Air and Pro merging. Inevitable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Funkymonk, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Funkymonk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    Since the airs are the future of laptops. Do you think that may happen in the next 5 years maybe. Or do you think that will never happen?
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    5 years is an eternity in the Tech world
    We may all be walking around with mobile devices connected to the cloud with no laptops at all
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I couldn't tell you about 5 years from now, as tech changes so much that it would likely be horribly inaccurate. However, I don't see them merging to the same form factor very soon. The quad core chips they just put in the MBPs are far, far too hot to put in something as small as the MBA, and would eat battery life. However, I do see some features coming across, possibly within the next couple years. I see the optical drive leaving, but not as soon as people think, and also a small mSATA SSD for the OS, or possibly a larger one as an option. The standard 2.5" drives won't be leaving for a good while though.
  4. namtaB macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    Optical drives are what keep the current laptop shape. Once those are dropped completely, which I suspect has a good chance of happening in 5 years if light peak really catches on and USBs are knocked down a tier, then I expect Macbook Pros to sport a streamlined shape similar to the MBA. So yes, I think they will merge at some point. Its possible in 5 years, but I don't expect it to happen in 5 years.
  5. TrollToddington macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    MBP use LV processors
    MBA use ULV processors

    I think they may come close one day but I highly doubt they will merge. The more powerful processors found in MBP will need better cooling system, larger batteries => bigger shape.

    Besides, like I said in another thread, the MBP is upgradeable whereas the Air is not. Once the battery in the air goes through the 1000 cycles of recharging ( say 3 years of extensive usage ) you won't be able to replace the battery and will lose autonomy which will defeat the purpose of the Air and the its resale value will take a deep dive.

    In addition, the Air should go up in specifications to match the MBP. What the both devices have in common is the possibility to use SSD but apart from that there are only a few hints that they will merge. I think such a possibility is close to zero. I'd put my money they will always divide the 2 classes, the MBA should be the cheaper one. Right now it's a show-off product. a base 13" MBP with 128GB SSD 4GB RAM outperforms a 13" 2GB 128GB both by price and productivity.
  6. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I think they will continue the Pros in some incarnation for a while longer but the big change is happening right now in the next few updates -- the Air is suddenly powerful enough for 95% of customers. So in effect, they are merging as the Air will take more and more market share.
  7. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    After the recent refresh, I'm not sure. Sure, the lack of an upgrade in resolution is a major gaffe from Apple, but the i5 chips really push the base 13" pro away from the air. I think if Apple concentrates on putting performance over portability in the 13" pro, it will remain a relevant machine, while leaving a very healthy market for the air. The two can most definitely co-exist.
  8. namtaB macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2011
    Apple can't replace those? Why anyone would want to spend the money to do it is a different issue.
  9. MoreAwesomeDanU macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2010
    5 years ago from today we didn't even have smartphonese and the first macbook pro just came out. So i gotta agree with everyone else here its impossible to predict whats going to happen in the next 5 years...

    I think they will definitely take some design aspects from the air to the pros in the next mbp refresh tho, make it thinner and lighter.
  10. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    The Treo started in 2002 and I have a Treo from 2004
  11. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    I do not think Apple should merge them. There is (and should be!) quite a difference between a desktop-replacing power laptop (MBP) and a mobility laptop (MBA) in specs, size and weight.

    Now that the Macbook White left the building (about time!), the problem as of lately has been the MBP 13" because, other than the Sandy Bridge processor, Apple failed to turn it into a truly power laptop (poor screen resolution, poor GPU, poor hard drive, etc), so it was kind of left in a blurry no-mans-land between the 15 and 17" MBP workhorses and the 13" MBA, not quite fitting into either the mobility or the desktop-replacement category.

    I think the 11" and 13" MBA are almost perfect as mobility laptops, as are the 15" and 17" MBPs as power laptops. Once Apple fixes the disappointing MPB 13", their laptops will be again in sync :)
  12. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Huh? You make it sound like its not being sold anymore?
  13. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    They still sell it, but they didnt update it with the MBPs so I'd bet money that Apple is planning on discontinuing as soon as their stock of Corel 2 Duo processors runs out.

