MacBook Air- One revision away ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jfriedman8, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. jfriedman8 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #1
    I have owned a Rev A MBA and I loved it except for the overheating issues. No, I have not tried a new on with the 9400M, but I still feel like it is one revision away from REALLY being a great computer. Albeit with the suggestions I have it may cannibalized some MBP 13 sales, I would gladly pay the extra fee for the thinness. In short, i really think the MBA is just one revision away from really being a necessity product.

    Personally, I feel like the MBP to be a premium ultraportable should keep the same 5.0 hour rated battery. I would assume this can improve over time, but it is unrealistic to say it should be 7+ like everything else. Secondly, I think 4GB of RAM is feasible/necessary for the next revision. Lastly, I would really, really, really like to see 1 1440x900 res screen. If there is one thing I love about the X300/301 is the added screen space thanks to the higher res. I would much rather have a MBA as my portable since I have a MacPro for my power stuff, but I look at the price of the MBP 13 and then see the Refurb 15 at basically the same price (by using Edu Discount) and I just feel so stupid not taking the 15 at that point. Granted, it is always best to buy what you need regardless of price, but having had a 13" and a 15" before, the extra pound wont kill me. If I were not in the market for a portable laptop, I would gladly wait for a MBA with 4GB of Ram though. Oh well.
     
  2. CoreyMac macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #2
    Call me a pessimist, but I think it's one revision away from being discontinued. They didnt even progress the machine with the latest update....the 2.13GHz C2D is actually slower than the 1.86 Rev B.
     
  3. jfriedman8 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    ...or that. I wouldnt mind seeing an 11" MBA honestly. I do see where you are coming from though. I feel like its a revision away from being make or break- especially with the MBP 13 still being a thin machine, maybe too heavy for some.
     
  4. no.1 Apple Fan macrumors regular

    no.1 Apple Fan

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    #4
    I wonder how that could be:confused:
     
  5. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

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    #5
    I agree and think a netbook tablet will take the place of the Air next year, Thats why i am buying one now.
     
  6. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I am hoping that it stays around for a while as well. I think the biggest thing is that there should be (options to have) more RAM. If Apple doesn't neglect this machine and keeps it up with the rest of the line, at least where technically feasable, it is a great computer. It also, now, has the potential of being someone's main computer, as evidenced by several members who use it as their primary computer (like Scottsdale). I'm also seriously considering it as my main computer.

    Then there's the niche market it fills: the MBA is an ultra-portable machine. Across the entire market, they are underpowered and comparatively overpriced (for the spec anyway). The ultra-portable is a high-end, niche market segment, perfect for Apple. :) And compared to many other ultra-portable machines (Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo, and even Dell) the MBA is actually more powerful (faster CPU) and cheaper than the competition. I think it's a great complement to Apple's product lineup, even though it's not as big of a market segment for them. I think of it as the Mini of Apple's portable lineup. Look how long the Mini has been around, and it's still around. I just think we come to expect more of Apple. but the truth is that with the exception of RAM, and the actual quality of the screens, Apple has put the best available (and proven) technologies into the Air. There are no bigger or faster components available at this time.

    It's been speculated Apple has some really aggressive thermal management on the 2.13 that keeps it from running at that speed.

    It's kind of like this

    All Apple notebooks (and pretty much any computer with these latest Intel chips) will run at a slower clock speed when the power is not needed. This is why you can get 8 hrs from the battery. The 2.4 13" MBP or whatever, is only running at, say, 800 MHz when you're surfing the net and listening to music. When you do something more CPU intensive, like encoding a movie, the CPU will ramp up closer to the 2.4 GHz speed. This has 2 benefits: heat management and battery life. It's kind of like running your car with the throttle full-on all of the time: a waste of energy that's likely to kill your car sooner.

    The same thing happens in the MBA, but the older 1.86 has an easier time getting to its quoted speed. The 2.13 might be capable of that speed but undergoing the same stresses as the 1.86, the 2.13 might only get up to 1.6 GHz. Thus in some benchmarks, the 1.86 will outperform the 2.13.

    Finally, to answer the OP's original question: I think that every Apple product is potentially one revision away from being cut. It's the way good businesses are run. Apple has a pretty good idea of what they are doing and where they want to go. Any product that doesn't fit that vision is likely on the chopping block.
     
  7. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

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    #7
    The only remaining issues for me are the (relatively) poor battery life and the persistence of a physical trackpad button.

    The fact that I can get, literally, double the battery life on my 17" then I can on my Air (the premium ultraportable laptop in Apple's line) is crazy.

    The physical button persists because Apple just hasnt made a real revision to the Air yet. I imagine the engineering costs to design and build the Air were significant and Apple is milking the original design as long as possible.

    Fix those 2 issues and my only complaint would be the lack of massive HDD space. And with fast, tiny 512gb SSDs like that Toshiba model on the horizon that wont be an issue much longer either.
     
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #8
    I'm not certain that the glass trackpad can be implemented in the air with it's current design. It's a nice feature, to be sure, and I'd love to see it put in the Air. But if it is possible, why hasn't Apple done it yet? I think that it's too thick: that there's not enough space for all of the components in there. After all, it is the thinnest part of the Air's bottom case.

    And pretty much the same thing with the battery life as well. There is only so much space in the Air and battery life is pretty much defined by the maximum available space for said battery given current technology..
     
