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ermir4444
May 25, 2010, 04:08 PM
I think the only way the MacBook Air will get updated during WWDC is a MAJOR REVISION and most likely a CASE REDESIGN. If it was to get the minor update it would have happened with the MBP update in April or with the white MacBook in May.

Apple needs to do a CASE REDESIGN, and redesign the heat-sink in order to have a Arrandale LV processor and an ATI card with a bigger battery.
Current MBA TDP (SL9600 @ 17W + 9400m @ 12W = 29W TDP)
Future MBA TDP (i7 620LM @ 25 W + 5470 @ 7W = 32W TDP)

ULV processors are not really a choice for Apple considering the low clock speeds and weak performance. LV processors offer much higher clock speed at an extra 8 W TDP. Apple could redesign the heat-sink to accomodate the extra 3 W TDP and this will come only with a uniform case at 0.5" thickness.

Another benefit of the uniform case @ 0.5" is the battery life. In current MBA he battery sits on the thinnest part. The volume of the case will increase and the thickness decrease offering space for a better battery life and greater heat-sink.Think a much thinner and lighter MacBook Pro 13"

1 - Better Processor i5 or i7 LV and dedicated ATI GPU (better heat-sink due to more volume inside the case and maybe 2 fans)
2 - Better battery life (More space inside the case for a much better battery)
3 - More ports ( Since the case is uniform you could have 2 usb ports in the side and maybe an sd card slot and battery metter)

Imagine Jobs coming on stage and saying we have a much thinner MacBook Air (0.5 vs 0.76) with a much faster processor (i5, i7) and killer graphics (ATI dedicated) with a 7 hour battery life. I mean people will sell kidneys to buy this thing. Can someone do a quick photoshop on a 0,5" thick MacBook pro with all the ports except firewire, ethernet and dvd drive to illustrate this better since i dont have Photoshop thanks. If this happens it will be my dream computer and ill definitely shell out 2000 for this baby...



miles01110
May 25, 2010, 04:09 PM
1 - Better Processor i5 or i7 LV and dedicated ATI GPU (better heat-sink due to more volume inside the case and maybe 2 fans)
2 - Better battery life (More space inside the case for a much better battery)
3 - More ports ( Since the case is uniform you could have 2 usb ports in the side and maybe an sd card slot and battery metter)


:: pinch ::

Wake up.

ermir4444
May 25, 2010, 04:16 PM
:: pinch ::

Wake up.

I think everything stated above is more than possible and reasonable.

darngooddesign
May 25, 2010, 04:26 PM
I think everything stated above is more than possible and reasonable.
How do you figure you'd get a 7 hour battery with a thinner case? The MBP's battery is huge compared to the Air's. I also want a pony, I figure that's reasonable and possible.

Can someone do a quick photoshop on a 0,5" thick MacBook pro with all the ports except firewire, ethernet and dvd drive to illustrate this better since i dont have Photoshop thanks.
http://www.teamdigital.com.au/online_news/0908/pics/MacBook%20Pro%2013.jpg
Use your imagination to remove the extra ports and pretend its .5" thick.

ermir4444
May 25, 2010, 04:48 PM
How do you figure you'd get a 7 hour battery with a thinner case? The MBP's battery is huge compared to the Air's. I also want a pony, I figure that's reasonable and possible.


http://www.teamdigital.com.au/online_news/0908/pics/MacBook%20Pro%2013.jpg
Use your imagination to remove the extra ports and pretend its .5" thick.

The macbook air has already a 5 hour battery on a .16" case. The macbook rpo has a 10h battery with a tdp of 41W in a .95" case. So a battery life of 7 hr with a tdp of 32 will be doable. And man get your expectations higher. You look quite whipped after apple and their "low spec" campaign. LAY OFF THE COOLAID

miles01110
May 25, 2010, 04:59 PM
You look quite whipped after apple and their "low spec" campaign. LAY OFF THE COOLAID

There's a difference between drinking the Apple kool-aid and having realistic expectations based on past history and the limits of physics/mechanical engineering. Clearly you don't ascribe to either philosophy.

darngooddesign
May 25, 2010, 05:07 PM
The macbook air has already a 5 hour battery on a .16" case. The macbook rpo has a 10h battery with a tdp of 41W in a .95" case. So a battery life of 7 hr with a tdp of 32 will be doable. And man get your expectations higher. You look quite whipped after apple and their "low spec" campaign. LAY OFF THE COOLAID

If you honestly believe its a 5 hour battery you are deluding yourself.

I don't have an Air, nor am I whipped. I'm just realistic.

If you want the things on your list you will have a boxy case and it will not be thinner, that's why I posted that photo.

Scottsdale
May 25, 2010, 07:05 PM
I think you have missed the news and specific rumors about the ULV Core i7 processors. About two weeks ago, the rumors from Asia got a lot more specific about the way Apple is using the ULV CPUs in the MBA.

The story goes, Apple is using the Core i7-6x0UM CPUs. The specifics that the rumors mentioned is overclocking the ULV CPUs. If the GMA IGP 45nm DIE is turned off, the CPU DIE can be overclocked nearly matching boost speeds. It makes a lot of sense assuming Apple plans to use a discrete GPU in addition to the CPU. This would allow Apple to use an 18W ULV CPU at upwards of 2.26 GHz and 2 GHz with an ATI solution at 7W in the 5430. This is a savings of 4W from the current total of 29W the MBA uses now.

I would be all for a Core i7-640LM but that MBA is going to use only Intel's GMA for graphics. Apple doesn't need to use a low voltage CPU if it can disable the GMA DIE on the ULV CPUs and give us 2+ GHz. In addition, the current SL9x00 CPUs used rarely run at their stated clock speeds, so the ULV CPUs aren't truly much different than the current CPUs. However, it would be difficult to market a 1.2 GHz CPU down from 2.13 GHz. But that isn't the case if the CPU is overclocked to run at 2.26 GHz all the time.

I wasn't a fan of the ULV bandwagon until I read these specifics. I now don't want a Core i7-6x0LM because I know that means we definitely get "stuck" with the Intel GMA as the sole graphics solution.

Anyways, I think a WWDC MBA is a big redesign OR just a feature added something worth announcing a new relationship... for example, I could see Apple introducing a new MBA that isn't any different in case design IF it has a Verizon 3G/4G Wireless card in it. This MBA could certainly use a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU. The rumored Core i7 update could be the next update. Often rumors and prototypes are using tech that will not reach production for a year or more. I could see WWDC allowing Apple to introduce a new partnership for Verizon rather than the whole MBA itself. However, the new MBA could also be a complete redesign which probably would use the Core i7-660UM and Core i7-620UM overclocked with GMA IGP 45nm DIE turned off. Or it could introduce the CPU you champion with sole use of Intel's GMA HD DIE for graphics. I would bet heavily against a new MBA with a Core i7-6x0LM... given that it would require Apple to use the Intel GMA HD. SJ himself even came out against using it in the 13" MBP, so I have to believe Apple isn't going that route.

I would say main possibilities are... C2D with Nvidia 320m and a Verizon 3G/4G card being announced at WWDC. Or a major redesign with Core i7-6x0UM overclocked with GMA IGP DIE off and discrete GPU. Apple could use the MBA first with the Verizon 3G/4G card. Or it could use the new Core i7 with discrete GPU first on the MBA. It would then probably migrate to the Core i7 and discrete GPU with other MacFive products early in 2011 with their next updates.

tim100
May 25, 2010, 07:20 PM
i dont think mba will get verizon when ipad has att 3g

calsci
May 25, 2010, 09:17 PM
This would be pretty awesome

miles01110
May 25, 2010, 09:20 PM
It just so happens Ars ran a story on it recently. The title:

New Intel ULV processors still a bad fit for MacBook Air (http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/05/new-intel-ulv-processors-still-a-bad-fit-for-macbook-air.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss)

mobilevisual
May 25, 2010, 10:13 PM
OP's design of the New AIR is entirely possible. If they keep the weight under 3lb. I'll shell out $2k as well. However, the taper design of the current AIR give it the appearance of smaller footprint, I don't think new MBA will eliminate the taper effect. Not only it is sexy, it is functional as well--so much easier to pick up from a solid surface.

I really like the current design and see no engineering flaw, other than the weak hinge. If Apple decide to kick up the sexy in the new MBA, I don't see them stray far from where it is now.

Whatever the electronic will be, I'll probably upgrade. Deal breaker for me would be Glossy Screen. I hate a Bloody Glossy Screen.

ermir4444
May 26, 2010, 03:03 AM
I think you have missed the news and specific rumors about the ULV Core i7 processors. About two weeks ago, the rumors from Asia got a lot more specific about the way Apple is using the ULV CPUs in the MBA.

The story goes, Apple is using the Core i7-6x0UM CPUs. The specifics that the rumors mentioned is overclocking the ULV CPUs. If the GMA IGP 45nm DIE is turned off, the CPU DIE can be overclocked nearly matching boost speeds. It makes a lot of sense assuming Apple plans to use a discrete GPU in addition to the CPU. This would allow Apple to use an 18W ULV CPU at upwards of 2.26 GHz and 2 GHz with an ATI solution at 7W in the 5430. This is a savings of 4W from the current total of 29W the MBA uses now.

I would be all for a Core i7-640LM but that MBA is going to use only Intel's GMA for graphics. Apple doesn't need to use a low voltage CPU if it can disable the GMA DIE on the ULV CPUs and give us 2+ GHz. In addition, the current SL9x00 CPUs used rarely run at their stated clock speeds, so the ULV CPUs aren't truly much different than the current CPUs. However, it would be difficult to market a 1.2 GHz CPU down from 2.13 GHz. But that isn't the case if the CPU is overclocked to run at 2.26 GHz all the time.

I wasn't a fan of the ULV bandwagon until I read these specifics. I now don't want a Core i7-6x0LM because I know that means we definitely get "stuck" with the Intel GMA as the sole graphics solution.

Anyways, I think a WWDC MBA is a big redesign OR just a feature added something worth announcing a new relationship... for example, I could see Apple introducing a new MBA that isn't any different in case design IF it has a Verizon 3G/4G Wireless card in it. This MBA could certainly use a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU. The rumored Core i7 update could be the next update. Often rumors and prototypes are using tech that will not reach production for a year or more. I could see WWDC allowing Apple to introduce a new partnership for Verizon rather than the whole MBA itself. However, the new MBA could also be a complete redesign which probably would use the Core i7-660UM and Core i7-620UM overclocked with GMA IGP 45nm DIE turned off. Or it could introduce the CPU you champion with sole use of Intel's GMA HD DIE for graphics. I would bet heavily against a new MBA with a Core i7-6x0LM... given that it would require Apple to use the Intel GMA HD. SJ himself even came out against using it in the 13" MBP, so I have to believe Apple isn't going that route.

