Macbook Air Update still waiting.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iTechInfo, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    iTechInfo

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #1
    It has been 319 days since the last macbook air update when will the next one be? Im still waiting to get my first mac which will prob be the air but if not the pro since they just released the new one.
    When do you think the macbook air will be updated.
    Leave your thoughts.
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #2
    It could be released anywhere from now to probably december. Intel is putting apple in a difficult spot; by upgrading the processors to core ix apple becomes limited to intel integrated GPUs that will give the entire system about the same TDP as current machines with much less graphics power. Apple doesn't have the space to integrate a second GPU for switching, and there is no better C2D option right now.

    The only other thing I see happening is a major makeover of the MBA at WWDC; if not then, it could be as long as it takes for apple to pressure intel out of their integrated GPUs.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #3
    So I do!

    I would not need more GPU power. A 9400 is enough for me. More RAM and a modern CPU would be a nice to have.
    But honestly the main reason for me to wait for a MBA update is to possess a latest revision of this gadget and not something which is already archaic. It's an emotional thing isn't it?

    Greetz from good ol' Germany.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    You're really giving Apple, and the MBA, more credit than it deserves. We have been using the v 2,1 MBA for over 18 months, since October 2008. The June 2009 update was nothing more than a bump to the CPU because Intel had changed the specs on the SL9x00 CPUs offering then a 9600 and 9400 instead of a 9400 and 9300. In addition, I believe Apple added 3w/hr to the battery to meet a Gold Star energy standard. Finally, it gave the USB to Ethernet adapter standard with each MBA. It didn't change anything with the logicboard nor any components like the 9400m, drives, RAM, drive controller, ports, display, keyboard, exterior, case, or anything else. I seriously wouldn't call it a rev "C" in terms of a real update. A real update would have made the MBA a v 2,2 or 3,1.

    I suspect a new MBA by WWDC at the latest. I expect the same SL9600 CPU unless Intel would make Apple a higher clock speed SL series CPU. I expect the same CPU to bump actual performance by 30%. It would allow the same type of bump to Arrandale to the end user. It would occur by de-throttling the CPU. I believe the 320m would be used because Apple has a history of using one CPU brand, GPU, and basic board system across five Macs - 13" MBP, 13" MB, 13" MBA, Mac mini, and 20/21.5" iMac. Apple has used this strategy since October 2008, and it has been much more successful than the original MBA. I would guess 4 GB of RAM finally gets added and it will be soldered to the board. I expect a larger SSD in the high-end MBA.

    If we wait until late 2010 or early 2011 for an update, Apple will be forced to move forward with either an Intel chip beyond C2D, AMD CPU, or something else (although realistically I would believe ARM is years away). I don't suspect Apple would go to ultra low voltage as the marketing problems would exist in selling a 1.0 to 1.2 GHz CPU in an "upgraded" MBA. With Apple's past strategy of using one basic configuration in five Macs, there is no reason to believe an MBA update with the 320m Nvidia GPU/chipset isn't coming by WWDC. Remember at the end of 2010, Intel's roadmap calls for complete end of all C2D CPUs. Apple has to have a new strategy in place for early 2011. I would guess there is an 80% chance of an update by WWDC as the MBA is terribly outdated and from all of the communication we can see on these forums or by listening to would be MBA buyers, people aren't looking for a new CPU or GPU. People would upgrade or finally buy an MBA if they had at least 4 GB of RAM and a larger drive capacity option. These are the two major concerns. At the same time, the 320m offers greater performance with lower energy drains. That would help the MBA out more than the other Macs set to use it. Then there is about a 20% chance that Apple will skip this update to the MBA and wait for late 2010 and a new strategy for the five Macs using the same setup.

