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Old Jan 7, 2010, 09:03 AM   #1
iDisk
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Lightbulb MacBook Air Owners hold the future of computing

Hello Everyone,

For potential and current macbook air owners, I want discuss a "POSSIBLE" transition of how the entire Apple notebook line up will shift, and how the MacBook Air lays the foundation of the Apple portable world for notebook computing and performance.

Form Factor:
The MacBook Air was and still is the envy among the tech industry for notebooks. Without discussing performance the MacBook Air sets the bar for what a beautiful notebook should look and feel. Since its introduction Apple has been slowly shifting to incorporate their entire line-up in the form factor of the MacBook Air. Within 2 years (2012) Apple will have the entire notebook lineup in the form factor of the MacBook Air, in varying sizes and weight. MY LIST BELOW INDICATE THE 2 YEAR TRANSITION, SO THE AIR WILL LOOSE ITS AIR (TITLE) AND SIMPLY BECOME A PRO.
  • Size & Weight
  • 13" MacBook Pro (merged into the Air): 0.9 - 0.59 inch & Weight 2lbs (Current MacBook Air size & weight 0.16 - 0.76 inch & 3lbs)
  • 15" MacBook Pro: .85 inch & Weight 4lbs (Current form is .95 inch & 5.5lbs)
  • 17" MacBook Pro: .90 inch & Weight 5.5lbs (Current form is .98 inch & 6.6lbs)


Performance:
I will say without going into much depth that Intel and ATI will be the graphics that will go into any new version of a notebook Apple releases. Heavy focus on Open GL/CL & GCD will allow for great advancements in the performance of these portables.
I personally feel in two years Apple will have No Optical drives as standard for their notebooks and the only I/O will be Light Peak (Apple is heavily invested in light peak with Intel) Audio in/Out ports and a mag safe connector.
By this time Light Peak will be mainstream in other devices we use such as cameras, camcorders, phones & mp3 players.

Any thoughts? or further Realistic ideas.

iDisk


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Old Jan 7, 2010, 09:43 AM   #2
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I've never understood what compels people to make posts like this... As if they can predict the future... Especially with a company like Apple!
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by iDisk View Post
The MacBook Air was and still is the envy among the tech industry for notebooks.
Only if the tech industry envies underpowered, overpriced laptops. I work in the tech industry and while I see a number of MBPs being carried around, the MBA is completely absent. Corporate non-techies may opt for the "cool" factor, but not where real work is done.

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13" MacBook Pro (merged into the Air)
You aren't the first to suggest this; people have been predicting this for over a year at least. It hasn't happened yet and it won't, in my opinion. These products address two different market segments. The 13" MBP is an entry-level laptop. The MBA is basically an adjunct to a more powerful computer, by which I mean that a user is unlikely to have an MBA as their only system.

As to the 15" or 17" MBP going to an MBA-like form factor, it can't happen. There are too many capabilities of those systems that would have to be thrown away to make them any thinner, and the heat factor would be prohibitive.

And by the way, "the Apple portable world for notebook computing and performance" does not equate to "the future of computing."
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 09:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
You aren't the first to suggest this; people have been predicting this for over a year at least. It hasn't happened yet and it won't, in my opinion. These products address two different market segments. The 13" MBP is an entry-level laptop. The MBA is basically an adjunct to a more powerful computer, by which I mean that a user is unlikely to have an MBA as their only system.
Users do though, so your point is invalid.

Quote:
As to the 15" or 17" MBP going to an MBA-like form factor, it can't happen. There are too many capabilities of those systems that would have to be thrown away to make them any thinner, and the heat factor would be prohibitive.
Notice I said 2012, much of what you just mentioned can be ironed out from now and then.

Quote:
And by the way, "the Apple portable world for notebook computing and performance" does not equate to "the future of computing."
By the way.... YES it does. Apple sets the standards. Every other company has a monkey see monkey do mentality.