I would say main possibilities are... C2D with Nvidia 320m and a Verizon 3G/4G card being announced at WWDC. Or a major redesign with Core i7-6x0UM overclocked with GMA IGP DIE off and discrete GPU. Apple could use the MBA first with the Verizon 3G/4G card. Or it could use the new Core i7 with discrete GPU first on the MBA. It would then probably migrate to the Core i7 and discrete GPU with other MacFive products early in 2011 with their next updates.

I am very aware of the over-clocking on ULV processors. It seems you did not get the point of my thread. IF Apple redesigns the case the could redesign a heat sink to accomodate the 3W extra TDP for 640LM + 5430 = 32W vs current 29W. It is not hard to accomodate an extra 3 W tdp with a case redesign in my opinion. This would give the AIR an incredible boost and make it probably even faster than the 13" MBP and make it a much more vital alternative for people who want to have the ultimate ultraportable...

Scottsdale
May 26, 2010, 09:05 AM
I am very aware of the over-clocking on ULV processors. It seems you did not get the point of my thread. IF Apple redesigns the case the could redesign a heat sink to accomodate the 3W extra TDP for 640LM + 5430 = 32W vs current 29W. It is not hard to accomodate an extra 3 W tdp with a case redesign in my opinion. This would give the AIR an incredible boost and make it probably even faster than the 13" MBP and make it a much more vital alternative for people who want to have the ultimate ultraportable...

IMO, it's not going to happen... No way, no shape, no form, are we getting a higher TDP MBA. The MBA as is cannot handle 29W (the CPU and GPU are both throttled). Apple is not going to make it thicker to handle a higher TDP. What Apple will do is change the design to handle a lower TDP better. I would bet a brand new MBA on no way are we getting a Core i7-6x0LM PLUS a discrete GPU. We will EITHER get a Core i7-6x0UM plus discrete GPU OR Core i7-6x0LM with sole use of Intel's GMA HD.

Apple is looking to go lower total TDP not greater. If it can give us 2+ GHz at 18W, why go 2+ GHz at 25W? It just doesn't make sense. This ULV overclocking info was the information that made sense of all of the rumors saying Apple is using a ULV CPU. MBA can go to 25W with a discrete GPU and ULV Core i7, and that's a true savings from current 29W. I don't see this happening any other way with the current chips... and the truth is, the ULV plus discrete GPU could be six to twelve months from now. The information and rumors always seem to take longer than we expect. So we could get no update now or even a C2D plus Nvidia 320m GPU right now, and the Core i7 ULV plus discrete or even the Core i7-6x0LM with only the Intel GMA HD could be coming later.

I think anyone that is expecting Apple to give the MBA a discrete GPU is already dreaming... to get a Core i7-6x0LM plus a discrete GPU is more than dreaming as Apple couldn't even give the 13" MBP a Core i3 and discrete GPU. That is a 1" 4.5 lb Mac that actually needs a discrete GPU. For Apple to go discrete GPU requires a ULV CPU to pair it with to make it even remotely possible in even a thicker MBA. I just think you are giving Apple way too much credit to expect a low voltage Core i7-6x0LM CPU and a discrete GPU.

tim100
May 26, 2010, 09:17 AM
I think anyone that is expecting Apple to give the MBA a discrete GPU is already dreaming... to get a Core i7-6x0LM plus a discrete GPU is more than dreaming as Apple couldn't even give the 13" MBP a Core i3 and discrete GPU. That is a 1" 4.5 lb Mac that actually needs a discrete GPU. For Apple to go discrete GPU requires a ULV CPU to pair it with to make it even remotely possible in even a thicker MBA. I just think you are giving Apple way too much credit to expect a low voltage Core i7-6x0LM CPU and a discrete GPU.[/QUOTE]

what would happen if apple put an i3 and discrete GPU in the 13 MBP, too hot or make it to thick?

Mhkobe
May 26, 2010, 11:32 AM
here you go, I just took out all the ports, but I'm sure thats fine

Hellhammer
May 26, 2010, 11:37 AM
Just to add that AFAIK, C2Ds (i.e. current MBAs) need Northbridge which include memory controller etc. which pulls some watts as well (maybe ~3W)

ermir4444
May 26, 2010, 12:14 PM
Just to add that AFAIK, C2Ds (i.e. current MBAs) need Northbridge which include memory controller etc. which pulls some watts as well (maybe ~3W)

That is quite true. I completely forgot about that. The memory controller is built in the arrandale chips so it will save that 3 W. The current MBA could have a 32W TDP after all wich is exactly the same as i7 640 + ATI 5430. Maybe Scotsdale is right and we are dreaming about a discrete GPU and LV arrandales but this is the only way that Apple can actually have a machine worthy to justify the 500+ on top of the 13" MBP. Most of the people looking for a ultraportable have gone with the 13" MBP because it was too good of a value compared to the MBA and the crappy performance just wasnt worth for the portability. i think the MBP 13" severely crippled the MBA sales and this could be the time to bring the MBA on top and worth the premium price or just EOL it...it would be worth it for me and this is coming from a potential buyer of a MBA that decided to make the obvious choice and get a 13" MBP...

BTW sorry for my grammar English is not my first language.

Hellhammer
May 26, 2010, 12:22 PM
That is quite true. I completely forgot about that. The memory controller is built in the arrandale chips so it will save that 3 W. The current MBA could have a 32W TDP after all wich is exactly the same as i7 640 + ATI 5430. Maybe Scotsdale is right and we are dreaming about a discrete GPU and LV arrandales but this is the only way that Apple can actually have a machine worthy to justify the 500+ on top of the 13" MBP. Most of the people looking for a ultraportable have gone with the 13" MBP because it was too good of a value compared to the MBA and the crappy performance just wasnt worth for the portability. i think the MBP 13" severely crippled the MBA sales and this could be the time to bring the MBA on top and worth the premium price or just EOL it...it would be worth it for me and this is coming from a potential buyer of a MBA that decided to make the obvious choice and get a 13" MBP...

BTW sorry for my grammar English is not my first language.

I think the MBA just needs a better battery and lower price tag. 13"ers now have up to 10 hours so that's twice the MBA battery life and IMO battery life is VERY important for MBA as it obviously is for people who needs portability a lot, not for people who let their laptop sit on the desk plugged in.

7-hour battery life, SSD (even 64GB) in low-end and 1299$ price and I'm buying one, no matter what CPU or GPU it has, the current ones are fine for me. An additional USB wouldn't be a bad upgrade either as one port is bitchy.

ermir4444
May 26, 2010, 12:28 PM
IMO, it's not going to happen... No way, no shape, no form, are we getting a higher TDP MBA. The MBA as is cannot handle 29W (the CPU and GPU are both throttled). Apple is not going to make it thicker to handle a higher TDP. What Apple will do is change the design to handle a lower TDP better. I would bet a brand new MBA on no way are we getting a Core i7-6x0LM PLUS a discrete GPU. We will EITHER get a Core i7-6x0UM plus discrete GPU OR Core i7-6x0LM with sole use of Intel's GMA HD.

Apple is looking to go lower total TDP not greater. If it can give us 2+ GHz at 18W, why go 2+ GHz at 25W? It just doesn't make sense. This ULV overclocking info was the information that made sense of all of the rumors saying Apple is using a ULV CPU. MBA can go to 25W with a discrete GPU and ULV Core i7, and that's a true savings from current 29W. I don't see this happening any other way with the current chips... and the truth is, the ULV plus discrete GPU could be six to twelve months from now. The information and rumors always seem to take longer than we expect. So we could get no update now or even a C2D plus Nvidia 320m GPU right now, and the Core i7 ULV plus discrete or even the Core i7-6x0LM with only the Intel GMA HD could be coming later.

I think anyone that is expecting Apple to give the MBA a discrete GPU is already dreaming... to get a Core i7-6x0LM plus a discrete GPU is more than dreaming as Apple couldn't even give the 13" MBP a Core i3 and discrete GPU. That is a 1" 4.5 lb Mac that actually needs a discrete GPU. For Apple to go discrete GPU requires a ULV CPU to pair it with to make it even remotely possible in even a thicker MBA. I just think you are giving Apple way too much credit to expect a low voltage Core i7-6x0LM CPU and a discrete GPU.

I see your point of view and I agree with it if the rumours turn out to be true.
I think you should take those rumors with a grain of salt because similar rumours were going around before the MBP Arrandale refresh. They said that Apple was prepping a core i5 with the IGP turned off hence a lower TDP of 25W (same as the curent P8xxx). It really made sense to me and for a while I was thinking this would be the only way if Apple was going to go arrandale on MBP 13". But as we know this was not the case. I do not think Intel will let Apple or any other company completely turn off the IGP. The main purpose of Arrandales coming out was for Intel to push this IGP in the market. They have a whole ordeal with NVidia about this issue and i really do not think Intel will give Apple a IGP-less ULV over-clocked to turbo speeds. If they do offer a core i7-640UM clocked at 2.0 GHz with IGP turned off and TDP of 18W than nobody would ever get the LV processors. it would just be too good of a processor for companies to consider the more expensive similar clocked 640LV. Being a shareholder i would have though you already taken the business part of it into consideration before suggesting a IGP-less over-clocked ULV.

here you go, I just took out all the ports, but I'm sure thats fine

Thanks Mhkobe. Now Apple put an i7-620LM + ATI 4530 and take my 2 grand

Scottsdale
May 26, 2010, 01:01 PM
I see your point of view and I agree with it if the rumours turn out to be true.
I think you should take those rumors with a grain of salt because similar rumours were going around before the MBP Arrandale refresh. They said that Apple was prepping a core i5 with the IGP turned off hence a lower TDP of 25W (same as the curent P8xxx). It really made sense to me and for a while I was thinking this would be the only way if Apple was going to go arrandale on MBP 13". But as we know this was not the case. I do not think Intel will let Apple or any other company completely turn off the IGP. The main purpose of Arrandales coming out was for Intel to push this IGP in the market. They have a whole ordeal with NVidia about this issue and i really do not think Intel will give Apple a IGP-less ULV over-clocked to turbo speeds. If they do offer a core i7-640UM clocked at 2.0 GHz with IGP turned off and TDP of 18W than nobody would ever get the LV processors. it would just be too good of a processor for companies to consider the more expensive similar clocked 640LV. Being a shareholder i would have though you already taken the business part of it into consideration before suggesting a IGP-less over-clocked ULV.



Thanks Mhkobe. Now Apple put an i7-620LM + ATI 4530 and take my 2 grand

Well, you think I should take the rumors with a grain of salt, but I am the one that thinks it's probably ridiculous to expect a discrete GPU in the MBA at all. In addition, if it were to happen it would be an MBA that has a total TDP under the current TDP. The only ATI GPU that could get Apple at 25W with the 18W CPU is the 5430 at 7W. The 5430 is the newer version which uses lower TDP. The 4530 you mentioned is an 8 to 12W GPU and an older tech replaced by the newer 54XX GPUs.