    However, we have seen rumors saying there is an MBA on the way. We have also read rumors that the Mac mini would be updated with the successor to the 9400m. Now that we know that is the 320m, and we know the 320m is 35% more energy efficient, the same strategy seems obvious as Apple has used in the past. The MB, iMac 21.5," and Mac mini are all due for updates too. Since the MBA is ancient, and these Macs are also due, and we have various rumors, I say all four of these Macs get updated quietly before WWDC or at latest at WWDC... again, MBA, MB, Mm, and iMac all get updates before or at WWDC. The low-end 27" and even 21.5" iMacs could get bumped to the same chipset/CPUs as the 15" and 17" MBPs also. There are two ways Apple could go with that. With all of the other Macs, Apple seems stuck with C2D and Nvidia until Intel gets some decent graphics, or until Apple switches to AMD.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #5
    Well, I for one am. The two main gripes I have with my current one is that I cannot play back any HD videos on it. It will stutter horribly. And the 2hrs of actual battery life... While I don't know if it's possible to improve the battery given the size limitations, I was definitely hoping for more RAM, a slight CPU improvement and a better GPU to fix the video playback. I'm not sure which of the three is primarily to blame for the current stuttering... Perhaps the combination of all three... (Note, that I have the 1.86GHz version currently)
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    PsyD4Me

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    under your bed
    #6
    what kinds of stuff are you looking for in the update?
     
  7. JCT
    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #7
    Well, I've decided to hold out for an update as well -- flirted with a 13" MBP again, but just can't bring myself to do it as I love the MBA form factor.

    So I just ordered a 64GB Runcore SSD for my Rev A to give it a little kick while I wait...

    JT
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #8
    Rev D Air

    Also waiting for the next version of the Air. It will be my first MacBook Air. My wife gave me all the money I needed and more for Christmas (2009!) to buy a laptop and while I decided on the Air then, it would have simply been a waste of money and a disappointment when the new ones were released.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    cleric

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #9
    So when they release a version of VLC (or some other video playback software) with the new gpu hardware decoding api what are you going to want? Since we know that a 9400m is capable just no apple software exists currently.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #10
    Has NOTHING to do with the CPU. The problem is running HD videos in a browser plug-in or a third-party app. Flash and other apps that run HD videos have never had h.264 access to APIs before. As of a few weeks ago, Apple has made access to h.264 acceleration via APIs. Now, the 9400m GPU will be able to easily run HD videos whether in a third-party app or in a browser plug-in like Flash.

    You really need to learn about the difference of what is doing what and why in an MBA before you go saying it's the CPU. We have plenty of processing capabilities in 1.86/2.13 GHz MBAs. Where the problems lie are software applications, graphics acceleration, IO (drive & drive controller), and lack of RAM.

    We would be much better off with a 2.13 GHz SL9600 CPU, Nvidia 320m, faster drive bandwidth, and more RAM, than we would be with a Core i7 Arrandale CPU at 1.0 to 1.2 GHz boosting to nearly 2 GHz, with Intel HD GMA graphics, and etc.

    This is all Intel's doing. Intel wants people to believe they need faster CPUs, when the vast majority of normal computer users don't need faster CPUs. These people need faster GPUs, faster drives, more RAM and software that actually takes advantage of the components (like OpenCL, Grand Central Dispatch, APIs for h.264 acceleration).

    EDIT = And I have never gotten only two hours on my MBA no matter what I was doing. I normally get around four hours, but if the display brightness is all the way up, WiFi and BT are on, I get about three-and-a-half hours.

    Battery comes at a huge cost to weight and size. If you want a 10-hour battery, AND a faster CPU for your supposed perfect HD playback, you're going to get the computer you want in a 13" MBP. That is exactly what you need. An MBA isn't going to have an SL9600 CPU OR FASTER, and get 10 hours from battery between charges, unless we add about a pound of weight and thicken up the case just like the unibody 13" MBP.

    You are missing the entire point of the MBA. If you want battery and high-end performance the MBA is NOT the right computer for you. If you are a business user, non-professional user, and need extreme portability the MBA is the right computer for you. However, you have to understand that 2.13 GHz is the limitation for CPU and a four plus hour battery in this form factor and at three pounds is all you're going to get.

