My thoughts about MBA 15.4"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by maratus, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    After I got a cold I decided to share thoughts regarding my dream-machine and ask about your opinion.

    For me it looks like Apple's on its way to drop optical media. But after analizing it's current lineup I came to conclusion that next move will be 15.4" Air without DVD drive rather than DVD-less MBP 13".

    Here's possible config for 15.4" AIR:
    – Same full-power CPU as in 15.4" MBP (Up to i7 2.8Ghz or its successor)
    – Same GPU as in 15.4" MBP (GT 330M or its successor)
    – 1680x1050 screen without glass, but still glossy like current 11.6 and 13.3 MB
    – Soldered DDR3 RAM (up to 8Gb)
    – Same SSD stick as in current MBA (but up to 512Gb)
    – No FW800 or Ethernet (not thick enough)
    – 3x USB ports and second 3.5mm Jack
    – Same battery capacity as in 15.4" MBP (~80Wh)
    – Same speakers as in 15.4" MBP
    – Slightly thicker than 13.3" and 11.6" MBA
    – 1.7 .. 1.8Kg
    – Price starting at 2100 USD


    And here's why I think my predictions are credible:
    – Ditching DVD from whole MBP line isn't logical move at the moment. I can't imagine 17" without DVD or lack of full-featured 15" in lineup.
    – Ditching DVD from 13" MBP only will result in somewhat awkward model – very close to 13" MBA in features/performance, but cheaper (therefore heavier and with 2.5" HDD). Adding hardware from 15" is possible but will result in more expensive machine hence no entry level MBP 13" anymore.
    – While many users want powerful MBP 13.3" it simply wont fit in existing lineup. 15.4" MBA, on the other hand, perfectly will. Being lighter than current 13.3" MBP with power of 15.4" MBP it'll become unique combination of portability and performance. And all this without forcing portable MAC users to abandon optical media completely (MBPs for them).
    – Unlike aforementioned DVD-less 13.3MBP, this 15.4" MBA fits perfectly from economical point of view (I mean its price corresponds well with internal components).
    – USB 3.0 in future will make for lack of FW800 (almost useless considering USB3.0 speed) and Ethernet (via USB3.0 to Gigabit ethernet adapter)

    Overall, 11.6" / 13.3" / 15.4" screens for MBA and 13.3" / 15.4" / 17" screens for MBP seem logical and do make sense.

    Thank you for reading all this stuff!
     
  2. miata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #2
    Interesting, but I think the 15" MBA has to have better I/O and lesser CPU/graphics performance. What you describe has toomuch overlap with the 15" MBP.

    I say take the 13" MBA and grow to 15" and use the additional space for a Firewire 800 and Gig-ethernet port.
     
  3. TheAllStar macrumors member

    TheAllStar

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #3
    Definitely seems like the Air, or at least a lot of its features, will become the new platform for the notebook lineup. A 15" Air would be rad.
     
  4. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #4
    I'm not interested in a 15" MacBook Air if it means a Core 2 Duo CPU and an integrated GPU.

    I would get excited about a lighter, thinner 15" MacBook Pro without a SuperDrive but with USB 3.0 in place of FireWire 800. I don't want an SD slot but I do want an ExpressCard slot. I want a Core i7 CPU (or better) and a stand alone GPU with dedicated VRAM (GeForce GT 330M or better).

    My needs are simple.
     
  5. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #5
    I do agree with some of what you say, but my main point would be who would a 15" air be targeted at?

    I ask because the current Airs are clearly aimed at those who want mobility over power. I think they are for people who mainly deal with emails, presentations, note taking, stuff like that, and want something stylish to whip out in a coffee shop.

    Sure a 15" Air would be cool, but if the air's main focus is mobility, Isnt 15" a bit big? I've found if your sitting in a cafe with other people at your table, my 13" is about as big as I could get on the table.

    Other point would be, the 15" air you suggest has power, but also if it followed the principles of the current air it would be almost impossible to upgrade, what with soldered RAM and proprietary flash storage. The cost of 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD straight off the bat would be immense, so wouldn't this drive power users who might be interested back to the 15" MBP, because at least there they could buy upgrades from a 3rd party, and see an already expensive computer as more as an investment, i.e. they could add more RAM later on.

    Not saying you're wrong, none of us know what Apple might do next! But just some thoughts to spark debate :)
     
  6. miata macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #6
    You bring up some good points. The Airs are for folks that sacrifice other things for mobility -- ie weight and battery life. Those things includes a smaller screen, less CPU power, less storage. As soon as you need any of those feature you jump to the Pros.

    So, the real question you might want to ask is what will the next 15" MPB be like?
     