I think a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU makes far more sense right now. Apple is about making as low costs systems work in as many Macs as possible. I certainly believe we're more likely to get a C2D with Nvidia 320m rather than the ULV plus discrete option right now. The longer Apple waits, the more likely the ULV plus discrete GPU options becomes possible. I know from prototype units that it takes a long time for the information of what's in prototypes to make it to a production model.

That is quite true. I completely forgot about that. The memory controller is built in the arrandale chips so it will save that 3 W. The current MBA could have a 32W TDP after all wich is exactly the same as i7 640 + ATI 5430. Maybe Scotsdale is right and we are dreaming about a discrete GPU and LV arrandales but this is the only way that Apple can actually have a machine worthy to justify the 500+ on top of the 13" MBP. Most of the people looking for a ultraportable have gone with the 13" MBP because it was too good of a value compared to the MBA and the crappy performance just wasnt worth for the portability. i think the MBP 13" severely crippled the MBA sales and this could be the time to bring the MBA on top and worth the premium price or just EOL it...it would be worth it for me and this is coming from a potential buyer of a MBA that decided to make the obvious choice and get a 13" MBP...

BTW sorry for my grammar English is not my first language.

BTW, I do think I am correct that you are dreaming beyond all dreaming to expect the LV Arrandale to make it with a discrete GPU in the MBA. Even the 7W 5430 added with LV doesn't add up to a total TDP within an acceptable range even with a modified case. If Apple waits for Sandy Bridge chips for the MBA, it can get nearly double the GMA HD performance and a lower TDP than the current 25W LV Core i7-6x0LM.

I think Apple can get the clock speed it needs if all of the information is true about the ULV CPUs. In reality, it makes a world of sense to turn off the GMA IGP DIE and save the performance used in it and allow the CPU to be overclocked to near boost ranges permanently. It all makes a lot of sense if we think about it.

Hellhammer
May 26, 2010, 01:07 PM
Well, you think I should take the rumors with a grain of salt, but I am the one that thinks it's probably ridiculous to expect a discrete GPU in the MBA at all. In addition, if it were to happen it would be an MBA that has a total TDP under the current TDP. The only ATI GPU that could get Apple at 25W with the 18W CPU is the 5430 at 7W. The 5430 is the newer version which uses lower TDP. The 4530 you mentioned is an 8 to 12W GPU and an older tech replaced by the newer 54XX GPUs.

I think a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU makes far more sense right now. Apple is about making as low costs systems work in as many Macs as possible. I certainly believe we're more likely to get a C2D with Nvidia 320m rather than the ULV plus discrete option right now. The longer Apple waits, the more likely the ULV plus discrete GPU options becomes possible. I know from prototype units that it takes a long time for the information of what's in prototypes to make it to a production model.

Plus in my opinion, Apple has to increase the battery life, 5 hours is so 2008 for Apple portables. I think most MBA users aren't after performance so it doesn't really matter what CPU they are using, but portability requires good battery life which MBA can't currently provide. Add a price cut to that and SSDs in all models and it can compete with other laptops.

An i7 and dedicated GPU doesn't sound possible as 13" MBP is still stuck with C2D and 320M

Scottsdale
May 26, 2010, 01:14 PM
Plus in my opinion, Apple has to increase the battery life, 5 hours is so 2008 for Apple portables. I think most MBA users aren't after performance so it doesn't really matter what CPU they are using, but portability requires good battery life which MBA can't currently provide. Add a price cut to that and SSDs in all models and it can compete with other laptops.

An i7 and dedicated GPU doesn't sound possible as 13" MBP is still stuck with C2D and 320M

I agree. I still say the C2D and 320m makes the most sense right now. However, I don't want Apple to add battery performance to the MBA. Batter requires the weight of the 13" MBP. Anyone that wants a 10-hour Mac notebook has to carry around a 1" thick computer with the added 1.5 lb over the MBA. I think a 10-hour battery is ridiculous to begin with, as I would bet the vast majority (95%) use more than half the capacity on rare occasions only.

If one thinks about it, the reason the 13" MBP and MB can have a 10-hour battery is they're thick enough and heavy enough to allow it. I want the MBA to have same performance characteristics as 13" MBP and MB. I don't want Apple to take away performance capabilities to give the MBA a 10-hour battery capability. I don't think most are being realistic here. I would prefer Apple not bog down or thicken the MBA nor remove its capabilities to get a 10-hour battery which is pointless for the vast majority of people anyways.

I will be devastated if we get a 10-hour MBA. I will know that it means we have compromised performance, weight, and thickness to make that MBA happen. That MBA is already available and it's called the 13" MBP. Apple needs to leave it at that and tell its customers the honest truth which is what none of the MBA customers are considering when they expect it.

Hellhammer
May 26, 2010, 01:21 PM
I agree. I still say the C2D and 320m makes the most sense right now. However, I don't want Apple to add battery performance to the MBA. Batter requires the weight of the 13" MBP. Anyone that wants a 10-hour Mac notebook has to carry around a 1" thick computer with the added 1.5 lb over the MBA. I think a 10-hour battery is ridiculous to begin with, as I would bet the vast majority (95%) use more than half the capacity on rare occasions only.

If one thinks about it, the reason the 13" MBP and MB can have a 10-hour battery is they're thick enough and heavy enough to allow it. I want the MBA to have same performance characteristics as 13" MBP and MB. I don't want Apple to take away performance capabilities to give the MBA a 10-hour battery capability. I don't think most are being realistic here. I would prefer Apple not bog down or thicken the MBA nor remove its capabilities to get a 10-hour battery which is pointless for the vast majority of people anyways.

I will be devastated if we get a 10-hour MBA. I will know that it means we have compromised performance, weight, and thickness to make that MBA happen. That MBA is already available and it's called the 13" MBP. Apple needs to leave it at that and tell its customers the honest truth which is what none of the MBA customers are considering when they expect it.

I never said 10-hour battery ;) 7 hours would be fine for me, just some improvement from 5 hours as the real world life is always less. Of course without sacrificing any portability, otherwise it it would be nonsense. Apple seems to love battery life so I wouldn't be surprised to see better battery life, they can add extra 2 hours without any physical changes.

Of course, that's just me but I can't justify getting MBA if I can get little bit bigger laptop or less with a lot better features. BTW, how much does the current Air get in real world?

ermir4444
May 26, 2010, 01:24 PM
Well, you think I should take the rumors with a grain of salt, but I am the one that thinks it's probably ridiculous to expect a discrete GPU in the MBA at all. In addition, if it were to happen it would be an MBA that has a total TDP under the current TDP. The only ATI GPU that could get Apple at 25W with the 18W CPU is the 5430 at 7W. The 5430 is the newer version which uses lower TDP. The 4530 you mentioned is an 8 to 12W GPU and an older tech replaced by the newer 54XX GPUs.

I think a C2D CPU and Nvidia 320m GPU makes far more sense right now. Apple is about making as low costs systems work in as many Macs as possible. I certainly believe we're more likely to get a C2D with Nvidia 320m rather than the ULV plus discrete option right now. The longer Apple waits, the more likely the ULV plus discrete GPU options becomes possible. I know from prototype units that it takes a long time for the information of what's in prototypes to make it to a production model.


BTW, I do think I am correct that you are dreaming beyond all dreaming to expect the LV Arrandale to make it with a discrete GPU in the MBA. Even the 7W 5430 added with LV doesn't add up to a total TDP within an acceptable range even with a modified case. If Apple waits for Sandy Bridge chips for the MBA, it can get nearly double the GMA HD performance and a lower TDP than the current 25W LV Core i7-6x0LM.

I think Apple can get the clock speed it needs if all of the information is true about the ULV CPUs. In reality, it makes a world of sense to turn off the GMA IGP DIE and save the performance used in it and allow the CPU to be overclocked to near boost ranges permanently. It all makes a lot of sense if we think about it.

it does make a lot of sense in a technical point of view but not in a marketing or business point of view. As i mentioned above Intel will never ever let a company completely shut down the IGP and permanently over-clock it to LV clock speeds. This would be in contrary with the existence of IGP itself and the LV class of processors. Think about it before you reply and my solution has the same TPD @ 32W as the current MBA so it is very much "within acceptable range" even with the current case design.

I am not saying thats what will happen, I'm just saying it is a viable option and more than acceptable.
They could go with the minor upgrade but I dont think it will make anyone upgrade from a MBA or even a MBP for that matter. People with common sense will still buy the 13" MBP.

In my opinion it either major upgrade or EOL for the MBA. I just cannot see how Apple will justify the high prices anymore with a C2D and even if they lower them i just dont see how it will compare to the IPAD

EDIT: I ment the ATI 5430 in my previous post. It was just a typo...

tim100
May 26, 2010, 01:30 PM
I agree. I still say the C2D and 320m makes the most sense right now. However, I don't want Apple to add battery performance to the MBA. Batter requires the weight of the 13" MBP. Anyone that wants a 10-hour Mac notebook has to carry around a 1" thick computer with the added 1.5 lb over the MBA. I think a 10-hour battery is ridiculous to begin with, as I would bet the vast majority (95%) use more than half the capacity on rare occasions only.

If one thinks about it, the reason the 13" MBP and MB can have a 10-hour battery is they're thick enough and heavy enough to allow it. I want the MBA to have same performance characteristics as 13" MBP and MB. I don't want Apple to take away performance capabilities to give the MBA a 10-hour battery capability. I don't think most are being realistic here. I would prefer Apple not bog down or thicken the MBA nor remove its capabilities to get a 10-hour battery which is pointless for the vast majority of people anyways.

I will be devastated if we get a 10-hour MBA. I will know that it means we have compromised performance, weight, and thickness to make that MBA happen. That MBA is already available and it's called the 13" MBP. Apple needs to leave it at that and tell its customers the honest truth which is what none of the MBA customers are considering when they expect it.

I want 10 hr battery life in the mba and if it is not offered then I would go 13 MBP. ipad has it and 13 mbp has it the air should also have it. I would not mind a slimed down pro as the new air. take out the optical drive that will save room for a bigger battery.

Cheffy Dave
May 26, 2010, 02:39 PM
Just a thought, couldn't we get it all, everybody's dreams, into a wicked ultra thin 15" MBA??. And Scottsdale, any chance at all of a touchscreen?:rolleyes:
I know,but it didn't hurt to ask:(

Hellhammer
May 26, 2010, 02:52 PM
Just a thought, couldn't we get it all, everybody's dreams, into a wicked ultra thin 15" MBA??. And Scottsdale, any chance at all of a touchscreen?:rolleyes:
I know,but it didn't hurt to ask:(

I doubt both. 15" MBA could "kill" the idea of MBA being ultra portable, but it would be cool indeed. I just don't think MBA is popular enough so Apple would bring new variant, meaning of at least 3 stock models and it isn't free to design one.

