Does the MacBook Air need a refresh?

Does the MacBook Air need a refresh?

  • Yes

    Votes: 48 31.0%
  • No

    Votes: 107 69.0%

  • Total voters
    155

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
The MacBook Air is an amazing laptop. Great design. Thin and light. Powerful enough for most tasks.

A few months ago, ultrabooks didn't hold a candle to the MacBook Air. And they struggled to sell just a few units.

However, ultrabooks are catching up. Asus Zenbook Prime, Samsung Series 9 and Lenovo X1 Carbon are also great laptops and serious contenders to the MacBook Air. We have ultrabooks which have better screens, better keyboards and that are even lighter than the MacBook Air. And they are also becoming cheaper.

A new wave of ultrabooks is coming, especially after the release of Windows 8, such as Acer Aspire S7.

With so many new releases, the MacBook Air feels less and less unique. Is it time for Apple to refresh the line and blow every ultrabook away?
 

Mike in Kansas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2008
962
73
Metro Kansas City
Uh, didn't they just have a refresh in June? The same refresh that made the 2012MBA as fast as a 2010MBP? And as far as I can tell, none of those other brands runs OSX...
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
Uh, didn't they just have a refresh in June? The same refresh that made the 2012MBA as fast as a 2010MBP? And as far as I can tell, none of those other brands runs OSX...
A real refresh... a redesign, not just an update on the specs. The other brands do not run OS X, but they still compete in the same market.
 
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mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
A real refresh... a redesign, not just an update on the specs. The other brands do not run OS X, but they still compete in the same market.
I think a better screen, one that matches the Samsung Series 9 would be a major boost to the MacBook Air. The other main weakness is the GPU, although that'll be a though one to improve, since there is nowhere near enough room in the air for a discrete GPU :eek: Hell, Apple can't even get one in the 13" cMBP!
 
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Belgrano

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2011
45
0
Mark my words: We will not see a refresh--or even a spec bump--until at least 10 months from now.

Second, ultrabooks have failed. There is little incentive to tweak the MBA design when everyone is trying to unsuccessfully copy the macbook's success. See http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/ultrabooks-still-fail-to-catch-on/. Ultrabooks really are not catching up.

Finally, there is no problem with the GPU. My 2012 MBA 13" runs everything I throw at it, and I've put it through some serious gaming. What exactly are you doing that would require more than the latest Ivy Bridge i7 that's stocked in MBAs?
 
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Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
even lighter than the MacBook Air. And they are also becoming cheaper.
After u enter the 2LB arena, is even lighter desirable? Even with the Air, I was afraid I may push it around the desk unintentionally.

Cheaper, eventually... that's why Apple made the move to lower the price of the Air this year. The Apple's suits know what they are doing.

But yeah, I like a newer edition. But I don't want more power if it sacrifices batt run time, noise, and heat.

Ultrabook is going to sell for Windows users. Others who are thinking of switching to OSX, I'd say they will take a look at Win8 and if they like it they stick to Ultrabooks, but if the Apple experience is what they look for, then they will go for a Mac.
 
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Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
23
The Tri-State Area
Personally I'm not a huge fan of the wedge design, so I would like a more uniform design that's more like a skinnier version of the first generation MBA. But that's really not a deal breaker and I still intend to get a MBA within the coming weeks.

As for internals, I think the Haswell chips next year should work nicely. A CPU/GPU boost while being more power efficient? I'll be willing to upgrade in June for that. And for good measure a bump in the base model RAM to 8gb with a slightly bigger SSD would be appreciated (or am I being too hopeful here?)
 
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mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
Personally I'm not a huge fan of the wedge design, so I would like a more uniform design that's more like a skinnier version of the first generation MBA. But that's really not a deal breaker and I still intend to get a MBA within the coming weeks.

As for internals, I think the Haswell chips next year should work nicely. A CPU/GPU boost while being more power efficient? I'll be willing to upgrade in June for that. And for good measure a bump in the base model RAM to 8gb with a slightly bigger SSD would be appreciated (or am I being too hopeful here?)
Isn't the MacBook Air shaped like a wedge because there are components in the thick end that are as thick as the thick end?
 
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Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
23
The Tri-State Area
Isn't the MacBook Air shaped like a wedge because there are components in the thick end that are as thick as the thick end?
Yeah, that's why it is that thick at the thickest end. I wouldn't mind if they kept the entire base the size of the thickest end (because it's still pretty damn thin) and put in a bigger battery or something. But the wedge shape makes it seem slimmer, so that's why that design is used.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
Mark my words: We will not see a refresh--or even a spec bump--until at least 10 months from now.
That is probably true. I don't see a refresh before the release of Haswell.

Second, ultrabooks have failed. There is little incentive to tweak the MBA design when everyone is trying to unsuccessfully copy the macbook's success. See http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/ultrabooks-still-fail-to-catch-on/. Ultrabooks really are not catching up.
Yes, ultrabooks have failed. But that's not a permanent fail. They may strike back, and they will eventually. Intel is putting a lot of effort on it, and so are manufacturers. Ultrabooks are catching up in terms of features, not in terms of sales. At least not yet.