  7. racer1441 macrumors 68000

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    Jul 3, 2009
    #7
    I'd buy a 15 inch macbook air sight unseen. Just send me one, don't care what the price is.
     
  8. miata macrumors 6502

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    #8
    You mean a 13" with same specs (except screen size, resolution?, size and weight?)
     
  9. maratus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maratus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    Well, target group for 15.4" MBA is exactly what isn't clear (for me as well).

    On the other hand, why do people that need power often choose 15.4" MBP over 17" one? If you work with CAD, 3D modeling software or use any kind of application that benefits from additional GPU power (and slightly faster CPU) or just want larger (and higher resolution) screen without having to deal with 2.5kg unit then 15.4" MBA is perfect solution.

    It may have standard SO-DIMM DDR3 and 2.5" HDD though, but due to the HDD it will stand out of the MBA line. So probably we'll end up with user replaceable RAM and proprietary SSD.

    I understand that sometimes footprint does matter (in cafe or restaurant or airplane for instance) but you have 13.3" and 11.6" models for that. But what should you buy if you need power and screen real estate in a lightweight package? And to be honest, 13.3" aren't significantly more compact due to larger screen bezel. They surely are smaller, but larger screen and higher resolution easily make up for that.


    And in perfect world 13.3" MBA should use up-to-date (not previous generation) LV processors. Current top Core i7 LV operates at 2.26Ghz which is only 25% slower than the fastest full-power i7 (2.8Ghz).
     
  10. runnin17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    #10
    A 15" MBA would be too big. the weight would be spread out in too much area, thus causing excess strain on the screen; leading to lots of problems for users. You have to remember that your everyday average mac user isn't that smart and they tend to throw their macbooks around just as much as a PC user.

    15" just doesn't make sense. MBA is about ultra-portability.
     
  11. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #11
    You could have four SSD sticks giving up to 1TB with quadruple the speed of a regular stick or 512GB in RAID 1
    If we had it Air thickness it would crack due to weight
     
  12. NintendoFan macrumors regular

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    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #12
    I'd love a 15" MBA. I figured they'd go up in size, not down.
     
  13. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #13
    No, 15 inch. If Apple made a 15inch MBA I'd buy it pretty much with out any consideration of price. $2000 wouldn't be a problem.
     
  14. Scippy macrumors regular

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    #14
    By the time you increase the size to 15", you are defeating the whole point of an ultra lightweight computer.
     
  15. maratus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #15
    It shouldn't be ultra lightweight (you have 11"&13" for that). It should be lighter than 2.5kg MBP.
     
  16. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

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    Mar 30, 2008
    #16
    maybe what might be on the cards is a MBP 15", no drive with the form factor of the MBA? I'd buy that. One way or the other, I see some sort of merging of laptop designs.
     
  17. maratus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    #17
    I don't think they'll be that radical. And they should create DVD-less 13" MBP in this case (= 13" MBA duplicate).
     
  18. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #18
    This is where I disagree. If Apple ditches the optical drive from the 13" MBP, then they're finally have a non-awkward 13" model line.

    Consider, right now the MB and MBP are virtually identical. But, if Apple drops the optical drive from the Pro and replaces it with discrete graphics, then they're actually have three completely separate 13" machines:

    MacBook: basic home/student machine. Retains optical media and integrated graphics.
    MacBook Pro: advanced machine, no optical media in favour of better graphics performance.
    MacBook Air: a hybrid of the two, designed for ultra-portability above all.

    Not sure if this is what they will do, but it's what I think would make sense.

    Not crazy on the idea of 15.4" MBA myself, but then, I have no interest whatsoever in a notebook with a 15" screen.
     
  19. Caolan96 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    #19
    IMO, they'll drop the 13" MBP, considering the two current models are more or less the same besides slight variation in CPU clock speed and more storage.

    why bother keeping the 13" MBP, when the Air will replace it.

    Ideally it would be more practical to keep the white MacBook (best selling), 11 inch and 13 inch MBA, and 15, and 17 inch MBP.
     
  20. miata macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    #20
    I bet the MBAs replace the MacBooks and the 13" MBP will soon get a upgraded CPU, graphics and screen resolution upgrades with a price increase.
     
  21. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #21
    I'll be the one of the first to buy a 15" MBA.

    The form factor of my 13" MBA is ideal. An even larger display makes the Air even more compelling for my usage.

    Sure, I know it takes more power to run the larger screen, but that's a compromise I'm happy to make.

    Bring it on Apple
     
  22. Caolan96 macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    #22
    would they really replace their best selling MacBook with a less powerful, more expensive version? I dunno, it's a tough one. It's Apple, who the heck knows what they'll do :p
     

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