Macbook air bigger update coming?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mhkobe, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Mhkobe macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    The Macbook air went under some heat sink mods, faster processors, and DDR3 RAM, however it still lacks some of the features that ppl would want in an ultra-portable. Apple must know this, for instance, the issue that it doesn't have as many ports as many (myself) would like. I know that would mean a complete redesign of the enclosure, but I think that thats what it requires in order for it to actually sell like a normal macbook. I also REALLY hope that they can use it as a test dummy for apple made processors. Apple doesn't just buy random microprocessor companies that specialize in low power silicon for nothing. Apple must have something up their sleeve involving the macbook air, I just want to know what.
    Wouldn't it be cool if apple made the macbook air into the standard macbook... that white one is a little out of date. (its the only new mac that still uses DDR2 memory)

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  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    But Apple isn't marketing it as a normal MacBook. Moot.

    Arrandale in November with the rest of the MacBook family.

    Then it wouldn't be the MacBook Air, an ultraportable, or have a purpose.

    And it's the best selling computer they make.
  3. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    You are right, I'm just a dreaming apple fanboy. However, what I meant by the air becoming the standard macbook was that it would be a lower end but still thin notebook known simply as the MacBook.

    Thank you for your reply,
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I'm thinking that Apple will, indeed remove the plastic MacBook from their line and replace it with another aluminum model with the same (comparably) specs.

    Then, they'll simply remove the word "Pro" from the line entirely. The Air will still be the Air; thin, light, and underpowered, and the rest will be MacBooks.
  5. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    I think you are right on most, however, I think they will continue the "Pro" name, I also hope that they do end up producing their own processors for the air, and eventually the Iphone. It would be a risky move to make iphone processors themselves, however due to the sales market of mainly die hard apple fanboys, air owners would be the perfect guinea pig for the processors.

    Thank you for your quick replies.
  6. cwfrederick macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2008
    the macbook air is going to remain a high-end, high profit margin, product until it becomes the new standard to replace disk-drive-containing macbook pros in like 5 years or something. i think apple is going to also add a 15 inch MBA too. hopefully by fall.

    apple is going to drop the macbook white sometime soon (probably fall) and the new "macbook" is going to be the rumored tablet computer which will probably be announced at CES and blow everyone away.

    just my best guesses after compulsively following apple for quite a while.
  7. okatidubi macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    If you ask me, unless the economy gets better, the white MacBook ain't going anywhere. Students and people who just want to type some documents, surf the web, listen to some music, view photos etc. wants a cheap full featured laptop, not a tablet. The white MacBook fits into that category.

    However, I also do believe that Apple is working on a tablet, but it will not be released as soon as people expect it to be (Early '10 for example). It's still too early to tell if the economy will get better by then though.

    BACK TO TOPIC: The MacBook Air is suppose to be a secondary computer.
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think the MBA is on a "trial" run right now with its new price point positioning. I feel a new high end will be added if the MBA can prove itself with some sales. There are many of us who wish for a more powerful MBA with a bigger SSD, but I am sure the market is smaller in this economy. I believe a more powerful MBA will emerge if it makes sense based on the numbers, which NONE of us know.

    I do believe it would possibly introduce something new LIKE an OLED display or 3G also. The MBA is really a nice little Mac, and I am sure a lot of Apple execs use the MBA and want what us business MBA buyers are looking for... maybe that will help with the decision, but I am sure the sales projections have to truly dictate what happens.

    Most of us original or rev B MBA buyers who paid $2499 or more, would love the 4 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD and would be willing to pay for it, but it's not going to be the desire of most MBA buyers in my opinion. The $1799 price point is much more doable, and those who buy at that price will be extremely happy with their purchase. Those are the buyers who will see the value in a new high end MBA...
  9. arcangel6 macrumors regular


    Aug 21, 2008
    I wonder what impact Snow Leopard will have on the MBA current revision. I realize that most folks want an all around powerful computer for the $$$ but it really fits my requirements well. Of course I wish it had 4GB faster ram + larger SSD and better video but for what it is it is fabulous. But hey! There are folks that expect the same from a $350 USD Netbook!!!!

