My Dream Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by blairh, Oct 12, 2010.

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  1. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Fingers crossed Apple does indeed release something soon to update the now archaic MBA. If I could construct it, this is what it would be:

    1. 11.6" or 12.1" screen.

    I want a smaller footprint than the current MBA. 11.6" or 12.1" would allow me to enjoy media/surf the web/type out emails. A smaller screen would also mean a lighter computer vs. what we now have in the 3 lbs MBA. Anything 2.6 lbs or lighter would make me very happy.

    2. Battery life. Battery life. Battery life.

    I can't stress this one enough. I want and need to take a long flight without having to worry about losing power or needing to bring an external battery along with me. While I'm not a huge fan of the iPad I do really envy how long it can last on a single charge. The new MBA is meant to be an ultra-portable. Let us take it on a long flight/train ride and enjoy it sans a power cord.

    3. The Guts.

    I have a 13" MBP that I use around the house. I want my new MBA to be strictly for travel. With that in mind I just need it to do the basic tasks (web, email, play music, watch movies/ write documents). As long as it can easily handle those tasks (and I'm assuming it would) I'll be very happy.

    Some quick other notes:

    * Add the glass trackpad that the more recent Apple notebooks have.

    * Don't go for edge to edge glass on the screen. It makes it more reflective (like on my MBP). Keep the silver bezel that you'll find on the current MBA screen.

    * Don't be ridiculously expensive. I know, it's Apple, fat chance. But 1.5K would be too much IMO. 1 - 1.2K would be much better. (Perhaps a smaller screen would justify a lower base model price vs. MBA's current 1.5K.)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    My dream MBA:

    - 13.3" 1440x900 screen
    - Sandy Bridge CPU + IGP (I would be fine with the IGP)
    - 4GB RAM
    - 120-128GB SSD in low-end & 240GB-256GB SSD in high-end
    - Same trackpad as in other lappies
    - At least 7-hour battery life

    Price: 1299€ for low-end

    I know it's doubtful but with those specs, I could buy it instead of 13" MBP.
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Battery life comes at a huge cost to space and weight. The MBA focuses on the opposite of this. If you want "battery life, battery life, battery life," I suggest you buy the "MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook, Macbook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro," and forget about the MacBook Air. The MBA is so amazing because it's 3 lb. and super thin. The MB/MBP are not that different from what the MBA would be with a 10-hour battery, or battery life, battery life, battery life.

    I honestly suggest you reassess your needs. The alternative to a thicker and heavier MBA with the battery life you seek, is a completely worthless MBA that cannot do real computing work... and perhaps not even run OS X but run iOS instead. I can see a Mac ultraportable running iOS, would be a netbook, and it would compete with the iPad and NOT other netbooks. This would defeat the point of the MBA being ultraportable, super lightweight/thin, having a 13.3" LED display, and a full sized keyboard.

    Apple has obviously done the wrong thing by going for longer battery life rather than going thinner, lighter weight Mac notebooks. People now have the impression that all notebooks should have 10-hour batteries. I really disagree with this, as it could have a bay that allows people to install an extra battery, optical drive, several ports, multiple drives, and etc... with the 10-hour battery, it has led people down the wrong path.

    I believe the vast majority of these people want a 10-hour battery because it's "MORE." More more more, better better better, faster faster faster, etc. etc. etc. People just think they need more. In reality, I would bet 95% don't need or use the 10-hour battery on a normal basis. Why not have a computer that provides everyone a better experience... and a bay type port on Macs allow people customization to the Mac they want. In addition, it would leave the MBA as the ultraportable for people who don't just want MORE. People who believe less is MORE is who should buy the MBA. I would not buy an MBP because I don't want to carry around a 1.25 lb. battery in my bag, and that's exactly what the 10-hour battery is... and extra .75 lb. of extra dead weight that I, and most others, would never use... just gives people the "more" they crave.
  4. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    If you want something with an 11 inch screen to do mainly web surfing and emailing then you should look into an iPad. With iWorks and VPN terminal sharing it can do anything a small screen underpowered MBA can do. To find a niche and survive in the portable market the next Air has to be more than what it currently is and more than the wimpy 11 inch version touted on the rumor boards.

