Macbook Air Refresh Possible

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mr.PS, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2008
    I'm thinking about making the plunge on a Macbook Air (1.8/SSD) for a upcoming trip; however, I'm a bit worried that a revised Air will show up soon. Due to some of the issues that the current Macbook Air has. Is there any real possibility we will see an updated version this year?

    I'm not looking for new features and I'm not overly paranoid about being the first to have this or that, I just want what I buy to be the latest at the time.
  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I'm in the exact same boat; still waiting until the 3rd week of August to buy the 1.8/64SSD with Superdrive. Last time I bought the MB 2.16 in August '07, they released the newer MB 2.4 Penryn 250 in February '08; so I was able to get the BlackBook 2.4 at the same price due to a return of the MB 2.16. Ended up buying a MBA 1.6/80GB, but needed more HD space. Now, I don't need the 250GB HD and I'm willing to buy the MBA 1.8/64SSD, but I'm like you, waiting for the best or top of the line to be released SOON...:p
  3. EspressoLove macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2007
    Bay Area
    While refresh or even redesign of MBP (MB?) is probably round the corner, I wouldn't let my breath for MBA rev.B ..... and here's why :

    1) most certainly they'd use SL9x00 line (1.6, 1.86 Ghz) it's 5% faster for top model, but they could claim 10-20% speed increase across the board, due to newer architecture of both CPU & chipset.
    The reason they wouldn't use SP9x00 or P8x00 - thermal envelope - no great breakthroughs possible in cooling system for such slim slate.
    2) SL line set to debut in Sept'08, so system's launch can be expected sometime October ....
    but with that MW'09 is not far ....
    ... and there could be some other reasons to wait .....
    3) SSD could finally cheap enough to make it standard and the only choice, and even faster - to convince you that is the right one.
    (and maybe even smaller than 1.8" - to introduce some design changes, and maybe even extra USB/FW port? remember MBP 2.1 ???)

    But you newer really now with Apple/SJ. Something which makes perfect sense - we could wait for it for years ...

    One thing for sure for me : Apple/SJ "promotes" me more to Zen attitude, so that I keep it sane over here :D:rolleyes::apple::)
  4. lazydesi macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2006
    Gr8 Adelaide
    possibilities are:

    2 or 4 GB DDR3 RAM(in order to save some power)

    NEW chipset X4500

    one more USB port or vodooo type ethernet port

    64 and 128GB SSD versions, no HDD version
  5. dudup macrumors regular


    May 28, 2008
    São Paulo, Brazil
    I don't think we'll see any refreshes no the MBA line until the core shutdown issues are solved.

    And again: the machine runs great and does everything you could expect, I even do photoshop with it. The problem with the MBA is mainly because flash player is a hog, something that makes the basic activity of any computer nowadays -- surf the web -- a pain in the ass.

    Other than watching YouTube videos, I rarely get a core shutdown.
  6. foodcoma macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I am by no means a technical person but if core shutdowns are caused by overheating of the processors, wouldn't installing the montevina chip in the MBA help resolve the issue?
  7. 73CortinaV8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Palo Alto, CA
    surely a revised MBA would have a SATA interface drive too, not the PATA nonsense it has now.

    the thinkpad x300 and the voodoo envy 133 both have sata
  8. jk1002 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2008
    There are 1.8" drives in 5mm and in 8mm thickness. 8 mm version do offer more speed, sata interface, higher capacity etc but they won't fit into the Air.

    Same is valid for SSD. I think the move to SSD only is likely if they can increase capacity.

    For HDD, there is nothing in 5mm right now that would improve the Air. And manufactures announce these things weeks sometimes month before they are available. So other then a bump in processor speed I would not expect anything soon.

    By the way, the presence of the Air in the Apple Store was removed significant. The entire 1st floor is now mostly Macbook which they are pushing for back to school.
  9. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    possibilities are:

    2 or 4 GB DDR3 RAM(in order to save some power)

    No, the ram will remain the same. No one wants 4gb RAM in a computer for that purpose. Okay there might be a 4gb BTO option. And certainly not DDR3, that would be a complete waste of money and give no speed increase.

    NEW chipset X4500


    one more USB port or vodooo type ethernet port

    They won't revise any of the design for another few years judging by the past.

    64 and 128GB SSD versions, no HDD version

    There will be a hard drive version. No one wants to pay an extra grand for a SSD drive thats pretty much guaranteed to fail within a few years.
  10. cgingrich macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    I've been waiting as well to possibly sell my blackbook to get an Air. I only really use my Macbook to surf the web/notes in class and would love to have a more portable/sexier laptop. I say wait on the updates, if anything possibly a slight price drop.
  11. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    all signs are pointing to a Macbook and Macbook Pro redesign for the fall as it will be their big Holiday push.

    there are very few signs pointing to a MBA refresh before Macworld 2009. mostly likely it will be CPU change, new HDD & SDD options. possibly x4500 chipset, no new ports.
  12. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Considering the recent price drop on the SSD model, I'd say you can expect to wait until at least September for any kind of revision or additional price concession on the MBA.
  13. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    It'd be nice to see a revision to fix the core shutdown problems, and make it so the thing doesn't CHOKE when you try to plan any kind of video.

    An SATA interfaced SSD would be a welcome addition. Why in the world would they go with PATA??? Cost probably. :rolleyes:

    An additional port (say, ETHERNET) would also be welcome, and maybe an extra USB port.

    The SSD pricing wars have begun. Maybe by the end of the summer they could shave a bit more off the price.