  9. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #9
    Due to the massive heat generated by the 2.13GHz chip, the system automatically downclocks it to 1.86 or 1.6GHz "just incase" the system overheats/breaks down. Thats why the benchmarks show its slower then the 1.86GHz model. However, if you were to remove that limitation, then it'll be faster. Check the Geekbench post for my Geekbench score of my 2.13GHz Air
     
  10. kuaizi8 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #10
    If you ask me, a new revision of the Air is just around the corner. They'll keep the gorgeous design and add the new glass trackpad, integrated 3G, as well as the ability to choose 4 GB RAM and perhaps a 256 GB SSD. They'll add the nice 7 hour non-user-replaceable battery for even better portability, too.
     
  11. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Before the Air was announced we all would have said building something that small and powerful was impossible too. Once they do a real redesign I think Apple could fit the larger battery in there. Remember the current layout is the best and most compact Apple could do as of a few months before the first Air was released.

    The glass trackpad isnt that thick, open up a unibody machine and take a look at it.
     
  12. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #12
    I think the current MBA is perfect. The original was just a bit too lacking, but thanks to the nVidia chipset (mostly) the current one has all the bases covered. Seems like an awesome machine.
     
  13. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #13
    The MacBook Air could actually be a precursor to future models. In a few years time, when SSDs become cheap enough to flood the mainstream storage sizes (128 GBs), 1.8" Hard Drives will be the norm for most mainstream computers. Then optical drives may be ditched on laptops in favour of externals as we become less dependant on optical media.
     
  14. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #14
    The 17" is a massive laptop with a massive battery, what else did you expect?
     
  15. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #15
    Mactagonist, I did say that it was the best Apple could do given their current design. Everything can change with a redesign. Regarding trackpad space, I have no clue if it will fit. I do know that the components are roughly as follows: topcase, trackpad, trackpad components, (something to hold trackpad & components to topcase) and the bottom case.

    The air is only 0.16" (or 4.06 mm) at the front of the machine but that also includes the screen. So I'm guestimating that only about 2.5mm or so exists on the bottom of the case, which is pretty damn small. With the glass trackpad, you also need some space for the button to travel, which isn't much, but when you're talking distances that small, it's a non-trivial amount.

    I just looked at ifixit for better pictures and noticed that the battery is also partially underneath the trackpad. That complicates things even farther. In reality, though I'd settle for the feel of the glass trackpad and keep the button as it is.

    EDIT: Looking deeper, the battery sits directly underneath the trackpad button. So the size of the battery, I'm going to say, is what is keeping us from having the clickable glass trackpad.
     
  16. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    Apr 3, 2009
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    Canada
    #16
    The macbook air is a interesting system,

    but it has to be respected to be enjoyed, i have recently switch my mbp over to one and i am awaiting it in the mail.

    i have used it a few times and i like the system, i like that i cant upgrade it too believe it or not, i spent soo much money pumping it into the macbook pro that i dident need, but the option was there so i had to have it.

    the macbook air is a blessing for me, i travel all the time back and forth to work and i never used cd's / dvd's anymore, my time capsule has all my data. I love the air's design.

    less usb ports means less to break.

    keep the air's design, integrate slim polymer technoligies to get 6-7 hour batteries.

    3G - wont happen i dont think due to iphone and most phones tethering now.

    i would like to see more ram.

    i would love to see a dual core atom 330 in it.....food for thought!
     
  17. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #17
    Atoms are slower then Core 2 Duos... unless I haven't checked up with the newer ones yetp.

    Furthermore, we do use the slim polymer technology for the battery. Its just the capacity thats limiting.
     
  18. shadow1 macrumors member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    #18
    How do you remove or disable the under-clock on the 2.13 Ghz processor? Would it work?

    Also in the next revision I reckon there will be a 256 GB SSD.
     
  19. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #19
    No joke, the battery in the 17" is nearly 40 percent of the TOTAL MBA weight.
     
  20. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

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    #20
    It also has a massive screen with tons of extra pixels to power, a faster processor, higher clocked graphics card and a less power efficient hard drive.

    Battery life is one of the most important features of a ultraportable laptop. It makes no sense that a portable workstation like the 17" should outclass the Air.
     
  21. kuaizi8 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #21
    Who wants to use a cable to attach an iPhone to a sleek MacBook Air to be able to surf? The Air would be much more portable if it had 3G integrated.

    I know many Air-users who use their only USB port to attach an external UMTS stick AND a belkin flexible usb cable adapter to it, because their stick doesn't fit. It doesn't make any sense to carry additional gadgets around if it can easily be implemented.
     
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    Jul 4, 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    That's like saying it makes no sense that the 17" gets a 1920 pixel screen when the Air does not. Its a result of the 17"'s size. They could fit a bigger battery in but they would have the get rid of the tapers and thicken the laptop, and in all likelihood increases the weight; which gives you the 13" MBP. So really, what would be the point.

    Assuming it doesn't already they could fit the newer battery tech from the other laptops and up the life somewhat, but there is no way you will get the same battery life on the Air as the 17".
     
  23. zedsdead, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011

    zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Tethering works via Bluetooth as well.
     
  24. aaquib, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011

    aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

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    #24
    Built in 3G is coming. There's already support in Snow Leopard for it.
     
  25. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    Apr 13, 2008
    #25
    Imo, netbooks will probably kill the Air. People buy the air because of its form factor. Its really not powerful or expandable enough to do much, so its essentially a 13" netbook thats super thin. Once netbooks have a decent OS (enter Chrome), people will turn to netbooks that are 1/3 the price to surf the net and email. There will always be a crowd that will want the Air, but Apple generally doesnt give a crap about what people want.
    After the Air dies i predict a netbook or small tablet pc will arise from its ashes. Still overpriced compared to the competition, but with the :apple: logo it will sell well enough.


    (disclaimer: none of this is based on fact, logic, reasoning, or intelligence. I am pretty much just rambling about stuff.)
     

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