Pick 4 things you would add to next revision of MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Josias, Feb 3, 2010.


Choose 4 for next gen. MBA

  1. Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz

    37 vote(s)
  2. nVidia GeForce 9600 GMT

    39 vote(s)
  3. Glass trackpad

    67 vote(s)
  4. USB 3.0

    29 vote(s)
  5. Faster/larger SSD drives

    77 vote(s)
  6. Better speakers (stereo?)

    18 vote(s)
  7. FireWire

    17 vote(s)
  8. Longer battery (7-8 hours)

    90 vote(s)
  9. Cooler/quieter

    35 vote(s)
  10. Support for 4 GB RAM

    118 vote(s)
  1. Josias macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    Out of these 10, vote for 4 that you would add:
    Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz
    nVidia GeForce 9600 GMT
    Support for 4 GB RAM
    Glass trackpad
    USB 3.0
    Faster/larger SSD drives
    Better speakers (stereo?)
    Longer battery (7-8 hours)

    I know it's hard, but please only vote for 4 :D
  2. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I didn't vote for any of them, since the current MBA is a great, if not downright amazing machine but with second rate sales and second rate interest from the public. They don't always have the MBA out on the sales floor at the Apple store, and the other other item that is not on the floor all the time is the 30" inch display/monitor.

    What would make the MBA achieve 1st string starter status with Apple would be a lower price. The PC netbooks, and many people's abilities to put OS X on it, has greatly diminished the lust many once had for the MBA.

    Also, for some but not me, the iPad has come in as small, light, good screen, and fitting some people's mobile computing needs and taking the MBA off their wish list.

    EDIT: I voted for support for 4 gigs of RAM. I was unaware that the MBA didn't have that. 4 gigs is what makes some games and the Adobe suite work very well. Sometimes if one is multi-tasking too much with big apps, 2 gigs of RAM can slow everything down. The Macs I have used with 4 gigs of RAM seem to handle everything I have seen thrown at them.

    Of course, I am no fast as the speed of light gamer, who always needs the bleeding edge graphics card and the highest amount of RAM possible, but the MBA is not trying to compete as a gaming machine against an overpriced top of the line Alien laptop ($5,044.00 for mid-level, SSD, Alien without any warranty over the included one year). A real gamer would at least want a top of the line extra monitor/display at home thus adding to the cost which then makes one want to only play games and do nothing else. Add two monitors for peripheral vision and some speakers with a real bass response, then the internet price is over $10,000 dollars.

    If MBA could get 4 gigs of RAM, then it could be a combination professional laptop that can run both OS X and Microsoft Windows, be ready as a graphic design machine, and pretty decent gaming machine for a better price than anything the PC side has. I currently like the $1799 SSD MBA and that fits my needs.

    And for the extreme gamer who likes to slam Apple, they can always call my friend/old boss who caters to rich kids, and adults who have not grown up, and hook up a ten foot screen to their laptop or desktop to make their computer game seem like a giant video arcade came with an insane Bose and JBL surround sound. Starting price, about $30K. But if you want to invite 20 of your best friends to come and watch a movie at your house instead of hitting the local movie theater, then it becomes a cool option. I have to admit playing pacman on a screen taller than me is almost spiritual.
  3. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    Not trying to be a kill joy, but...........

    Core2Duo won't be in the next revision (That's OLD TECH Now), it's called Arrandale and it's the new chip on the market

    9600GT not GMT Which means (Greenwhich Mean Time) this card is considered OLD TECH NOW and is really un-realistic even if Nvidia were still able to make GPU's for intel chipsets

    FireWire won't ever happen in the Air (LightPeak will best that)

    Everything else seems realistic though and will be welcomed by non-Air & current Air owners. Nice Thread Overall ;)


    I voted for

    4GB Ram
    Larger SSD (I hope they make this line All SSD)
  4. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    4gb ram
    2x usb 3.0 ports
    higher screen resolution
    gigether nic
  5. Josias thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2006
    Hehe, I haven't been following all the rumors, so I didn't know what the next CPU and GPU upgrades would be :p Those poll choices should probably just have read "upgraded CPU/upgraded GPU".

    I just looked up LightPeak, that looks amazing! If it's a powered port, it could very well eradicate USB and FireWire in the years to come ;)

    I voted for:
    Better processor
    Glass trackpad
    4 GB RAM
    Longer battery
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I like the idea of your thread here, however, I think it needs to add some other scenarios that are far more realistic than some of your scenarios.

    Not probable at all:
    2.53 GHz C2D... they don't make one in a Low Voltage CPU. The offerings are 1.86 GHz SL9400 and 2.13 GHz SL9600. Intel has stated it's done changing CPUs in the C2D lineup. So for Apple to stick with C2D and Low Voltage, it will use the same CPUs as it's currently using.