    What they REALLY need to do is release a 12" MacBook Pro, like EVERYONE in the world, except Apple, knows they should do. I love my 12" PB and still use it daily. The form factor is perfect. Steve Jobs needs to realize that not everyone needs widescreen.:rolleyes:
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The MTBF on a SSD is 2 million hours; the MTBF on a standard HDD is around 300-500 thousand, so unless you have data to back up that claim, I'm have to say that SSDs will last a lot longer. Even if the MBA used MLC SSDs the MTBF is still as high as a HDD.
  15. waikikiTed macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    My take on waiting it out - and i speak from recent experience and alot of nail biting on whether to take the plunge...... (I bought the Air a couple weeks ago finally)

    The system is so darn new, that aside from the minimal tweaks or updates that they could do, costmetically it will not change. Being a mac owner devote, that is important to me. The truth about hardware upgrades/updates in my personal bubble, is in incremental steps, they dont add value to me. In leap frog upgrades, they do. But baby steps? I have to be honest with myself sometimes and throttle back.

    It was this argument I made with myself to choose the Air over a new MB. With the threat of a new MB design coming, I couldnt live with myself for having spent $2K on a new MB that physically looks like my G4 PB, only to have a sleek sexy new MB come out soon. On the other hand, the Air has a form factor that wont change anytime soon, and its unique form factor will provide a definite benefit to my workflow/use of the laptop for quite sometime - with or without faster hardware upgrades.

    Finally, the recent Refurb price on the Air make this a whole lot easier for me. $1499 for an Air done deal.
  16. glennm0270 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hmmm...guess it depends on how liberally one defines "few", and whether or not one believes "few" also means "insignificant". I, like many others, have been waiting for a Rev B in the next 3 or so months (not sure if that means the same as a refresh in the minds of others).

    I've seen a "few" signs that make me a bit more hopeful this will be the case:

    • Some analysts think Apple appears to be clearing out inventory by way of the recent price drop in its SSD upgrade
    • Rumor (read this on Barrons) has it that STEC signed a contract with AAPL back in April to deliver SSDs, and speculation is that these will replace Samsung in MBA. Who knows...but my direct and indirect experience with working with contracts and vendors in similar situations is that you would typically hope to start benefiting from those types of contracts within a few months, not a year later. Analysts raised STEC's revenue estimates for this year after that news came out, so I would make a guess that Apple is taking delivery of some units this year...and they don't like to have parts just sitting maybe they're planning to ship them this year?
    • Competitors who are clearly taking aim at the MBA have recently announced 128MB SSD upgrades for approx the same cost as Apple's 64MB SSD upgrade (for example, Dell offers 128MB for about $650 US).
    • Avg. time to refresh on previous laptops (and desktops) is around 200 days. That held true of the first refresh for the new products, too, FWIW.
    • The most common problem discussed (core shutdowns) may be something that Apple will want to address in the very near term. I'm not an engineer, but they have some smart people working for them, and there are probably a few things they could do without making a significant change to the manufacturing line/process.

    So, those things give me some hope that we'll see something in the Sept/Oct timeframe.

    What will we see? I don't know enough to offer an informed opinion, and I'm not going to spit out a wish list, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some fix to the fan/core shutdown problem, a slight processor bump (see one of the previous posts, 5-10%) and an upgrade to a 128MB MLC SSD drive, all at the same price of the original MBA.

    I don't think, however, that in the next couple of months we'll see anything like additional USB ports, jump to a new CPU line, etc...those things would require some potentially significant retooling, and that's the kind of stuff I would expect to see in a major refresh during 1Q of 2009.

    Like I said...I'm not representing myself as being an expert or as being tremendously informed, I'm just putting together a few pieces of news that seem to fit logically to me. And, it's a comforting rationalization for me fighting off the ravening "instant gratification monster" that keeps screaming for me to buy it NOW. :)
  17. muldul macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Sussex, England, UK
    I think that there may be a new macbook air sometime next year.
  18. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I agree. I think that the next thing we'll see, possibly early fall, will be a MBA that includes under-the-hood changes of the kind you described. A larger SSD is a must given what the competition is doing.

    The next step will be a more substantial redesign, which will allow Apple to make even more changes, such as adding ports. I don't think we'll see this before MW Expo 2009, though, if then.

    It's also possible that Apple will move the Air from its current isolated position in the laptop grid to a formal spot in the MB Pro line as an heir to the 12" PB that many people want Apple to bring back.
  19. 73CortinaV8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Palo Alto, CA
    interesting point. I did notice the mba has been pushed to the mac corner in the sf store. before it was right in front.
  20. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    How do you know the STEC drives are meant just for the MBA? SSD option on a new Macbook Pro perhaps?
  21. ant043 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    extra usb port would make macbook air my perfect laptop.
  22. glennm0270 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Good point! No way to know for sure. The fact that a couple of laptops that are perceived to be direct competitors for the MBA (and certainly are positioned that way by their manufacturers) have moved to 128GB options for roughly the same price point as Apple's 64GB on the MBA makes me hope that Apple will try to "catch up". Add to that the fact that the 128GB would be considered to be an upgrade on an MBA and a serious downgrade on an MBP, might indicate a higher probability target of MBA.

    No hard evidence, just wishful thinking/hope on my part :)
  23. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2007
    If you wait long enough, there'll be an update. In the mean time, I'll just enjoy the current model. Waiting totally sucks.
  24. thecartoonguy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2008
    This is always a tough question/decision. I am in the same boat. What I have done in the past, is sell current mac on ebay and use the funds for the next best thing. But then in the back of my mind I wonder will the next best thing come out two weeks after I buy what I think is the latest model? Um yea the life of an Apple user is never dull.
  25. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    It would be smart of Apple to update ASAP in order to compete in the fast moving market. Sony is using them so I do not see why Apple won't? The only thing that is strange is that the new Voodoo Envy 133 uses the same processors as the MBA which is kind of kill the very soon to be updated MBA deal, but we shall wait and see.

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