Touch screen is also something that I think is ridiculous. There is iPad for people who want it but it runs iPhone OS which is designed for touch, OS X isn't and would thus be painful to use. I don't see laptops getting touchscreen, maybe iPad alike thing with slide keyboard in future but seriously, touch is slow, inaccurate and just useless IMO. It works well on OS which is designed for touch but the bigger the screen, the more pain in your arms

gwsat
May 26, 2010, 03:24 PM
A lot of interesting scenarios concerning the future MBA have been expressed here. I am far more interested in more memory than anything else. In fact, I pray that Apple provides at least 4Gb of RAM and would like for them to add more than that. Extra battery life would be nice, too, but not if it would require significantly increasing the MBA's weight or thickening its case. What CPU and GPU Apple choses for the MBA is anybody's guess. We just have to wait and see. The crystal balls used to see Apple's future designs are now and always have been distinctly cloudy.

tim100
May 26, 2010, 03:42 PM
A lot of interesting scenarios concerning the future MBA have been expressed here. I am far more interested in more memory than anything else. In fact, I pray that Apple provides at least 4Gb of RAM and would like for them to add more than that. Extra battery life would be nice, too, but not if it would require significantly increasing the MBA's weight or thickening its case. What CPU and GPU Apple choses for the MBA is anybody's guess. We just have to wait and see. The crystal balls used to see Apple's future designs are now and always have been distinctly cloudy.

i think there is a better than not chance of no MBA update next week or at the conference. i dont think there will be an update this year. this reminds me of the mac mini or how about the larger cinema display, i think the air is on hold while the ipad and iphone are this years story. i hope i am wrong.

jdechko
May 26, 2010, 04:06 PM
Just to add that AFAIK, C2Ds (i.e. current MBAs) need Northbridge which include memory controller etc. which pulls some watts as well (maybe ~3W)

But unless I'm mistaken, the northbridge is included in the 9400m package, which is included in the total 29w TDP for the current MBA.

Mhkobe
May 26, 2010, 06:13 PM
Plus in my opinion, Apple has to increase the battery life, 5 hours is so 2008 for Apple portables. I think most MBA users aren't after performance so it doesn't really matter what CPU they are using, but portability requires good battery life which MBA can't currently provide. Add a price cut to that and SSDs in all models and it can compete with other laptops.

An i7 and dedicated GPU doesn't sound possible as 13" MBP is still stuck with C2D and 320M

I run C4D and Xcode on my MBA, so I definitely care about performance.

Mhkobe
May 26, 2010, 06:16 PM
I want 10 hr battery life in the mba and if it is not offered then I would go 13 MBP. ipad has it and 13 mbp has it the air should also have it. I would not mind a slimed down pro as the new air. take out the optical drive that will save room for a bigger battery.

The iPad has an actual battery of about 11 hours, the MBP 13 has an actual of about 6, and I get about 3-3.5 on my MBA, so posted battery doesn't really matter.

brendu
May 26, 2010, 08:08 PM
sorry scottsdale but there is no way they will have a 3g/4g macbook air with verizon... VZ does not have a 4g network up and running yet, and will not until 2011... an air with integrated 3g card perhaps, most likely att unless apple can get att's floppies out of their backsides and make a cellular decision that is best for the consumers for once...

the air needs an integrated 3g card in it... and if they want 4g, well you guys best be hoping apple buddies up with sprint or you better be willing to wait for next years WWDC for that one...

flynz4
May 26, 2010, 09:16 PM
I think the MBA just needs a better battery and lower price tag. 13"ers now have up to 10 hours so that's twice the MBA battery life and IMO battery life is VERY important for MBA as it obviously is for people who needs portability a lot, not for people who let their laptop sit on the desk plugged in.

7-hour battery life, SSD (even 64GB) in low-end and 1299$ price and I'm buying one, no matter what CPU or GPU it has, the current ones are fine for me. An additional USB wouldn't be a bad upgrade either as one port is bitchy.

I have no interest in increasing the MBA battery life. If the efficiency could be improved... I would prefer decreasing the weight of the MBA over a a larger battery.

I have never felt the MBA battery life was insufficient, and I use mine every day.

/Jim

jnpy!$4g3cwk
May 26, 2010, 09:33 PM
I have no interest in increasing the MBA battery life. If the efficiency could be improved... I would prefer decreasing the weight of the MBA over a a larger battery.

I have never felt the MBA battery life was insufficient, and I use mine every day. I never quite got the MBA and we don't use them at work. Looking at the specs, I would say it needs a built-in ethernet (you can't use wireless for backups in many enterprise networks), and, 4GB memory. And, you can *always* use longer battery life.

pharmx
May 26, 2010, 10:52 PM
I run C4D and Xcode on my MBA, so I definitely care about performance.

+1

Xcode, CS4, and XAMPP over here. Would definitely take a performance boost over a battery boost. Everybody's situation is different, but I can't imagine a scenario where I NEED 7+ hours of battery life in between charges. Anytime I'm using my MBA heavily or continuously, it's usually at a desk with an outlet somewhere nearby....all other places (on my lap, in bed, on the couch, on a flight, at a coffee shop, etc.), I'm usually doing light work and finish, or at least take a break, within 2 to 3 hours, giving me ample time to recharge the battery if necessary. Again, that's just my situation...everyone uses their laptops differently. I would definitely take a performance boost which would benefit me across the board (especially RAM, graphics, and SSD boost) over a battery boost, for the rare situations where I may need it.

coast1ja
May 27, 2010, 11:27 AM
The more I think about it, the more I think the MBA will get a case redesign.

The original MBA was the first to use the unibody structure, which eventually worked it's way into all of apple's mobile product line. With the new iPhone getting a more squared design with the possibility of using other materials (glass, ceramic, carbon fiber, etc.), I think the MacBook Air could see a similar design in the next iteration. Even the iPad looks more like the 4g iPhone than it does the current MBA.

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say the MBA will see a case redesign with uniform thickness and be made of something other than aluminum. I wouldn't be surprized to see carbon fiber like the Sony Vaio Z series, or even some form of polycarbonite. This could then be offered in an array of colors, starting with white and adding black a few months later when sales slow.

The case redesign would only be possible when the cooling system is reworked or the TDP is lowered. Right now (for better or worse), the aluminum body acts like a giant passive heatsink... I would hate for this to be the case in the future MBA. It could happen only if they used some sort of glass or ceramic for the case, as those would be the best conductors.

I would bet that the case redesign is eminent, but maybe not until later this fall. When all of the other MacBook lines have been updated (although minimally), I think it makes a better case for a full-redesign of the MBA. If it were only a ram and gpu update, we would have seen it already.

I know these ideas are all pure speculation, but if we do see a case redesign, we can also expect a much higher price point than we see now... probably closer to the original launch price.

Gruber
May 27, 2010, 02:22 PM
The more I think about it, the more I think the MBA will get a case redesign.

It makes sense. Apple goes away from the roundedness with the next iPhone, and if they do so, we get square corners (more space for ports) and more volume (more space for battery) with the same footprint and thickness.

Unfortunately, I dont think that it will happen, because there is absolutely no rumor and no leak, and you'd think that there would be one - recently, no major case revision went without leaks.

Because of the graphics conundrum, Apple might choose to transplant the specs of the 13in MPB into the MBA, which would be sufficient for many of us. But if that is the plan, Apple could have done it several months ago already. To do it in summer does not make much sense, because Intel is EOLing the C2D pretty soon. It would have been more salient to update the MBA alongside the MBP, leave the MBA alone in summer, and switch to Arrandale for Xmas.

Scottsdale
May 27, 2010, 03:20 PM
It makes sense. Apple goes away from the roundedness with the next iPhone, and if they do so, we get square corners (more space for ports) and more volume (more space for battery) with the same footprint and thickness.

Unfortunately, I dont think that it will happen, because there is absolutely no rumor and no leak, and you'd think that there would be one - recently, no major case revision went without leaks.

Because of the graphics conundrum, Apple might choose to transplant the specs of the 13in MPB into the MBA, which would be sufficient for many of us. But if that is the plan, Apple could have done it several months ago already. To do it in summer does not make much sense, because Intel is EOLing the C2D pretty soon. It would have been more salient to update the MBA alongside the MBP, leave the MBA alone in summer, and switch to Arrandale for Xmas.


LMAO... stuff makes sense all the time, but rarely does Apple follow what makes sense to us. A 13" MBP with C2D and Nvidia 320m GPU made sense six months before it was updated. We can make sense out of anything we want with Apple, because they don't follow conventional wisdom, EVER.

I think that even if there's no update at WWDC, a C2D plus Nvidia 320m, plus 4 GB RAM MBA makes a lot of sense. It did make more sense to update the MB first with its back to school ad program. The MB is the number one seller in the education market. Apple could have the MBA lined up next to get the Nvidia 320m update.

An MBA update at WWDC makes just as much sense, but it's going to have to be a bigger update than just 320m and 4 GB RAM. An MBA presented at WWDC needs to be revolutionary in some way. It could have a redesign and same Nvidia 320m but include a new 3G/4G service, or it could be a redesign and have Core i7, or it could be the same design but get a new CPU and GPU combination. Anything makes sense to us as long as it's an update.

What makes ZERO sense is leaving Macs stagnant for a year at a time with $1800 to $5000 price tags like MBA and MP. Any update in the world makes sense right now...

Hellhammer
May 27, 2010, 03:32 PM
I run C4D and Xcode on my MBA, so I definitely care about performance.

Most people don't. There are always people who make the difference but that's not the group Apple will concentrate on

I have no interest in increasing the MBA battery life. If the efficiency could be improved... I would prefer decreasing the weight of the MBA over a a larger battery.

I have never felt the MBA battery life was insufficient, and I use mine every day.

/Jim

That was just my opinion. Battery life is important for me and I think 5 hours isn't enough if I can get MacBook with better battery and specs for less

calderone
May 27, 2010, 03:34 PM
What makes ZERO sense is leaving Macs stagnant for a year at a time with $1800 to $5000 price tags like MBA and MP. Any update in the world makes sense right now...

