Is MBA dead?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kulfon, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Kulfon macrumors 6502

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    Nov 4, 2013
    #1
    Hello folks, do I u derstant it correctly that Apple will not bring the Retina MBA? It looks like it will only be a Macbook and a line of MBPs. Correct?
     
  2. bodonnell202 macrumors 6502a

    bodonnell202

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    #2
    Apple is continuing to sell the 13" MBA for now, but it is still the 2015 model which, aside from the base model being increased to 8 GB of RAM earlier this year, has not received any other updates. I wouldn't count on it receiving any further updates either.
     
  3. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    #3
    I wonder if they will quietly update it to the latest internals.
     
  4. Kulfon thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Just saw a review of the latest MBP 13. Apparently the cheap version without the emoji bar is the MBA replacement according to Apple.
     
  5. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #5
    This is true. Compare dimensions and you'll find a lot of similarity. The high prices of this new model (which probably comes down next gen) is the only reason they still sell the MacBook Air.

    Future lineup: 12" MacBook, 13" Pro, 13" Pro w/ Touch Bar, 15" Pro w/ Touch Bar.

    They should've named the cheap 13" Pro just MacBook just like when they had those aluminum MacBooks in 2008 alongside the similar looking 13" MacBook Pro.
     
  6. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

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  7. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Apple will probably sell the same 2015 MacBook Air 13" for $999 until 2020.
     
  8. koulmj macrumors 6502

    koulmj

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    #8
    I'm gonna miss the 11in Air...I know it wasn't as popular, but I really like mine...
     
  9. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #9
    Can remember getting my first one in 2010. Relatively much slower than the current MacBook, barely usable 64GB storage but I absolutely loved it and everyone was impressed with it.

    The current 12" MacBook easily replaces it despite having less versatile ports and weaker Core M processors. It serves the purpose of being portable even better.
     
  10. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #10
    If one doesn't need any of the ports on the current MBA then yes it could be a replacement.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #11
    Certainly couldn't replace my 11" i7 MBA which is my primary computer. I have something plugged into all the ports when it's used at home and I run software like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro. I suspect you would also see a pretty big difference in the time needed to rip a DVD on the MB vs MBA, or any other software that makes my MBA fans kick into high.

    Now for travel, I'm sure I would be quite happy with the MacBook. But I don't travel enough these days to justify that kind of luxury item. So the 11" MBA is a nice compromise that can still do "heavy lifting" while being small and light with great battery life.
     
  12. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #12
    The MacBook Pro 13" sits size-wise in between the 11" and 13" MacBook Air, so aside from the many adapters you'll need that's a great upgrade for you.

    That screen make the biggest difference, comparing the new Pro with 11" Air is like going back 10 years.
     
  13. Snappers macrumors member

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    Aug 31, 2016
    #13
    Couldn't have said it better myself. My near exact usage! I'm amazed at the amount of things I can do with my latest gen 11" MBA. You don't know what you got til it's gone. It may not have been very popular, but I don't think enough people realized the potential it actually had. Definitely not intended for Pros expecting speedy rendering, but if you have the time to let it do it's thing, it will get the job done.

    Reflecting on the past week's events, I am surprised they kept the 13" MBA considering their push for the new 13" rMBP without "emoji board" (I love that term, lol!). If you look at my post/rant history, you can see I am on the fence about the "new rMBA", but I suspect I will jump on board as soon as I am done talking myself out of it, and plan where it is I am going to place the type-C hub I will need for minimal cable clutter.
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #14
    Thanks, but I have no need to upgrade, I can still do everything I need on my 2013 MBA. The next Mac I get will probably be a desktop of some kind, would like a Mini (already have two) but I fear that is going to suffer the fate of the MBA.

    That being said, if I was in the market for a laptop, the 13" MBP without function keys would probably be it. I have the top spec 2013 MBA now with 8gb/512gb and the i7 CPU, it cost about $1800 new in July 2013. Looking at the new MBP if I configure it the same, with 8gb/512gb and the i7, it would cost $2000. I thought computers were supposed to get cheaper as the years pass. ;)

    But since I had the top spec 2013 MBA, you might argue that the 16gb/1TB i7 MBP would be a more comparable replacement in 2016. That would cost $2200. :confused:
     
  15. Snappers macrumors member

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    #15
    Don't forget to factor in the cost of your new dongle accessory belt! :apple:
     
  16. Mercaptan macrumors regular

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    #16
    Nope, but I guess my next laptop will be a MacBook
     
  17. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Ditto. I bought one in 2013 and maxed it out - and it's been fantastic. I used it as my daily driver machine for almost two years solid, hooked up to an external display / keyboard / mouse and never felt like it was lacking in horsepower.
     
