, 2010, 01:02 PM
I think you might be on to something. If Apple could add real RAM slots, give us a cooler running machine, and longer battery life, by giving the MBA a slightly thickened form factor and a 10 percent, or less, weight increase, I would be tempted to buy it. Finally I agree with your observation that as beautifully designed, and remarkably thin and light, as the MBA is, Apple really does seem to have painted itself into a corner with it.

I think you're all wrong to assess the MBA as being too thin. Apple has used a Core 2 Duo Penryn CPU, Nvidia GPU, 128 GB SSD, and DDR3 RAM in an MBA that is its current thickness and at its current weight. If Apple can make the current V 2,1 MBA with these specs work wonderfully, how has it gone too thin? I just don't think people are being realistic to expect 10 hours of battery life with an MBA that's this thinness and this weight. So if people want a 10-hour MBA they can buy it labeled as a 13" MBP. Honestly, the way to make the MBA a 10-hour Mac is to make it the thickness and weight of the 13" MBP.

Now, moving forward the issue is that Intel has added the GMA IGP die to the CPU itself, Apple is forced to buy an Intel GMA which is THE PROBLEM. The Intel graphics are less than half as capable as a 9400m, and that's the nearly two-year-old version of the 320m which provides 80 percent more than the 9400m. The real problem here is the benefit of using Intel CPUs goes away when its sub-capable GMA is included with it. Even the 15/17" MBP users are getting far inferior graphics to the 13" MBP/MB/MBA when they're running the Intel HD GMA. Someone said this in a 13" MBP post, and it's true; the Intel HD GMA might "sip" the battery but its performance is so poor that for the average tasks that just uses the Intel HD GMA for graphics, the 15/17" MBP is at a disadvantage.

I really believe the problem here is Intel being a big bully when it cannot compete so it just forced the competition, Nvidia, out of the GPU/chipset market with all future Intel CPUs beyond C2D. All Intel did is move around the exact same pieces of the system by moving from chipset to CPU, and then it voided Nvidia's license. Until Intel is forced to allow Nvidia back in, Apple is STUCK using Intel CPUs with inferior HD GMA OR migrating to AMD.

I don't believe any of this means the problem is the MBA's thinness or weight, unless one requires Apple to make a 10-hour battery in the MBA. But then the people wanting such a battery are going to lose so much in terms of CPU clock speed of an ultra low voltage CPU and Intel HD GMA graphics. To me none of that is a fair tradeoff. Where I think Apple went WRONG was ever bragging about a 10-hour battery in the MBP. All that means is Apple is adding a lot of weight and thickness to the MBP, and add to that a pointless optical drive.

Apple should be able to improve the MBA without thickening it or adding weight to it. We're in an era of technology, and we should be expecting IMPROVEMENTS. The problem is the monopolist doesn't offer an improvement, and that's the Big Dog way. The bigger problem here is that customers have been SOLD the idea that a faster CPU is everything when that's not the case. With Intel Core i-series CPUs come terribly inferior graphics and Macs that cannot aspire to be better than the Macs before them. I don't know how one can say Apple went too thin with the MBA, as it did it 18 months ago and has achieved greatness with this mix of CPU/GPU, thickness and weight. I say the problem is the Big Dog bullying out competition, and as always the end user is the one who ALWAYS LOSES when a monopolist pushes out competition... competition drives better products for all of us, and the problem Apple has with the MBA is the loss of competition from its suppliers.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 01:22 PM
Scottsdale -- First, I agree that a 10 hour battery probably isn't in the cards for the MBA, even if Apple should opt to make it slightly thicker and heavier. It would be nice, though, if there were a way to increase its very limited 5 hour battery to 7 or 8 hours. Obviously, though, if that would require increasing the MBA's weight significantly, Apple probably wouldn't do it, and shouldn't in my humble opinion.

My primary point of concern with the MBA, as you know, is its hardwired 2Gb of RAM. Frankly, I don't think even 4Gb of hardwired RAM would be enough to convince me to buy one. If RAM slots could be included, though, even at the expense of a slightly thicker, heavier computer, I would almost certainly buy one. All of this gets back to what we see over and over again in laptop design. Everything is a compromise, with the need for thinness and lightness battling with the need for power. Every time I contemplate this dilemma I come to the same conclusion: there is no free lunch.

