Well I guess I'm stuck with the MacBook Air after all.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mellofello, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. mellofello macrumors 65816

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    #1
    For my usage I absolutely need usb ports to work. I find myself in airports, on trains, and in foreign offices almost daily. Losing the ability to charge my phone, plug in a thumb drive, and insert sd cards while charging is a non starter, and a deal breaker.

    Also regardless of how hd the screen is 12 inches is too small for any sustained typing of reports with my bad eyesight. I have experience with hd 12 inch screens, and even though 1 inch seems like a small amount it is a huge difference in the real world.

    It's funny because I think I am the ideal demographic for this machine. Someone who is always on the road, and values lightness over almost everything because I have to lug my gear with me constantly. I also can easily swing the premium price.

    I think they missed the mark by not making this 13 inches, and by shaving all the ports. My only hope at this point is that the next refresh of the retina pro brings it down to current air weight.

    For now I will just be buying a refurb has well machine from back in 2013 since there is no point in getting the modern one.

    Sigh
     
  2. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #2
    Yea in my opinion they completely screwed the pooch on this one. In theory, this was designed for a person on the go whether it be a college student or a business person. I understand that Apple likes to push the envelope on design and function but getting rid of all ports was a terrible decision. I've been on Apple's side of this argument before. I was quick to tell those who said they needed ethernet ports and disk drives that they should move on and learn a better way but this time, I am one of them. 99 percent of anything I plug into my computer uses a usb port as does everyone I know. There was no need to make a laptop so thin that a usb port wasn't possible. I've always loved how thin and light their devices were but this time, they've cut too much functionality to justify the thinness and yes, not going with a 13 inch display was puzzling to me as well.
     
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Not really sure what screen size has to do with eyesight. Surely the most important metric is how much information is displayed per square inch?

    As for plugging in multiple devices, of course that will be possible with the new laptop. But it will require a USB-C hub which is another thing to pack.

    On the other hand, the new laptop charges via USB, which means you won't have to pack a power brick anymore.
     
  4. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4

    In my case I need to crank up the text size already on my MBA and iPad in order to read at normal distance. Regardless of how sharp the text is rendered at normal desk height it is quite blurry to me unless I am up close. Not really a big deal for reading, and consuming information but for writing it is a huge slowdown since I can only see a paragraph or two at a time.

    13 inches is passable, but 12 inches is too small for me to be productive.

    If you have young eyes then perhaps text rendered super tiny will not be an issue, but it becomes a accessibility issue as you age, or for those with sight problems.

    On a side note I would be overjoyed to have a smaller charging cord. It was one of the few non streamlined aspects I didn't like about the MBA. Wish they would have shaved off the headphone jack for a second standard USB port. I wouldn't mind a headphone dongle with dac built in. It would be much more useful to me as I use Bluetooth headphones.
     
  5. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #5
    Then use this release as a springboard for all of the features that will go into the next MBA release. Everyone knows this was put out to replace/bring back the original Macbook line that was discontinued shortly after the first MBA came out in 2010.

    With all of the features that went into the Macbook, Apple realizes that the availability of ports is still needed, so they will be taking what they worked on for the Macbook, and adding those features to the next MBA and MBP, while more than likely keeping the availability of the ports needed.

    So sometime within the next year, we should expect a slightly redesigned MBA and MBP with these features, plus those we need. that's what you should take out of yesterday and what to look forward to.

    Again, yesterday's release was not a MBA replacement, but slotting in a notebook under the MBA, which was there in 2010.

    BL.
     
  6. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    #6
    Going to have to disagree. Using the moniker Macbook more likely means the MBA moniker will disappear within the next year or two, and Macbook and Macbook Pro will be the two model ranges. Notice how the Macbook is priced in between the MBA and MBP, not as the introductory model. 8GB RAM and super fast 256GB SSD standard makes a clear statemet as to where Apple is putting this model, and it isn't below the MBA.

    Expect the next MBP chassis facelift to make it as thin and light as the current MBA lineup, retaining one USB-A, SDXC and possibly Thunderbolt port respectively, alongside a new USB-C port (possibly a second one as well instead of TB - I personally feel that USB 3.1 and the introduction of the USB-C standard spells the beginning of the end of Apple's TB endeavors) for charging and connecting that 2nd external monitor alongside TB or the other USB-C. Expect Magsafe to be discontinued. 15" MBP may lose discreet graphics altogether to make this happen if Skylake's highest end integrated graphics are deemed "good enough." There will be no new MBA design. It is going the way of the 13" cMBP.

    This is where we are heading. The goal is a unified port for everything, and USB 3.1 goes further towards that goal than TB does and has more longterm potential to fully realise it as well. That's why Apple got on board early.

    Ports aren't going to be the problem for this Macbook. Before summer you will see a glut of great hub options being released giving you everything from USB-A, SDXC, Gb Ethernet, mDP, HDMI, plus passthrough to the charging brick, all in a bunch of different designs and implementations. The 3-4 Apple is offering right now are just the beginning and very basic.