Maybe they could just throw a sticker on it. One that says "Updated."

ermir4444
May 27, 2010, 04:14 PM
HonestlyApple is just to damn focused on the iPhone OS. I think they see the future on that and not OSX anymore. They see the mainstream moving to iPhone OS from OSX in the future and iPad is the first step of this strategy. OSX will become just like the MacPro has become now - a dinosaur waiting to be extinct. It sucks big time but it is Apple... Thats how they roll. If there wont be any Mac updates during WWDC then we should all know that this is it for the MAC as we know it... Your next air will have a 1 ghz A4 chip and 256 mb of ram only because that will be enough to run the iphone os

thinkdesign
May 27, 2010, 04:19 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Thermal conduction can also be improved by a case design that manipulates surface-area-to-volume ratios. For example, having the area that most needs to shed heat - be one or more small patches shaped in cross-section like an unwarped corrugated potato chip, would increase surface area. And doing it within the alum.'s typical thickness (by CNC milling deeper) would make the alum. wall less thick there, which gives the heat less alum. to get thru. (Locate carefully to not weaken slab.) Also, adding some HAND-GRIP SHAPING (to a rectalinear case) has the same effect of increasing surface area. ---- Plus, every added JACK can be an extra vent hole (see Apple patent on that).

coast1ja
May 27, 2010, 10:35 PM
HonestlyApple is just to damn focused on the iPhone OS. I think they see the future on that and not OSX anymore. They see the mainstream moving to iPhone OS from OSX in the future and iPad is the first step of this strategy. OSX will become just like the MacPro has become now - a dinosaur waiting to be extinct. It sucks big time but it is Apple... Thats how they roll. If there wont be any Mac updates during WWDC then we should all know that this is it for the MAC as we know it... Your next air will have a 1 ghz A4 chip and 256 mb of ram only because that will be enough to run the iphone os

I completely agree... the recent fight with google makes me wonder if Apple is focusing on the iPhone OS because consumers want it, or because they want to show up Android. For the future of the company and the shareholders, I hope it's the former.

soph
May 28, 2010, 02:46 AM
polycarbonite.

I really do not hope you want our MBAs blow up or get deep-frozen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonite) .


The case redesign would only be possible when the cooling system is reworked or the TDP is lowered. Right now (for better or worse), the aluminum body acts like a giant passive heatsink... I would hate for this to be the case in the future MBA.

For the time and the general design being this is the only way the MBA can maintain reasonable temperatures. I for one rather have a slightly warmer casing than any annoying fan running amok.

soph
May 28, 2010, 03:03 AM
Thermal conduction can also be improved by a case design that manipulates surface-area-to-volume ratios. For example, having the area that most needs to shed heat - be one or more small patches shaped in cross-section like an unwarped corrugated potato chip, would increase surface area. And doing it within the alum.'s typical thickness (by CNC milling deeper) would make the alum. wall less thick there, which gives the heat less alum. to get thru.

Actually increasing surface area only makes sense if you get significant natural convection, that is air streaming past the surface taking away heat. On a laptop (it's well outdated that term, isn't it?) that sits on top of a lap, bedsheet or even table this would not help much if not done on the sides and frankly I would not want an MBA looking like a vertical vehicle radiator grill from the sides. You *could* introduce air ducts from underside front to underside back, but I'm willing to bet they wouldn't be very effective to start with and would become really unpoular with users ("Don't block that air inlet under any conditions").

I think the reasoning behind the unibody heatsink design is using as much mass needed anyway for load-bearing structure as possible for heat-storing, not heat transferring. And milling it down would only lower mass and thus the ability of the unibody to store heat.

coast1ja
May 28, 2010, 09:44 AM
I really do not hope you want our MBAs blow up or get deep-frozen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonite) .

oops, switched a letter. I'm not a chemist.

col sandurz
May 28, 2010, 10:03 AM
How much does Apple advertise the power versus portability of the MBA? In the sake of portability (power consumption and component size), do any of you think Apple may just opt for the Intel integrated graphics only in a MBA with iCore processor?

Scottsdale
May 28, 2010, 12:24 PM
How much does Apple advertise the power versus portability of the MBA? In the sake of portability (power consumption and component size), do any of you think Apple may just opt for the Intel integrated graphics only in a MBA with iCore processor?

But at the heart of the MBA is a MacBook. The point of the MBA is to have MacBook like performance in an "Air" portable Mac version. I do believe it's important to have similar performance to the MB (not the MBP).

It would be very strange to have an ATI discrete GPU in the MBA which would be more powerful than a 13" MBP. However, it could be a big upgrade sell for Apple if it could sell MBAs to would be MBP buyers. All that has to happen is a Core i7 with ATI 5430 and a $1999 price point, and Apple makes an extra $500 in revenue over high-end 13" MBP.

I guess the point is there are many arguments to make but if it's about money, and we know it is with Apple, selling Macs that cost the least but sell for the most offering the greatest margin is the point of its Mac sales. Therefore, the MacFive theory I have makes the most sense to me - C2D and Nvidia 320m in the MBA. But Apple could differentiate the MBA with a 3G/4G Verizon card. Or it could differentiate the MBA with a carbon fiber case that gets weight still at 3 lb but allows for another 1/3 lb of battery.

thinkdesign
May 28, 2010, 04:18 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

(reply to Soph's reply) -- IMHO thermal management for the 'Air' probably has to involve cobbling together a little improvement from here, a little from there, etc. adding it all up, to do the best possible to have these gains in heat shedding add up to enough. I suspect that the total benefit gained from all available techniques/details may still fall SHORT of what's needed, so I would hope the designers do NOT assume that anything's ruled out for visual reasons. ----- BTW, convection isn't everything. One of the 3 ways that thermal energy can be transferred is "radiation". (Conduction can be ruled out, unless the 4 rubber feet can be replaced with, I don't know what.) The idea of the Air's alum. mass operating as a heat sink is dubious, more a description of the problem, than of a solution. A stone tabletop can act as a heat sink. A pound or 2 of aluminum? Not so much. Heat shedding must be maximised. ----- I suspect that a certain indy Mac shop near me has actually replaced 2 (4?) of their demo model 'Air' with taller rubber feet, to improve the convection a bit. Every little bit helps! LOL. Maybe next: Build 'Mac" display tables of perforated steel, for better air circulation. And sell a line of similarly-made Apple desks. :o)

skate71290
May 28, 2010, 06:37 PM
here you go, I just took out all the ports, but I'm sure thats fine

Dude that is sweet

dongmin
May 28, 2010, 10:40 PM
What if...

-The MBA got a smaller screen, say 11", to save on battery life

-And the form factor changed to a more boxy design for a more efficient internal space utilization and reducing the overall footprint.

My guess is that Apple has improved their laptops' battery technology quite a bit since the MBA was introduced in 2008. It's not just the bigger batteries that's help Apple get 2x the battery life out of the MacBooks. So a longer-lasting battery at the same capacity and weight is not out of the question.

I tend to agree with most that a price drop paired with more RAM and faster GPU could be enough to make these attractive enough for buyers looking for the latest and greatest.

Scottsdale
May 28, 2010, 11:17 PM
What if...

-The MBA got a smaller screen, say 11", to save on battery life

-And the form factor changed to a more boxy design for a more efficient internal space utilization and reducing the overall footprint.

My guess is that Apple has improved their laptops' battery technology quite a bit since the MBA was introduced in 2008. It's not just the bigger batteries that's help Apple get 2x the battery life out of the MacBooks. So a longer-lasting battery at the same capacity and weight is not out of the question.

I tend to agree with most that a price drop paired with more RAM and faster GPU could be enough to make these attractive enough for buyers looking for the latest and greatest.

Apple isn't going to minimize the display on the MBA. Its whole selling feature is it provides the user the same exact 13" display and full-sized keyboard as the MacBook. It saves weight and is thinner but it provides a MacBook-like experience. Apple's goal is to minimize the loss of the experience by providing the same experience to the end user but in an ultraportable "Air" form.

Apple has stated that netbooks and smaller notebooks don't provide the user with a quality experience. That is why Apple didn't create a small MBA instead of the iPad. The iPad attempts to maximize the iPhone rather than miniaturize the MBA. Apple doesn't want to "ruin" the Mac user's experience by limiting the keyboard size or reduce the price to limit profits. I really do not see Apple making a smaller MBA. In addition, it basically makes the MBA compete with netbooks vs. competing with ultraportable notebooks. Would someone buy a luxury ultraportable or a netbook for the price of a luxury ultraportable? The MBA would truly be seen as a netbook if it reduced the display size down to a standard netbook's display size.

I do see Apple trying to maximize the battery performance. I just hope whatever they do that they do not limit the performance characteristics we can now find in the MBA to get the mythical 10-hour battery found in the MB. I know that the difference between the MBA and 13" MBP or MB is the weight and thickness of the battery and optical drive. The optical drive weighs almost nothing and is very thin. The battery is gigantic in the MB and MBP and weighs half what the MBA weighs. We cannot have a 10-hour MBA without giving up to a heavier and thicker MBA or completely limit its performance. I believe the 10-hour MBA already exists and is marketed as the 13" MBP. I really hope Apple informs people that this is the truth in the situation and just shoots for a 5-hour battery for the MBA.

ahilal
May 29, 2010, 12:16 AM
IMHO they don't need to up the processor performance any. I would be happy if it stayed flat if battery life could go up, or if maybe they put together a great deal on the SSD option. The Air is pretty sweet as it is, for what it does. Compare it to the iPad, which is not far off, and it seems possibly even overpowered.

flynz4
May 29, 2010, 10:56 AM
IMHO they don't need to up the processor performance any. I would be happy if it stayed flat if battery life could go up

There are number of opposing factors that need to be traded off against each other: Performance, size, weight, battery life.

We heard from a number who want more performance, and care less if it affects size and weight. Others like desire more battery life.

It is like squeezing a balloon... each design element affects others, and there is no free ride.

My personal priorities are: 1) Weight and 2) Size. As technology advancements continue... that is where I want reap the benefits.

Hence... for example, if there was more efficient battery technology, it would have the maximum benefit to me if the MBA could be made lighter and thinner, rather than increasing the battery life. Likewise, I can think of no possible reason why I would want the replacement machine to be any thicker than the current MBA.

/Jim

dongmin
May 29, 2010, 11:58 AM
Apple isn't going to minimize the display on the MBA. Its whole selling feature is it provides the user the same exact 13" display and full-sized keyboard as the MacBook. It saves weight and is thinner but it provides a MacBook-like experience. Apple's goal is to minimize the loss of the experience by providing the same experience to the end user but in an ultraportable "Air" form.

There's nothing holy about the 13"-screen form factor. You could get the same 1280x800 resolution in a 11" screen. The PPI (pixel per inch) would go up, but it's not anything radical; Apple already offers a similar PPI in the 15" HD screen.

As for the keyboard, Apple managed to put in a full-sized keyboard into the 12" Powerbook. I wouldn't miss the 1" border around my 13" MacBook Pro, if Apple decided to trim it.

If reducing the screen size from 13" to 11" has significant impact on the battery life, say 15-20%, I would take that trade off. The smaller form factor would also be a bonus in my opinion.

There are number of opposing factors that need to be traded off against each other: Performance, size, weight, battery life.

Well, Apple managed to make a faster, longer-lasting MacBook Pro while keeping the same size and weight so I don't believe that trade-offs are always necessary. No one thought a 10" IPS screen that plays 720p video for 11 hours straight was possible until the iPad came out. I have no doubts that Apple has more tricks up its sleeve to squeeze more battery life out of the MBA.