IMHO, there is too much being promised and too little being delivered in regards to ultrabooks. We've been promised ultra-resolution displays (2560x1440 and up), multi-touch designs, ultra-fast boot... and so little of these wonders has been delivered so far. And they are still expensive. Things will probably change after Haswell is released next year.
 
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mgartner0622

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2010
1,018
0
Colorado, USA
I think the air will keep the same design for a year or two more. It might eventually get a better screen, but that probably won't happen for at least a year.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
After u enter the 2LB arena, is even lighter desirable? Even with the Air, I was afraid I may push it around the desk unintentionally.
It could get lighter if Apple adopted carbon fiber instead of aluminium.

It may be desirable to make it even lighter. The MacBook Air is very light already, but try to put it inside a suitcase full of papers and you'll see it makes a difference.

Cheaper, eventually... that's why Apple made the move to lower the price of the Air this year. The Apple's suits know what they are doing.
Well, I don't think that will happen.

But yeah, I like a newer edition. But I don't want more power if it sacrifices batt run time, noise, and heat.

Ultrabook is going to sell for Windows users. Others who are thinking of switching to OSX, I'd say they will take a look at Win8 and if they like it they stick to Ultrabooks, but if the Apple experience is what they look for, then they will go for a Mac.
Ultrabooks may also appeal to Mac users if they see value in it. Most people are not tied to Windows or OS X. They could just exchange platforms. And now the move is easier than even, as software is moving to the cloud.
 
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Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
It could get lighter if Apple adopted carbon fiber instead of aluminium.
Not gonna happen.

Do you think the company who pride themselves to Think Different, is gonna follow Lenovo <gasp>?

The Grapevine however says Apple has something cooler on the pipe called LIQUID METAL. Now that's more like Apple.

Ultrabooks may also appeal to Mac users if they see value in it. Most people are not tied to Windows or OS X. They could just exchange platforms.
I switched, because none of the current ultrabooks "spoke" to me, plus the sticker shock accelerated the process. Comeon, Apple suppose to be the upscale brand yet a similarly appointed Air cheaper than an Ultrabook? Oh well.

And now the move is easier than even, as software is moving to the cloud.
I've been doing this for a long time, when Sun Microsystems was trying to sell the Thin-Net, that was 20 years ago. The "cloud" :rolleyes: it's useful in some ways, we'll see, but so far, it's still a buzzword Du Jour to me, like when u wanto sound cool u throw "Outside The Box."
 
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Vandefilm

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2012
138
1
Ofcourse ultrabooks are catching up, like samsung catched up with the iPhone and like they will catch up in copying the iPad. Apple invents something, the difference is huge. Then samsung and other copy it and make the specs better and think that will make the product better until Apple invents something else for them to copy.
 
Comment

seong

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,031
28
1. Like many others have said, didn't we just have an upgrade back in June?
2. If Apple does this, say, have an update for MacBook Air in a month, it will surely piss a lot if people off. Now, their upgrade isn't really an upgrade anymore.
3. I'm happy with mine, so please don't update! LOL
 
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RightMACatU

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2012
1,406
1,085
192.168.1.1
...Second, ultrabooks have failed. There is little incentive to tweak the MBA design when everyone is trying to unsuccessfully copy the macbook's success.
I had the same conclusion back in June before ordering a 2012 MBA. Competition failed on keyboard quality, lack of full upgrades (8GB + 256GB/512GB), USB 3 and Ivy Bridge
 
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Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,643
10,586
Singapore
1. Like many others have said, didn't we just have an upgrade back in June?
2. If Apple does this, say, have an update for MacBook Air in a month, it will surely piss a lot if people off. Now, their upgrade isn't really an upgrade anymore.
3. I'm happy with mine, so please don't update! LOL
I have really never understood this "I just bought X, so please don't update it so others can't benefit from a better machine than me". It just smacks of selfishness.

The 2012 air upgrade didn't really introduce anything new other than a slightly faster processor, usb3 ports, faster ssd and an option for better specs (which you still have to pay for to benefit).

I suspect the next upgrade will be called the 13" retina mbp; the air line is going to stay as is. You can't implement stuff like higher-res screen without messing with battery life and the like.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
Not gonna happen.

Do you think the company who pride themselves to Think Different, is gonna follow Lenovo <gasp>?

The Grapevine however says Apple has something cooler on the pipe called LIQUID METAL. Now that's more like Apple.
That might be. But Apple is also investigating carbon fibre.

I switched, because none of the current ultrabooks "spoke" to me, plus the sticker shock accelerated the process. Comeon, Apple suppose to be the upscale brand yet a similarly appointed Air cheaper than an Ultrabook? Oh well.
Ultrabooks are now better and cheaper than a few months ago. And of course they are getting better.