  18. Bel Marduk macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2016
    #18
    Me too. Macbook Air is my favorite laptop ever and the new models of pros nor the latest ultrabook pcs have changed that one iota.
     
  19. Mercaptan macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2004
    #19
    Likewise, though beefing up the specs did drive up the cost significantly.
     
  20. kattskrall macrumors regular

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    Apr 8, 2012
    #20
    It would make no sense for them to upgrade the macbook air with a better screen and so on since they want people to buy either the one port macbook or the emoji machine, both with the anti-ergonomic keyboard. Who needs a usable computer these days?
     
  21. Pugly macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2016
    #21
    I don't think the Mac lineup has been this thin at the 'consumer' notebook level.

    Even when the MBA was being refined in 2010 Apple came out with the unibody white macbook to fill out the offerings. In 2016 we get a year old MBA with 2010's designs. Of course the iPad Pro wasn't available in 2010...

    I always like what Apple can make in a consumer level product. They usually have lots of great features and power for the money. Not having a ton of money to spend on a computer helps too...

    The polycarbonate MacBooks and MBAs from 2012 onward are great examples of this. Apple just doesn't have anything that compares to these computers for their time, they don't have a 'everyone' computer anymore...
     
  22. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #22
    I think you might be looking at the older polycarbonate Macbook thought somewhat rose-tinted glasses. If you remember, it started at $1000, which came with a last-gen Core2Duo processor and a small hard drive. In terms of power for money, or bang for buck, it was a pretty bad deal. It looked nice, and it offered all the basic features that Mac users expected at the time. However, at that same time, for $200 more, you could get an aluminum Macbook Pro 13" with double the RAM and a faster CPU. Pretty sure the MBP had better battery life too. So the polycarbonate Macbook was not such a good deal.

    Also, the polycarbonate Macbook was discontinued in mid-2011 (though sold to education customers only through 2012). So they were not available from 2012 onward.

    I think the current 13" MBA is the entry-level / education market laptop now. It will continue to be until they find a way to make the retina Macbook start at $999. For those that want a better screen have the option of rMB or MBP for $300 or $500 more, respectively. For $500 more, you can have a retina screen and ports. Or, for $300 more you can have a retina screen and maximum portability.
     
  23. Mercaptan macrumors regular

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    #23
    I think this is spot on. The 13" MBA will be around for a while until a low end Macbook takes its place. They still need to hang onto that $1000 sweet spot for students.

     
  24. ApfelKuchen, Oct 31, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016

    ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #24
    No way to know for certain, but a Retina MacBook Air doesn't seem like a good possibility.

    A lot of people are focusing on price at this point. If only the base level MBP wasn't so expensive (by MBA standards), I doubt people would be asking about a Retina MBA.

    First off, a Retina-quality display has to cost more than non-Retina. So to match the current MBA's price point, savings have to be found elsewhere in the machine. That's not a very easy thing to do and still meet people's expectations for performance, storage, ports, etc.

    Second, the headline-grabbing $999 (U.S.) price of the base MBA is for a machine with 128GB Flash. The MacBook and MBP both come with 256GB Flash. Maybe you don't need 256GB, maybe you do. If you want your 13" MBA with 256GB Flash, then it's just $100 cheaper than either the MacBook and base model MBP.

    For that extra $100 you get either extremely light weight and superior display, but lower performance and smaller display (MacBook), or somewhat higher weight, more compact footprint, superior display, and superior performance (MBP). I think either proposition is pretty tempting, depending on your needs.

    So, they might offer a Retina MBA with 128GB Flash for $1049. $50 more for Retina seems like an appropriate price under the circumstances, and $150 less than the other models seems like an attractive price point. But would they be able to sell many 256GB Flash Retina MBAs for just $50 less than that new MBP????

    I think they have a choice. Either bring out a 128GB Flash MBP or MacBook, or produce a 128GB Retina MBA based on an aging design. Today, I'd argue that every Apple laptop is "Air." To paraphrase Buddy/Syndrome in "The Incredibles," when every model is Air, no model is.

    In another year or two, maybe we'll see the cost of Flash drop to the point where a 512GB machine can be purchased for the cost of today's 256GB. At that point, either the MacBook or MBA could retain a 256GB base model at a price comparable to today's MBA, while the other goes to a minimum 512GB configuration. Problem solved.
     
  25. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #25
    I think that it is safe to assume that the 13" MBA will be around for another 12 months... but it'll be a dicey proposition after that.

    Anyone who needs a notebook with more traditional ports should seriously plan on getting the MBA before it disappears because whatever follows after will only have USB-C.
     

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