Scottsdale
May 3, 2010, 02:03 PM
Scottsdale -- First, I agree that a 10 hour battery probably isn't in the cards for the MBA, even if Apple should opt to make it slightly thicker and heavier. It would be nice, though, if there were a way to increase its very limited 5 hour battery to 7 or 8 hours. Obviously, though, if that would require increasing the MBA's weight significantly, Apple probably wouldn't do it, and shouldn't in my humble opinion.

My primary point of concern with the MBA, as you know, is its hardwired 2Gb of RAM. Frankly, I don't think even 4Gb of hardwired RAM would be enough to convince me to buy one. If RAM slots could be included, though, even at the expense of a slightly thicker, heavier computer, I would almost certainly buy one. All of this gets back to what we see over and over again in laptop design. Everything is a compromise, with the need for thinness and lightness battling with the need for power. Every time I contemplate this dilemma I come to the same conclusion: there is no free lunch.

I seriously doubt Apple would ever consider going thicker in any way than the current MBA is. In Apple's history of selling Macs, it rarely changes a model/case design in less than three years. I believe we're going to see the "next" MBA case design in January 2011. The question is, will we see a new MBA with the exact same case one more time before then. With Apple's strategy of using one base configuration for five Macs, and with Apple sticking with C2D and Nvidia GPU/chipset in the 13" MBP, I don't think there's any reason not to update the MBA and keep it relevant until the major update next year.

When the MBA gets updated, I agree that Apple might eliminate the tapering. Look at the new iPhone HD design to see what Apple could do with the MBA. It could go thinner in the thickest part and use that one thickness across the entire MBA. But will that be better? I don't know, because the MBA feels like it's 1/4" thick due to the tapering. It might feel like 2/3" all the way across which could feel a lot thicker than the current MBA. With uniform thickness, there would be far less wasted space. However, if anyone takes apart the MBA, they will realize almost zero wasted space in it.

I don't know where Apple is going to take the MBA, but I believe that we will all be seriously disappointed if there's a 10-hour battery in the next MBA. The rumors of an ultra low voltage Arrandale CPU seem baseless given the past and current strategy Apple has used across five Macs including the MBA. In addition, there is the marketing problem of selling a 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo and moving to a 1.2 or 1.4 GHz Core i7. I just don't believe it would be easy to sell an "upgrade" to a CPU that loses 40% of its clock speed. I still believe when Apple moves beyond C2D it will move to the replacement CPU for the SL9x00 which is the low voltage Core i7-6x0LM. At 25W, Apple could turn off the HD GMA and save 8W, then use a dedicated ATI solution to get the MBA at 29W or less, and maybe even use a different cooling system to achieve such a feat.

I just have to believe that Apple will keep the MBA fully primary Mac capable. Moving to ultra low voltage or sticking us with Intel HD GMA wouldn't be that far from just selling us a damned iPad. Surely Apple wants to keep these products as different as possible to ensure the luxury price tag on the MBA. One last thing, I truly believe we're in for a price update that adds as much as $300 to the high-end MBA. A $1999 high-end MBA seems most likely, and I believe Apple will reward those willing to spend more money with a larger SSD and some other advantage in spending more money... and I hope it's an HD IPS display. It just makes sense in charging a premium for such an MBA, and I think Apple will sell more MBAs than ever before if it just gets the MBA to 4 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. I would love two RAM slots, but I believe we will have to wait for a newly designed MBA to get such a luxury.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 03:06 PM
Scottsdale -- I could live with even a $300 price bump for the MBA if it included a larger SSD and significantly more RAM. Only 4Gb of RAM and a price of $1,999, though, would be a deal breaker for me. A significantly more expensive MBA would have to have at least 6Gb of RAM. As I have said before, I would line up to buy such an upgraded MBA on day one.

halledise
May 3, 2010, 03:27 PM
My primary point of concern with the MBA, as you know, is its hardwired 2Gb of RAM. Frankly, I don't think even 4Gb of hardwired RAM would be enough to convince me to buy one.

