How would you change the Macbook Air 11"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Intel Inside, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Borrowed this topic from Engadget. Thought it would make for an interesting topic over on MR.

    To cover the biggest 2 for me, i'd change:-

    -Give it a 10:16 screen
    -Blacklit Keyboard :p
  2. macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    make the bezel almost non existent by making the screen 12-12.5 inches .....make it a little thinner in the back..keep the battery where its at.. and its my dream machine.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2010
    The backlit keyboard and a better speaker

    But do you really want a 10:16 screen that would look ridiculous. I think you ment 16:10. That would be ok
  4. TSE
    macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Longer battery life as I don't see the point of an 11" ultraportable with only 4-5 hours of battery life, and Sandy Bridge processors.

    Kill two birds with one stone, as Sandy Bridge processors have been giving 20-30% better battery life over the last generation Core processors.
  5. Moderator emeritus


    Dec 10, 2008

    I wish apple removed the bezel from all laptops. The current 11" could in theory fit a 13" screen (the diameter of the machine is 14") while the 13" MBA could be able to fit a 15" screen (its diameter is 15.6"). Bezel is wasted space IMO, get rid of it or make the machine physically smaller.
  6. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I kind of like the power button not being part of the keyboard.
  7. macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2009
    Backlit keyboard. FireWire port. Slightly faster CPU. Otherwise I love it.
  8. macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia
    A backlit keyboard is what sold me the MBP over the normal MB, and I really enjoy late night browsing. Of course my fingers are so used to QWERTY I don't need to look at all, but it would be a nice addition.

    That's about all!
  9. macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    User upgradeable ram or base of 4 gb, longer battery life or MagSafe the size of the iPad charger.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    It's weird, even though I have a MBP I'm not to fussed by the lack of a backlight keyboard..
  11. macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
  12. macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2009
    I agree it needs a less wide screen aspect ratio. 9:16 is retarded on such a small device. I would really prefer everybody would standardize on the 2:3 proportion you also have on the iPhone, to me it's the perfect aspect ratio ranging from small to large screens.

    I would love a 11" macbook air, but not with this screen.
  13. macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I really don't understand the 16:9 display on it. First, it requires an odd bezel; it just looks wrong in terms of the bezel widths on top/bottom and sides. Second, I think this should be the 13" MBA. The MBA they call the13" should be a 15". What in the hell is wrong with Apple when it comes to these ridiculous bezels. An otherwise beautiful laptop could look stunning and make great use of space, instead of just wasting that bezel space that could easily fit a much bigger display. I see a thin bead of aluminum that makes a great edge to lift the display and would fit the otherwise greatness of the design.

    I would upgrade the CPU to a 2.13 GHz as is found in the 13" MBA. I would add USB 3.0 ports. I would also figure out a way to put mDP, USB, and power on one side of the MBA; currently connecting a 27" LED ACD is just wrong with cables going to both sides of the MBA.

    In terms of price, I don't think we should complain. Apple reduced the RAM and NAND Flash storage down to get to target price. What I would definitely change is add real RAM slots and allow people to buy and install their own RAM and NAND Flash storage. I also think since Apple is already using a three-year-old CPU, it should just include the max CPU capable. Meaning that maybe there isn't enough cooling to get my desired 2.13GHz C2D in there, but we know a 1.6GHz C2D will fit. Eliminate the upgrade and just include the 1.6GHz C2D. This wouldn't cost Apple anything other than opportunity to sell the $100 upgrade. The way pricing works for these, Apple isn't paying more for the 1.6GHz.

    In reality the upgrade everyone talked about at launch was the failure to use a Core I-series CPU. With the Nvidia/Intel resolution and Nvidia now having left the chipset business, I feel Apple needs to find a way to use discrete GPUs or BETTER yet could be an AMD CPU and GPU combo. I would not buy an MBA with Sandy Bridge CPU that uses the integrated GPU as the sole graphics solution. We would be much better off with AMD CPU/GPU systems. I just hope that Apple can figure out a way to make the low-end Macs seem worthy of high prices without the most marketable Intel CPU in the Macs. The problem is people's perception of Intel as high end when their graphics is disgustingly inferior to the 2.5 year old Nvidia 9400m. If they can get it through customers heads that AMD CPU/GPU is a much better Mac than Intel for CPU and IGP, we could all benefit greatly from a switch.

    Finally put an LCD in the trackpad, and make it a true touch display that is easy for the user to touch exactly what they want to do without needing to touch the display itself which is awkward and not ideal. I think this along with Retina-type displays is where Apple should differentiate Mac dieter from PCs.
  14. Hellhammer, Jan 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

    Moderator emeritus


    Dec 10, 2008
    Currently, AMD has nothing to offer when compared to Intel. Their current CPUs are worse than C2D in clock for clock and the best offering for MBA would be 1.8GHz dual core (TDP of 15W).