    The 9600GT isn't a likely offering. As that has been replaced by several rebranded xxx graphics offerings as was the iMac with the GT120/130. We will not get a 9600m GT.

    Apple moved its dedicated graphics in the iMac from the Nvidia GT120 to the ATI 4670 and 4850. I believe that means ATI would be the possible MBP graphics solution. In addition, Apple kept the C2D CPU and Nvidia 9400m in the low-end iMac. I believe that probably means Apple will keep C2D and Nvidia GPU in the MBA. The 9400m is part of the whole chipset and not just the graphics, so an MBA with C2D probably means Nvidia GPU along with the 9400m or its successor (I once read it was to be called a 105m - I don't know about the accuracy there).

    Another possibility would be an Arrandale 32nm 25W Core i7 CPU. There are two (perhaps three) of those that are considered by Intel to be the low voltage successor to the 17W SL9x00 CPU series CPUs. Although there seems to be a bump of 8W, the Arrandale includes the IGP for those 25W. The current MBA has a 17W C2D and 12W GPU. The pricing is the same as the current SL9x00 CPUs Apple uses in the MBA.

    Core i7 620LM - 2GHz (boost to 2.8GHz), 4MB L3, $300 - per Wikipedia
    Core i7 640LM - 2.13GHz (boost to 2.93GHz), 4MB L3, $332 - per Wikipedia

    We also have to consider the ATI for dedicated graphics in the MBA if Apple moves to Arrandale CPUs. Sony and another company have ultraportables with Core i7 CPUs using auto switching graphics between the Intel IGP and an ATI dedicated solution. I believe that is very likely for the MBA.

    Do people want switchable graphics? Automatic switchable graphics? Or should Apple disable the IGP and solely use the discrete graphics of an ATI or Nvidia brand?

    How about the possibility of Apple just using Arrandale and Intel's IGP as sole graphics solution... SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT THIS? I would be curious to see how many want this to reduce heat and increase battery at the cost of losing graphics capabilities.

    Other possibilities could add:

    How about a ULV or CULV CPU? Some want less power to reduce heat and prolong battery use between charges.

    Change in form factor. How about a smaller footprint removing bezel and around keyboard? Thinner? Weigh less?

    Change in display size. Apple changed the display in the iMac to a 16:9 size. Apple could change the display in the MBA.

    How about an HD display that uses 1440x900 graphics in a 16:10 or a 1600x900 graphics in a 16:9.

    How about an OLED display? I have suggested the MBA will get one first.

    How about a glass sheet covering the display and black bezel, some like it?

    Some have mentioned wanting black aluminum in the MBA to set it apart.

    How about Light Peak? Some think that's closer than we think. It could be a port used by everything from a card reader to HD displays.

    How about swappable battery? If Apple cannot improve battery life to 7/8 hours maybe it could allow swapping the battery to allow longer time between charges?

    How about BluRay external optical drive. I wouldn't pay $299 nor use a BluRay but many people would gladly pay $299 for a BluRay drive to connect to their MBA.

    How about a digital audio port? Many want that.

    How about my wish for aluminum capped keys on the keyboard? I think that would add to the experience just as a glass trackpad does. Aluminum feels great and would look amazing if the same color as the MBA's case.

    How about a better web cam?

    Important one... how about a better hinge?

    How about a drive that uses a standard SATA-II connector versus an LIF cable?

    I think it would be enjoyable to see which things people would choose given more of the potential changes.

    If you cannot change the poll, how about you ask people here of all of the things they can dream up, then you make a new poll offering everything we dream up. I would really like to know what people want... and what they dream of too.
  7. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Longer battery, 4 GB of RAM, and glass trackpad were my votes.

    Others I would like to see:

    Combo USB/eSATA port (many notebooks do this now, and it would help make up for the lack of FireWire. Then again, I want to see this on all of Apple's notebooks.)

    Wireless everything. It already has 802.11n and Bluetooth, but I would like to see Wireless USB, which is already an established standard; as well as some form of wireless power. I'd love the Air to be truly "Air", just set it down next to its power brick, and it starts charging; and wirelessly connects to a 480 Mb/s USB hub that you have your 'local peripherals' connected to. Wireless HDMI (also an established standard embraced by multiple HDTV makers,) would be a nice bonus; but as Apple is on to DisplayPort, this would seem even more doubtful than the others. Now if someone comes up with Wireless DisplayPort, that would be a cool addition to the LED Cinema Display.

