New MBA 11.6" 500,000 To be manufactured b quantas

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Iphone3gs, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Iphone3gs macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Rumor: 11.6-inch MacBook Air This*Year
    By Charles Jade Sep. 24, 2010, 12:30pm CST 1 Comment

    According to the Taipei newspaper/rumormonger DigiTimes, Quanta Computer “has reportedly landed orders for 11.6-inch MacBooks from Apple. Shipments of 11.6-inch MacBooks are expected to top 400,000-500,000 units in 2010.”

    I want to believe, too, but the facts get in the way.

    First, there’s the source:*Digitimes has a wildly uneven track record regarding Apple rumors. Some of the worst predictions include Apple laptops running everything from the PPC G5 to AMD CPUs, though regarding the MacBook Air, the record is better.

    In December 2007, DigiTimes reported on a deal for 90,000 13.3-inch backlit-LED displays for an “upcoming laptop,” which turned out to be the MacBook Air. A month later, DigiTimes was the first to report that Quanta had been contracted to build the MacBook Air. While not a big surprise, as Quanta had built other MacBook models, it was still an accurate report.

    More recently, a senior analyst at DigiTimes Research first predicted an 11.6″ MacBook Air running an Intel Core CPU for the second half of this year, though it should be noted the same analyst also predicted a 3-megapixel camera in the latest iPod touch. Nonetheless, a decent track record on the MacBook Air, plus a second rumor on the 11.6-inch model Air should at least have us pondering whether it’s possible.



    The biggest engineering problem would appear to be impact on the rest of the enclosure from reducing the diagonal of the display by 1.7 inches. As the image of a MacBook Air logic board*next to a pencil illustrates, there’s not a lot* left to reduce. One place where the Air could possibly lose some volume would be around the bezel, at least on the sides. Between the edge of the lid and the actual screen of the MacBook Air, there’s just over half-an-inch on each side.

    The logic board*itself would definitely benefit from Intel’s new microprocessor architecture, Sandy Bridge, which puts the CPU and GPU on the same die. Since the new integrated CPU also supports OpenCL, which Apple is a big supporter of, it’s possible the discrete GPU could be eliminated. However, Sandy Bridge isn’t entering production until early next year, and these rumors call for both current Core-series CPUs and a ship date in 2010. Of course, Apple has received special assistance from Intel on the MacBook Air before: the original Core 2 Duo being a one-off fabrication that was 60 percent the size of the standard version.

    However, there’s another manufacturing issue of concern. At a paltry five hours, the MacBook Air already has the worst battery life of any Mac portable. While it’s true a smaller display would consume less power, a smaller battery has less to consume. Beyond that, there’s the minor issue of Steve Jobs’ and Apple’s design philosophy. When the original 13.3″ MacBook Air was introduced, Jobs asserted that 11-inch displays were too much of a “compromise” in design. Perhaps the overwhelming success of the 9.7″ iPad has changed his mind.

    While it seems highly unlikely that a new MacBook Air would be released this year with a first-generation Core CPU, an Apple event in January seems like the last, best hope for the MacBook Air.
     
  2. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

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    #2
    Ahhhh, So they are stopping the flights then?:confused:
     
  3. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #3
    Who is going to be the target audience for these machines? I would definitely be interested, but it simply has to support enough RAM (4GB+) in order to run a Win 7 using VMware Fusion. This is what unfortunately prevented me from picking up a MacBook Air thus far.
     
  4. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

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    #4
    I don't like the idea of a smaller screen. I think the current MacBook air is light enough. I would pass if these are the specs so far. My needs are met well with my current MBA and iPad.
     
  5. Perdification macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2010
    #5
    I wonder what the pricings are like. Would it mean a cheaper macbook air? I guess it's gonna be stuck with a C2D still, since even the 13' MBP is getting no love due to heat. I agree that the screen might be lacking a little real estate.
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #6
    I don't believe Core 2 Duo and I don't believe Sandy Bridge. However, the only way to justify going with Intel's GOD AWFUL IGP is to go with a 10" display.

    I feel like an 11.6" MBA would be along with a 13.3" and I also think a 15" MBA makes sense... a lot of people don't want to carry around that dinosaur of an optical drive NOR do they want to carry the weight required by these 10-hour batteries Apple is using in MB/MBPs.

    I think either Arrandale LV with AMD (ATI) GPU or AMD CPU/GPU combo. I personally would jump for anything that leaves Intel out of the picture completely. There are so many better ways to improve the computing experience than just to focus on Intel's CPU advancements.

    I say an 11.6" MBA could be a "consumer" product while the 13.3"/15" MBAs could fill the prosumer business professional roles as we want the full-sized keyboards and displays but we don't want hefty weight, don't need 10-hour batteries, and find optical drives that don't do BluRay archaic, no worse.

    I would be really happy to see a $3k MBA that has components to justify the price... starting with IPS display and going with 256 GB SSDs and 8 GB RAM... in a ridiculously amazing new case featuring liquid metal and LED/LCD trackpads for good measure.
     
  7. Perdification macrumors regular

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    #7
    Yeah I think Apple should really do away with dinosaur optical drives with the 13' MBP and MB which is in serious need of logic board space. They're old as dinosaurs and equally bulky to lug around everyday. I would be willing to pay more as long as they would deliver more practicality and relevance to today's era.
     
  8. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #8
    That makes two of us. The only reason I have not already bought an MBA is its distressing limitation to only 2Gb of RAM. For my purposes, which like yours is to run Win 7 in Fusion, even 4Gb wouldn't be enough

    I agree that an 11.6 MBA sounds like a consumer product. I would happily pay a premium price for premium features on an MBA that would allow me to use Fusion in Unity mode to run Windows apps from the OS X desktop. Even upgrading the MBA to 4Gb of RAM probably wouldn't be enough for that.
     