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Originally Posted by Halon X View Post
I've never understood what compels people to make posts like this... As if they can predict the future... Especially with a company like Apple!
I never understood why people make post comments like this....... I never said I was predicting the future..... Apple is unpredictable that's why I did not say "THIS WILL HAPPEN"

Last edited by kainjow; Jan 7, 2010 at 10:41 AM. Reason: merged posts
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Yes please, we need thinner laptops without features, let's get rid of all the ports and while we are at it, ditch the screen & keyboard too. These useless things take up way too much space. And please reduce the processor to that of a mobile phone, no one needs anything except TextEdit anyway.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Halon X View Post
I've never understood what compels people to make posts like this... As if they can predict the future... Especially with a company like Apple!
Are you trying to say that you dont think this is the way Apple will go?

If so, elaborate and we will have a discussion!
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:21 AM   #7
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Yes please, we need thinner laptops without features, let's get rid of all the ports and while we are at it, ditch the screen & keyboard too. These useless things take up way too much space. And please reduce the processor to that of a mobile phone, no one needs anything except TextEdit anyway.

LOL - Though I Love My MacBook Air, I Love Humorous Sarcasm Even More
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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I don't see this happening. The 2.5" SSD will always be cheaper then the 1.8"SSD. I won't pay more for such a small fraction.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 12:15 PM   #9
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If all future Apple laptops end up like the piece of junk that is the Air I'll gladly switch to Windows. Some people need more than a glorified, overpriced netbook.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 01:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
If all future Apple laptops end up like the piece of junk that is the Air I'll gladly switch to Windows. Some people need more than a glorified, overpriced netbook.
The Air isn't a piece of junk and it actually inspired the current design of the notebooks you see today. The Air is the benchmark of what's to come. Also you being quick to jump ship to windows shows your loyalty to Steve and Apple. Have more faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca$hflow View Post
I don't see this happening. The 2.5" SSD will always be cheaper then the 1.8"SSD. I won't pay more for such a small fraction.
In 2 yrs (Like I mentioned in my article) the technology will be much more advanced and the size limitations that currently "plague" the Air will not be a issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
Yes please, we need thinner laptops without features, let's get rid of all the ports and while we are at it, ditch the screen & keyboard too. These useless things take up way too much space. And please reduce the processor to that of a mobile phone, no one needs anything except TextEdit anyway.
It will happen, the processor will be smaller with more power (hint: 32nm Quad core from intel) graphics cards will be smaller and more powerful then what we use today in notebooks. Light peak could very well be the solution to all the ports, just have 1 port and create adapters. Don't forget about GCD & Open GL/CL. This will allow us developers to utilize and maximize the hardware even further.

The Air fits Steve Jobs vision or minimalistic power and over time that power will grow bigger in a much more thin and beautiful for factor. Some people can see Steve Jobs vision and some can't.

I can see the vision

You sound like you have shades on

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Old Jan 7, 2010, 01:58 PM   #11
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By the way.... YES it does. Apple sets the standards. Every other company has a monkey see monkey do mentality.
Sorry, your contention that "the future of computing" is Apple laptops is silly on its face. Apple is a consumer electronics company. In that space they lead in some things (but not all things - Apple doesn't even cover the entire consumer computing field). In the enterprise computing space Apple isn't even a player.

On a more rational note, Light Peak has potential but it's not going to replace the current generation of peripheral devices in two years. It takes longer than that for manufacturers to arrive at industry standards. That kind of optical technology will likely undergo considerable revision before it makes it into consumer products. You'll still need USB cables in two years. And Apple would be chopping off a chunk of sales if it removed optical drives from all laptops.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 02:02 PM   #12
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To sum up my theory MacBook becomes a tablet air may keep name but would assume the role of a MacBook and MacBook pro stays with all features. Maybe a slight drop in price all around?
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDisk View Post
Any thoughts? or further Realistic ideas.
[/FONT]
iDisk
While I think the MBA is a great product and I love mine, its made a lot of significant sacrifices in almost every area in pursuit of mobility and class leading thinness. As a result, it's a niche product - not a mainstream one.