    Nope, the ONLY thing making me hesitate from mashing that buy button the second these are available for order is how much better the processor is going to be in the 2nd generation of this product with Skylake.
     
  7. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    If what you are saying comes to fruition what will be apples entry level laptop? If they phase out the air then their cheapest machine will be $1300 plus tax. I think they have enjoyed the volume they have been selling in the $1000 range. Having $1300 be the base price will put this out of reach for many students.

    Time will tell. I am just going to grab a 2013 refurb and use that for the time being until the new iteration of pros come out.
     
  8. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #8
    Wait, am I missing something here? There has to be a wall wart or power brick somewhere in the chain, unless the Apple USB-C port can magically draw power from the air.

    Somehow there has to be a cable plugged into the wall, no?
     
  9. ABC5S macrumors 68040

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    #9
    I went from a 13 inch to the 15 inch just because of my aging eye sight. So it does matter between both sizes, and yes you can tell the difference, not to mention the real-estate
     
  10. newellj macrumors 601

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    #10
    Yeah, my reading of the product page is that it comes with an adapter.
     
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Yes and no. There are USB ports for charging stuff all over these days. Most of the flights I'm on, the headrest on the seat in front of me has a USB port for charging/powering stuff. Most of the hotels I stay in have USB charging ports on a nightstand or lamp or wall outlet.

    If you're going somewhere that doesn't have any USB ports then you could charge your laptop using your little phone charger wall wart. Mine is about 1/4 the size of the proprietary MagSafe charger that I currently have to haul around with my laptop on trips.
     
  12. newellj macrumors 601

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    #12
    Replied to part of this elsewhere, but posting here to agree on not jumping on this Gen 1 product. It may be great as far as it goes, like the original iPad, but a lot of lessons get learned between Gen 1 and Gen 2, plus the Skylake upgrade seems inevitable and hopefully some time this year.

    ----------

    Wait man, I know you're way too smart to be really meaning what you wrote. ;) Maybe you could charge this thing with your 5W iPhone charger or your 10w (since they killed the 12w) iPad adapter, but the rMB ships with a 29w adapter. You will need to leave it plugged in for a week to charge it with your phone charger. :)
     
  13. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #13
    I definitely mean what I wrote.

    The new MacBook has a 40 watt-hour battery.

    Charge times:

    Standard USB port on a computer @ 2.5W: 16 hours
    iPhone charger @ 5W: 8 hours
    iPad charger or "tablet" charger @ 12W: 3.33 hours

    So okay, plugging the laptop into the back of a seat on an airplane might be just enough to power the laptop and you might not walk off the plane with a full charge, but it's better than running on battery power and walking off the plane with a dead laptop.

    Bring a tiny iPhone charger with you and you will have a full charge when you wake up in the morning from a nice full night of sleep. :)

    iPad charger, even better!

    And when USB-C is standard in a few years and all ports deliver a bunch of watts and you'll never think of bringing a separate laptop charger anywhere ever again.
     
  14. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #14
    You say this.

    But you've already contradicted yourself by saying this:

    Sorry. It just seems like a lot of people are coming down hard on this machine because Apple didn't consult you about the design.

    I'd love one of these new machines as well, but I know it's currently not practical for the way I work. Maybe someday we will all get there, but this is a forward-looking machine that takes it's design cues as much from the iPad as it does the Mac. And yet, even after 5 revisions, people still complain that the iPad doesn't have a USB port.

    By the time this replaces the Air (2-3 years, I think) there will be a lot fewer detractions for a machine like this. The accessories market will have matured and we will have things like USB-C monitors, USB-C hubs & USB-C external drives.

    But this is Apple's typical progression, they release machines 2-3 years before the general public is ready. (Drop the Floppy, Drop optical media, Drop almost every port) Not that it's a bad thing. "We" get to road test these great products and our comments indirectly shape the future of the machines. The original Air was released before we were ready to ditch optical media. And it was slow. But Apple was able to take 2+ years of development and put it into the current revision Air, which, IMO is one of the most amazing computers ever made. Could you imagine if Apple had waited until Mid-2010 to release an equivalent to the first model Air? It would have sucked.

    No, the new MacBook is a 2017 or 2018 product that you can buy today.
     
  15. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #15
    Huh?

    Isn't the 13" with ports version of the new Macbook essentially a Macbook Air?

    Why not go buy one of those?
     
  16. newellj macrumors 601

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    #16
    OK...btw, did you see that the port itself is capable of taking 20W? :eek:

    ----------

    I think you're probably right. We think: "Apple made a new product. I'd like to buy a new Apple product. It looks nice and has a feature or two I'd really like. But there are several features I really don't like. Apple screwed up." :eek:
     
  17. motrek macrumors 68020

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    #17


    I didn't, but a 2 hour charge time sounds nice. :) Although I think the fastest it would charge to 100% is probably still 3-4 hours so the battery doesn't get overcharged or overheat.