I've been doing this for a long time, when Sun Microsystems was trying to sell the Thin-Net, that was 20 years ago. The "cloud" :rolleyes: it's useful in some ways, we'll see, but so far, it's still a buzzword Du Jour to me, like when u wanto sound cool u throw "Outside The Box."
Sometimes I get the same feeling. But than I look back and I see how many things just made the move to the cloud.

Some 15 years ago, CD-ROM encyclopedias, such as Microsoft Encarta, were popular. Now they're gone, and they were totally replaced by Wikipedia and other sources of knowledge that may be found online. Lots of people don't use an email client anymore, in favor of the web-based ones. And the list goes on and on.
 
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Mike in Kansas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2008
962
73
Metro Kansas City
The 2012 air upgrade didn't really introduce anything new other than a slightly faster processor, usb3 ports, faster ssd and an option for better specs (which you still have to pay for to benefit).
I'm assuming this is sarcasm...?

You missed the upgraded Facetime camera (720p now), upgraded integrated graphics (Intel HD4000), faster bus speed (1600MHz vs. 1333MHz), improved battery life and better base specs (4GB RAM standard in 2012 vs. 2GB in 2011) for the same price.

It doesn't make my coffee or toast my bread, but it doesn't have much untouched from 2011. And compared to 2010 it's a whole new machine.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
Ofcourse ultrabooks are catching up, like samsung catched up with the iPhone and like they will catch up in copying the iPad. Apple invents something, the difference is huge. Then samsung and other copy it and make the specs better and think that will make the product better until Apple invents something else for them to copy.
It's not like that. The story is different with laptops.

Apple completely reinvented smartphones when it launched the iPhone. It was something completely different, and functionality was so much better.

Laptops, however, did exist before Apple launched the MacBook Air. And ultraportable computers did exist for a long time. The MacBook Air introduced some very cool features, and had a gorgeous design, and now lots of companies want to copy it making "ultrabooks". But the way people interact with the MacBook Air is still very much the same. It's not revolutionary as the iPhone.

You should also take into consideration that smartphone manufacturers didn't have what it takes to even try to compete with Apple. You have companies such as Nokia, HTC and Motorola. They are phone makers that had to be suddenly transform themselves into high-tech companies because they had to compete with the iPhone. Of course Apple would kill all of them. And Samsung entered the market and is doing very well because it feels that Apple is the only real contender here.

But with laptops you have better competition. You have HP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Asus, and other high-tech companies that were high-tech companies before Apple launched the MacBook Air. They can innovate. And they can add some serious stuff to ultrabooks, making them real competitors to the MacBook Air.

And there are other ultraportables on their own which are evolving and which are not copies of the MacBook Air. Look at the 13-inch Sony Vaio S or the Sony Vaio Z. Or at ThinkPad X230. Great ultraportables.

It's deceiving to think that Apple is the only one that creates things. Of course Apple's inventions are jaw-dropping. But there's a lot of good marketing on it too. Other companies are also capable of innovating, and they do just that.
 
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Kafka

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2011
281
0
What is needed first, is 256GB and 512GB for the 2 standard configurations. Same prices.
 
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skaertus

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 23, 2009
3,351
462
Brazil
1. Like many others have said, didn't we just have an upgrade back in June?
Yes, it did. But it was a spec bump, basically. No redesign yet.

2. If Apple does this, say, have an update for MacBook Air in a month, it will surely piss a lot if people off. Now, their upgrade isn't really an upgrade anymore.
Of couse it won't happen in a month. But it might happen in the short time. Something about six months.

3. I'm happy with mine, so please don't update! LOL
That's a completely different story. And a brand-new MacBook Air doesn't make yours worse than it is.

----------

What is needed first, is 256GB and 512GB for the 2 standard configurations. Same prices.
That may not happen so soon.

And what about a retina display? Will Apple be able to put one in the current form factor? Or will it need to redesign the MacBook Air to benefit from retina resolutions?
 
Comment

knuro

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2009
28
0
Response

The MacBook Air is an amazing laptop. Great design. Thin and light. Powerful enough for most tasks.

A few months ago, ultrabooks didn't hold a candle to the MacBook Air. And they struggled to sell just a few units.

However, ultrabooks are catching up. Asus Zenbook Prime, Samsung Series 9 and Lenovo X1 Carbon are also great laptops and serious contenders to the MacBook Air. We have ultrabooks which have better screens, better keyboards and that are even lighter than the MacBook Air. And they are also becoming cheaper.

A new wave of ultrabooks is coming, especially after the release of Windows 8, such as Acer Aspire S7.

With so many new releases, the MacBook Air feels less and less unique. Is it time for Apple to refresh the line and blow every ultrabook away?

Before you count Mac Airs out of competition, try Windows 8 - it is unfinished.
 
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KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
We definitely won't see a refresh, let alone redesign, until Haswell.

Honestly, there's not too much they can do. But I really think they can make the 13in chassis smaller.. or alternatively, shove the 13in panel in the 11in chassis and a 14in panel in the 13in chassis.
 
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