Does MBA make a 13" MBP more or less likely?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lord patton, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    Does MBA make a 13" MBP more or less likely?

    At first, I thought, "That's it, Apple just isn't going to make a 13" Pro Notebook." Now I'm not so sure.

    Apple could take many of the miniaturization features of the MBP and put them into a regular MacBook-sized product. With the extra room, they could put in a real processor, real GPU, express-34 slot, real hard-drive. giga-bit ethernet, firewire 400/800, optical drive, backlit keyboard, or at least some of these things.

    The MBA is a lifestyle product with a limited customer base. A MBP is a professional-product with a limited (and different) customer base. Why not make a machine for each group? The R&D would overlap, but I don't think the targeted audience would. Price it at $1799 and you'd have to figure it would drive additional sales, not cannibalize sales of the MBA.

    Of course, the small pro portable isn't the only product Apple has (thus far) refused to produce (upgradeable mini-tower, anyone?), so I know it might be doubtful they'll release one, but I'm just asking:

    it's not really any less likely because of the MBA, is it?
     
  2. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    Less likely. Apple don't like having too many options :)
     
  3. Winglet macrumors regular

    Winglet

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #3
    I really think it will in the short term. No question there is a demand for a 13" MBP and Apple will probably address it down the road. I would have really struggled had it been available when I bought mine. I had a 13" Vaio and found it more than adequate for average computing. I do enjoy the larger display, now that I have it though.
     
  4. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Less likely?

    Actually, not happening. The MBA drove a nail through the MBP 13"'s little Penryn heart.
     
  5. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I would unfortunately agree with this post. The only addition to the MacBook line, if any, would be a sub-notebook or tablet type thing. If they released something like this it will most likely lack the so called "pro" features as well in my opinion.

    Regards,

    C
     
  6. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #7
    "Non-existent" is the term you're looking for. The 13" MBP is dead. Its price range has been swallowed by the MBA, as have the several thousand 13" screens Apple bought. Done deal, over, through, not gonna happen, etc.
     
  7. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Not meaning to offend anyone, but what "pro" would justify the tradeoff from a 15" machine over a 13" machine for relatively little size and weight reduction? The 15" chassis offers much bigger HDs and far superior graphics options now and in the future. Pro Editing apps run the machines hot which means you need better ventilation.

    If I was the kind of "pro" user that needs the features of the MBPs I would far rather take an extra processor and dual HDs over a 13" form factor.

    Just curious why 13" is so appealing to people that need so much expandability and power?

    Regards,

    C
     
  8. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    #9
    I think you are confused... the MBP and the MB use the same size 2.5" Hard Drives... Essentially, the only thing to make the MB a pro would be a dedicated video card and a Firewire 800 slot. Apple could easily do this in the current chassis in a heartbeat. Price it at $1599 to start and $1699 with an LED screen option. They would sell a boatload of em.
     
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #10
    Exactly; there are very few differences between the Macbook and the Macbook Pro; the only real ones are the extra ports and the separate card. It's not like the iBook/Powerbook difference, where the former were deliberately crippled (low-res screens, absurdly slow processors, etc) to keep them from challenging the latter.
     
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    Yep, I agree completely. Now, lets have a moment of silence.:(
     
  11. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    Ok sure... you are still stuck with a 13" screen in Photoshop, FC and the likes that benefit greatly from screen size. Using those applications as examples as other threads indicate to me that allot of people here do not consider Office etc a "pro" application.

    C
     
  12. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    #13
    A lot of people here would LOVE a 13" MBP, that is the point of the thread. Yet here you are saying the 13" size is too small, I guess Apple agrees with you.
     
  13. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    I certainly do not think 13" is too small for myself. Then again I would never edit video on that or even photoshop. I can see how journalists could greatly benefit from a 13" form factor for editing photos in tight spots. My point is merely that I can really see why Apples market research finds it hard to place a 13" pro specced machine.

    If its power for the sake of power then I could not agree more. Bring it on!

    I just find it impossible to see the place for an ultraportable machine that also needs the connections that will make it necessary to drag around a suitcase to utalize them. My point therefore is that if you are dragging around editing decks and photo equippment why not go for a 17" screen with even better performance? You are still going to need a car and you are still going to be paying excess luggage at the airport. Hell, the client will happily pay for the extra costs.

    A close friend of mine recently flew out to the Canary Islands of all places to edit on location. They flew over a whole editing suite for him. Similarly another friend of mine that shoots film for a living, rents a whole extra suite in the hotel for the editing gear when they are on location.

    I realize those are extreme examples, but what do you do for a living that requires that amount of portability with all those peripherals?

    Thanks for reading,

    C

    EDIT: I love that green qube in your signature by the way. Did you build that yourself?
     