    Now, just think about this exact same MBA CPU de-throttled at 30% gain, an Nvidia 320m at a 50% improvement, 4 GB RAM, faster SSD, and applications taking advantage of APIs allowing perfect performance of HD video playback on your MBA... nothing wrong with this picture and it's all doable, easily. We just need to realize where performance comes from for HD playback, why we cannot get a 10-hour battery, in a 3 lb. weight limit and 1/4 to 2/3 inch thick case, and what the limitations are for this form factor MBA. Apple has done a great job of balancing performance and battery capabilities. With an Nvidia 320m, de-throttled CPU, super thin form factor, 3 lb. computer, faster SSD performance, and 4 GB of RAM, the MBA is as good as it gets with about five hours of battery (assuming Apple can use flat cells to improve density and waste less space than by the cylindrical shaped cells I am assuming are in the current MBA battery.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    Correct. And Apple has been greatly limiting the OS X user's performance by not having this available. In fact, a Mac user would be much better off booting into Windows 7 and running these apps ON THE EXACT SAME MBA while using around 30% of the CPU processing power as is used in OS X.

    The bottom line is the MBA is completely capable of PERFECT HD playback, but Apple has done its users a disservice and blamed it on Adobe's Flash or HD programs that didn't have access to h.264 acceleration of the GPU. It WAS sad that the Apple Mac, like the MBA, could perform amazingly in Windows 7 but in OS X was so severely limited. It is about damned time that Apple not benefit its Mac users by switching their Macs over to Windows 7 for extremely better performance and capabilities than OS X could provide with Apple's limitations.

    Apple wants to be a monopoly, and it wants to destroy Adobe and other HD playback apps, so iTunes and QT can "WIN" the war. I believe Apple feels it has done enough damage to Adobe with the iPhone OS products, and that Apple has determined it's a consumer electronics company first and foremost (not a computer company) thereby letting competition have the computing software space because it can dominate fully by capitalizing and focusing the vast majority of its resources on iPhone OS and iPhone OS products.

    Apple will surely sell a hell of a lot more iTunes video content to iPhone OS users who have to buy every bit of content for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. I believe Apple is fully got its target now on dominating all iPhone OS product segments. It seems obvious by the move to block out competition on the iPhone OS application market and the move to now allow h.264 acceleration on the Mac, that Apple has a new plan to dominate the iPhone OS product markets and be happy with consistent Mac growth while opening up the Mac OS X user's experience to try to equal what is now available on Windows 7.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #12
    Couldn't agree more. I bought my wife a Dell Adamo 1.4 C2D with the less than stellar Intel GPU, the little DELL plays Hulu HD perfectly ,with out stutter, without a hick up. Played the same clip on my MBA 1.6,9400m,SSD, it was horrible. It stopped more than it played. What a night mare. Apple is getting greedy and pushing deep pocket buyers (MBA users) to other makers. Let Adobe in already.

    I will not buy another apple product until they develop a new one (or till the Ipad 3G comes out, which ever comes first). :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #13
    Funny you should mention the new MBA. I was in this bar in Redwood City, CA, and this drunk guy left something on a barstool that ... never mind.

    WWDC in June is my guess.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    I really wish this was more than a joke. The problem is Apple and Jobs are focused solely on iPhone OS products. Let's face it, consumer electronics is a bigger market than the Mac! I suspect iPhone OS products and the revenue streams that come with them (iTunes, iBookstore, and App Store), soon to be more than three of them, will be 85% of Apple's revenues within four years.

    The Mac is just not where the focus and innovation will come from. It is obvious with these lackluster MBP updates, and no new innovation, that Apple has forgotten the whole fan/customer base who built Apple into the brand it is today, the Mac fan/customers. If there would have been something/anything new in the MBP update that hadn't already been in PCs everywhere it would have been fine. However, there was no follow up to unibody case, great capacity batteries, LED backlit Displays, backlit keyboards, mini Display Port, glass trackpad, and etc... nothing new. NOTHING NEW! The 15" MBP got a resolution BTO option which it should have had when the MBP was originally introduced and has been available in PCs for years (actually I have had 15" Dells with higher resolution).

