The next step for MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by charlieroberts, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    I was reading about so many mixed feeling in regards to the keeping or losing of the optical drive in next generation MBP that I started to think what may happen.

    I think that maybe MBA will be made into a whole lineup of laptops, 11, 13, 15 & maybe even 17 ! And because it is typical with apple to make the smallest one the less powerful of the bunch I can imagine the 17 inch having a really powerfull cpu.

    That way people get their CD-less laptops and other folks get them without. Obviously there would be trade offs but everything in life has them, why should shopping for a laptop be any different?

    I'm interested in hearing what you all think! And besides, expanding their laptop would be amazing, more shiny things to obsess about when to buy, when to expect updates... hahaha
  2. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
    I don't think they're going above 13" - it wouldn't be really portable after that, I'd think.

    Also, the next step would be better specs.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I wouldn't expect anything special for a year or two. Talks about 15" MBA have existed for long time but I think Apple will concentrate on cheaper market since 15" would be more expensive and thus have small market. Besides, 15" might be too big even though it was thinner and lighter than normal 15" but still.
  4. charlieroberts thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007

    I think I didn't explain myself correctly.

    I dont mean for the bigger MBA to be "portable" although all Apple laptops are in essence portable. I meant to say that the bigger Airs would be kind of like the dvd-less versions of the MBP, so that everyone could have their choice of DVD drive of not.
    This does not necessarily mean more expensive, i think, being that the 13 inch air is almost on par with 13 inch mbp.

    But seeing as no one seems to agree with me I think you may be right in dismissing my idea hehehe
  5. Sound Evolution, Nov 7, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

    Sound Evolution macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    I am totally agree with you, and this is exactly my thoughts since Steve called this MBA "The future of the Macbook"

    The CD drive will disappear in 2011 in the MBP line and the whole MBP line will be inspired by the MBA and almost as thin.

    With kind regards,
  6. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    I disagree and cannot see this happening this year. There are way too many applications that cannot be downloaded and removing the optical drive from Apple's flagship laptop would seriously hurt them.

    Again, not everything is downloadable and not everyone has access to another computer for the optical drive. Also, users will not want to carry around a Super Drive to read/write/store their files/content. Optical drives are very much needed in the business world.

    Perhaps in 4-5 years optical drives will disappear, but not anytime soon.
  7. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    I can totally see Apple junking the Superdrive in the MBP 13" to claim it gets outlandish battery life (like 12 hours with the new testing method) and then I'd want to see Apple boosting how powerful they are
  8. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

    Well, another fine thread goes down the drain of "all or nothing" type thinking, even though the original poster was explicitly expressing something else.

  9. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    MB will remain as-is entry level Mac for school students, with the addition of Core i3/i5 processor as time goes by, though retaining the superdrive.

    MBPro 13" will spec up to match it's big brothers with Core i3/i5 processor and possibly dedicated graphics card and possibly flash storage as an option.

    MBPro 15" and 17" will spec up to offer top of range Core i5/i7 processor and most probably flash storage as an option.

    can't see this Pro range leaving the superdrive behind as yet, though OSX, iLife software will definitely come on a stick at the next release, though with the advent of the MacApp store most software will be downloadable only.

    I am still curious to see what exactly are Apple's plans for the SD card slot, now appearing on all models except MB and smallest Air.
    Had the usb stick not appeared with the newest Airs I would have said that the SD would be their preferred form of OS and software delivery and quite possibly we will see the gradual demise of the dvd in 'video' stores to be replaced by movies the SD card.

    just a few musings - but then hey, what do I really know … :D
  10. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    In in the long run, I can see apple dropping the optical drive. Does that mean the next revision of their MBP lines will be updated without the optical drive. I kind of doubt it, but you never know.

    I see a gradual process, perhaps the 13", then maybe the 15" and finally the 17".
  12. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I think the MBP will loose the dvd soon enough. Possibly just the 13" for now. C2D processors are at the end of their usable life and apple needs to use the core processors but they can't use an integrated video card like the nvidia currently in the 13" MBP as intel bundles it with their own card (that sucks). Sadly, the 13" enclosure was designed to fit the original C2D with the nvidia integrated, there's no way they can fit a dedicated graphics card in the current form. Out goes the dvd, in with a real graphics card, even faster cpu and possibly a bit more battery. I don't see them slimming it. For a lot of people the thickness of the current 13" isn't a problem, and the MBA option will still be there.
  13. Sound Evolution macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    I meant 2011, sorry was a type. I am one year behind in my mind :D

    With kind regards,
  14. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    So I guess everyone is fine with your laptops to have just 250GB memory with Flash? No way in hell apple will allow 500GB or higher flash to be on these laptops because the prices will be too high. So, everyone can cut their music and video to fit into about 200GB space? Okay. Let Flash memory to replace HDD.
  15. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    my comments included saying that Apple may offer Flash Storage as an option, not as a replacement (for those who need huge amounts of storage capacity on board - that is what external drives are for after all)

    however, 256gb flash drives are not overly dear even now, so to offer say 2x 256gb (not a real expensive alternative) is still possible and still taking up less space than the traditional 2.5" HDD
  16. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    If they were switching the MBPs to flash sticks I support them using four, think of the insane speeds especially with high-end drives:eek: (of course also have a RAID controller to let you pick how to break up the drives like a 10 RAID or a super fast RAID 0

    Remember PhotoFast's 250MB/s speeds? Now try 500MB/s (RAID 10) or 1000MB/s speeds :eek:
  17. charlieroberts thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    Geez... thank you for getting my post, you seem to be the only one.