    25W "Arrandale" Core i7 with ATI Radeon Mobility 5430 (or 5650, if they do the on-the-fly switching.) Hopefully disabling the onboard graphics saves a decent amount of power, to make this pairing fall within the power envelope of the current Air. And, hey, if Apple can get the driver support working, having on-the-fly switchable graphics would be killer. Use the Arrandale's onboard graphics for the main OS when on battery, switch to ATI for major 3D apps or when on wall power. With on-the-fly switching, you could get away with the more power-hungry 5650 (15W vs. 7W for the 5430,) and only lose a little battery life in normal use. (Constant 3D use would likely cut battery life by quite a bit, though.) If they do on-the-fly switching, I'd happily take Arrandale's onboard graphics if it meant 8+ hours battery life, switching to the significantly more powerful 5650 on wall power; or trading battery life for way better 3D performance than the 9400M when desired.
  8. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Updated CPU / GPU
    Glass trackpad
    Faster/larger SSD drives
    4GB ram

    I am going to venture and say this is likely.
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz — I'm assuming upgraded processor… yes, but the issue would be cooling; the current model is already suffering in that department, so I'm not sure if adding more power will do this computer any good.
    nVidia GeForce 9600 GMT — Again with the cooling issue; plus this model is old.
    Support for 4 GB RAM — Yes that would great; should be default.
    Glass trackpad — Overrated.
    USB 3.0 — How about another USB jack?
    Faster/larger SSD drives — I'd go for faster, but I'm fine with the current capacity; only using some 55GB right now.
    Better speakers (stereo?) — I use headphones most of the time and if I need speakers, the current ones get the job done.
    FireWire — Would be nice, but it wouldn't make sense since the FW connector is a tad too tall.
    Longer battery (7-8 hours) — Sounds good as long as performance is not sacrificed.
    Cooler/quieter — Quieter is good to have as long as performance is not sacrificed. Cooler is a must considering the current ones still overheat.

    So my choices:
    More RAM, faster SSD, longer battery life, and cooler.
  10. Durious macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    Better CPU\GPU
    4 Gb or ram
    larger SSD HD

    That's about it ;) but i'd take the rest as well... If they put the above and the discrete gpu was good enough I'd pay 3k+!

    Ahhhh dreaming
  11. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2009
    4GB of RAM.

    It's silly this wasn't changed with the last revision. Otherwise the thing does what it was designed for - ultra - portability. I don't see it as a "primary" computer by any means, so I wouldn't expect it to have cutting edge specs or to be comparable to a MBP, for example.
  12. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    i just need a higher res and 4 gigs of ram. that's all i want. and i'm gladly would pay $2000 for that machine.
  13. applesupergeek macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    First time I am hearing about wireless usb, any implementations?

    It's good on paper, but usb has the more important purpose of proving a charge. You can do file tranfers with wifi or blue tooth anyway.
  14. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I don't own an MBA - but I would like to make it my next apple purchase.

    I would pull the trigger immediately, even at the current price point, if it had:

    1) 4 GB ram
    2) Glass trackpad
    3) Bigger / faster SSD
    4) Better battery

    The current form factor, the current graphics card, the current processor, etc. could all stay exactly the same, as far as I am concerned. (I would anticipate a better processor, simply due to the passage of time)
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think that is what I picked ... I did it fast. :eek: But yes, more ram is very necessary and for something ultra portable, a better battery is necessary.
  16. iansilv macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    add the option for a 15.4" screen- my number one request.
  17. MacAdvisory macrumors newbie


    Feb 4, 2010
    I voted for 4GB RAM, USB 3.0, faster/larger SSD drives, and better speakers. A mono speaker in the current models is completely unacceptable.
  18. krimsen macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2005
    no love for Firewire :(
    Matter of fact, the lack of Firewire is the only reason I got an MBP instead of an Air. USB just isn't reliable enough for Audio interfaces.
  19. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I always thought that too, but the truth is my MBA has never failed me with regard to the battery. I always get at least three hours and sometimes up to an extra hour plus if I turn the brightness down. I find that it's always enough charge... I take it to client offices, use it for presentations, take it on airplanes, and etc.

    I would love a 7-hour battery, but I don't think the current battery is lacking. I believe the MBP's 7-hour battery makes us think the MBA should have one too. The truth is the battery in the MBP is like 1 to 1.25 lbs to achieve 7 hours of use. Would we all want to add let's say a half pound to make the MBA last 6 to 7 hours? I know I wouldn't.

    I do want to have Apple use the same technology it used in the MBPs to ensure we get 1,000 charges, but I don't want any added weight to the MBA. Three pounds is the perfect weight. I would love for it to lose a half pound, but that's not going to happen with our demand for power. I definitely don't want to gain hours between charges by solely using Intel's IGP for graphics as that would lead to disaster, IN MY OPINION (no disrespect for all of those who think that Intel now has an IGP that's comparable to the Nvidia 9400m).

    Finally, I plan to use my iPad for certain functions that I currently use the MBA for, but I will not replace the MBA with an iPad. I just believe the iPad will be better on a plane to watch a movie, read a book, and eventually surf the web (yes, while in the air). The MBA will still be the tool that gets the work done. With the iPad not having OS X as its OS, it should ensure all of us that the MBA will live on and continue to be focused as a primary capable computer and not as a secondary device that fills entertainment roles as a few are currently using it for.