And other than being a prototype for the unibody design and taking some style queues from the MBA I don't think there is much possibility in Apple "AIRing" the rest of its lineup.

Mainstream users want their powerful graphics, and their powerful CPU's, and all their ports and peripherals, and upgradability using mainstream components. This is particularly true for MBP users.

Mainstream MACs are already pushing the thin envelope and run pretty warm and have a relative dearth of ports as a result. While the power consumption/heat generation get better over time its largely negated by higher performance requirements over time. I can't see any mainstream or power users being happy with more expense, less power, fewer ports, less battery life, and fewer peripherals for the sake of either style or a slight weight savings.

As to weight savings, what technology do you think is coming out in the next year or so that could possibly lead to the weight savings you are predicting? I mean saving a pound and a half on a 15" 5.5 pound notebook thats already only 1" thin for example. Wow. Leave out the optical drive, cut the battery capacity in half, go from aluminum to carbon fiber, and pump the thing full of helium?

Anything is possible but I do not find such a trend likely. Cheap brick like laptops are still the vast majority of the notebook market and cost will still continue to be the major driver for most folks. MAC users are willing to pay more for a number of reasons but most still want their features and creature comforts. Take a look at the MBA sales volumes compared to any MB or MBP and you'll see at least currently people are not coming to the AIR in droves.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 05:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by McDughf View Post
LOL - Though I Love My MacBook Air, I Love Humorous Sarcasm Even More
Thanks, you perfectly got it. I didn't mean to say that the mba is crap in general, it certainly has its target audience where it fits perfectly, it just isn't for everyone.

Sure its components will get more powerful within 2 years, but so will the larger notebook and desktop components. In my opinion there will and should be thicker but more powerful laptops.

Personally I like my ports on the go, I wouldn't like to run around with a couple of adaptors. That's why I still prefer my pre-unibody mbp to the newer ones. To each their own.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 06:11 PM   #15
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I personally feel in two years Apple will have No Optical drives as standard for their notebooks and the only I/O will be Light Peak (Apple is heavily invested in light peak with Intel) Audio in/Out ports and a mag safe connector.
Considering how long SD cards have been around and the fact that Apple has only added the SD card reader to their lineup of laptops in the past 6 months I doubt very much that USB ports will be a thing of the past in two years... Optical drives? Maybe...

The MacBook Pro range needs to be a work horse and the work horse needs to be able to attach to Pro spec peripherals FW800, USB, ExpressCard/34 slot - I'm hoping they add eSATA and HDMI soon - so I really hope you are wrong about only having Light Peak.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 08:03 PM   #16
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See for me the perfect form factor is the Macbook Pro. I like the added weight, I like the massive performance increase it has over the Air, the brilliant battery and all the ports. On a regular working day I use all the ports so going back to 3, well no. I'm not doing that.

I hope it isn't the future. I hope it remains a niche for people who want a semi-powerful and very portable laptop.

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Also you being quick to jump ship to windows shows your loyalty to Steve and Apple. Have more faith
Oh bloody hell guys, we have a live one!
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 09:58 AM   #17
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Considering how long SD cards have been around and the fact that Apple has only added the SD card reader to their lineup of laptops in the past 6 months I doubt very much that USB ports will be a thing of the past in two years... Optical drives? Maybe...
I'm hoping for sure that optical drives get dropped. For me this seems to be the easiest way for future notebooks to gain in performance; think RAID SSDs, massive internal HDD space, or combination of SSD + HHD.

When was the last time you used your optical drive? As useful as another drive?

Let the diehards buy an external; most (well, no, ok, many) people have a second computer anyways.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:00 AM   #18
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I'm hoping for sure that optical drives get dropped. For me this seems to be the easiest way for future notebooks to gain in performance; think RAID SSDs, massive internal HDD space, or combination of SSD + HHD.