    And for all the others, try reading my OP again.

    But actually there is no need, lets drop it then, we'll see what happens when we do.

    night folks
  18. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    I can definitely see dropping the optical drive in the MBP-line.

    What I can't see if them getting a whole lot thinner. I can see some slimming, but they'll need to be a certain thickness to allow the heat from an i7 processor to dissipate.

    I also think that losing the Optical Drive is what the 13" MBP needs to join its bigger brothers in the Core iX department. They'll need the room from the optical drive to make the logic board bigger to add the chips necessary for a Core i5/i7 and a discrete GPU.

    That's the reason I'd like to see them take, at least. Rather than losing the optical drive for slimness (still have to have the height of an ethernet port or a FW800 port on there) I could see the laptop getting a bit lighter, and the logic board getting bigger to house those Core i5/i7 chips. :D
  19. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    Isn't that a contradiction in terms? :confused:

    The whole point of the MBA is that it's more easily portable than a standard notebook. (Hint: the 'A' stands for 'air', as in "as light as...")
  20. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    For the very rare occasion (really do the math) you have to install something from a DVD (which is going to be less and less), just plug in an external
  21. fps macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2004
    As some other posters I believe the optical drive will go because it's used rarely and it takes a significant space inside. Also along with a conventional hard drive and the fans it contains mechanical parts which are on their way out.
    It's easy enough to get a slimline optical drive (Apple branded or not) and use it when needed. I could see Apple offering bundles, say iLife + optical drive and/or iWork + optical drive for the time these softwares are still sold on a CD then they'll get sold on a USB memory stick and that's it.

    As for the form factor of the current Macbook Pro (13", 15" and 17") I'm convinced they'll get the Macbook Air treatment. Losing the optical drive and the conventional 2.5" hard drive bay they'll use SSD drives and use the space of the optical drive to optimise the battery layout, etc...
    They'll be slightly thicker maybe 0.30" at the front and 0.90 at the back. They'll re-organise the ports on both side so as to be able to use the thicker part of the casing to accomodate for Firewire 800, Express Card, Ethernet port, etc...
    Overall they can probably shave ~500g in weight on a 17" model.

    If the Macbook Air sells like hot cake you can be sure what they've done with the new Air will be backported to the Macbook Pros.

    I guess some will not be happy about that especially that the storage space will be reduced or expensive (to go back to 512GB). Modders (incl. me) won't be able to use the optical drive space to have a 2nd hard drive... Apple may decide to remove the Firewire 800 (evil) port and/or the Express card port.

    Anyway Apple is known for pushing the envelop and making some bold moves so it should be interesting.
  22. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    TV Commercials

    I think it is interesting that the current MBA TV commercials talk about 'The next generation if MacBooks'. They don't say 'MBA' even though it is a commercial for the MBA. You may be on to something...
  23. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Unlike the first MacBook Air, the current version appears to be selling very well. I'm guessing what that means is that the white polycarb MacBook may quietly disappear, as it did temporarily when the 13" Pro model first appeared. That would leave the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines. The mass market products would be the 11.6" Air and 13" MacBook Pro (the latter being the most likely Pro to lose the optical drive). The 15" and 17" Pro would appeal to power users, while the 13" Air would appeal to road warriors looking for something more powerful than the 11.6" Air.

    It's difficult to see what role the polycarb MacBook plays in Apple's future, except that it is $200 less than the 13" MacBook Pro. Perhaps if the Pro goes all SSD, Apple will keep the MacBook around with a HDD, but I'm guessing that Apple really wants to push to make SSD the "standard" storage option, and to relegate HDD to secondary storage status on Pro machines.
  24. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA

    When the first Air came out the SSD was a very expensive option; it cost a grand to upgrade from the 80GB drive to a paltyr 64GB SSD. There is no reason to think that Apple won't allow a 512GB storage option BTO just like the 256 is now.
  25. Zackmd1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2010
    Maryland US
    I second this except for one thing. I think that instead of having a 13 Pro and a 13 air they will combine them to become the new 13inch macbook air. Then the line up would be the macbook air 11.6 and the 13.3 then the Macbook Pro line with the 15 and 17 inch.

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