    I'm going to wait and see what they do with the next update, but right now I'm real close to pulling the trigger and going the iPad route. I can do everything I need to do, including viewing and revising docs and spreadsheets, on the iPad and with the terminal software now available I can access my laptop and run programs on it through the iPad. Plus I have much more portability with it than with the Air. The next Air really has to really move the curve and stand out or it isn't going to make it.
  5. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    I'd settle for five hours provided it had some way to charge away from a power socket like maybe AA batteries (I have 30+ rechargeable AAs with a solar panel charger)

    I'd be fine with a dual core Zacate actually especially if it supports OGL/OCL
  6. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    With all due respect to the responses, please don't tell me what I should want, or what is truly important. I want a long battery life and a super light Apple laptop that runs Mac OS X. Not an iPad.

    Can't wait for next Tuesday! Confident Apple will provide a refreshed MBA that gives me what I asked for. :)
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Why even post on a message board if you don't want people to respond?
  8. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I'm cool with people responding. What I'm not cool with is people essentially telling me that what I find important in the new MBA is not important. I find such a response to be condescending, dumb, and rude.
  9. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    While I agree that the new MBA needs to retain the thin/light profile - I think a compromise can be reached on the battery front. I find the 2-3 hours of the current MBA to be a drawback. I have a MBP too - with a "7+ hour battery" as advertised - and it's only really good for 3.5-4.5 hours of real work. And therein lies the problem of the "10 hour battery". It's actually only 6-7 hours if you have the screen up past half, and have wifi/bluetooth on.

    The current air already advertises a 5 Hour battery - which would be more than sufficient, but I've never been able to get 5 hours out of my Air battery. More like ~3ish when it was new, and 2-3 now.

    So while I agree that the "10 hour battery" is a weird target to be shooting for with the air - I think Apple should go for a compromise - 5 actual hours of use, rather than 2-3.

    To me, MBA is about mobility - and I'm not that mobile if I have to find an outlet every two hours.
  10. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Welcome to the internet, you must be new here. :D

    In all honestly you need to develop a thicker skin. There have been no responses that I consider condescending, dumb, or rude. You need to visit 4chan for a little perspective on what rude and condescending responses are.
  11. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    Scottsdale, WHY do you want to carry something around - a so called unltraportable - but not being able to use it longer than 3h unplugged? Batteries became better and better. Apple is forced to give this Baby at least a 7h Battery and will cut the graphics instead. Yes thats the way to go and that is the right way.

    And btw I use my MBPs Battery as often as possible.
  12. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Can we please drop this and keep all future responses in this thread sticking to the subject of a potential new MBA to be released next week? Thanks.
  13. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    I'd like to see a new Air too. Something more like the MBP (without the optical drive) only smaller would suit me. It doesn't need to fit in an envelope! The width of the 12" PowerBook, weight of a netbook, Firewire and two USB ports — like most other Macs. All for $1199 (fat chance I know) thanks, and I'll probably buy one. Otherwise, I'll make do with my MBP at home and my netbook for the road.
  14. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I doubt we'll see much more for ports beyond what the current MBA has. Perhaps an SD card slot but I seriously doubt Firewire. Apple will make this for the business traveler.

    I feel confident it will be 11.6" w/respect to the screen and very lightweight. The question of course becomes how light can they make it?
  15. iDave macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2003
    If Apple can just admit they made a mistake by removing them in the first place, to make the Air so ridiculously thin, it's no problem. Most netbooks have three USB ports as well as ethernet and SD slots. It's apparently not hard to do.

    I'm not suggesting the Air should be compared to a netbook, it should be much better!
  16. Mhkobe macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2009
    I agree, what blair.harringto needs is an iPad.
  17. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I absolutely don't need an iPad. I have close to 300 movies ripped from my DVD's resting on my external. Most are dvdmedia files. I'm not going through the hassle of compressing them and adding accordingly to iTunes to play on an iPad. Further more I'm not watching a movie on a 9.7" 4:3 aspect ratio screen. Give me widescreen or give me death. ;)

    I don't need an iPad. I need a super lightweight Mac OS X machine that can last for a long time on a single chair. Period.
  18. cleric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Will it have spinner? I often find it hard to move around flat surfaces and missing a certain bling factor, I think spinners would solve this. Carbon fiber of course to keep weight down.
  19. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    You point out a glaring fundamental problem with the MBA: It is positioned and marketed as being the lightest and most portable (and hence, most likely to be run on battery power) of all the Apple laptops, and yet, it has the poorest battery life.

    They do need to address this.
  20. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Oh, and Blair.harringto

    I agree, it is kind of annoying when you explain what you want/need in an MBA and someone comes along and tells you that you need an iPad, as if you'd never heard of it and hadn't already ruled it out. Happens a lot around here.

