I don't think the 13" MBP is getting redesigned.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mikethebigo, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    The writing seems to be on the wall. I think Tim Cook wants to simplify the Mac production line and streamline the current offerings.

    Steve Jobs said the Macbook Air is the "future" of laptops. Why have a 13" MBP when you already have a "more advanced" 13" MBA? The argument that the MBP is their best-selling laptop doesn't float for me. I think they want to force users to move to the MBA instead.

    I believe the recent leaks and part numbers. I think the 15" model will have a HiDPI display but only because it will be powered by a discrete GPU. Apple will make the 15" the only real "Pro" laptop (I mean, it's not like they sell multiple sizes of iPhones or iPads, so they'll just be doing more of the same).

    I know the integrated HD 4000 supports retina resolutions, but if you know anything about Apple you know they won't just barely squeeze by with performance, they'll wait until something works very smoothly and well. I doubt we'll see retina graphics on 13 inch machines until the next generation of intel chips. Meanwhile, the MBA currently supports the higher, more crisp resolutions, which will encourage buyers to get that instead.

    I think Apple will slowly phase out the 13 MBP like they did the 13 MB. They will continue to upgrade internals but will not redesign it. The design will continue to lose favor over newer offerings and eventually it will just quietly be discontinued from the site.

    There is a lot of "I think" and "I believe" in my post, and I know we won't know until Monday, but I would say at this point, don't be surprised if there's no 13 MBP redesign.
  2. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Won't happen for two simple but important reasons.

    1. MBP uses Core i5 processors that aren't ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) a
    2. MBP are upgradeable to 8GB of RAM or more

    One size is not going to fit all here.
  3. Fouracre44 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    I disagree,

    portability and power is what the MBP is all about, the macbook air is your everday notebook.

    apple benefits more from having both laptop lines available, as the previous poster said, one size doesn't work for all.

    i think, macbook pro's are going to become seemingly more powerful than the airs in the future, moreso than they already are.
  4. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    ULV Ivy Bridge is more than up to the task for all "non-pro" applications. Apple will likely offer an "ultimate" MBA model with 8 GB RAM this time around. But RAM doesn't matter as much as it used to when the system can page in and out of virtual memory so quickly with flash storage.

    I personally agree that one size does not fit all. But from Apple's recent track record, I think they might disagree.


    Portability and power is what the 13" MBA is all about. Despite ULV, the Ivy Bridge Core i7's they'll be getting are quite the little performers. I think Apple may see more sales with 2 different devices but they may save a lot of money by decreasing production lines and focusing R&D on fewer total Mac products.

    I think the 15" will continue to be much more powerful, but Apple seems completely uninterested in fitting a discrete GPU in the 13" MBP, so there just isn't a big performance gap between the two. If anything, in regular use, the MBA performs much faster thanks to the SSD.
  5. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

    Feb 11, 2008
    Maybe the 13" Air/Pro will blend into 1 line? And Apple will just have the MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro again - except the Air is now only 11", the MacBook is the 13", and Pro the 15/17" families?

    That would streamline the entire line beautifully
  6. Jamesesesesess macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    That would be a great idea imo. There's nothing "Pro" about a 13" laptop.
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    And it's understandable why. The optical drive doesn't allow room for discrete graphics.

    The two are not going to merge. Each model is designed around a max Thermal Design Power. I believe the MBP is max 35 watts and the MBA is under 20 watts. That's a big difference in capability.

    I suspect that Haswell will bring much needed separation. If Apple doesn't modify the 13" that much this year I suspect they'll do it next year.

    I have a MBA 13" it's good but it does hit its limits when you start to run more demanding apps.
  8. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I don't think the two will merge, I think the 13 MBP will simply be dropped. ULV processors have come a long way. As processor dies continue to shrink, heat output for a certain amount of efficiency continues to drop.

    Look at almost every Windows 8 laptop introduced so far. They're almost all running low power chips for mobility of the device. I think the 15 inch will remain the "truck," everything else may start to merge with the iPad as the "car."

    As far as Apple is concerned, thinness and mobility is more important than keeping the unit thicker for a discrete GPU. It's the Jobs way.
  9. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I argued many times that the thermal design of the 13" is the main issue. To maximize heat dissipation, the CPU and GPU must be placed at the center of the laptop. In a 13" body, it's simply too cramped. Moving the GPU to where the ODD would be would make the laptop hot on one side (which also happens to be near the HDD) but cold on the other, causing discomfort for the user.
  10. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    Performance tests for the 2011 models showed that the performance gap between the MBP 13" and MBA 13" was only between a 5% and a 20% (depending on which application was used). Average was around 10% to 12%.

    That is *NOT* a major gap in performance by any means. At any rate, not big enough to justify marketing, producing and selling both models separately. On top of that, it seems that the 2012 Ivy Bridge ULV processors are even more efficient than 2011 Sandy Bridge ULV processors, so the gap will be further reduced.

    CONCLUSION: If the rumors for the 2012 models are accurate and Apple offers a 8gm RAM MBA 13", and a slimmed down DVD-less MBP 13", then I certainly don't see how Apple could justify selling both models independently. If those rumors are correct, merging them both into a unique 13" Macbook hybrid model would make total sense.
  11. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth

  12. chanyitian macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2012
    Personally, I believe that the 13 inch Macbook Pros may merge with Macbook Airs. However, I don think that it will happen soon. Macbook Pro is a 'pro ' line after all. Until Apple can figure out a way to pack great processing power into Macbook Airs, this will not happen.
  13. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    As the owner of a 13" MacBook Air, I think it'd be totally cool if Apple released a new 13" MacBook Pro with an optical drive, a higher res screen, a more powerful processor, and a slightly lower price. Added thickness would be a nice bonus, too.