4 gb of memory is more than sufficient for the tasks that one would perform on an Air.
Goodness me, 4 gb of memory is sufficient for most if not all tasks on a MB Pro or iMac.
to go to or demand 8 gb is simply a case of 'my dick's bigger than yours' when it comes to 95% of tasks the people do - excluding perhaps video manipulation.

in which case one may as well buy a Mac Pro. :)

sure additional memory helps but it's not all about RAM - it's about the combination of cpu speed / graphics speed-capabilities / bus speed / HDD speed etc as prior posts have alluded to.

jdechko
May 3, 2010, 04:42 PM
4 gb of memory is more than sufficient for the tasks that one would perform on an Air.
Goodness me, 4 gb of memory is sufficient for most if not all tasks on a MB Pro or iMac.
to go to or demand 8 gb is simply a case of 'my dick's bigger than yours' when it comes to 95% of tasks the people do - excluding perhaps video manipulation.

in which case one may as well buy a Mac Pro. :)

sure additional memory helps but it's not all about RAM - it's about the combination of cpu speed / graphics speed-capabilities / bus speed / HDD speed etc as prior posts have alluded to.

Virtual Machines? The majority of the people clamoring for 4+ GB want to run more than one OS at a time. They're generally not editing videos, music or photos as you might guess. But they'd surely like to be able to allocate more than 1GB each to OS X and Windows 7.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 04:47 PM
4 gb of memory is more than sufficient for the tasks that one would perform on an Air.
Goodness me, 4 gb of memory is sufficient for most if not all tasks on a MB Pro or iMac.
to go to or demand 8 gb is simply a case of 'my dick's bigger than yours' when it comes to 95% of tasks the people do - excluding perhaps video manipulation.

in which case one may as well buy a Mac Pro. :)

sure additional memory helps but it's not all about RAM - it's about the combination of cpu speed / graphics speed-capabilities / bus speed / HDD speed etc as prior posts have alluded to.
I run VMware Fusion and Windows 7 in Unity mode with two or more Windows apps always open on the OS X desktop, along with 3, 4, or 5 OS X apps. I am a member of VMware's beta testing group for Fusion 3.1. I have raised this issue in several VMware Forum threads and nobody has said that 4Gb of RAM would handle those kinds of stresses. Several posters have said that 4Gb is inadequate for such uses. In fact, 6Gb of RAM causes things to be a little slow on my MBP sometimes but never unstable. Unless I can configure an MBA to be my go to computer, as my MBP is now, I can't use it. Thus, 4Gb of RAM wouldn't work or me. Sad, but there it is.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 04:51 PM
Virtual Machines? The majority of the people clamoring for 4+ GB want to run more than one OS at a time. They're generally not editing videos, music or photos as you might guess. But they'd surely like to be able to allocate more than 1GB each to OS X and Windows 7.
Indeed, you anticipated my last post. I have half of my RAM, 3Gb, dedicated to my Windows 7 virtual machine and it's still a little slow, although not unstable. I have reluctantly concluded that 6Gb or RAM is the absolute minimum necessary for my setup.

jdechko
May 3, 2010, 05:07 PM
gwsat, it's unfortunate that an Air likely won't ever truly work for you, but at least you are aware of the limitations from the computer. What is truly unfortunate is those who look at the Macbook Air as a toy simply because it does not, and cannot, fulfill their computing needs, and those who want a Mac Pro just to show off.

In my current situation, I can't even say that I need more than 2GB of RAM at any one point, but I'd still rather not buy an Air with less than 4GB because I know that in the future, 2GB will be limiting (just as 384MB was on my last laptop). In the future, my computing needs will likely change, and I'll have to evaluate the different options at that time.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 07:36 PM
gwsat, it's unfortunate that an Air likely won't ever truly work for you, but at least you are aware of the limitations from the computer. What is truly unfortunate is those who look at the Macbook Air as a toy simply because it does not, and cannot, fulfill their computing needs, and those who want a Mac Pro just to show off.