    One can speculate about Fusion but at the moment, that is only speculation. We don't have any concrete specs or benchmarks of Llano yet. Llano's production was pushed back to July with availability being Q3 (I would expect late Q3) but the first chips will be for desktops only. Mobile chips are still a mystery. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ivy Bridge before mobile Llanos.

    AMD isn't impossible but I don't see Apple using AMD unless Llano will be revolutionary. One of the reasons Apple switched from PPC to Intel was IBM's unreliable schedules and empty promises. Intel has solid tick-tock schedule, something that AMD hasn't been able to provide. Llano was supposed to be Q1 2011, now it will be at least 6 months late.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    The only thing that I need on my 11" air is a gigabit ethernet port, I use it as my main computer and have a fast gigabit network at home with a fast Synology NAS and the Apple USB ethernet adapter is only 10/100.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    baltimore, md
    Some reasonable requests:

    1. Thinner bezel - that bezel takes up way too much of the screen
    2. Backlit keyboard
    3. SD card slot - As a mobile computer, the omission of a card slot hurts.

    I'd agree with this - but personally I have never seen a laptop without a bezel. The bezel is indeed wasted space, but it is necessary to hold on the LCD, cover the mounting brackets and hide wireless, camera, and microphone wires that get routed to the mobo. I love the thin bezel of the HR AG. I can deal with that ratio.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2009
    As far as I can tell, they needed the width a 16:9 aspect provides to accommodate a full-sized keyboard.
  18. Moderator emeritus


    Dec 10, 2008
    It's obvious that it cannot be fully removed but it can always be thinner, much much thinner. Something like 2cm on each side should be fine

  19. macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    baltimore, md
    Haha based on your post you said you wanted them removed. I thought to myself, hmm never saw that before.

    But yeah I agree it should be thinner. That's the one thing I despise daily about that machine. But the problem probably is really that the LCD itself is small and does not reach the edges of the LCD back cover. I've repaired older Asus machines that have some pretty thick bezels, and they are thick because the screen is just smaller and doesn't fit the spec'd machine.
  20. macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2010
    I would love it if they'd bring back the backlit keyboard. And if possible a backlit keyboard would be nice. Other than that the only thing I'd like to see is a backlit keyboard and maybe a backlit keyboard.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2010
    Aside from the standard upgrades that come with time (storage, memory, et cetera), I really would just add an SD card slot (if possible) and give it even better battery life (which I don't know how Apple would achieve since so much of the space is dedicated to the battery already). It's a great machine.
  22. macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Backlit keyboard.

    Some way to attach a robust security slot or cable.

    An officially upgradable, replaceable larger SSD would also be nice.

    I would not want a thinner bezel, as this would make the MBA heavier, more fragile, more expensive and have a shorter battery life. Or have a substandard keyboard size. Dumb idea.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2011
  24. macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    Good point, one of the most expensive laptops does not even have a small slot for a kensington lock :mad:
    The alu frame would be a good fit for one of those slots, now I have to put my Air in the drawer of my desk if i'm going to the toilet.
  25. macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Seems pretty sweet that the most common complaint is "bezel size", followed by the backlit keyboard! Seriously, neither has anything to do with performance. Seems everyone that actually owns one is happy with it's capability. Count me as another VERY happy Air Owner. I just picked one up (11" with the 128/4g upgrade) for my wife and her birthday gift this past Wednesday.

    I couldn't be happier...Perhaps my favorite Apple design of all time! I bought the 17" i7 MBP this past fall...and this little Air is surprisingly capable and "Speedy"! Seriously!!! I make my mortgage payment and feed my family doing video and audio production, so our business relies heavily on Macs and their individual capabilities and reliability. I'm very, very much considering an SSD for my well as our Mac Pro. Easily the MOST significant performance boost available to ANY platform, in my opinion! Especially for day to day tasks. Even though I rely heavily on my 17" and desktops to do most of the heavy lifting, after installing PS CS5 on this little 11" air, I will NEVER shy away from post production on this little guy! It's awesome, truly an incredible computer and I have a hard time finding ANY faults. Obviously though, this is a conversation that will take place in Cuppertino as well, as Apple gets ready to release a new Air down the, if there's an addition I'd like to see, I'm a fan of the iPhone 4's pixel density and resolution. Continued improvement to screen rez is welcome...but to me, the bezel is fine! And, in my estimation, it's more of a protective ring around the display to keep it from being slammed in to the keys every time the owner folds the screen down. Perhaps it could be smaller, but in no way does it bother me. I'm just as much happy with my bezel on the 2010 17" MBP as well.

    But,'s great that this is the chief complaint amongst Air owners! just goes to show how far out of the park Apple actually hit the ball:)


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