    Quite frankly, the Macbook White didnt make much sense considering it's basically a MBP 13" without a few gimmicks such as the aluminum body and the backlit keyboard. It was only marginally cheaper ($100) and it didnt tackle into any customer niche the MBP 13" didnt fill already (other than those fancying a white laptop hehe). So yeah, I would not be surprised if Apple discontinues it soon, leaving only the MBPs and the MBAs.
  14. MindlessJD macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2006
    Hampshire, UK
    Does the white MacBook usually get updated at the same time as the MacBook Pro's then? I thought they all had slightly different release cycles.

    If they were to bring out the white MacBook with a Core i3 processor at a slightly cheaper price, it would surely be a more tempting buy for people with something to differentiate it from the MacBook Pro line.
  15. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    They would have to REALLY make the price difference between the Macbook White and the MBP 13" significant enough to justify the existence of the Macbook White at all. I mean, during the last 2 years both models have been running EXACTLY the same specs (minus the backlit keyboard and the aluminum body), same weight and size and shape, and the price difference has been a mere $100, which is hardly noticeable for a laptop costing $1000+.

    So, hardly any difference specs wise and hardly any difference price wise... I wonder: what's the point of the Macbook White at all as a stand alone product range then?!?! Just the color? if so, apple could offer the MBP in a series of customizable colors and that's it.

    What I'm trying to get down to is that Macbook White and MPB should be the ones to merge, not MBP and MBA.
  16. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    Don't you think these represent two very different concepts and markets in computing?

    The "Air" line, as in "lighter than air..." is a mobile computer - small, easy to carry, useful for day to day business.

    The "Pro" line, as in professional is still mobile, being a laptop, but needs power, and will thus be heavier, bigger, but also more powerful and more robust.

    Will the designs feed off each other? Absolutely! Is it inevitable that they merge? Well, do you think that those markets and needs could be served by one machine?
  17. wisty macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2009
    1 years time, the MBA 13" will be "good enough" for just about anything.

    The 13" MBP will need discrete graphics, to differentiate, or it might as well not be there. Of course, it will be a bit cheaper and faster than the MBA, so Apple will keep it as an all-round entry model.

    But there will still be a need for 15" and 17" Pros. Maybe not a huge need, there never has been, but some people need powerhouses. And you can't have a 15" Air, it would look too thin.
  18. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Swami say this is the roadmap:

    Eventually there will be cool-running chips of immense power (or a way to cool hot ones).

    SSDs will be cheap and hugely capable and small.

    Always a need for physical media until the world is totally WiFied or whatever. The obvious choice is to use camera-style memory cards.

    Screens will be better in every way, but the physical size can't changed much.

    So, laptops will eventually all be Air-like, but with optional choices of screen size and capability. Apple would just have to make three or four different sized cases and pop in whatever modules you paid for.

    No reason this couldn't be done right there at the Apple Store.

    After that it is something that projects into your eyes (in military use now, but way too spacey for most people to wear).

    Finally, a device that transmits directly into your brain and everything is controlled by thought. There will be fights over this one!
  19. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Apple will probably purposefully cripple it and put the connection to my cerebellum on a slower port.
  20. MindlessJD macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2006
    Hampshire, UK
    I see your point but I disagree. I think if they were to make a significant spec and price gap between the white MacBook and MacBook Pros then the white one would continue to sell really well for people that want a capable but reasonable laptop - leaving the Air as the very portable, but not so powerful option.

    That would be ideal for me at least, I have a quad-core i5 iMac and want a laptop but don't need anything too powerful as the iMac does all my heavy lifting.
  21. camelsnot macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Air is neutered. Pro is what people use to get real production work done. Air will never be accepted as a desktop replacement for vid/3d/graphics work. For office junk, even a $400 netbook can handle that, in which case an Air isn't even warranted. Air is nice for what it is, but still overpriced for what it can't do.

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