  10. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    First of all, I'd like to thank all of you for this enlightenment of this topic. My revised list of what I'd like to see in a macbook air is as follows:
    • Apple made processor (the macbook air is a high end test dumby for future computers, and would be a great way for apple to emerge into the CPU industry that would allow macs to become even more under the control of Jobs)
    • I would also like to see 4 gigs of RAM, my imac has 4 gigs of RAM that I can barely get by on (some ppl might say that because this is an Ultra-Portable, it is not intendid to be used as a full graphics editing computer or multitasking unit, it is. The proof is the recently pushed 9400m nvidia graphics with 256mb of GDDR3 memory.)
    • a trackpad without the bottom button for clicking, I really like the full trackpad click button thing, however if this is impossible, I would love if it was simply a tap to click pad. (don't hate me for this)
    • More ports if they do introduce a 15 inch with 2 USB audio in and out, mini display port, and a firewire 800 I will buy one.
    • A 256gb SSD preferably samsung.

    I love the macbook air, but there are just a few things keeping me from the sexiest computer ever made. :apple:
  11. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    I would love an OLED, battery life would also be a bit longer, but the technology is still in a developmental stage and the life of OLED panels is short, that has been the problem with them since they were first invented.
  12. norsemen macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2007
    There´s absolutely no need to implement 3G/HDSPA etc, with teathering capability now included in Iphone OS 3.0.
  13. Gruber macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    The Air is perhaps bound to stay as it is

    The Air and the entry-level Macbook occupy very different slots. And not in terms of power, but in terms of intended users.

    Both are very decently equipped, but the Air is meant to be an executive notebook, while the Macbook is a cost-efficient device for education etc.

    This does not mean that any of the two would be underpowered. Both try to fill their slots as good as they can. It would not benefit either of them if they were fused with the other.

    Much frustration with the Air comes from the fact that prospective buyers are not in the target demographic, but just want to have a more lightweight and portable Mac than the MBP.

    Apple does not serve all use cases. There are some obvious gaps in its portfolio:
    1. There is no mid-range desktop (i.e. something with decent 3D performance at a price below 2000$). Gamers are unhappy.
    2. There is no netbook (i.e. a cheap, compact device just fast enough to surf the web and write an office document). People looking for a cheap secondary computer are unhappy.
    3. And there is no full-featured ultraportable (like the 12in Powerbook was). Road-Warriors are unhappy.

    These needs have created several reactions from consumers that are not happy with MS operating systems:
    1 -> Psystar's hackintosh is an attempt at a decent desktop with MacOS and gaming capabilities.
    2 -> Some people install MacOS on a netbook, like the Dell Mini9. Seems to run well.
    3 -> Some people that would prefer an ultraportable buy either an Air and complain about its unnecessary large footprint and its lack of ports, or they buy a 13in MBP and complain about its size and weight.

    I wish Apple would make us all happy.

    They probably won't. The Air is going to be faster and have 4GB and a new trackpad, eventually. And Apple is perhaps going to try its luck with a new device category, like a 10in Smartbook, or a 10in webtablet/eBook reader running something like the iPhone OS.
  14. rumody macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    This is how I'll love it to be

    This is how I'll love to be the new MacBook Air:

    • Thinner than the actual Air
    • Expandable memory
    • Sharing parts with the rest of 'the family'; that means cheaper to produce!
    • 2 USB ports instead of one and a SD card
    • Buttonless trackpad

    Related to the SD card... what about shipping Snow Leopard in a smaller package? That is, in a SD card?
  15. fteoath64 macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2008
    There is no point putting a 3G card into a laptop what cannot be really "always on". The netbooks based on SnapDragon CPU from Qualcomm is the processor that can be truly always on. Meaning even if you power-off, the netbook will still be connected to the net and updating your email via push-mail etc. This is similar to the phone and gives all day battery life even with intense video play.