    The Mac fan should be worried. With nothing new in terms of innovation, and word that 10.7 development has stopped indefinitely to work on iPhone OS and its products, Apple has lost its focus on computers. Isn't there a way to split the company into two divisions where each doesn't have to stop all Mac development or iPhone OS development to work on the other?

    I find it depressing. What surprises me is the Mac customer base continues to grow. Funny that now, when Windows 7 is actually better than the Mac, Mac is growing. I know that the industrial design and materials used in Macs are amazing, but they're inferior to PC alternatives in terms of performance.

    I am frustrated. I like my iPad, I LOVE my iPhone, but neither of those allow me to create or accomplish real work. My Mac is my link to success and career... and it's going backwards. In fact, our beloved MBA hasn't had an update since October 2008. No longer is the MBA the leader of the ultraportable market. No longer is it the most powerful, thinnest, lightest and etc. no longer does it have the best display, most RAM, fastest CPU, largest SSD, best GPU, and even gets trumped in terms of software and user experience to Windows 7.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Fairfax, VA
    #15
    Put win7 on your MBA and it'll also play Hulu perfectly.
    It's not about the specs, it's flash shunning Apple.

    For HD videos on your computer, such as mkv files, you can use plex for perfect 1080p playback. VLC is an unoptimized POS, just like Quicktime.

    I still don't see ANY other manufacturers coming close to Apple's design, quality, and materials on a laptop, so I'm just going to use mine with win7, and also reserving a small partition for OSX in case I have to do any iphone/ipad development.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #16
    Agree with everything you said, Scottsdale. If at the WWDC Mr. Jobs doesn't introduce a highly updated MBA, then it will be fairly obvious that Apple's focus is now strictly on the iPad and iPhone 4.0, and all the dollars Apple will reap.

    It really does seem like computers are not Apple's priority right now. I can understand raiding other departments for manpower needed to meet a launch date, but the MBA's potential has never been realized.
    Apple could have blown every competitor out of the water from the beginning by giving it some astounding specs, and hyping the crap out of it so that Apple would be the hands down leader in the ultraportable market. This would have made the iPad launch even more frenzied then it was; a perfect lead in.

    Instead, all we kept hearing from critics was that the iPad would signal the end of the MBA, and we didn't hear any denials coming from Cupertino. You'd think they would throw MBA fans a bone, and give some indication that patience would be rewarded.

    Well, we all know how secretive and quirky Apple can be, so I'm gonna give it a couple of more months before I pronounce the MBA to be a lame duck. Somebody at Apple has GOT to see the benefits of having the slickest, most powerful ultraportable laptop out there, even if it has to be a loss leader. I hope they've got a few more surprises up their corporate sleeves.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #17
    I second agreeing with Scottsdale. Typing this running Windows 7 on my '08 MBP and I really like the OS; it handles networking generally much better than OS X especially with the SMB speed issues it has had for a while now. In almost every way it's just as nice to use now, and ironically the main apps that aren't nice to use in Windows are Apple's.

    And with what you say about slowing feature and spec innovation means that all that's left are the awesome Mac form factors, and I would love an Air if they could just refresh it. It is all a bit of a shame really.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #18
    They've been using the flat cells in the MacBook Air since its introduction - it was the first MacBook to use the technology.

    I suppose that you've never heard of the Aluminum PowerBook G4, have you? Introduced at MacWorld 2003 with a ton of great, new features, it then received nothing but minor spec bumps, and one screen resolution bump, for the next three years. It's what Apple does. They'll introduce something quite new and great, then just spec bump it for a couple of years. Then something new and great, then spec bumps. It's how they work.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #19
    download iStat menus and watch as your air's cpu kills most tasks...
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Cheffy Dave

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #20
    Excellent assessment , you have made me reassess, my desire for a faster chipset, I will wait for 4GB of RAM, and add a 250GB run core SSD:rolleyes: and that should keep me within the parameters of it's original mission re battery life and weight
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #21
    Something should happen 3 weeks from now - from a pretty reliable source
     
  22. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #22
    I actually disagree with you about the MBA's battery cells being flat. It was January 2009 with the 17" MBP that they introduced flat battery cells in the MBPs. With updates to the other Mac notebooks they advertised 1000 cycle batteries and extended power between charges. Apple still listed the MBA's battery at 300 cycles as of October 2008. Since the October 2008 update, we have not seen any cycle count or information about the MBA's battery.