In my current situation, I can't even say that I need more than 2GB of RAM at any one point, but I'd still rather not buy an Air with less than 4GB because I know that in the future, 2GB will be limiting (just as 384MB was on my last laptop). In the future, my computing needs will likely change, and I'll have to evaluate the different options at that time.
I think the biggest mistake a prospective buyer could make would be to buy an MBA without first determining whether it could do the job the buyer needed it to do. I agree with the conventional wisdom that the MBA's RAM will probably be upgraded to no more than 4Gb. Alas, that wouldn't work for me. Curses! Maybe next year's update, whatever it turns out to be will solve the problem for me. I can only hope so.

Scottsdale
May 3, 2010, 08:35 PM
4 gb of memory is more than sufficient for the tasks that one would perform on an Air.
Goodness me, 4 gb of memory is sufficient for most if not all tasks on a MB Pro or iMac.
to go to or demand 8 gb is simply a case of 'my dick's bigger than yours' when it comes to 95% of tasks the people do - excluding perhaps video manipulation.

in which case one may as well buy a Mac Pro. :)

sure additional memory helps but it's not all about RAM - it's about the combination of cpu speed / graphics speed-capabilities / bus speed / HDD speed etc as prior posts have alluded to.

I agree. Anyone needing more than 4 GB of RAM isn't going to get it anytime soon from an MBA. I don't even think it's within the realm of acceptability to expect it from the next MBA (4 GB absolutely, two RAM slots not going to happen). If it had two RAM slots, I would upgrade to 8 GB of RAM so Apple could get an extra $500 from me (or whatever they charge). But I expect and would be ecstatic with 4 GB of RAM soldered to the board.

It's going to take a new design and board to get two RAM slots in this thing, and Apple needs it designed so RAM is the first thing visible when removing the bottom case... it's really not going to happen! I really think it's absurd to wait for a 8 GB RAM MBA (6 GB of RAM isn't going to ever happen as it's an odd number that the old MBPs could accept up to unofficially). The point would be Gwsat, that you might as well take yourself off the "Planning to buy MBA upon update list."

Jdechko - I completely agree with your statement of why people want 4 GB of RAM. Most running just OS X would be completely fine with 2 GB of RAM. Most of us that want to run multiple OSes in a VM need more than 2 GB of RAM.

Of course 4 GB of RAM is more than enough for both OS X and Windows 7, Gwsat. It's really not going to happen that you will get your magical 6 GB of RAM in an MBA before or at WWDC. You might as well come back to the boards in Early 2011 and hope for two RAM slots.

gwsat
May 3, 2010, 09:12 PM
Scottsdale -- I have expressed my agreement in several earlier posts to various threads that Apple probably won't upgrade the MBA's RAM beyond 4Gb anytime before a significant redesign takes place. I agree that it's possible to run OS X and Windows with only 4Gb of RAM. Unfortunately, though, 4Gb of RAM is insufficient to run Fusion in Unity mode in order to have several Windows programs open on the OS X desktop along with several OS X programs.

I'm going to continue to watch and wait to see what happens to the MBA over the coming months. Fortunately, AppleCare on my current go to machine, an MBP, has almost a year to run and my iPad has turned out to be surprisingly good as a walking around lightweight for Web surfing and for watching Netflix streaming. Thus, I am in in no particular hurry to get another ultra portable. Still, hope springs eternal that Apple, somehow some way, will ultimately offer an MBA that I can use.

Scottsdale
May 3, 2010, 11:18 PM
Scottsdale -- I have expressed my agreement in several earlier posts to various threads that Apple probably won't upgrade the MBA's RAM beyond 4Gb anytime before a significant redesign takes place. I agree that it's possible to run OS X and Windows with only 4Gb of RAM. Unfortunately, though, 4Gb of RAM is insufficient to run Fusion in Unity mode in order to have several Windows programs open on the OS X desktop along with several OS X programs.

I'm going to continue to watch and wait to see what happens to the MBA over the coming months. Fortunately, AppleCare on my current go to machine, an MBP, has almost a year to run and my iPad has turned out to be surprisingly good as a walking around lightweight for Web surfing and for watching Netflix streaming. Thus, I am in in no particular hurry to get another ultra portable. Still, hope springs eternal that Apple, somehow some way, will ultimately offer an MBA that I can use.

