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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:04 AM   #1
iLive
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MacBook Air 2013

How much do you think the MacBook Air will change in 2013, and what do you expect? A new design or an update?

Reduced bezel size (like rMBP 13")
Front glass panel (like rMBP)
Haswell (up to x2 improved GPU, and better battery)
IPS screen

I dont think the focus will be to make it thinner but instead make the unit smaller without affecting screen so it becomes more Air'ish. It will affect size of trackpad, because the bezel does help this to be slightly larger, but this shouldn't be much of a change. Should simply just be like on the rMBP. The only problem would be that the 11" model will need to have smaller keyboard, unless they keep designs different which I doubt. But if they make the bezel small enough, the full size of the 13" Air might get close to 11" and then replace it.

Since they managed on rMBP to have front glass panel without thickness added they might add this to the MacBook Air as well.

A lot of people talk about retina Air, but I seriously doubt that for several reason. 1. It would increase cost and therefor be directed towards the same audience as rMBP. Currently you can get iPad mini - light, less speed and no retina for cheaper price - or iPad - heavier, faster and retina. It would be good to allow the customer between what he wants, just like on the iPad. 2. Size would have to increase which definitely is a no go on Air and what it stands for. rMBP has no ODD, and the iPad did increase in size, but that's ok, since iPad mini was later introduced, where does retina fit in the Air?

In case the unit gets smaller, then there will be less space for internal and will most likely be the battery, and with the introduction of Haswell it should be possible to maintain 5 or 7 hours of battery life respectively for each model.

This is my thought what's yours? (Please don't say "if u need Mac then buy now and not wait 4ever". This is simply a discussion of future MacBook Air. We don't know what Apple is doing but we are definitely allowed to guess/dream.)

Last edited by iLive; Nov 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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I'll be anxiously awaiting the 2013 updates of the 13 MBA and 15 rMBP to pick my next MacBook. For the MBA, I'm expecting the same form factor (it's highly praised and not very old). Haswell, which should improve battery life, seems like a given. No new I/O on the horizon, so the only surprise could be a better screen. Personally, I want a 1920 x 1200 IPS screen, even if it makes the display slightly thicker (think the slight thickening of the iPad 3). Shrinking the bezels to get down to the 13 rMBP footprint would be a welcome change, but I'm not holding my breath.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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I will like the new Haswell for more battery save and GPU power, but also an external dock with a powerfull GPU like the one Sony has on the top line laptop
and yes I agree the design is still cool like it is and also the screen is OK, just need a better one when I'm home
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:28 AM   #4
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The 2013 MBA will definitely have Haswell but I think that's about it. Apple will advertise it as having "Twice the graphics power!!!11one" with the HD5000 and battery life will improve, but not that dramatically. Probably a half hour improvement on battery life.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:48 AM   #5
calvol
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+1... Air will get the rMBA form factor with reduced bezel. Haswell power savings are mostly in idle mode, so battery life will extend maybe 30-60 minutes at most.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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Really glad to see this thread, pretty confident now in just getting my sister an Air now rather than waiting the 7-8 months. For her light use just get any new Mac will blow her away. If I was in the market I'd consider waiting only because I already have an older iMac.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 01:14 PM   #7
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I'm not sure they will reduce the size of the bezel, if they did they'd have to reduce the size of the keyboard , which is currently full size and a key attraction of the Air (11" of course). Unless they reduced the size of the bezel by making the screen larger but I doubt that too.

I don't expect any material changes to the design at all in 2013, just the usual upgrades to CPU etc.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 01:49 PM   #8
coldjeanzzz
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I think a redesign will come in 2014, the biggest change we'll get in 2013 is obviously Haswell

Honestly wasn't enough to entice me. Graphics will be better, but probably not significantly better like they are saying and the hd4000 is solid already. Air has enough battery life for me anyway.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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I think a reduced bezel, Haswell, retina. However, not the front glass panel - i think the reason why the bezel is aluminum is for stability since its display is much thinner and can break at the hinge, edge, etc.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanoir View Post
I'm not sure they will reduce the size of the bezel, if they did they'd have to reduce the size of the keyboard , which is currently full size and a key attraction of the Air (11" of course). Unless they reduced the size of the bezel by making the screen larger but I doubt that too.