    I would like to see a "convertible netbook" that can have the slim keyboard (much like the aluminum keyboard in thickness but compressed to 10.5 or 11.5 inches) but using magnetic detach mechanism (like magsafe). Using a PA Semi CPU of equivalent Snapdragon power with PowerVR graphics. It will run special OSX that will be an iPhone OSX "container" to run all iphone apps, hence, games etc at good speed (ie 2X to 4X the GS). All this, for $900 retail. Yeah, 64GB SSD included
  16. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    I don't think Apple will make its own CPUs, at least not in predictable future. Any company trying to enter this market would have extremely hard time doing so.
    There're at least two problems with tap to click only: many people hate drag and drop without button and sometimes (I don't know if anyone else has this problem) tap to click won't work after reboot from Windows, even though the box is still checked - using button to uncheck and recheck the option is the only way out of it.
    15" would be sweet... a year ago I would have really wanted it, but now that I'm used to 13" screen, I think I'll stick to it.
    You meant "preferably Intel", right? ;)

    Isn't it funny how a change of name from MB to MBP made many people immediately declare 13" MBP is exactly what they were waiting for, and now it's considered good enough for "pros"? Even though the only significant change was the return of FW. I think it's the best marketing decision Apple made this year. :rolleyes:

    I see at least two possibilities for MacBook Air - either it continues to be a premium product, first to get (and test) new technology, aimed at people who are ready to pay more for the best (not necessarily in terms of power), or it becomes cheaper and cheaper, finally becoming a consumer offering while MBP is (or pretends to be) professional.

    At first it seemed improbable to me that Air could become as cheap as 13" MBP or more, but then most of Apple's original cost was probably R&D and overpriced SSDs. Since then Apple started using the same keyboard and similar aluminium casing for MBPs, so the production costs have probably fallen as well, due to quantity.

    13" MBP with 128 GB SSD and 2 GB RAM is $1599, while MBA with similar configuration is $1799. It's only $200 premium, about $100 of which is probably CPU (Air has double the cache, which is a costly component). But Air doesn't have SuperDrive, card reader, FW ports... I think with time, especially if MBPs will be getting more power, Air's cost might be comparable if not less. Then it would make sense for it to be a basic offering - with its form factor and standard configuration featuring SSD (which will be cheaper at this point), it would be great for an average user who doesn't need all the features. It depends on the cost of SSDs, how quick they'll replace HDDs (at least for ~200GB and less storage), and the future of optical drives, but I think it's a possibility.
  17. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    I think that would be a great idea to ship SL as an SD, but only on computers shipping with it pre-installed, that also have an SD card slot built in, I have no current use for an external reader right now and my Imac does not come with one built in. It would, however, be nice if apple started offering multi card readers as a BTO option that you could stick in place of a second superdrive.
  18. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    Obviously apple's original struggle with the air was heat issues, that still remains a major issue, although it doesn't have core shutdowns anymore, it is still just too hot to touch. I think that the way to combat this is (again, please don't attack me for this as I know intel is vicious) to make super low clock many core processors. The reason all new processors made are dual core or quad core with lower clocks than the ones we've seen that have a single core is power. A single core processor with a 3.0Ghz clock speed consumes more power than a 2.0Ghz intel Dual Core processor. If apple could design eight cores on one die that each clock at 500Mhz or so, they could enter the processor battle subtly and also improve the air's battery life as well as lower it's heat. We also know that apple must be planning to produce processors for one of it's products due to their recent acquisition of P.A. Semi, and their postings for jobs for someone skilled in this field. My thoughts when they bought P.A. semi were that they would start making the processors that go into the Iphone. This would, however, be a way too risky move on their best selling product, they could however start a go at this business in their apple fanboy only market of macbook air's. It would be the perfect test, get the people who worship apple to spend 2000 or so on a computer that is really just a test in order to improve future products. If apple managed to be successful in this business, it would make it even more impossible for ppl to make hackintoshes, and give jobs more control over their computers. They might stick with intel on their mainstream computers for a while, but the air is the mac of the future, and this would put them even more ahead of the rest.
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    my 1.8/128ssd works GREAT! not too hot to touch at all, even while watching video etc it's fine and amazingly cool for such a thin machine.