At the end of the day I seriously hope you get the MBA you want sooner rather than later. I really would LOVE 8 GB of RAM in an MBA, and I would pay more than $500 to get that upgrade. If they offered 8 GB in a BTO configuration that had to be soldered to the board for $999 upgrade, I would do it. I just feel like an MBA with 8 GB of RAM would last for three years for me... and that's a problem for Apple. It always gives INCREMENTAL upgrades. I see 4 GB now, and maybe if everything goes right, 8 GB in the first version in a new model/case design. Apple would definitely benefit from people like us who would pay ridiculously for the exact luxuries we want from an MBA. I get why Apple removed the BTO options from the MBA last June to get costs down for those wishing to buy the MBA as a secondary Mac, but I expect BTO options to make a comeback in the next MBA... and prices to go up also. I really hope you get the 8 GB capable MBA you want whether it's soldered to the board or via two RAM slots.

As far as Fusion Unity mode, I really don't know about all of that. Unfortunately, with the MBA I don't have any option to run both OSes at the same time. I wish I knew those troubles because it would mean an MBA that meets those requirements, ha ha. I just didn't know we needed 8 GB to do that. In all honesty, I will probably open up Windows via Fusion or Parallels a few days per week. I will only then boot into Windows a day or two per month. I hope that Apple allowing third-party access to h.264 for developers of HD apps and Flash gets me out of the habit of needing or wanting to go into Windows 7. I really like 7 but it's not as clean or fun as OS X. I once used Parallels with an aluminum MB, and it was great for the limited uses back then, but I will get all of the details from you and a few other members about running VMs as soon as we get a 4 GB RAM MBA. I hope that will be one of the next three Tuesdays or more likely WWDC in a month.

gwsat
May 4, 2010, 08:23 AM
Scottsdale -- After I read your previous post and posted my response to it last night I started thinking about ways to get by with an MBA with only 4Gb of RAM and may have come up with something. My constant need for Windows stems from my reliance on Quicken 2010 for Windows. I use it constantly, not only to enter and track financial transactions but to consult concerning what I bought earlier. It occurred to me that I might be able to get by without Fusion's Unity mode by having only Quicken open in Windows most of the time. If I could get by with leaving Fusion running with Windows and Quicken loaded, although not in Unity mode, it might work. I am going to experiment with various configurations on my MBP and see what the changes do. I cannot overstate how delighted I would be to come up with a workaround that would allow me to get by with 4Gb of RAM and still have my Quicken for Windows app as readily available as it is now.

Santabean2000
May 4, 2010, 08:58 AM
[QUOTE=Scottsdale;

It just makes a lot of sense to bump the MBA and keep MBA fans somewhat happy as it has been a long wait. I then think we will get a "major" update and a new design in Early 2011. By that time, Intel will have new CPUs with double the graphics capabilities, faster ultraportables, and a better selection of better suited CPUs. In addition, Apple could use AMD and ATI or even just use a dedicated ATI solution along with Intel CPUs. I believe that when Apple pursues a different strategy it will not mimic the new MBPs. I cannot believe Apple is happy with the Arrandale MBPs. The graphics are terrible, the Intel chipset and GMA IGP are a train wreck. We could see the new "Airized" MBPs in Early 2011 with LightPeak, less the optical drives and a new chipset strategy.[/QUOTE]

I think you've hit the proverbial nail on its head here.

Anyone see a 15" MBA option in the next major redesign?

jdechko
May 4, 2010, 10:33 AM
gwsat, I was wondering if you had ever thought about doing some major tweaking your Windows install? There are programs (nlite and vlite, for XP and Vista/7, respectively) that will take a windows installation disk and remove unneeded features. The output is an ISO that you can burn to CD or transfer to a flash drive to install.

I've actually created a small enough Vista install that it runs okay with 256MB of RAM, and only requires about 3GB of disk space.

