How will the new Air be thinner than the Macbook? o more airy..

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TwoBytes, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. TwoBytes, Aug 5, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016

    TwoBytes macrumors 68020

    TwoBytes

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    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    We're guessing ok, but where will the major differences lie?

    You could maybe shave a few mm here and there and have a non-retina screen, an even lower spec CPU? Smaller 11" screen?? Wow, we're really talking about a sucky laptop here... but this starts me thinking that Apple will just discontinue the Air.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Battery densities are improving, so need less space. USB-C ports are thinner. Apple has created a thinner keyboard for the Macbook.

    There are a number of other things they could do, but they could also do them to the MBP, reducing the gap in which the MBA lives. The Air is gasping for air, but could live on for a while yet.
     
  3. robvas macrumors 68020

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  4. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    #4
    No reason if it also had more ports and performance.
     
  5. Pugly macrumors regular

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    #5
    I'm thinking the new Pros will be about as thin as the current Airs. There is much overlap in functionality between the 13 inch Pro and the Airs. But that leaves a gap in the $1000 entry level laptop if the current Air is discontinued, so it will probably stay around a little while. The MacBook is probably destined for that price point, but who knows how long that will take.

    But of course Apple probably wants the iPad to take the place of the MacBook Air. And the computers will remain in the more high end space. We may not see a new entry level mac computer ever again. Just two ranges starting at $1300... super thin and usable and pretty thin but with more power.

    The future of the MacBook Air is the iPad Pro... as much as I hate to say it. That makes the most sense based on Apple's actions and statements.
     
  6. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #6
    The MacBook Air has a different design than the Pro's the way the case tapers. One thing they could do is minimize the margins on each side of the screen and keyboard and create a smaller footprint, while maintaining the same screen size.
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #7
    My guess would be that the appearance won't change, they may just upgrade some components and will stick with the current form factor until they completely discontinue the MBA in the next year or so.

    But my guesses are often wrong. :p
     
  8. ramonabynes macrumors regular

    ramonabynes

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    Jun 28, 2016
    #8
    I'm not sure they will do anything, which is why I went ahead and purchased one. If they do update it, it might not include the things that people love about it (magsafe, ports, keyboard with more travel).
     
  9. PilotWoo macrumors regular

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    #9
    Its my opinion that Apple will just let the Airs fade out, just leaving the new Macbook Pro's with a more Air like form factor, and the Macbook line for the ultra portable types. I don't think you will ever see a redesign of them, just minor spec bumps.
     
  10. robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

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    #10
    This.

    I know its been said exhaustively, but magsafe is one of the single most clever, consumer friendly and useful inventions Apple ever came up with. To remove it in their obsessive pursuit of thinness is just daft, imo.

    The loss will be magnified (pun intended) because the thinner, lighter laptops will be that much easier to flick off a table with a slight tug of the cord.

    I can't wait for all the people bitching when their 'sexy thin' laptop is now dented and f-ed up because it dropped on the floor. Serves you right for asking for, and buying this 'thinness at all costs' bs from Apple.

    I actually hope that happens a lot ... and people get pissed enough that Apple comes back to their senses.
     
  11. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Ding.
    Apple needs enough margin on the Macs to make the ongoing development of OSX and related software worthwhile. They don't want/need an entry-level non-retina machine in their line up: it would never compete with the likes of Dell etc. (who can throw together a system from this week's cheapest components safe in the knowledge that it will all work with Windows) but it would almost certainly hit the sales of better (= higher-margin) Macs. This is also why we can't have a basic "xMac" mini-tower with PCIe slots, however nice that would be.

    The Air is almost certainly living on borrowed time while the Intel delays (along with fascinating watch strap opportunities) hold back the rumoured new MacBook Pros and/or MacBooks.

    The bump to 8GB standard RAM has made the entry-level Air vaguely viable, but its already hard to justify any of the expanded Airs against the 13" rMBP unless you really, really want the marginal improvement in weight & thickness (remember, the 'footprint' of the rMBP is already smaller than the Air). Any new rMBP will probably close that gap.

    So, I'd say that the likelihood is either the Air obsoleted by a thinner, lighter version of the rMBP, or by a larger-screened (but maybe lower-powered) version of the MacBook. (Some of the rumors do sound like a choice between MacBook and MacBook Pro). That said, "Air" is just a name and Apple could stick it on any future Mac. (Personally, I'd slim down the 13" rMBP and call it the "MacBook Air", keep the 15" rMBP at its current size, stick the new mobile Xeon in it and call it the "MacBook Pro").