    95% of the time I use it on my bare legs no problems 5% of the time I'll notice it warm on my lap when doing heavier work but no big deal for sure.

    The MBA is great as it is now, no need to change much at all. Sure in the months and years it will evolve like any other notebook but for what it's meant to do it does it very well. I'm sure the vast majority of MBA owners are more than pleased, except in the case as is often seen here were people expect so much more than what it's supposed to be.

    Need more power buy a MBP, otherwise enjoy the MBA for what is.
  20. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    Thank you for your insight, as most who have already posted on this thread are not owners, but are considering one. We are not really trying to say that the air is not good how it is, but more just asking for a few more things for apple to change before buying one. It is approaching 1 and a half years of life, and I would be very happy with the 2.13ghz core 2 duo and the 256mb GDDR3 ram inside the 9400M chip. These are two things that would have been considered fairly high performance when it was released, especially for a notebook. So if they leave those to things in there, I would be happy, one USB isn't exactly a lot, but I can get by, however I really wish there was a firewire and an audio in. I also wish that they could make it a full button trackpad, I LOVE those more than any other thing in an apple notebook. The only other problem is that the 2.13Ghz core 2 duo and the 9400M suck a LOT of battery, on something as portable as the air, I want at least 5 hours. Maybe I am asking for too much. I'll wait until December, and if I don't see something I love about the air I will buy 15 inch MBP. I would also love 512 megs of video RAM.

    Thank you for your input.
  21. Elgabacho macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    My MBA

    I just got a new MBA with 128 ssd and I am running snow leopard on it. It is nice and fast. It does suck up more battery than I expected though.

    Not sure what you mean here but it does have the option in system preferences for tap to click.
  22. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    I don't think we'll see them drop the "Pro" label, especially not from the 17" model.

    Something certainly will happen to differentiate the "pro" line from the consumer line, but what that is is murky (at best) at this point. It's not a huge stretch to think the Air could end up being that consumer-level notebook, especially if they decide to add a sub-$1000 netbook version.

    I think he means he wants the button at the bottom of the MBA's trackpad gone in favor of something like the MBP (or just a tappable pad with not button or physical "click" at all).
  23. Mhkobe thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    Yeah, that is what I mean, but I now realize how much of a problem that would be for some ppl.
  24. Macintox macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2009
    apple can't afford to drop it

    A new air must appear at some point at least with 2xUSB, 256 SSD, 4 GB RAM, gigabit ethernet and above all, a better screen.
    All MacBooks, air and pros have this problem of screen resolution .
    13.3 at 1280x800 and 15.4 at 1440x900 are simply ridiculous by today's standards. Just put side by side a 17" at 1920x1200 .

    Why not a 15,4 with 1600x1080 ? a 13.3 with 1400x960 ? and above all, a mate finish option ... these ugly cheap PC looking glass reflecting things are a disgrace for many of us .
    But Apple will only do it... when sales slow down... to milk us once more .
  25. Andre1980 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    No More Ports!

    The addition of more ports can mess up the whole MBA concept: SMALL, EFFICIENT, CLEAN. There is no "Eier-legende-Wollmilchsau" (German for "egg-laying wool-milk-sow") without sacrificing one of the above. There are so many mac users who are happy with one USB and one Audio port, so why ruin it for them. Next thing people demand will be the addition of a VGA-port and we are back in the PC world.
    My suggestion to Apple: leave the ports as they are and concentrate instead on the screen and HDD and RAM.

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