    That said, I'm pretty sure Mhkobe was just messin' with ya.
  21. mbisson macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2006
    If you're going to plug in an external hd then you may as well just plug in a power cord.

    Seriously if you expect a major increase in battery life I think you are going to be disappointed. Even if Apple put something half the size of its MBP batteries then the MBA would have to increase in size.

    This is what I am expecting/hoping for based on the discussions and rumours to date:

    11.6" Screen
    Glass Trackpad
    4GB RAM though would love option of 8
    Intel Core i processor
    Dedicated graphics solution
    128GB SSD with option of 256GB
    Change in case design from current unibody design
    Increase in price over current MBA
  22. blairh thread starter macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007

    Sometimes the responses on this forum really make me laugh.

    The external HD holds my movies. I'll add accordingly before a trip. I'll most likely never have my external with me on the road. So no, I may not as well plug in a power cord. Plus keep in mind places you'll be at times where you don't have a power cord available for long periods of time (like a plane).

    I don't know the specifics, but I'm reading alot about i3 CULV low-wattage CPU with respects to the new MBA. Maybe someone can clarify but doesn't that mean less juice is needed from the battery? Also you seriously don't expect a huge upgrade with respect to battery life? Really? I'd be shocked if this doesn't become one of the biggest upgrades that we are going to see next week. How are they going to pull this off? I have no idea. But I'd be shocked and very disappointed if the new MBA can't go for an impressive amount of time sans power.
  23. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    I agree with you, I will also be disappointed if there's the same/less battery life.

    If Apple goes with a current Arrandale i3/i5 UM processor - it's gonna be a drop in performance. The i3-330UM only goes to 1.2Ghz but has an 18W TDP (same as current MBA Chip - sans 9400m) and does not Turbo Boost!

    There is also the 18W TDP i5-560UM which starts at 1.33Ghz and Turbo's to 2.13Ghz. This would probably match the current MBA in performance, but with the IGP only - it would still be a step backwards.

    To me, Apple would be much better served (with the same energy requirements - but probably more heat) with the i7-680UM, which starts at 1.42 but Turbos all the way up to 2.53Ghz - still only using 18W TDP. An i7 1.42 would probably stlll beat at least the 1.86 Core2 processor in the current lower-end Air without Turbo Boosting and would probably give the 2.13Ghz model a run for it's money.

    The only major concern left is the Intel "HD Graphics". But Apple is already using them as the default for the MacBook Pros (coupled with a discrete Graphics Chip), so maybe they aren't 100% terrible... (just like 95% terrible.. ;) )

    The 18W TDP of any of those chips would be less than that of the current Air overall -- the Current air is ~25W with the Core2 at 18 and the 9400m at ~7-8W. Arrandale integrates the North Bridge into the chip, so there's no need for a separate chip/additional TDP - So that would translate into better battery life.

    If Apple goes with the i7-680UM, and even just the Intel Graphics, the MBA would probably go twice as fast as the current one in some benchmarks. Also, that Arrandale Industrial Design will probably be ready for Sandy Bridge to drop in, when the UM equivalents in that chipset come out.

    The Real interesting stuff happens if Apple goes for a better chip - like the i7-660LM. That chip runs at 2.26Ghz and Turbo's to 3.06Ghz. Imagine a 3Ghz MacBook Air! That chip pulls down 25W TDP though, so it would be the same Battery Life, unless Apple can get a bigger/better battery in there while (hopefully) maintaining the Air's svelte physique!

    Lots of options... we'll see what becomes a reality next Wednesday! Can't wait!
  24. Spacekatgal macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2009
    Although my dealbreaker is different than yours, it needs to run IL/PS for me to buy it, I do agree with you that better battery life is a must. I go through my battery on at least one of my laptops every single day.

    That said, welcome to the MBA board. There is a person here that specializes in rude and condescending. Unfortunately, dealing is part of coming here and talking about the MBA. Just ignore and report if you need to, you know? There have been bans for them already.

    I'm really excited as well. I think it's somewhat probable that it's not going to fit my needs, but I'm still happy to see Apple breathe new life into it.
  25. kixx macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2010
    This is like saying three years ago how on earth are you going retain the same screen size on the iphone but increase the pixel counts by four times - if you want more pixels you have to increase the screen size.

    Sorry to abrupt, while i have read and appreciated much of your posts Scottsdale i found this comment extremely stupid.
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