If you're running only 1 program, it might be worth it to take a look.

gwsat
May 4, 2010, 11:59 AM
jdechko -- Thanks for your suggestion. I have been experimenting with some changed settings in Fusion and am encouraged. I have reduced the amount of RAM dedicated to the Win 7 vm from 3Gb to 1Gb. Nevertheless, the Win 7 Performance Index score is only marginally lower than it was when I devoted 3Gb of RAM to Windows. VMware has upgraded Fusion 3.1 beta to 3.1 Release Candidate and it runs much faster than the beta version did. I am a little more optimistic about being able to tweak my setup in a way that would let me do what I needed done on an MBA with 4Gb of RAM. I hope that's not wishful thinking.:)

In addition to Quicken, I am also running the Oxford English Dictionary on CD in Windows. My version is very old, so a kludge was required to make it work. Despite its Rube Goldberg aspects, the OED runs well in Fusion and the ability to keep it open on the OS X desktop has been a pleasure. The OED, though, is a luxury, not an absolute necessity. Thus, I would gladly jettison it from an MBA setup if I could get Fusion, Win 7, and Quicken to work well on it with 4Gb of RAM.

pharmx
May 4, 2010, 12:02 PM
I'd love to see the new Intel SSD in the next update as well. Not sure how long before they are released, supposedly this year though. Double the drive space for the same price, although I'm not sure how much of that savings will be passed on. I guess it will also depend on if Apple still has a stockpile of the Toshiba drives.

jdechko
May 4, 2010, 12:22 PM
jdechko -- Thanks for your suggestion. I have been experimenting with some changed settings in Fusion and am encouraged. I have reduced the amount of RAM dedicated to the Win 7 vm from 3Gb to 1Gb. Nevertheless, the Win 7 Performance Index score is only marginally lower than it was when I devoted 3Gb of RAM to Windows. VMware has upgraded Fusion 3.1 beta to 3.1 Release Candidate and it runs much faster than the beta version did. I am a little more optimistic about being able to tweak my setup in a way that would let me do what I needed done on an MBA with 4Gb of RAM. I hope that's not wishful thinking.:)

Tweaking the VM is certainly one way. I was actually talking more about tweaking Windows itself. For instance, using Aero takes up a lot of system resources, so you could disable it altogether.

This site is kind of geeky and may not be something you want to touch, but it's got a great guide for tweaking windows services (which affects resources and performance).

http://www.blackviper.com/Windows_7/servicecfg.htm

gwsat
May 4, 2010, 08:19 PM
Tweaking the VM is certainly one way. I was actually talking more about tweaking Windows itself. For instance, using Aero takes up a lot of system resources, so you could disable it altogether.

This site is kind of geeky and may not be something you want to touch, but it's got a great guide for tweaking windows services (which affects resources and performance).

http://www.blackviper.com/Windows_7/servicecfg.htm
Blackviper is a nerd after my own heart, so I found his suggestions concerning Win7 tweaks to be fascinating. I will certainly keep that in mind when and if I get an MBA with 4Gb of RAM. For the moment, however, I am becoming more optimistic all the time that I might be able to make 4Gb work by dedicating only 1Gb to the Win7 VM. So far , at least, the Fusion Win 7 setup is working well on 1Gb of RAM, even with Aero and 3d engaged, and Fusion set to Unity mode. As noted in an earlier post, Win 7's system performance numbers turned out to be virtually the same with 1Gb of RAM as they had been with 3Gb.

ChemGolf
May 5, 2010, 08:50 AM
I'm keen on buying a MBA this summer as well. My guess for the next update (at WWDC the latest): same as current model but 4 GB RAM, option for 256 SSD and/or UMTS modem with micro SIM card slot just as the iPad has one. I would definitely go for all that :D

roxygal9
May 5, 2010, 09:25 AM
jdechko -- Thanks for your suggestion. I have been experimenting with some changed settings in Fusion and am encouraged. I have reduced the amount of RAM dedicated to the Win 7 vm from 3Gb to 1Gb. Nevertheless, the Win 7 Performance Index score is only marginally lower than it was when I devoted 3Gb of RAM to Windows. VMware has upgraded Fusion 3.1 beta to 3.1 Release Candidate and it runs much faster than the beta version did. I am a little more optimistic about being able to tweak my setup in a way that would let me do what I needed done on an MBA with 4Gb of RAM. I hope that's not wishful thinking.:)

In addition to Quicken, I am also running the Oxford English Dictionary on CD in Windows. My version is very old, so a kludge was required to make it work. Despite its Rube Goldberg aspects, the OED runs well in Fusion and the ability to keep it open on the OS X desktop has been a pleasure. The OED, though, is a luxury, not an absolute necessity. Thus, I would gladly jettison it from an MBA setup if I could get Fusion, Win 7, and Quicken to work well on it with 4Gb of RAM.