I don't expect any material changes to the design at all in 2013, just the usual upgrades to CPU etc.
Actually, look at the 13" rMBP - the keyboard is the same size.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 02:59 PM   #10
Johnny Alien
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Reduced bezel won't happen because of the keyboard and trackpad size. A smaller keyboard on the 11" would be an awful decision. As mentioned earlier they could possibly do it by increasing screen size but that is unlikely. My guess is there will be no hardware redesign only spec upgrades.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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I think haswell will be nice, but wasn't enough to keep me waiting. Battery isn't all that important for me since I only take it to up to 3 classes per day, and it rarely gets below 50%. I'm sure it will have a decent improvement, but if you are considering buying now I personally wouldn't, and didn't hesitate!
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPhrase View Post
I think a reduced bezel, Haswell, retina. However, not the front glass panel - i think the reason why the bezel is aluminum is for stability since its display is much thinner and can break at the hinge, edge, etc.

----------



Actually, look at the 13" rMBP - the keyboard is the same size.
I don't think you read what I said.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 05:42 PM   #13
GrandPhrase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanoir View Post
I don't think you read what I said.
My bad.. lack of sleep. Agree with your point though; the 11" MBA keyboard and trackpad would just look absolutely ridiculous with reduction in size.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 02:13 AM   #14
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It's hard to predict what they'll do with the Air. There isn't a lot of room to reduce the thickness any more than it already is. Haswell may allow for better battery performance, thus a smaller battery could be possible, which might allow for some reduction in thickness. The big savings will come when IGZO displays are available. Those will allow both a reduction in battery size and still likely yield increased performance.

Like others have said, a reduction in bezel size alone isn't likely. It would reduce the overall size of the machine and necessitate a smaller keyboard and trackpad. That would be a bad move, so I don't see it happening.

What could work though, would be to increase the size of the display and eliminate the bezels. Others have said they don't think this will happen, but I'm not so sure. It's sensible in a lot of ways.

Theoretically at least, there's room to add about an inch (diagonally) to the display in the 11'' case, while still having room for the camera. This would yield a 12.6" display. Next year we can likely expect the price of Retina MBP's to drop to regular levels, or at least close to them and the non-retina models to disappear. When that happens, the 13" MBA becomes pretty irrelevant. For just a bit more money, you would get a Retina display, a better processor and just a little bit more thickness in the MBP.

Long story short, they could kill the 13" MBA and roll with a single 12.6" display model that is the same size as the current 11". From a production standpoint this is sensible. Why maintain two production lines, especially when the second line will be made irrelevant by another product. 11" owners would be happy with a slightly larger display. Those who want 13.3" would make the logical move to the MBP or settle for the slightly smaller 12.6" MBA and likely still survive. Users would be able to see an instantly discernible difference in size and make their decisions accordingly.

Here's the other interesting part. The 11" case houses a 16x9 display. There are already plenty of 1920x1080 (1080P) displays on the market, even in small sizes. At 12.6" this would yield a PPI of @175. About a 30% increase from the current model. Could they call it Retina? Not with a straight face, but they could call it "Full HD" or "True HD" and deliver a not insubstantial increase in quality.

The increase in energy efficiency from Haswell could be enough to balance out the larger, higher resolution display's increased consumption as well.

This would also help Apple differentiate their Retina products. By establishing the base model as "HD", a term most consumers are comfortable with, they establish that Retina is "Better than HD". We all understand these things, but to the average consumer they're confusing.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 07:03 AM   #15
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as others have mentioned the bezel in the 11 inch airs is quite large. they could easily fit a 12 inch (or whatever the size would be increased by 1 inch) screen in there. That would be a sweet upgrade since the size of the air would not change. I would be all over that. it would be like a 2013 powerbook.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 07:12 AM   #16
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Whatever they do I hope they don't ruin it. I adore my MBA 11".
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:13 AM   #17
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I feel the air has a rather elegant and iconic form factor which I feel Apple will try to hang on to for as long as they can. As such, I believe any improvements to the 2013 air will be entirely under the hood. I am not sure if we will see 8gb ram standard across the board, but I think the amount of flash storage may rise to 128gb, and you will have the option to pay for up to 768gb of ssd.