  14. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    Well, FW 800 (3200 soon?), dedicated graphics, backlit keyboard, gigabit ethernet, express slot. That's a lot of difference, and would get a 13" MBP much closer to the 15" variety than the 12" PB ever was to the 15" PB

    I certainly agree that Apple's preference is to have a small, clearly differentiated product line, and that a 13" MBP may never happen. But nothing about the MBA makes it less likely.

    Had the MBA been slightly larger, had a few more ports, etc., I'd agree that the 13" MBP's fate had been sealed. But the MBA was so single-mindedly designed for thinness, and has so dramatically thrown away performance, that I think the small pro portable is as likely as ever.

    For me, it's because I only have one computer, and it has to be a portable. I really can't see the MBA being used as a person's only computer—I think it's for people who have an iMac at home. My 12" PB, however, goes everywhere with me, and at home hooks to external monitor, keyboard, and bluetooth MM.

    Would a MacBook do? For me, yes, but for many others they'd like the features that Apple has now proven they could fit in a 13" MBP. It would be far more compelling, actually, than the 12" PB ever was (and there's still a cult worshipping that little miracle).
     
  15. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    My business partner is in that group. I have gone through quite a few machines while he has refused to give up the 12". I can really see why. Its a cracking machine. If you can only have one machine I can even agree its better suited than the MBA.

    I could never get my head around the screen quality and suffered the size of the 15". I got the 13" BlackBook as soon as that came out and loved it until my other business partner saw it and took it off me. I was actually expecting a 12" MBP to come out which is why I went back to my 15" while waiting... now we got the MBA.

    I really hope they bring out a 12-13" MBP as well. However, I think its very very unlikely unfortunately...

    One thing though... The MBA can hook up to an exernal monitor, mouse, and keyboard and still charge your ipod to boot! All without a USB hub...

    C
     
  16. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    Not if you want a number pad! But that aside, you're right. However, it's the low storage, low memory (my next 'puter WILL have 4 GB RAM) and DEFINITELY lack of firewire that keeps the MBA from my consideration.

    I'm computer shopping Christmas '08—if Apple sells a 13" MBP, I'll probably get it. If not, I expect to purchase a refurbished Penryn MB with multi-touch gesture trackpad for under a grand.
     
  17. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Actaully, I would like to ammend what I said before. There will come a time when 1.8 drives are huge and when the chips will be tiny (actually, I think this starts sometime next year, sometime well after the Nehalem rollout, when they are going to reduce the dyes again). At that point, you can make a very small board with 4 cores that will be very cool-running, and a dedicated graphics card can be pasted on.

    At that point, it may be possible to create a pro-level machine that is actually able to fit into an Air case without heating up like a toaster. If not then, this will be possible sometime in the not too distant future, so one day there may very well be a MBP 13", but it may also be as small as an Air.

    For now, however, forget about them making a 13" MBP. They already have two 13" machines and they aren't going to further confuse the space with a third, nevermind the added difficulty of pricing them all appropriately and differently.

    Above all else, the Air shows us the direction that all 13" laptops will be going, and I would expect the MBP 15, 17 and even 19/20 to get equally thin once miniaturization and increased power efficiency allow them to put that much power into a thin enclosure without burning down the house.

    Best of all, none of the above should be too far away. Intel is moving fast.
     
  18. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    The more I think about this after having read numerous posts I actually agree that the FW omission is a bad move. Even consumer level DV cameras have tiny FW ports. Its a real shame that Apple did not manage to work one into the MBA as it would have helped allot of people... I can only imagine that they had very good reasons for doing so... One that comes to mind is the very slow standard HD...

    C
     
  19. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #20
    The MacBook has gigabit ethernet, the rest are right though.
     
  20. lord patton thread starter macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    thank you, I didn't bother to look it up—obviously I didn't pay attention (never use ethernet, personally.)

    Looking down the road a few years, is there a different port that will take USB's place? Did Apple choose to forgo the FireWire because something else is coming?
     
  21. Catch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
    Please not another standard! FW is rumored to become much faster as I am sure will USB over time. I can't see them omitting a port because of future tech to be honest...

    C
     
  22. MacsAttack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #23
    USB 3 is on the horizon. Don't know how it figures in Apple's plans, but it is headed our way.
     
  23. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #24
    FireWire won't go anywhere. It is still the preferred type of connection for hundreds of millions of camcorders.

    But that aside, FireWire plays a central role in Apple computers (taget disk, etc). The Air should've had FW, period.
     
  24. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #25
    The MBA absolutely eliminates any possibility of a 13" MBP. They'd have too much overlap in terms of overall features and specs, and the sales of each would be cut in half as some would-be MBA buyers would opt for a slightly larger machine with more features.
     

Share This Page