Scottsdale
May 29, 2010, 06:32 PM
There's nothing holy about the 13"-screen form factor. You could get the same 1280x800 resolution in a 11" screen. The PPI (pixel per inch) would go up, but it's not anything radical; Apple already offers a similar PPI in the 15" HD screen.

As for the keyboard, Apple managed to put in a full-sized keyboard into the 12" Powerbook. I wouldn't miss the 1" border around my 13" MacBook Pro, if Apple decided to trim it.

If reducing the screen size from 13" to 11" has significant impact on the battery life, say 15-20%, I would take that trade off. The smaller form factor would also be a bonus in my opinion.



Well, Apple managed to make a faster, longer-lasting MacBook Pro while keeping the same size and weight so I don't believe that trade-offs are always necessary. No one thought a 10" IPS screen that plays 720p video for 11 hours straight was possible until the iPad came out. I have no doubts that Apple has more tricks up its sleeve to squeeze more battery life out of the MBA.


Hey, Apple can make the MBA 2" narrower and save another 1.5" from the depth (assuming height is thickness). All it has to do is remove the wasted bezel space. There is an equal amount of wasted space around the keyboard. We could have an MBA with a 13" LED full-size display, a full-size keyboard, and an MBA with a much smaller footprint. In my opinion, this is what makes a heck of a lot more sense for the MBA. I actually see this as a possibility because Apple has recently used a thicker more uniform size with the iPad and new iPhone HD. I believe we could have a half-an-inch thick MBA throughout with a smaller footprint with only a "bead" of aluminum around the display instead of the wasted bezel.

Apple could follow up the MBPs with the same type of update later in 2010. This could be the "next level" sir Stevie talks about. Imagine Macs that eliminate the optical drives, and all get much smaller footprints with same sized displays. The 15" MBP would be about the size of the 13" MBP. The 17" MBP would be the same size as the 15" MBP. By removing the optical drives, Apple could further add battery capacity or discrete GPUs in the 13" models.

So there's no reason to give Macs smaller displays to reduce their footprints and make the user experience WORSE instead of better.

Mhkobe
May 30, 2010, 12:50 PM
Hey, Apple can make the MBA 2" narrower and save another 1.5" from the depth (assuming height is thickness). All it has to do is remove the wasted bezel space. There is an equal amount of wasted space around the keyboard. We could have an MBA with a 13" LED full-size display, a full-size keyboard, and an MBA with a much smaller footprint. In my opinion, this is what makes a heck of a lot more sense for the MBA. I actually see this as a possibility because Apple has recently used a thicker more uniform size with the iPad and new iPhone HD. I believe we could have a half-an-inch thick MBA throughout with a smaller footprint with only a "bead" of aluminum around the display instead of the wasted bezel.

Apple could follow up the MBPs with the same type of update later in 2010. This could be the "next level" sir Stevie talks about. Imagine Macs that eliminate the optical drives, and all get much smaller footprints with same sized displays. The 15" MBP would be about the size of the 13" MBP. The 17" MBP would be the same size as the 15" MBP. By removing the optical drives, Apple could further add battery capacity or discrete GPUs in the 13" models.

So there's no reason to give Macs smaller displays to reduce their footprints and make the user experience WORSE instead of better.

I completely agree that an 11" display is a step in the wrong direction. I would also love a thinner bezel, but that I am sure won't happen. All of apples products (set aside iPhone) have the bezel, and the folks at Apple believe that it makes it easier to open and close or something.

Scottsdale
May 30, 2010, 01:28 PM
I completely agree that an 11" display is a step in the wrong direction. I would also love a thinner bezel, but that I am sure won't happen. All of apples products (set aside iPhone) have the bezel, and the folks at Apple believe that it makes it easier to open and close or something.

You actually think the bezel is there for opening and closing Macs??? huh???

thinkdesign
May 30, 2010, 02:01 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Since the 2 halves of the hinged "book" close edge-to-edge... trimming the bezel also means reducing the volume in the lower part where the battery is. No way to balance energy supply with energy demand. Now, to keep everything about the Air's design the same (for sake of discussion; I know this is apostasy), except swap the screen from 13" to 12" ... would tend to lower screen's energy demand while NOT shrinking the battery, and so would tilt the design in the direction of a longer running time. But then, how to make the shrunken screen palatable or explainable? Make it a touch screen! ------ ? Do touch screens use the same anount of energy per square inch, as the Air's current screen?

soph
May 31, 2010, 03:33 AM
IMHO thermal management for the 'Air' probably has to involve cobbling together a little improvement from here, a little from there, etc. adding it all up, to do the best possible to have these gains in heat shedding add up to enough. I suspect that the total benefit gained from all available techniques/details may still fall SHORT of what's needed, so I would hope the designers do NOT assume that anything's ruled out for visual reasons.

One of the core abilities that made Apple so big is the ability to combine what's important physically with beauty. I have faith in Apple's designers :)

BTW, convection isn't everything. One of the 3 ways that thermal energy can be transferred is "radiation". (Conduction can be ruled out, unless the 4 rubber feet can be replaced with, I don't know what.)

Fully agree with you, but I hope we will not see a unibody design that will make the aluminium act effectively as a radiation heat transfer device ;)

The idea of the Air's alum. mass operating as a heat sink is dubious, more a description of the problem, than of a solution. A stone tabletop can act as a heat sink. A pound or 2 of aluminum? Not so much. Heat shedding must be maximised.

Aluminium has a relative high heat capacity (compared to, say, steel), but I agree it wouldn't be enough (and the experiences with the early MBA prooved theory). A quick calculation says that 1kg aluminium would heat up 160 degC (sorry, I'm fully metric) if all the energy stored in the battery went into creating heat in the unibody.

I suspect that a certain indy Mac shop near me has actually replaced 2 (4?) of their demo model 'Air' with taller rubber feet, to improve the convection a bit. Every little bit helps! LOL.

Sure, I've done wonders with my kids' building bricks under a (not-Apple) Laptop :D. Not so very ergonomically though ..

Maybe next: Build 'Mac" display tables of perforated steel, for better air circulation. And sell a line of similarly-made Apple desks. :o)

With strategically applied thermal paste :D

thinkdesign
May 31, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Since that Apple patent I mentioned showed that at least a few people at Apple are thinking thermally... hopefully management keeps them working on it. It just occurred to me that LOCATING the heat source in the center of the keyboard half of a laptop, is thermally THE WORST PLACE for it. Near the edge would be better, in a corner or 2 even better, located up in the screen's case - which is up in the breeze - even better. So, divide the chip in 2, and locate the halves in the upper L and R corners of the screen housing! It does require cooperation of a chip-maker, though. Or owning one. Unless it becomes an industry-wide trend! --- Now, how about a home dock for the user like me who wants to use a big monitor AND big ergonomic keybd. ... the dock should avoid closing the "book" all the way, to preserve some ventilation. Maybe sneak in a fan there, because one can lessen the noise - by distance?

gwsat
May 31, 2010, 12:16 PM
One of Apple's Dirty Little Secrets is that virtually all of their products run hot. Even my 17 inch MBP, which doesn't have anywhere near the heating problems the MBA has, gets so hot when I am, for example, doing a bunch of file transfers, I keep a square soffa pillow on my lap to prevent my legs from getting too hot. I did the same thing with my old Powerbook G4. My Time Capsule, Airport Express units, and Apple TV are also very warm, even when they are not being stressed.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2010, 12:36 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Since that Apple patent I mentioned showed that at least a few people at Apple are thinking thermally... hopefully management keeps them working on it. It just occurred to me that LOCATING the heat source in the center of the keyboard half of a laptop, is thermally THE WORST PLACE for it. Near the edge would be better, in a corner or 2 even better, located up in the screen's case - which is up in the breeze - even better. So, divide the chip in 2, and locate the halves in the upper L and R corners of the screen housing! It does require cooperation of a chip-maker, though. Or owning one. Unless it becomes an industry-wide trend! --- Now, how about a home dock for the user like me who wants to use a big monitor AND big ergonomic keybd. ... the dock should avoid closing the "book" all the way, to preserve some ventilation. Maybe sneak in a fan there, because one can lessen the noise - by distance?

Who knows if Apple has anyone working on anything other than iPhone OS 4 right now. It sure seemed with the MBP updates that Apple hasn't touched the MBP in a year in terms of innovation.

I hope Apple is working on improving the innovation used in some new MBAs introduced at WWDC. It would be great to know Apple still gives a damn about its Mac users. Lately, there is so much innovation on iPhone OS products, and Apple has truly let its Macs fall out of relevance compared to the innovation presented in the past with these Macs.

I often wonder why Apple cannot use part of its $40b to create two divisions at Apple... one that is Mac computing and one that is consumer electronics. I read the news that Apple has quit work on OS X 10.7 to get everyone possible working on iPhone OS 4 until it's introduced. That is terrible strategy in my opinion. Apple's competitive advantage with ALL of the Macs it sells is that it has OS X which competes well vs. Windows. With the latest version of Windows 7, Microsoft considerably closed the gap on OS X. I believe it's more important than ever that Apple work on INNOVATION with OS X 10.7. It's sickening that Apple would stop work and stop innovation to put all hands on iPhone OS 4. I understand the strategy IF Apple didn't have plenty of money in the bank. Certainly it's easier to expand sales in a growing market like the smartphone and tablet markets, but to stop innovation on Macs and OS X 10.7 is disgusting and will come back to haunt Apple if it fails in the smartphone business.

gwsat
May 31, 2010, 12:57 PM
Apple's competitive advantage with ALL of the Macs it sells is that it has OS X which competes well vs. Windows. With the latest version of Windows 7, Microsoft considerably closed the gap on OS X. I believe it's more important than ever that Apple work on INNOVATION with OS X 10.7. It's sickening that Apple would stop work and stop innovation to put all hands on iPhone OS 4. I understand the strategy IF Apple didn't have plenty of money in the bank. Certainly it's easier to expand sales in a growing market like the smartphone and tablet markets, but to stop innovation on Macs and OS X 10.7 is disgusting and will come back to haunt Apple if it fails in the smartphone business.
I agree that Apple built its cult following because of the remarkable superiority of OS X's user interface over Windows', as well as its brilliantly designed hardware. As you noted, though Windows 7 has closed the gap significantly. What worries me most is the synergy created by the combination of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iTunes. That combination has turned in to a cash cow, which Apple will be loath to ignore, for obvious reasons. That could certainly mean that Apple will continue to largely ignore OS X and the Macbook lineup for some time to come. I hope it doesn't happen but it is, indeed, a matter of real concern.

soph
May 31, 2010, 01:22 PM
Since that Apple patent I mentioned showed that at least a few people at Apple are thinking thermally... hopefully management keeps them working on it.