Processor will definitely upgrade to haswell, the screen may become thinner and higher-res?

All in all, any improvements will be marginal at best, and I wouldn't hold out for a major overhaul.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:50 AM   #18
cloneofsnake
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Aside from the obvious Haswell upgrade, I'm hoping for:

Faster wireless (from N to AC?)
SDXC upgrade from SDHC
USB 3.0

The latter two are already in the new rMBP and Mac Mini, so I'm sure they'll be in the 2012 MBA.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:57 AM   #19
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Nobody has mentioned weight. They could always make it feel lighter even if it is already pretty light. There was a rumor of them sourcing carbon fiber which is lighter than aluminum.

I'd love to see a screen update. A matte screen option would be killer.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloneofsnake View Post
Aside from the obvious Haswell upgrade, I'm hoping for:

Faster wireless (from N to AC?)
SDXC upgrade from SDHC
USB 3.0

The latter two are already in the new rMBP and Mac Mini, so I'm sure they'll be in the 2012 MBA.
Just FYI, the SDXC card slot and USB 3 already came in the 2012 Air that came out this summer.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:45 PM   #21
Beanoir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mak47 View Post
What could work though, would be to increase the size of the display and eliminate the bezels. Others have said they don't think this will happen, but I'm not so sure. It's sensible in a lot of ways.

Its interesting this, and obviously i've already said my piece and why I don't think thy will reduce the size of the bezel if it meant reducing the keyboard size.

However, increasing the screen size in the same size body would of course reduce the width of the bezel...but firstly if you increase the size of the screen on the 11" to that degree then you end up with a 13" screen (you can see the problem there already right?) and if it was just the keyboard that constrained the size of the bezel on the 11" then why doesn't the 13" have a slimmer bezel already...??

Now i'm just guessing as just like everybody here, I don't actually know, but I reckon that the added 20mm of nasty extra bezel width that we all don't like allows the body to be that much bigger and is needed to accommodate the batteries and other jazz.

I'm sure it'll come, just not in the same body and not in 2013.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:50 AM   #22
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To me, sizable bezels on any monitor or TV is a bit dated looking, so anything they can do to reduce them would be most welcome. I'd like to see them do away with the 11" and 13" models entirely and come out with a single hybrid version. Put out one Air model that would be slightly larger than the current 11" form factor, but with an increased screen size that could be at 13" or close to it. I think there is room for a lot more screen real estate on both models. The form factor can still be the same, perhaps even slightly thinner... but nothing drastic.

In addition to that, I'd love to see a dedicated HDMI port on the 2013 Air.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 04:42 PM   #23
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Recently sold my MBP so have a nice fund started for my next laptop which will be a MBA. Don't need it immediately, so most likely waiting for next year's update. I am hoping for:

- Haswell
- IPS
- Cheaper SSD/larger SSD for same price


I also agree regarding the sizable bezel on the MBA. Wish they would go with a bezel similar to the current MBP. I find a black bezel significantly less annoying/distracting than the silver/metallic bezel. But that of course is personal preference.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 06:07 PM   #24
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do you guys think that the base 13 inch SSD will go from 128 to 256 gigs? or is that something we can expect in 2014?
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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do you guys think that the base 13 inch SSD will go from 128 to 256 gigs? or is that something we can expect in 2014?
Hard to tell in my opinion. Hard to predict what Apple will decide to do. Prices of SSD have definitely dropped and will continue to do so over the next 6-8 months. Apple definitely could throw in the 256GB in 6/2013 for a similar price as to what the 128GB cost them in 6/2012.
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