Can I ask, if you don't mind, why you run the Oxford English Dictionary? Is this for your legal career or something else?

I am hoping we see a MBA update soon. I am in between the 13MBP/MBA at this point. I need 4 GB RAM/192 or 256 SSD and the current processor/GPU are fine for me. THough no glass trackpad on the MBA may be a deal breaker the one on the air currently seems kinda cheap feeling....

gwsat
May 5, 2010, 11:54 AM
Can I ask, if you don't mind, why you run the Oxford English Dictionary? Is this for your legal career or something else?

I am hoping we see a MBA update soon. I am in between the 13MBP/MBA at this point. I need 4 GB RAM/192 or 256 SSD and the current processor/GPU are fine for me. THough no glass trackpad on the MBA may be a deal breaker the one on the air currently seems kinda cheap feeling....
The Unabridged OED is the ultimate source for definitions and usage examples. I have used it for so long, it has spoiled me. I bought it so long ago, online from Barnes & Noble, the record of the transaction is not even in my Quicken archives.

In order to avoid the necessity of keeping the OED CD in my MBP's optical drive all the time, I had to copy it on to a virtual drive and then install a third party .exe file to make it run. None of that was fun but now it's all pretty seamless and I can load the OED in Win 7 and run it from the OS X desktop.

I could live with the older model trackpad if Apple left it on the MBA because that's what my MBP has. It is certainly not as elegant as the glass trackpad but it works pretty well nonetheless. What I couldn't live with, though, would be only 2Gb of non upgradeable RAM.

Scottsdale
May 5, 2010, 01:12 PM
The Unabridged OED is the ultimate source for definitions and usage examples. I have used it for so long, it has spoiled me. I bought it so long ago, online from Barnes & Noble, the record of the transaction is not even in my Quicken archives.

In order to avoid the necessity of keeping the OED CD in my MBP's optical drive all the time, I had to copy it on to a virtual drive and then install a third party .exe file to make it run. None of that was fun but now it's all pretty seamless and I can load the OED in Win 7 and run it from the OS X desktop.

I could live with the older model trackpad if Apple left it on the MBA because that's what my MBP has. It is certainly not as elegant as the glass trackpad but it works pretty well nonetheless. What I couldn't live with, though, would be only 2Gb of non upgradeable RAM.

Ever consider the OED online edition? I have access through a university program, and it's accessible from a Mac. I cannot imagine a personal access membership is too costly. I also believe there's a version for the Mac. If I remember correctly, I recently got a flyer with software for educational faculty that had the OED on disk, and I am pretty sure there were both Windows and Mac versions of the very latest OED. I was very surprised how low the pricing was too, at least for educators.

So am I correct in reading that you only use Windows for OED and Quicken? That seems unfortunate. I suppose many people are using Windows for such apps that don't have a Mac version or the Mac versions just don't compare to their Windows counterparts. Most of these people just stick with Windows because it's easier to just have Windows which runs the vast majority of apps written. It is really a pain to be a Mac OS X user/fan at times. Sometimes it amazes me just how much us Mac fans will go through when it's really a Windows world. It's just too bad that we have to install Windows at all.

pharmx
May 5, 2010, 01:24 PM
...
It is really a pain to be a Mac OS X user/fan at times. Sometimes it amazes me just how much us Mac fans will go through when it's really a Windows world. It's just too bad that we have to install Windows at all.

It doesn't have to be that way...all Apple has to do is get more quality developers interested in developing for the Mac platform. We might see an interesting shift in the future though, if the influx of developers from the iPhone OS market cause a spillover into greater interest in developing for Mac OS X. I guess it depends on what Apple's long term goals are with respect to their product lines.