Who knows if Apple has anyone working on anything other than iPhone OS 4 right now.

If there's one thing we can be glad about in this situation, it's that thermal engineers are usually lousy at OS programming so if anyone's half intelligent he'd better refrain from that idea. ;)

Other than that I see this "throw each and every progammer at this one project" in companies that panick. I had thought Apple better organised than that.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2010, 03:09 PM
If there's one thing we can be glad about in this situation, it's that thermal engineers are usually lousy at OS programming so if anyone's half intelligent he'd better refrain from that idea. ;)

Other than that I see this "throw each and every progammer at this one project" in companies that panick. I had thought Apple better organised than that.

Look at the value of potential from earning NEW market share. The iPhone OS products have incredible growth in smartphone and tablet markets. Apple learned with its OS that it cannot allow one company to dominate and then earn back share later. Look at the Mac now at 8% market share. Think that the smartphone market is growing substantially and will be for several years. So each Mac converted usually comes from Windows. Each new iPhone OS product buyer probably didn't own a product in that market category before.

I certainly understand what Apple is doing. I cannot say I disagree with putting as many people as possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products. However, with as much money as Apple has why not leverage that into building Macs and consumer i-electronics at the same time? My point is if they need every current employee possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products, then Apple needs to grow fast! I read something the other day about Apple making the most of its acquisitions and investments, but I see it differently. Cash is a waste that Apple is making very little from. Why not invest that money and do the things it needs to with both iPhone OS and products AND its long standing Mac market segments?

I know AAPL is worth $255 per share, but why not grow faster and make it bigger AND make their customers happy at the same time? How can Mac Pro or MBA customers be happy buying products so outdated? How about ACDs, and maybe most importantly AppleTV? With Apple's whole strategy not having a relevant and current AppleTV is a joke. The AppleTV ties all Macs together. Anyone that has an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Mac is probably using iTunes... why not make a new AppleTV that better integrates everything and gets users into their home entertainment systems. I believe with the iPad and iPhones, that Apple is seriously missing the AppleTV target. Apple is missing many target markets right now, and that is the main point in my argument. There is no reason not to have every product updated, current, and relevant against competitive products RIGHT NOW! I see Apple as missing so many opportunities and focusing too much on this one market segment. Apple needs to remember what got it here, and use ALL OF ITS RESOURCES to ensure AAPL and Apple customers get the most value and leverage for their investments into AAPL and Apple, Inc. products.

thinkdesign
May 31, 2010, 03:15 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

This fascinating stuff does get into a realm in which we have very little info. Even if software engineers were "all" put on the 4th phone, I suspect that in a huge company, a few non-software thinkers are still assigned to each computer. And probably Jon Ive keeps the Air in the back of his mind, when the "mobility" of his Aston Martin inspires him. ---- I read that Apple's doing a lot of construction on its campus. Perhaps when that's done, staffing levels will increase? Then... ? ---- The biggest unknown for me is -- is there a specific PURPOSE in mind for the cash hoard? (My theory... wait 'till Sprint is as cheap as possible, and if/when another suitor sniffs around... Apple pounces and outbids them. No more need to haggle with Verizon!) I think it's the current Fortune that says -- one of these years soon, Apple will have a year, like Dylan's worst album. IMHO, Jobs has to accept more input from consumers.

calsci
May 31, 2010, 03:28 PM
I'm intrersted to see how they can update the case design.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2010, 04:03 PM
I'm intrersted to see how they can update the case design.

The thing is Apple doesn't historically update its Mac designs very often... definitely not every two-and-a-half years. I believe I read that it's around every five years to major product changes. Like it was five years for al. MBP design. Now it will be five years with unibody design on MBP. It was more than five years for the plastic MB. Now it's a plastic unibody MB. We could be another two plus years away from an MBA case redesign.

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the MBA's current design. However, what I really see Apple doing with its products is eliminating or reducing the tapering designs and going with a one depth/height design. Look at the iPad or iPhone HD to see what I mean. It makes a lot of sense. The MBA design really wastes space. However, Apple does shape the internal design really well on the MBA to shape as close to the tapering as possible.

However, the tapering on the MBA makes it feel less thick than it actually is. At the same time, I have realized that what makes the MBA truly incredible to me is the weight. I love the 3 lb. MBA. It makes all the sense in the world to me. The big problem lately is MBP/MB owners that say they want a 10-hour battery in the MBA. The weight and thickness of the MBP/MB allow such a heavy battery, while the MBA couldn't fit its size nor be a 3 lb. Mac with a 1.4 lb. battery in it.

So maybe Apple eventually changes the case design??? I would prefer Apple eliminate almost all of the bezel, or better yet, just put the maximum display possible in the current MBA with a 1/4" "bead" of aluminum in place of the bezel. This way we don't waste space and we get an even better experience. I don't get the bezel and I don't believe it's there for opening and closing Macs.

If we get a case redesign, I just hope Apple sticks with a uniform design that looks about as thick as the iPad from the side. But more than anything, I want Apple to keep the MBA at no more than 3 lb. I would much prefer a 5-hour battery in the MBA weighing in at 2.5 or 3 lb. to a 10-hour battery weighing in at 3.5 or 4 lb. I think a 10-hour battery is ridiculous waste of space and weight that I don't want to carry around. I would bet the vast majority of those with 10-hour Mac batteries rarely ever need to use more than 5 hours (meaning they might use up the battery, but they probably had power available at some point within 5 hours).

Mhkobe
May 31, 2010, 08:18 PM
I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the MBA's current design. However, what I really see Apple doing with its products is eliminating or reducing the tapering designs and going with a one depth/height design. Look at the iPad or iPhone HD to see what I mean. It makes a lot of sense. The MBA design really wastes space. However, Apple does shape the internal design really well on the MBA to shape as close to the tapering as possible.

I love the tapering, it makes typing dreamy... I hate it on thicker computers (if they did it on an MBP, I would hate it).

Scottsdale
May 31, 2010, 08:48 PM
I love the tapering, it makes typing dreamy... I hate it on thicker computers (if they did it on an MBP, I would hate it).

I agree. But if we could remove the tapering and make it 1.5" narrower and 1" shallower, at 1/2" thick all at 3 lb. or less, I could be even happier. I see the MBA's footprint as too big compared to the display size. I either want a 15" display in the same footprint (or as close to it as possible) or make the footprint as small as possible for a 13.3" display. I just see the bezel as wasted space. If the space can be utilized by a larger display, even better.

pharmx
May 31, 2010, 09:05 PM
Look at the value of potential from earning NEW market share. The iPhone OS products have incredible growth in smartphone and tablet markets. Apple learned with its OS that it cannot allow one company to dominate and then earn back share later. Look at the Mac now at 8% market share. Think that the smartphone market is growing substantially and will be for several years. So each Mac converted usually comes from Windows. Each new iPhone OS product buyer probably didn't own a product in that market category before.

I certainly understand what Apple is doing. I cannot say I disagree with putting as many people as possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products. However, with as much money as Apple has why not leverage that into building Macs and consumer i-electronics at the same time? My point is if they need every current employee possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products, then Apple needs to grow fast! I read something the other day about Apple making the most of its acquisitions and investments, but I see it differently. Cash is a waste that Apple is making very little from. Why not invest that money and do the things it needs to with both iPhone OS and products AND its long standing Mac market segments?

I know AAPL is worth $255 per share, but why not grow faster and make it bigger AND make their customers happy at the same time? How can Mac Pro or MBA customers be happy buying products so outdated? How about ACDs, and maybe most importantly AppleTV? With Apple's whole strategy not having a relevant and current AppleTV is a joke. The AppleTV ties all Macs together. Anyone that has an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Mac is probably using iTunes... why not make a new AppleTV that better integrates everything and gets users into their home entertainment systems. I believe with the iPad and iPhones, that Apple is seriously missing the AppleTV target. Apple is missing many target markets right now, and that is the main point in my argument. There is no reason not to have every product updated, current, and relevant against competitive products RIGHT NOW! I see Apple as missing so many opportunities and focusing too much on this one market segment. Apple needs to remember what got it here, and use ALL OF ITS RESOURCES to ensure AAPL and Apple customers get the most value and leverage for their investments into AAPL and Apple, Inc. products.


Hey Scottsdale, I'm not sure if you saw this (http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/28/the-next-apple-tv-revealed-cloud-storage-and-iphone-os-on-tap/) already or not, based on your comments regarding AppleTV.

theappleguy
May 31, 2010, 09:08 PM
I agree. But if we could remove the tapering and make it 1.5" narrower and 1" shallower, at 1/2" thick all at 3 lb. or less, I could be even happier. I see the MBA's footprint as too big compared to the display size. I either want a 15" display in the same footprint (or as close to it as possible) or make the footprint as small as possible for a 13.3" display. I just see the bezel as wasted space. If the space can be utilized by a larger display, even better.

I'd rather see a bigger screen in the same size case than the footprint shrinking. The reason is because when I look at where my hands sit comfortably on the palm rests, they are generally near the outer edge of the case anyway. This may vary depending on the person, but I suspect many people would be similar to me.

Scottsdale
May 31, 2010, 09:45 PM
Hey Scottsdale, I'm not sure if you saw this (http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/28/the-next-apple-tv-revealed-cloud-storage-and-iphone-os-on-tap/) already or not, based on your comments regarding AppleTV.

Exactly what they need to do. All of Apple's products help sell each other, and the AppleTV is one of the most important pieces in the entertainment puzzle... and Apple just hasn't got it right, yet. This certainly seems better.

I'd rather see a bigger screen in the same size case than the footprint shrinking. The reason is because when I look at where my hands sit comfortably on the palm rests, they are generally near the outer edge of the case anyway. This may vary depending on the person, but I suspect many people would be similar to me.

I didn't really think of it that way, but you might be correct. I suppose I could be really happy with the same size footprint and a near 15" display then, LOL.

soph
Jun 1, 2010, 04:15 AM
I love the tapering, it makes typing dreamy... I hate it on thicker computers (if they did it on an MBP, I would hate it).

I agree. But if we could remove the tapering and make it 1.5" narrower and 1" shallower, at 1/2" thick all at 3 lb. or less, I could be even happier. I see the MBA's footprint as too big compared to the display size. I either want a 15" display in the same footprint (or as close to it as possible) or make the footprint as small as possible for a 13.3" display. I just see the bezel as wasted space. If the space can be utilized by a larger display, even better.

Just depends on which "tapering" we're talking about. I don't know whether it's a language issue as English is not my native language, but I see two distinct tapering design features in the MBA: One is the fact that the unibody is not nearly as thick in front as it is on the back and Two is that it tapers (well, is there another word?) all around the circumference very gently towards the edges. In engineering it's called chamfer.

