Macbook Air to be updated alongside MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TheBigApple2006, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    #1
    There is a lot of speculation that the MBP will be updated tomorrow or next Tuesday at the latest. All seems to be quiet on the MBA front...given that the MBP and MBA were updated simultaneously last time round and (consequently) they are due an update now and the MBA cycle has always been 8 months, do you think it all adds up to the MBA being boosted tomorrow or whenever the MBP will be as well? I am mentioning boost because I doubt we shall see major improvements (move to Core iX, etc.) but at least 4GB RAM and perhaps a better trackpad...
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #2
    The MBA either needs to be updated, or discontinued.

    My local Apple Store (OKC) is pretty much devoid of MBA -- two MBA on display in the entire store.

    The current revision is pretty slick - but still looks a little outdated. Just look at the trackpad of the macbook and macbook pro and compare to the Air and the Air just looks old and outdated.

    I would hope that there would be some updates to the MBA if they update the Macbooks and Macbook Pros. They need better RAM, the glass trackpads, and processor bumps, if nothing else.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    #3
    Thanks for the note - my main gripe is the RAM, the top-model MBA really needs 4GB for the money they are asking for it. We are in 2010, it's 2 years past the introduction of the MBA and 2 GB is frankly outdated. CPU, screen, and design-wise, it's still going very strong. Hope we get news on this front this time tomorrow :)
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #4
    How do you know that a new mbp or mba is coming?
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
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    #5
    I think the past tells us the MBA will be updated alongside the MBP. The last MBP update, on June 2 of last year, we hadn't heard anything about an MBA update when we were hearing/reading lots of rumors of the MBP being updated. Lots of people said/claimed back then the MBA wasn't going to be updated and it's a once in a year (or more) sort of update when it comes to the MBA (like the iPhone). In actuality, the MBA is updated every eight months on average (8 1/2 months for the first update | 7 1/2 months for the second update). The problem with this "average" is there aren't very many past events to "average" out. And it's "ALWAYS" been updated with the MBP (but again those "always" events were only two events). Also the last update didn't provide much of a performance update and instead focused on a price cut to improve sales and try to compete better in a rough economy.

    So now we should all believe that there's no reason to doubt the MBA will be updated with the MBP next Tuesday/Wednesday... or as I mentioned in another thread, it sure would be nice if Apple let MacWorld introduce and show off the new MacBook Pros.

    I believe that Intel forcing Nvidia out of its partnership with Apple (for post Penryn GPU/chipsets) could complicate the update path and timing of the MBA and other Macs. The MBA will be the biggest challenge for Apple. It could lead to a delayed MBA update, another C2D/Nvidia GPU MBA that focuses on improving RAM and drive space, an MBA with only Arrandale's IGP, or an MBA that has a dedicated graphics solution (or hybrid using both the IGP and dedicated solution automatically switching graphics depending on the load demands).

    I will gladly prefer waiting for an MBA update that includes a dedicated ATI graphics system with 512MB of RAM. I don't want Apple to "rush" this decision and for us to end up with a repeat of the disastrous original MBA. Therefore, not seeing an update to the MBA, when the MBP is updated, is probably in the best interest of us future MBA buyers.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Icaras

    Joined:
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    #6
    Really? The latest? :D
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    While I would no doubt love an update of a more powerful MBA (note I don't even have the 2.13 model, but anyway...), there still is one problem Apple will have to overcome with this current form factor... heat. What good will a more powerful machine be if after 5 minutes (exhaggerating) of use performance has severely degraded... ie. choppy video, etc.?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    #8
    Thanks, this is a very good overview of the current state of play regarding the MBA update. All we have to do is wait and see, hopefully for not too long. I could really do with an MBA but don't want to part away with that amount of money (even considering the sizeable student discount I benefit from) for the current revision, which is short at the least on RAM...
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #9
    That's my question too. Can anyone point us to the rumor source on this one? Or do we just keep guess every week until it finally happens - on a Wed?! :p
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #10
    Macworld is taking place from February 11th - 13th. That plus the possible appearance of a new Macbook Pro in the Geekbench logs are making people think that new Pros will be released next tuesday (as new hardware has often been released on tuesdays). People are hopeful that new Airs will be released alongside the Pros, but there is no specific rumor on this.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #11
    Awesome! Thanks for the info! :)
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #12
    I completely agree. The Apple system rewards those who purchase immediately after an update, and the Apple system punishes those who wait until eight months after an update to spend their hard earned cash (whether those late buyers know it or not).

    I refuse to spend my hard-earned cash on a computer that uses eight-month-old technology. Apple counts on people to do this and will buy when a product is updated to have the newest and latest tech, and it also counts on those who know no difference between the component makeup and waiting versus not-waiting. Apple takes advantage of boosting sales during a certain quarter by updating products to boost sales. This is why we see similar time frames between updates and a staggered system of introducing new products and updates throughout the year.

    Also, we don't see new updates right before the holidays because Apple knows people are going to buy anyways... because it's the season to buy. Apple has its system down perfectly always capitalizing exactly on the right market at the right time.

    In addition, Apple uses incremental updates. Notice how everyone has a list of all things they want from the next update... and Apple never has all of the things people want or could expect from a competitor. Apple uses a system to update one or two things with each revision. That way, us tech junkies, prosumers, and fanboys will keep buying every single time.

    Finally, Apple also uses low cost innovations to sell its products as "premium" or so we think "it's worth the extra costs for these luxuries." Consider when Apple introduced the glass buttonless "silky-smooth" trackpad. It costs pennies to produce these "innovations" and that's what's so innovative about them. Consider the backlit keyboard; it's incredibly beneficial to a few, and we will spend the extra money to JUSTIFY buying a Mac over a PC alternative. Aluminum shell is incredibly inexpensive too. I would almost bet money that the unibody architecture aluminum case costs LESS to make than the former piece worked magnesium frame with aluminum wrapped around it.