  9. iPhysicist macrumors 6502a

    iPhysicist

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    #9
    YOU ARE hilarious. WE need battery life way more than the ability to watch HD whatever.

    Less talking more content!
     
  10. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #10
    I HIGHLY doubt Apple would market that spec computer as there just aren't many people who would be interested................ $3K would be the killer.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  11. halledise macrumors 65816

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    #11

    mark my words, it ain't gonna happen :D
     
  12. cleric macrumors 6502a

    cleric

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    #12
    I find Blu-Ray archaic, cause its the same damn thing as a cd or dvd, optical media is lame.
     
  13. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #13
    Yikes! Having a bad are we?:) Scottsdale has consistently advocated that Apple's decision not to include an optical drive in the MBA was a good one. Thus, it was abundantly clear, to me at least, that Scottsdale's reference to Blu-ray was in no way meant to imply that a BD drive should be included in an updated MBA. Sometimes reading a little more carefully and reacting a little less hostilely can pay dividends.
     
  14. iPhysicist macrumors 6502a

    iPhysicist

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    #14
    I was short on time and English is not my mother tongue, I didnt ment it hostile in any way.

    I know that Scottsdale loves his Air but I cant stand his generalization of businessmen's need. Its no secret that ultraportable includes long batterylife, that is all I wanted to say. I have had a very nice day, so no ;) everything is fine.

    And of course I want a well specced Air (or whatever it will be in future) too but please not on scarifying battery life.
     
  15. Gruber macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #15
    That is why there are no laptops with less than 13in on the market: their logic boards would be too small...

    -----

    My bet is that it will happen in October.

    Specwise, we should expect standard fare, something like a 160GB SSD (not too much choice in the 1.8in segment), 8GB RAM, a Core-i ULV processor, two USB ports, a full-size keyboard and integrated graphics. Yes, integrated graphics. The target audience will probably accept compromises with respect to gaming, but will not want a netbook. (A netbook is a cheap compromise laptop, and Apple has wisely chosen to address this segment with a cheap no-compromise Über-iPod.)

    There will be no IOS (does not make sense on a productivity machine), no touchscreen (the thing would topple when the screen is pressed), no optical drive and no liquid metal casing. (When Apple bought the guys, they had a single prototyping machine standing around in Korea. It takes at least a couple of years from there to something surpassing Apple's current bending aluminium wristcutterbox. If Apple should choose a new material this year, it is probably going to be carbon.) The price will largely depend on the SSD and should start above the entry level MBP. It would be harebrained to undercut the 13in MBP, since this is the well-margined bread-and-butter item in Apple's line.

    Generally, subnotebooks are more expensive than similarly specced 15in affairs, because a few grams of casing and a few square inches of display do not cost much, but miniature components do. On the other hand, a 15in MBA is not going to happen, because a larger display is heavier and needs to be balanced with a heavier bottom too, and cutting out the optical drive is not going to change the portability significantly.

    If you complain that 1.6 or 1.8K is too expensive, then you are probably not in the target audience. You will probably not have a Mac Pro in your office and an iPad on your breakfast table, but you are looking for an affordable primary machine. Maybe you want the MB, or a 15in MBP?
     
  16. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    #16
    8GB RAM? The other models don't even come with 8GB standard, and it costs a lot of money to upgrade. ($300-$400 iirc)
     
  17. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

    Gruber: 11.6", 13.3" or both?

    If 13.3", any signs of a stronger hinge coming soon?
     
  18. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #18
    They should be super reliable as Quantas have never crashed.
     
  19. wantmba macrumors newbie

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    Sep 25, 2010
    #19
    re

    Hi

    Don't know if anyone will know this, but is there any word on an event scheduled for October? Presumably, for there to be a new laptop, there would have to be some kind of announcement (?)

    thanks
     
  20. ninjaslim macrumors member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #20
    Meh, screw the Air. I love my MacBook Pro 13.3" as it is. However, I do agree that the optical drive needs to go. The only time I've used it is to put Windows on the machine, but then again, an external would do just fine for that.
     
  21. Perdification macrumors regular

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    #21
    Optical drives are good as useless these days. And I'm very happy with the MBP 13' except the fact that it has no core iX.
     
  22. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #22
    Well, I tried not get laughed at.... My main MBP now has 8GB RAM and I like it, but my 2nd MBP with 6GB RAM also runs Win 7 through WMware Fusion just great. I wouldn't buy a machine now that only supports 4GB RAM, as once I allocate 2GB to the VM, I only have 2GB left. Doable? Yes. Desirable? Heck no. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Apple comes up with.
     
  23. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #23
    Thanks for your thoughtful and goodnatured response, I appreciate it. I agree with you that battery life is a very important factor for most users of ultra-lightweight laptops and that the current MBA battery isn't very good on that score. By the way, your English syntax seems excellent.:)

    I recognize that my desire for an updated MBA that offers 8Gb of RAM is probably a pipe dream but hope springs eternal. My alternative hope is that even if Apple discontinues the MBA, it will offer a much lighter MBP.
     
  24. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502

    PhelpsiPhan

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    #24
    I think if this magical 11" MBA is made, with 4 GB Ram and SSD Standard, i will snap one up, no matter what price
     
  25. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

    Yeah, I hope any 11.6" version doesn't just have a low-spec'd version to pursue bigger sales. It needs a high-spec version too, especially if there won't be any BTO options.

    Currently there are no BTO options for the Air, but at the same time it's the only laptop in the (physical) store with an SSD.

    I think a traveller who wants a laptop that fits on a seatback tray table, might also want to watch (when not on a plane) HD video directly off the web. So maybe an 11" will be offered in a cheaper one plus a better one.
     

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