When was the last time you used your optical drive? As useful as another drive?

Let the diehards buy an external; most (well, no, ok, many) people have a second computer anyways.
Me too. While I still use an optical drive from time to time it's not pretty; the Superdrive in my MBP sounds like it's preparing for liftoff every time I put a disc in it. There has to be a more efficient way of getting media around by optical disk these days.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 12:08 PM   #19
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When was the last time you used your optical drive?
Yesterday. I don't use it often but when I need it I'm sure glad I don't have to hunt up an external.

Quote:
As useful as another drive?
More. My hard drive isn't nearly full; what would I want with a second one? Even if I only use the optical every few months it's still more useful than a second HD.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 12:21 PM   #20
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I'm confused to how this is a remarkable prediction. Of course components will become more powerful and smaller, they always have.

In particular, the screens will be paper thin and possibly transparent. Where less than 5% of the thickness is the display.

But to shatter your dreams I see the Air going away to be replaced by the Tablet.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 02:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
Sure its components will get more powerful within 2 years, but so will the larger notebook and desktop components.
Probably by a larger factor too.

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Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
When was the last time you used your optical drive?
A few months ago to watch a DVD. Haven't used it for anything else besides a few software installations.

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Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
As useful as another drive?
Not even close. My HDD is 3/4 full already. Even if it wasn't that full, I would still prefer to remove the optical drive, because it is larger than a HDD, so I could have a larger battery and a second HDD.

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Let the diehards buy an external; most (well, no, ok, many) people have a second computer anyways.
Exactly. If I have room to carry around a DVD I have room to carry around an external.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 05:45 PM   #22
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Yesterday. I don't use it often but when I need it I'm sure glad I don't have to hunt up an external.

More. My hard drive isn't nearly full; what would I want with a second one? Even if I only use the optical every few months it's still more useful than a second HD.
Why a second one?!

a) RAID 0 = faster,

b) RAID 1 = built in redundancy

c) SSD for OS + Apps (speed) and HDD for file (massive storage)

A second storage drive would be used and have practical benefits every day! - can you please explain how that is less useful than an optical drive you might use every few months.


Perhaps optical-less could be optional, much in the same way they can make the mini
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 07:54 PM   #23
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Why a second one?!

a) RAID 0 = faster,

b) RAID 1 = built in redundancy

c) SSD for OS + Apps (speed) and HDD for file (massive storage)

A second storage drive would be used and have practical benefits every day! - can you please explain how that is less useful than an optical drive you might use every few months.
It's simple - I have all the disk performance and capacity that I need in a laptop at this time. And I have backups of my data; RAID has no appeal to me in a laptop. And when I need the optical drive, all the hard disk speed and capacity in the world won't do it.

Quote:
Perhaps optical-less could be optional, much in the same way they can make the mini
If I had a choice I would definitely choose the optical drive. More capabilities are always welcome. Heck, I never use the audio in/out ports or the external monitor connection but that doesn't mean I'd like to see them removed. They could be useful someday.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 08:33 PM   #24
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Note that the poster mentions a LightPeak port.

Basically the idea would be that you got a LightPeak hub, and you have your display, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, and anything else you'd like connected to it, and you just plug one LightPeak cable into your MacBook Pro/Air, and you have everything.

THAT is the dream of LightPeak. Time will tell if it succeeds, but if it does, it will be *very* cool.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 09:19 PM   #25
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It's simple - I have all the disk performance and capacity that I need in a laptop at this time. And I have backups of my data; RAID has no appeal to me in a laptop. And when I need the optical drive, all the hard disk speed and capacity in the world won't do it.



If I had a choice I would definitely choose the optical drive. More capabilities are always welcome. Heck, I never use the audio in/out ports or the external monitor connection but that doesn't mean I'd like to see them removed. They could be useful someday.
I see your point, I guess we just have very different needs; I'd take better performance any day, over very occasional (and even then, only potential) inconvenience...
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