MartiNZ
May 5, 2010, 03:36 PM
It doesn't have to be that way...all Apple has to do is get more quality developers interested in developing for the Mac platform. We might see an interesting shift in the future though, if the influx of developers from the iPhone OS market cause a spillover into greater interest in developing for Mac OS X. I guess it depends on what Apple's long term goals are with respect to their product lines.

I feel it is more likely that iDevice development will be moved to native instead, reducing the need for the Mac in any form.

gwsat
May 5, 2010, 03:55 PM
Ever consider the OED online edition? I have access through a university program, and it's accessible from a Mac. I cannot imagine a personal access membership is too costly. I also believe there's a version for the Mac. If I remember correctly, I recently got a flyer with software for educational faculty that had the OED on disk, and I am pretty sure there were both Windows and Mac versions of the very latest OED. I was very surprised how low the pricing was too, at least for educators.

So am I correct in reading that you only use Windows for OED and Quicken? That seems unfortunate. I suppose many people are using Windows for such apps that don't have a Mac version or the Mac versions just don't compare to their Windows counterparts. Most of these people just stick with Windows because it's easier to just have Windows which runs the vast majority of apps written. It is really a pain to be a Mac OS X user/fan at times. Sometimes it amazes me just how much us Mac fans will go through when it's really a Windows world. It's just too bad that we have to install Windows at all.
Unfortunately a subscription to the online edition of the OED costs $29 a month or $295 a year. (https://ams.oup.com/user/newacct.cgi?title=oed) That's more than the OS X version would be, Amazon has it for $226. Thus, I'll stick with my old version for awhile, at least. I worked in academia for some years but no longer do, so I would have to get an individual subscription to the OED Online.

Unfortunately, Quicken for Windows is still the only game in town. The OS X version sucks and the online version is worse than that. Mint.com has given online money management the college try but it is a pale imitation of the real thing. This is a good illustration of the truth of what you have said about the paucity of OS X apps. The main reason i stick with Macs, though, is that the 17 inch Powerbook G4, which I bought 7 years ago, and the 17 inch MBP I bought to replace it two years ago are both exponentially superior to the dozens of DOS and Windows computers I have used over the course of many years.

I once used the entire Office suite for Windows, as well as WordPerfect. I still use WP once in awhile but these days I mostly use Office for OS X, as well as other native OS X programs such as Address Book, iCal, and Mail.

Actually, except for Fusion and Windows being such resource hogs, I am pretty happy with my current setup. I finally have everything configured so that I can run Windows apps as easily as I can OS X apps.

Jobsian
May 6, 2010, 05:30 PM
I just have to say I'm getting unreasonably excited about the prospect of an MBA D at WWDC!

I'm even dreaming about it (sadly true). Last night dreamt that Jobs announced a black-bezelled MBA which looked flatter than the current design. Bizarrely, it had a Core-i5 1.9 GHz processor, an unfortunate malfunction of my unconscious mental faculties. I remember even feeling a tinge of disappointment when he announced the 1.9GHz but that I was certainly getting it.

Look I'm all out ready. I'm getting a stronger and stronger feeling that we're going to see a new Air, despite NO evidence or leaks at all. It makes sense. I just want the month of May to evaporate!

MartiNZ
May 6, 2010, 05:52 PM
Awesome, black bezel as in glass cover too? What other specs, 4GB RAM? USB 3?

Can we call it a prophecy instead :D?

jk1002
May 9, 2010, 06:00 PM
I don't think with see any sort of iseries chip since the integrated grahic is crap.

I also don't think they will bump the current spec. There is not enough time left to sell any decent volume of the dual cores with the Air and they do have to recoup the investment to develop an upgrade. Keep in mind dual cores are discontinued end of the year.

So i am thinking they leave as is. I could see them changing the form factor offering it as a 14" if that buys them space for the external graphics.

I think i would prefer this, i am not so concerned about about size as about weight as long as i can work with it in cramped spaces and 13 or 14 inches is not that significant.