    I love the "Apple Way" but it sure costs me and a bunch of others here on these forums a small fortune! We are paying a premium and always justify it to ourselves even if nobody else.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    #13
    I agreeing with updates being incremental, but Apple has to factor in the time period in which new products are being introduced. The non-removable 2 GB of RAM of the MBA would not have raised eyebrows that much back in 2008, but now it's a different story. Given that you are pretty much stuck with whatever stock hardware you get with the MBA, spending that amount of money for a 2 GB machine right now (given everyone's penchant for at least one high-RAM operation, such as virtual machines in my case) is simply a non-starter, at least for myself. Given that I suspect many MBA users are OSX users wishing for a lighter "second or backup" machine, I think Apple has to ensure as capable a machine as possible.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #14
    Agreed. I was fine with the 2GB of RAM until being really dumbfounded by why Apple didn't update to 4GB of RAM with the June 2009 update. Before that 2GB was acceptable and even the "norm." Now, we really need 4GB of RAM if no other update, although I could really be happy with 4GB RAM, 192GB SSD, and glass trackpad. I can live with just a simple update until Apple figures out what to do about the Arrandale IGP problem.

    I keep caring more about the graphics than anything with this MBP update. The graphics used in the low end MBP will probably be used across all Macs over time except the Mac Pro. Apple did that with the 9400m, and I expect it to use the same system with the successor to the 9400m whether it's a dedicated graphics platform, sticking with C2D and Nvidia, or even just accepting Intel's demands to use its IGP or else... This MBP update is critically important for the MBA even if the MBA is NOT updated with it.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    California
    #15
    I dunno why you don't think the MBA will not have a gpu like the nvidia GT310m(or GT305m) like many other machines use.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    jamesryanbell

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #16
    Is your screen name in reference to the Deftones song? Just curious. sorry for straying off of the topic.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    In your basement
    #17
    This is a rather good point actually, which begs the question, if we see the IGP on the low end MBP then what next?

    The consensus seems to be that the Integrated option is bad (and from experience with other integrated gpus i'd agree, but I haven't experienced the newest versions so I reserve my judgment).

    I mean, the 9400M is not great, but you can squeeze quite a bit of juice out of it, ask ayeing. Do I think your suggestions with the 512mb ATI is good? Yep. Do I think it'll be likely? Not really.

    One main reason for this: it could be quite price inhibitive, and I am of the understanding that whilst you personally Scotsdale would be happy to pay a premium, I'm not sure if it'll neccessarily be worth it to other users.

    I know I won't be updating, I like my 9400M/2.13ghz model (call it whatever you want), but I'm not sure how many people will be attracted by a potentially pricey notebook.

    Anyways, it's all speculation, and I do think that the low-end MBP will have excellent predictive value for the MBA, so here's to hoping something good.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #18
    Apple can choose from which Nvidia or ATI card would fit in the MBA and provide its users with the best overall experience from graphics capabilities to extending battery life. I believe ATI is the most likely solution, but Nvidia has some new technologies that are upcoming and could be used in the MBA too. I most like what Sony is doing by offering an automatic graphics switching system between Intel's IGP and a dedicated ATI graphics system.

    Like I said before, an MBP update, without an MBA beside it, will still probably give us an idea of the vision of what Apple will eventually do with the MBA. I want to see a dedicated ATI/Nvidia graphics solution in the low-end MBPs if we don't see an MBA update with the MBP.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
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    #19
    Yeah that would a nice idea automatic switching, but if I had to take a guess I doubt it would be offered on the 13in MBP line. Which would be a bit of a shame since Sony so far has it on their premium 13in Vaio Z(Nvidia GT330m, MBA weight), or Asus which has it on their update mid-priced UL series(GT310m) laptops.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #20
    I just noticed the Apple Store is down, so maybe we will learn more about the MBA today!
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando
    #21
    I hope we see a MBA update, this will be my first Mac. If they dont i may consider a macbook pro but i think it may be to heavy to lug around. What would anyone suggest for law school pro or air? I really want a decent graphics card so I can get into some amatuer flash and video editing. However, I think the MBA would do that for me, and be a lot lighter. ANy suggestions?
     
  22. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #22
    When I think law school, I think the MBA is perfect for writing in Pages or designing presentations in Keynote... then you go and twist things all around and say you want Flash and video editing. JK, for law school I think the MBA is perfect. For Flash and video editing, I think you are probably better off on an MBP.

    Let's hope it's a new MBA with a dedicated graphics card and extra RAM so the MBA will be perfect for your needs (law school use) and your wants (Flash and video editing).
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando
    #23
    Thanks Scottsdale! Yea that is why I have held out 2 GB of RAM is ridiculous even if it is a MAC (i know apple tends to use their hardware better than pcs). Dedicated video card would do the trick, I hope they dont ignore the MBA, it really is in a class of its own.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #24
    So if it does arrive with a glass trackpad, possible i3 or i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM and possible GPU upgrade I will be on my way to the Apple store. Hmmm, I may just go to the mall now and do some walking till the Apple store opens.:D
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    #25
    Call me crazy, but I doubt we'll see any Mac updates today. The hype is currently building on the iPad, so Apple has no need to update for increasing attention. I would bet the store is down to add the iPad for preorder. Engadget says that it usually goes back up at 8:30 EST. That was over an hour ago... if we were only seeing an update, it wouldn't take long to update the content. This leads me to believe there are major changes that need to be made (read: iPad added).

    Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and get both!

    EDIT:

    Well, the store appears to be back up!... I was partially right, no Mac Updates, but no iPad preorder either. just the aperture release.
     

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