Now for me essential is One, and that's probably what Mhkobe refers to, too, because it affects typing. This costs volume, but when it comes to my personal needs, I'd gladly give up some battery power to keep that feature. The ultimate thinness of the MBA in front is one of its main appeals to me.

Two is a mainly stylish issue, IMO. It makes the MBA look even slimmer than it is. And it can help heat circulation, at least on a flat, rigid surface, but that secondary. But if I were to choose I'd rather give up Two for some more battery space.

But, having said this, as weight is an issue I'd rather not have any of these changes if they imply more weight.

Frankly, I'd simply like an even better computer in the exact same case :D

soph
Jun 1, 2010, 04:42 AM
Look at the value of potential from earning NEW market share. The iPhone OS products have incredible growth in smartphone and tablet markets. Apple learned with its OS that it cannot allow one company to dominate and then earn back share later. Look at the Mac now at 8% market share. Think that the smartphone market is growing substantially and will be for several years. So each Mac converted usually comes from Windows. Each new iPhone OS product buyer probably didn't own a product in that market category before.

Couldn't agree more on general terms.
I estimate MacOS doesn't get even near 5% market share in Europe, but even that figure could only be achieved in the wake of the iPod and iPhone. Apple existed only in hearsay before ;) . So there's even more incentive to focus on iPhone OS, because over here it brings the extra value of additional growth in the Mac OS segment even without improvement of Macs or OS X themselves.

I certainly understand what Apple is doing. I cannot say I disagree with putting as many people as possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products. However, with as much money as Apple has why not leverage that into building Macs and consumer i-electronics at the same time? My point is if they need every current employee possible on iPhone OS 4 and its products, then Apple needs to grow fast! I read something the other day about Apple making the most of its acquisitions and investments, but I see it differently. Cash is a waste that Apple is making very little from. Why not invest that money and do the things it needs to with both iPhone OS and products AND its long standing Mac market segments?

Well, in all fairness, good engineers don't grow on trees and I think I can say from the quality of their products that Apple does indeed focus on developer knowledge and training. Growing rapdily means you generally have to take almost everyone, and I really think this would not help Apple product quality. But of course they could have prepared that growth for some time now and might have built a decent developer base already.

I know AAPL is worth $255 per share, but why not grow faster and make it bigger AND make their customers happy at the same time? How can Mac Pro or MBA customers be happy buying products so outdated? How about ACDs, and maybe most importantly AppleTV?
Ha! Years back when I built up my home cinema AppleTV was brand-new and I really wanted to integrate it into my setup. However, I soon saw that it would not meet my needs and went for a Sony PS3. It's really ugly and there's no chance of integrating iPods in any way, but in all these years AppleTV never got any nearer to want me swap them.
As a business move however it was probably a smart decision of Apple not beefing up AppleTV, because AFAIK Sony is yet to gain financial profit on any PS3 sold.

thinkdesign
Jun 1, 2010, 05:18 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

(Soph wrote) "Frankly, I'd simply like an even better computer in the exact same case." ---- It's interesting to a non-computerati like myself, to see on these threads how people can imagine and discuss the pros and cons of all manner of hypothetical electronic chipware, cloudware and software futures for the 'Air'.... but when it comes to the physical form, it seems that either the eyes glaze over (no response), or a sort of AVERSION TO CHANGE in shape (or weight) quickly emerges. ---- If some CEO hadn't decreed that the Newton had to weigh one pound and have the exact dimensions of the block of wood he picked.... the first model wouldn't have had awful battery life; but with a 1-1/8" thickness and a 1.2 lb. weight, enabling a stronger launch -- the arc of that product's life may have gone higher and longer. Similarly, IMHO if the original 'Air' had weighed 3-1/4 lbs. (allowing a bit more running time, plus... say... having more jacks on non-"chamfered" left and right sides), the 'Air' might have been a bigger-selling model (thus getting more attention for upgrades, too) -- and I'll bet nobody here would be saying "No! It has to weigh a round number of exactly 3.0 pounds!"

tsubikiddo
Jun 1, 2010, 05:33 AM
After reading about the Canoe Lake from Intel,
it seems that we (& potential Air) owners will need some more patience till a proper spec refresh.
(i.e. Not a rev.B->rev.C refresh, these two are still rev 2,1;
but a rev.A->rev.B kind, rev 1,1 -> rev 2,1)

Strictly in my opinion, the GMA3150 is still a waste of silicon.
Intel may have sorted HD playback, but still got a tonful on their to-do list,
battery consumption is a big one amongst many others such as coding, streaming...etc
Personally would not look at the GMA chips until at least some GMA7500.

Hopefully quad-core can achieve mainstream status by mid-2011, if not 2H'11

I will even go as far and convinced that the nVidia 3xx series will miss out.
Hopefully by the time Canoe Lake is ready,
GF1xx series has shrunk enough to be the 9400m successor.

In the meantime, a battery capacity bump remains possible,
introduction of 256GB SSD is also within reach, but that's about it.

thinkdesign
Jun 1, 2010, 05:50 AM
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Scottsdale -- Thoughts on how fast Apple can expand to work on all fronts at once: 1.) Perhaps it's not purely a $ matter? It could also a matter of how many balls certain execs can juggle at once in their minds. (And of course, scratch that -- if the rest of 2010 brings lots of new surprises.) 2.) Apple's cash hoard may be stored in investments that are down these days... the worst time to sell. 3.) Maybe the iPhone's recent new competition put Apple in a 1-time ultra-prioritised hurry to complete and test that growing cash cow product? 4.) Will the program of construction at the Apple campus provide more space, and THEN they'll hire more skilled people? --- Does anyone happen to know: Where can I read more about the new construction going on at the Infinite Loop campus I'm curious... Who are the architects?

Scottsdale
Jun 1, 2010, 10:42 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Scottsdale -- Thoughts on how fast Apple can expand to work on all fronts at once: 1.) Perhaps it's not purely a $ matter? It could also a matter of how many balls certain execs can juggle at once in their minds. (And of course, scratch that -- if the rest of 2010 brings lots of new surprises.) 2.) Apple's cash hoard may be stored in investments that are down these days... the worst time to sell. 3.) Maybe the iPhone's recent new competition put Apple in a 1-time ultra-prioritised hurry to complete and test that growing cash cow product? 4.) Will the program of construction at the Apple campus provide more space, and THEN they'll hire more skilled people? --- Does anyone happen to know: Where can I read more about the new construction going on at the Infinite Loop campus I'm curious... Who are the architects?

Well, Apple has seen this coming for two years. There is no excuse to not be ready right now. With enough money it can buy out anything it wants. I know it takes time to build from scratch, and hire developers, and etc, but there's no excuse in my opinion to not be ready right now.

soph
Jun 1, 2010, 11:03 AM
(Soph wrote) "Frankly, I'd simply like an even better computer in the exact same case." ---- It's interesting to a non-computerati like myself, to see on these threads how people can imagine and discuss the pros and cons of all manner of hypothetical electronic chipware, cloudware and software futures for the 'Air'.... but when it comes to the physical form, it seems that either the eyes glaze over (no response), or a sort of AVERSION TO CHANGE in shape (or weight) quickly emerges.

LOL, you see, I'm no visionary ;)

The point is however, that there's a very capable MacBook Pro 13 in direct vicinity to the MBA that is not tapered and has a much longer battery life at the price of somewhat higher weight if I'm overdoing it a bit.

Can you imagine a niche for a Macbook Air that's essentially a marginally slimmer Pro without the optical drive but extended battery capacity at a +300 USD price tag?

gwsat
Jun 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
Ha! Years back when I built up my home cinema AppleTV was brand-new and I really wanted to integrate it into my setup. However, I soon saw that it would not meet my needs and went for a Sony PS3. It's really ugly and there's no chance of integrating iPods in any way, but in all these years AppleTV never got any nearer to want me swap them.
As a business move however it was probably a smart decision of Apple not beefing up AppleTV, because AFAIK Sony is yet to gain financial profit on any PS3 sold.
My experience with the Apple TV and PS3 was similar to yours. I bought an Apple TV when Apple started making HD movies available on iTunes. Unfortunately, I soon tired of paying $4.99 to watch a newly released film at 720p resolution when I could see the same film on BD, at a resolution of 1080p, that I got from either Netflix or Blockbuster on a monthly subscription plan. The net effect of this has been that my Apple TV is the least used component in my home theater and my PS3 is one of the most used.

gwsat
Jun 1, 2010, 11:27 AM
The point is however, that there's a very capable MacBook Pro 13 in direct vicinity to the MBA that is not tapered and has a much longer battery life at the price of somewhat higher weight if I'm overdoing it a bit.

Can you imagine a niche for a Macbook Air that's essentially a marginally slimmer Pro without the optical drive but extended battery capacity at a +300 USD price tag?
I nearly decided to buy one of the new 13 inch MBPs and upgrade its RAM to 8Gb and its hard drive to a 256Gb SSD. I finally changed my mind because experimenting with the MBP at the Apple Store convinced me that even a 13 inch MBP was still too heavy for my purposes. The correctness of my decision hit home over the holiday weekend when my grandson, who is going to university in the fall, came over with the new 13 inch MBP his mother had given him for graduation. Thanks to being able to use my grandson's new machine in a familiar environment I realized that I was disappointed by how heavy it seemed, although I thought its form factor was just fine. In stark contrast to my experience with the MBP, every time I check out the MBA at the Apple Store again, I am amazed and impressed all over again by how thin and light it is.

thinkdesign
Jun 1, 2010, 01:01 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

Soph: I am very weight-sensitive due to early-onset arthritis... and I live in a world with too few outlets. And I want the Air to be my only computer, maybe w/ a supplemental USB thumbdrive for when my home archive/backup must travel with me. ("Cloud" appeals to me, less.) Consider also that when battery life is small and the "solution" is carrying the power brick, then your weight is no longer 3 lbs. It's that PLUS the brick's weight. (Apple says they don't even know the power brick's weight.) So I'd rather see the Air gain a few ounces, if it needs to (then I'll leave the brick at home, most days)... than see the MBP lose a few ounces (which would still require a backpack, which itself is heavier than a shoulder bag). ---- Also I live in a world where wi-fi on a laptop for communication is worthless... wifi's are usually all locked, even if at first they appear to be unlocked. ------ I think discussions exaggeratedly guess the whole topic of needed distance between models, or needed small numbers of models; Apple's big now. ------ U.S. car makers at least thru the 60's -- used to let many people build-to-order. And even when the trend went away from that, they'd pre-build many many variants and your local dealer would "find" one exactly as you wanted, with this engine, that transmission, that radio, that body, in red, etc. ... by asking the factory if they already have one like that, or almost like it. Quasi-customisation. --- So when Apple won't even offer a BTO option for a decent sized SSD in the 'Air' ... I can't buy any excuses. ----- Well, it's another Tuesday w/ no fresh Air. Sigh.