    The MBA was definitely the first Mac with a non-removable battery. However, the rest of the picture is very vague, and it seems that Apple would be bragging about 1000 cycles and a flat cell with the MBA if it truly had the capability first. Even now there are no advertisements for the MBA's battery cycling 1000 times between replacement.

    What are you talking about aluminum PowerBook? Seriously, everyone remembers the aluminum powerbook. You don't get very far in debating people when you immediately act like they don't remember or know crap. It is counterintuitive to your whole post if you want people to believe you and your theory. Most MBP buyers still wish Apple could use that strategy across all five of its Mac notebooks that use one CPU type, GPU/chipset, logic board and component strategy. The bottom line is Apple's strategy is about reducing costs by using one basic configuration across these five devices - 13" MBP, 13" MB, 13" MBA, Mac mini, and 20/21.5" iMac. The reason why Apple didn't give the 13" MBP a dedicated graphics solution is because Apple uses one base configuration across all five Macs. Only a strategy that allows one configuration base across all of these five devices has been used since October 2008 for the three Mac notebooks, and early 2009 for the 20/21.5" iMac and Mac mini.

    Of course 13" MBP buyers want upgrades like better CPUs, better dedicated graphics, and other components that improve with every model. Of course these 13" MBP buyers were upset about Apple's strategy, but what they're not reviewing is how Apple does business with these five Macs. Anyone that thinks the MB, MBA, 21.5" iMac or Mac mini will get a different basic setup than the 13" MBP will be disappointed. Again, same strategy and it has WORKED. Apple saves money on buying 320m GPU/chipsets in bulk, saves money by developing one set of drivers vs. multiple drivers, gets to take advantage of making one set of OpenCL and h.264 strategy, and ensures excellent stability while doing it.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    nukiduz

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    #23
    What would you think about a new MBA with a modified version of iPhone OS? Some kind of an iPad with a notebook form factor (a keyboard, you know). It would be lighter and have more battery life. Of course, you couldn't install regular apps but it could browse the web, do word process, use the app store... This may be the way to go for future notebooks and I wouldn't be bothered as long as I could download files. What do you think?
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #24
    That could be.

    I don't know if there would be a point to wait for WWDC for updates that are already selling in 13" MBPs. What we have to assume is that as soon as the production lines open up, meaning the stock of 13" MBPs and demand for them have been met, Apple can move on with the other four products using the same strategy.

    We will have to wait. However, I would be shocked to see an MBA that didn't use the same SL9x00 CPUs and Nvidia 320m GPU/chipsets between now and WWDC. I will also be shocked to see two RAM slots, so I believe 4 GB will be soldered to the board. It seems that 256 GB 1.8" SSDs have been ready since late 2009 by Samsung and Toshiba (although neither is selling either both stated would be ready by late 2009). Glass trackpad seems like an obvious last idea for an update too... it has been great on the other Mac notebooks.

    Last thing, I could be completely wrong, but I predict a new IPS HD/OLED/3D display with either this upcoming update or the next one. I have been saying this for seven months and I am sticking with it. It wouldn't be un-MBA like to get an IPS HD or OLED display first. The MBA is a premium product, and Apple could use the display to increase the MBA pricing again. I see $1599 and $1999 being possible... I would be happy to pay more IF WE'RE GETTING MORE!
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #25
    Unless they implement a full file system and the ability to browse it I could not see the point. If they move any further towards content consumption vs content creation, who the hell is going to be doing the creating in the future? As soon as it loses the ability to run MS Office it pretty much fails in real world work situations; I understand the iPad apps' export to Office ability is even worse than the desktop iWork apps'.

    I know Google is doing integrated cloud office stuff but that's ... Google, and Apple's is via MobileMe, right? I would say it would be possibly sadder than no update at all if they iPhone OSed the MBA.
     

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