    OK, I'll play Devil's Advocate here (don't shoot me):

    MagSafe 10 years old, in which time battery life has improved from ~4 hours to ~10 hours reducing the need for charging in meetings etc - which is when these 'trip' accidents occur: if your power lead trails across the floor when you are at your regular desk, you're holding it wrong.

    ...ironically, that might be part of the reason why MagSafe is no longer such a great idea: Even my 17" MacBook Pro has been pulled off a table despite MagSafe, and that's a fair lump of a machine. A 12" MacBook is so light that it would probably be flicked off the table with a slight tug of the cord even with MagSafe - unless Apple made "MagSafe 3" so sensitive that it fell out every time you moved the computer.

    Also, there's a bright side to this: MagSafe was proprietary, USB-C is a crossplatform standard. Assuming USB-C takes off in the PC world, you'll be able to charge your future Mac from standard USB-C power supplies, displays and docks.

    The problem with the 12" MacBook is that it only has one socket for everything. I guess the reasoning is the same: the battery life is so good, you'll only need to charge overnight/at home - and back at your desk a USB-C hub is the way to go. (Fine, but I can still see myself having to run a Keynote from a USB stick to a projector in a meeting so, fail) I'd hope that Air/rMBP replacements have more connectivity than that: 2 USB-Cs at a bare minimum. Not that a MagSafe as well wouldn't be welcome.
     
  12. robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

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    #12
    The thing is, what you're arguing is based on the premise that > 'battery life is so good.

    It actually is not much better than it was 3 years ago. That's in fact mostly because Apple insists on going thinner and thinner, sacraficing battery every step of the way. For example, battery life in the macbook is a notch worse than the 13 inch macbook pro, despite the fact that the mbp has tons more power and ports.

    Now, if apple's laptops were getting twice the battery life they are now, I'd be more willing to buy into your line of reasoning.
     
  13. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #13
    ...but it is still way better than it was 10 years ago, when MagSafe was introduced, which was my point.

    Once you start hitting 8-10 hours (i.e. a full working day or a transatlantic flight) then there's scope for trading further potential improvements against thinner designs.

    That said, a MacBook <b>Pro</b> is more likely to be used for heavy lifting - the batteries ain't going to last 12 hours if you're maxing out the CPU. That's certainly one reason why a single USB-C won't be acceptable on a Pro, maybe there's a case for keeping MagSafe on the Pros.
     
  14. robeddie, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

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    #14
    According to Mac tracker the claimed battery life of the 2010 15 inch MacBook Pro was 8-9 hours. The current model: 9 hours. Not much of a leap there.
     
  15. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    One are they could get some more of this great "skinny" thing is in the keyboard. They could make that horrible Macbook Retina keyboard even worse by eliminating the distance keys travel entirely. Or...make it with no keyboard, and use SIRI to handle all input to the machine. As bad as SIRI is, it might be an improvement over that dismal keyboard that is now being used on the retina macbook.
     
  16. robeddie Suspended

    robeddie

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    #16
    Stop! Don't give those 'thin is everything' psycho's at Apple any ideas.:confused:
     
  17. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    #17
    No 13 " MB, next in line is a 14"
    That will leave us with, 11" MBA,12" MB,13" MBA, 14" MB, along with 13"& 15" MBP
     
  18. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #18
    I thought the rumors were that the 11" MBA would be discontinued?
     
  19. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

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    #19
    No way will Apple release an updated laptop without a retina screen at this point. And the Core M processors are pretty much the lowest power/slowest processors out there for normal computer duties. Anything lighter/smaller entails a serious performance hit.

    The Air's days are numbered. If it was going to hang around for a while, it would have been updated last spring when the rMB was. With the impending Pro release, which is expected to be thinner than the current design, where does the Air fit? If you add a retina screen to it, you either have to increase the battery size for better life which makes it into something the size of a Pro, or decrease processor power and now it's too similar to the rMB. The Air is getting squeezed out of its own design criteria by the Pro on one side and the rMB on the other.
     
  20. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

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    #20
    I'll 2nd that thought. MBAs have EOL'd with the 8GB RAM "upgrade' bestowed upon the 13" this year.
    They've adopted the butterfly low-travel keyboard across the board and will not be using the old design again.
    We'll probably get used to it, much like we did when the previous larger travel clicky-mechanical keyboards were phased out. Although, those are making a come back at a premium for gamers.

    I'm comfortable with how the MBA 13" works and feels. I love the 12-14hrs battery life and the screen is good enough for the road and at home I'm hooked up to a nice 27" IPS Monitor anyhow. I've recently upgraded to the 2015 model via the refurb shop and will stay on this MBA for the next 4-5 years.

    Sorry OP, "airy" is going bye-bye on iPads & MacBooks.
    Pro & non-Pro products only from here on in.
     

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