    I still would like to see this poll altered with some more specific possibilities for the next MBA that are currently available and likely in the MBA's next update - as I mentioned in my earlier thread.
  20. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Wow, do people really think that they are even close to the 9400m?
  21. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    In short: Many reviews show that for many 3D tasks, Arrandale's built-in GPU is between 90% and 110% the speed of 9400M. Yes, there are other tasks where the 9400M blows away Arrandale; but for "everyday use", Arrandale is very close to 9400M. But, there's another thread for that argument; let's not fill up this one with it, too.

    My view (regardless of the exact performance difference,) is that having switchable graphics would be the best solution.

    If all you're doing is web browsing, word processing, spreadsheet, iTunes, the intergrated graphics would be just fine for those, and you could squeeze out an extra hour or two of battery life.

    When you want to do the real 3D work (whether games, hardware-accelerated video encoding, or other GPU-intensive work,) you can switch over to the GPU.

    Even if it was back to the truly horrendous GMA 950, I would likely use GMA 950 'on the go' much more often than discrete graphics, just for the battery boost. (Obviously, if you don't regularly use the system on battery more than 6 hours a day, this feature wouldn't matter to you, and you'd just leave discrete graphics on all the time; but I often drain two first-gen MacBook Pro batteries a day, that last 3.5-4.5 hours each. I'm willing to trade GPU performance for battery life. Obviously, I would greatly prefer to have the choice, though.)
  22. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Switchable graphics would really be ideal for the air.
  23. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Voted for the faster processor (even though I know it won't be a C2D), glass trackpad, more battery life and 4GB RAM.
  24. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Oh, wow. That's great to know. You actually have some scientific proof that the Core i-series Arrandale 32nm CPUs have an Intel IGP that is "equivalent/comparable," for "everyday uses," to the Nvidia 9400m specifically within the OS X environment? I haven't yet seen any scientific study/report detailing such results within the same configuration as the MBA let alone the OS X environment, which is perhaps the most important variable. In fact, I haven't read any such report or study that shows any scientific data to compare... and we definitely need to clarify a scientific standard for "everyday uses." Everyday uses isn't even scientific... unless that was established ahead of time and accepted widely. Otherwise anyone can determine afterwards what "everyday uses" are based on finding results that are similar whether they show the true nature of the entire test results or not.

    We can certainly all agree that using a scientific method would be a fair and unbiased determination of the "equivalence" of the two graphics systems within the OS X environment. We definitely need to clarify "everyday uses" BEFORE the study commences. See anyone can publish ANYTHING they want on the Internet whether it's fact or fiction, so anyone can prove anything they want on the Internet by finding an article that says what they want to prove. However, when using a scientific method, everything is clarified ahead of time rather than being determined afterwards to show the results wanted. In addition, all variables and components of the study are openly shared and free for anyone to "REPEAT" the exact experiment to confirm the results reported.

    In this world we can all prove anything we want on the Internet. It takes a lot more determination to disprove something. Currently nobody except Apple's research team could perform this exact experiment. There is no reason for Apple to release the exact results so it means nothing. Right now we also cannot believe any studies that don't include OS X nor the same component makeup. The OS and drivers are a huge factor in graphics performance. There is no science in assuming what's true for one OS is going to be exact science for the other... drivers alone make huge differences in hardware performance.

    Bottom line - Don't believe EVERYTHING you read on the Internet. People are often fooled by inaccurate information that isn't based on any science or wasn't tested by a truly independent source using a scientific method. Sure companies mislead us all the time, so what you have to do to learn the absolute truth is find an established independent source who can repeat the experiment and concludes the exact same results. The problem with the vast majority of the crap I read on the Internet is it's not very scientific, and it doesn't prove anything unless it is scientific.

    I state everything I write is opinion. Other people will claim facts from stuff they think is factual because they read it on the Internet. I believe some of the people on this forum truly believe the Intel IGP, included with Arrandale Core i-series 32nm CPUs, is comparable to the 9400m currently in the MBA. But even though these people believe it, doesn't confirm it. Acceptance and confirmation are two different things.

    So there's no reason to fight over it, and there's no reason to believe it until we can test it ourselves or get independent scientific confirmation. I will continue to conclude that the Nvidia 9400m is far superior, as a whole, to the Intel IGP included with Core i-series 32nm Arrandale CPUS. Until there comes a day when scientific data (or my own experience) concludes otherwise, I will wish for Nvidia graphics over Intel's IGP in the next MBA.
  25. nukiduz macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2006
    I am thinking of getting the next revision and now that I have seen the options in this poll I wonder if the actual one is loud. Is the actual MBA noisy? More or less than a 13" MBP?

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