    I believe the USB-C spec goes up to 100W which enables some pretty great things. For example, in the next few years I expect monitors to start having USB-C interfaces and providing power, so you could plug a laptop into any given monitor or TV to use it as a screen and it will also power/charge the laptop without you needing to plug anything else in anywhere. This is actually a relatively common thing that I do--plug my MBA into a TV in a hotel or family member's house in order to watch stuff (streaming videos, etc.).
     
  18. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #18
    The MacBook charger is 29 watts, compared to 12 watts for the iPad and 5 for the iPhone and 45 for a MacBook Air. So while I guess it will charge with USB chargers, it won't be charging quickly.
     
  19. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #19
    Completely agree. No way will they keep the Air line when the MacBook is thinner and lighter. I expect that they will keep the Air for another year, maybe two and by that time they will have lowered the entry price on the new MacBooks to around 999.00, making it the new entry level MacBook.

    They may continue to sell the Air for some time after that like they currently do with the cMBP but as far as redesigns or even updated internals, I'd bet yesterday's Air updates were the last we will see for the Air line of MacBooks.
     
  20. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    #20
    The Macbook will.

    Within 2 years (when they drop the MBA's completely) the MB will have dropped to $1,099, maybe even $999. For the next year or so, they are still going to enjoy the volume sales of the MBA, that is why they gave it its last internal upgrades now for Broadwell, because they aren't going to get Skylake, nor higher resolution screens.

    By the time the next new Intel architecture after Skylake is released (2 years after initial Skylake release, so 3 years from now) people will look at all those ports like we do serial and parallel ports today.

    You can go ahead and lay down money on a refurb now and wait a year, but if you can delay another 12 months and wait with what you've got, then you are going to be able to get a Skylake MB that will be supported by a vast ecosystem of USB-C 3.1 hubs and peripherals that will make you wonder why you ever worried about 1 port. It might even be cheaper than today's MB.

    That's my real dillema. My 11" MBA is 4 years old and I theoretically could wait another year...but even though it is a maxed BTO build, it is getting a bit long in the tooth. It says something that this core M Broadwell processor appears ro benchmark equivalent to my dual core i7 I have now. I am ready for that retina screen as well. In the end I probably won't be losing very much money by getting the gen 1 and then selling it if the gen 2 is really that much better processor-wise with Skylake. Also USB 3.1 gen 2 has double the bandwidth, 10Gb up from the gen 1's 5.
     
  21. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Even if skylake turns out to be a no compromise chip, I still am not willing to compromise on screen size under 13 inches. I guess this mb isn't for me. Going to borrow a colleagues 13 inch rmbp on my upcoming trip to Mexico and see how much of a difference the extra weight makes.

    After more thought I suppose this machine is actually more in tune with the original spirit of the MBA. Absolute bare minimum of everything. It's just a shame to me since the last version struck such a perfect balance.
     
  22. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #22
    No after some thought, as long as the new Macbook isn't a throttle monster I think I am in. I work internationally a minimum of six months a year, in isolation frequently traveling with two MBP`s;

    I have been considering a maxed out 11" Air as a backup and dropping down to one MBP. As ever with Apple`s upgrade path it`s simply not good value once you spec the Air and I am sorry to say the Air`s display is terrible coming from 13" and 15" Retina`s. In many respects it makes more sense to pick up another 13" Retina.

    Would I have been happier had the new MacBook had more ports? Yes most definitely, can I get round having just one port? Yes, I already have wireless storage & SD card reader. The SSD at 256 is a squeeze, 512 no issue.

    Display is a nonissue for me, very much welcome Retina. The display was always a problem for me on the Air, not horrendous mind, however way off the pace these days. Performance is the main concern, the Air these days is good enough as a secondary system in the field a little slow, equally it will get the job done. The new MacBook needs to be seen, I suspect it will be fine for short busts, however sustained heavy load something will have to give and that can only be performance.

    When I travel I look at the infrastructure and support that`s likely to be available, the more remote the more gear you need to self sustain. I don't for one second think the new MacBook can directly replace the 15" Retina, however it may just scape by and prove to be a versatile companion in the field.

    Would I want the new MacBook as my only computer? No, for my needs it would simply be far too limiting. As a secondary/backup Mac I can see the new MacBook having it`s place.

    Q-6
     
  23. newellj macrumors 601

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    #23
    rMB = iPad 1.

    The second version will be killah.
     
  24. bobob macrumors 68030

    bobob

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    #24
    Two words: Eyefi MobiPro. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  25. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #25
    Between the EyeFi and cameras with WiFi built-in, I think that the lack of a card reader won't be that big of a deal within a few years. Also, it's true that more and more people are simply using smartphones instead of carrying a dedicated camera. The iPhone and many other high-end phones can easily rival a dedicated point-and-shoot camera, and many micro-4/3 cameras are now coming with built-in wifi. If you still require a DSLR, then this probably isn't the computer for you (yet).
     

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