    If they could break the $999 mark they'd have a winner on their hands. I'll also agree I don't see the point in having a 13" Air and a 13" pro if the pro doesn't have an optical drive or a hard drive. ULV processors? I'm not sure that there's enough of a niche for people that want a fatter macbook air with a more powerful cpu but still no dedicated GPU.

    I think it'd be more interesting if they made a 15" air and then turned the 13" Pro into a Z series killer (well, what the Z series USED TO BE) - a high res screen, dedicated GPU, and the optical drive, along with some option of SSD or hard drive, or both. A 15" with similarly overkill specs would be interesting, lol.

    You might have seen me whine before about how irrelevant the "pro" moniker is in general, it's silly but I think it'd be more interesting if they stuck quadros in the MBPs. XD

    Go one further: quadro gpus, a dvi port, an esata port, USB3 of course, an optional numpad(?!), IPS screen ,stuff like that? That'd be neat!
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It doesn't make sense for apple to redesign the 13" MBP.

    First, how much different is it from the 13" MBA, and secondly they want to differentiate between the 13" and 15" making the 15" more of a power machine and drive sales to the higher priced model.

    Also if they make it slimmer, they could cannibalize the MBA model.
  15. samac92 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    I didn't think this would happen a while ago, but now I think it is far more likely. There has been no rumours of a redesigned 13 inch, all rumours for a redesign where for the 15 inch.

    There are a few things Apple needs to update on the Air for me to be happy to replace my 13 MBP:

    1. Better quality screen (colour accuracy, viewing angles)
    2. RAM - either user replaceable or 8GB option at a reasonable price
    3. Storage - 256GB minimum or as a reasonably priced option

    Will the Airs get a retina display? Recent rumours said they will, but something has to give, they surely can't put it a retina display, improve the Air to replace the Pro and drop the price slightly (as rumoured by the parts list leak.)
  16. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    I agree the air needs better specs, but there's a ton of room to shrink the MBP 13" without hurting MBA sales.

    It'd be nice if they could make the screen bezel thinner
  17. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Yeah, I don't see the 13" MBP getting much love either. My take is the whole MBA and MBP product line will completely merge next year based on Intel's Haswell architecture and AMD's Sea Island GPUs. A refresh in 2014 will solidify things even further.

    That's my thoughts anyways. I can't see a redesign happening this year with Ivy Bridge, nor would I really want one if they did. It would kinda remind me of the mid-2010 Arrandale based MBP's - a mostly forgettable stand-in until the real heavy-hitters arrived.
  18. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Yep. If you want high performance and upgradability I think Apple's going to push you to the 15" MBP.

    An upgraded 13" Air with Ivy Bridge and USB 3.0 for $1199 would make the 13" MBP pretty redundant.

    Yes the 13" MBP has been the best selling model, but so was the White Macbook a couple of years ago.

    People who walk into an Apple Store looking for a notebook will go to the 13" Air or the 15" MBP if the 13" MBP no longer exists.
  19. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    I'm kinda with you, I love my MBP 13" except for the annoying as hell glossy screen and it's reflections. And I would welcome a higher res display, more power, better battery life, thinner etc like the rumors were pointing too. But if nothing really happens with it and yet again it's left as the bastard child the Pro line, looks like I'll have to go to an 13" Air if it ends up being true that it'll be updated. I had an Air before and didn't care for it, from battery life to multitasking (running Win7 and OS/X parallel sucked) and it heated up much more noticeably than my 13" Pro which makes it redundant for a "laptop on your lap" lol.

    But the current ones seem better then before, and if the updates happen, looks like I'll go Air.

    They sell so many 13" Pros I don't know why Apple treats it the way they do. I travel a lot and even just lounging around, I rather use it than my 15" Pro. But they slacked on so many things, I hate how they make you upgrade to the 15" for high res antiglare like on mine for example.
  20. zepman macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2010
    I think the 13" Pro will only see a small update, as the leaked specs suggests. Apple will make the 13" Pro their entry-level laptop like the white Macbook was a few years ago. They probably pushes the price down to $999.
    The 15" Pro will see a big update with thinner design, no optical drive and possible a retina display. It will also feature the more expected updates as Ivy Bridge CPU and USB 3. It will probably also lose some of its ports like ethernet or FireWire.
    The future for the 17" Pro is very unclear. It will probably see a minor update just as the 13" Pro if they decide to keep it.

    The airs will be updated with Ivy Bridge and USB 3 and hopefully better options on RAM and SSD. I would love to see it with user-upgradable RAM and a higher quality screen more in line with the Pro-models but with the higher resolution of the Air. Maybe the will make it slightly thicker (like the iPad 2 to 3) to allow room for the said upgrades.

    Eventually I think the Airs will take over and the 13" Pro will be discontinued. Those computers will be targeted the consumer with normal and medium-heavy computing needs.
    While the 15" Pro will target consumers with heavy computing needs and professionals.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see what Apple present on monday.

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