When will we see the new Macbook Air models?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tobygw, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. tobygw macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    So I think I want to get a MBA, however I want to wait for the sandy bridge models to be released before I get one. How long away do you think this will be? I've heard rumours of June but what do you think? I doubt that they will keep the regular year long cycle since october seems like a long time to still not have sandy bridge.
  2. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    I hope they are released soon and with a backlit keyboard this time. That is the only thing stopping me from giving Apple even more of my money...
  3. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I doubt soon. First of all the airs are selling like hot cakes still and they are still manufacturing the c2d that is used in the MBA. Good luck waiting
  4. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Read my thread as to why I think the MBA's will be refreshed in June.

    Link: CLICK ME
  5. Twe Foju, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    The reason i havent buy a MBA yet is because

    No Backlit
    still C2D

    even if they refresh using an i3, i would be happy to buy them

    but its interesting to see how Apple will counter the Samsung 9 series with the Sandy Bridge

    i mean, if Samsung could pull that off, Apple can do it 10x better

    go Steve!!


    also i hope they could use more better GPU this time, at least something like GT330
  6. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Buyers Guide

    If you watch the MacRumors Buyers Guide, you will note that the annual refresh cycle is in October. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the next refresh will be in October 2011.
  7. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    In the past, though, there has been a refresh/update to the MBA's in June, which is something to consider. Read my thread that I linked to in my previous post, it might change your reasoning.
  8. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I wasn't arguing a reason for or against the time of a new MBA release. What I was doing was showing the OP who had a question about when they come out and I showed the precedent for October and the existence of the Buyers Guide to help him along.

    Besides, there was only one June release and two October releases.
  9. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    That is true, but maybe this year there will be a June refresh to even the two out. ;)

    2 June releases, 2 October releases. :)
  10. fatlardo macrumors 6502


    Mar 15, 2011
    I believe they will have it in time for back to school. I agree with a lot of people that they have to do it to keep up with all the competition. Here's to hopping something better! :apple:
  11. Hotherps macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2010
    The lack of a backlit keyboard was the main reason I didn't buy a MacBookAir.

    I already have a 13" MacBookPro and I was lucky enough to pick up a I-Pad 2 on Friday at 5pm (UK release).

    Not sure if I would need a Air now.
  12. lshirase macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    it is very unlikely that apple will bring back the backlit keyboard. apple removed it for a reason. its not even a big deal, really. i will gladly take additional battery life over a backlit keyboard.
  13. Ravenwolf40 macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2011
    macbook standard

    I keep on thinking that it's going to be the regular Macbook that we will see very soon. And I keep on hoping that it will be a cross between the MBA and the MBP!

    It makes sense to me in that Lion is going to kind of be for the masses. You know ipad/ipod touch/iphone like simplicity for the mac. Mac app store is now in gear and ready for Lion, etc... It just makes sense to me to release the regular macbook with Lion (or before Lion maybe even).

    Regular Macbook and Lion for the masses. $999 and a cross between the MBP and the MBA, or just aluminum instead of the cheap white plastic look. In looking at the Buyer's guide the Macbook was released near the update of the MBP wasn't it? Unless I'm reading that wrong. It is showing the MBP at 4/10 and then an upgrade to the white MB at 5/10. Why not the same pattern this year? 2/11 MBP and then 3/11 or 4/11 for MB? The ONLY reason I can think of to wait for the MB until 6/11 would be for Lion. Which makes sense to me.

    I am really really close to buying the MBA 13 with 4gb of ram and 128gb ssd, but I'll be miffed if a smokin new/cool macbook is released in a month or two that would have met my needs for $400 or so less! But that is life in technology I guess.

    But I agree with the people saying the new MBAs are 10/11 at the earliest given that a release was just 10/10. But then again, I'm usually wrong LOL!
  14. Faux Carnival macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2010
    It definitely will have Intel HD 3000 graphics, so don't hope for GT 330M. (Look at 13" MBP)

    It will also have new generation Sandy Bridge processors for sure. It will be a killer machine but I still prefer Samsung 9 Series. That's one hell of a laptop. We'll see.
  15. bsamcash macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    It seems reasonable to be to assume they'll be released along with Lion. It follows their usual biannual notebook cycle, and it seems to be the computer most often used in the promotion of Lion.
  16. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Nothing new to add, but I completely agree with this. My next computer purchase will most likely be a Macbook Air. I'm expecting new models to come out along with Lion that have Sandy Bridge. Probably will be announced at WWDC, and will likely have thunderbolt. Also, like someone said, the only graphics that will come with it are the intel graphics, but they're really no slouch. I'm still running a 9400m on my MBP and have yet to try anything that it can't do.
  17. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    How much battery life do you think you lose with a backlit keyboard, especially if you can turn it on and off?
  18. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    This. :)
  19. Scottsdale, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If they go Sandy Bridge, maybe as early as October. I don't believe it would be wise to use the low and ultra low voltage SB IGP in the MBAs. The IGP is seriously inferior, and you cannot use the standard voltage IGP used in the 13" MBP as an example as it's running full clock speed. I don't think people are thinking this through.

    I believe Apple has a problem as the IGP in SB isn't all that especially in low and ultra low voltage chips. I would prefer to see Apple finally bring on AMD for CPU and GPU in the low end Macs. The MBA is the only Mac that needs low and ultra low voltage chips. I suppose the real problem then is Thunderbolt.

    I feel like the best opportunity for a realistic MBA update is Ivy Bridge in January 2012. In addition, Apple doesn't update its Macs in a cycle that would allow an MBA update in June or even before October. Most importantly, everyone that owns a current MBA is fully aware that it doesn't take a new chip to make an amazing Mac, but there are many suckers out there that believe Intel's marketing BS... the way to make the best Mac is not to update the CPU and incorporate an inferior IGP to the Nvidia GPU, it's to use a better drive and drive controller and use software making instant on and take advantages of the battery capabilities and etc of Flash storage. The MBA is the fastest current Mac for the average user not running CPU intensive apps, and it has a C2D.

    We also have heard many saying the Nvidia 320m will be used for a long time to come. It made some sense to update the 13" MBP to SB because pros need the CPU for a few professional apps that need nothing more than CPU horsepower. It makes zero sense for Apple to use the inferior IGP and possibly tarnish the MBA's reputation just so the very few that believe that the only way to improve a computer is to listen to Intel's marketing BS.

    I want an update to SB if Apple can use a 7W discrete IGP (edit, mean GPU) and run the CPU on turbo all the time by disabling the IGP. It would bring the best of everything. Apple could get away with using an ultra low voltage SB even in the 13" MBP but get better clock speed. This is the rumor we heard about a year ago, and to me it's the only one that makes sense. I would love for this to come with Lion in June, but any SB that forces Apple to use the SB IGP as the sole graphics solution seems senseless to me. I also love the idea of Thunderbolt and a backlit keyboard.

    Finally people that want to think about quick updates to the MBA are hoping but not using the MBA and Apple's track record to look at history to make an actual prediction. Apple used the exact same MBA for two years with only a spec bump to the prior same cost CPU bumping only the SL9x00 series. We really had the same MBA from October 2008 to October 2010, so why would Apple bump after eight months when it would require seriously altering its capabilities and possibly negatively affecting its brand when people start having problems related to the loss from a real GPU to SB IGP.

    It just doesn't make sense... And when it doesn't add up, I believe it's smarter to follow the history than go with hopes and dreams of a few to disappoint the masses. I only want SB if it means a better complete system, and I don't believe Intel's IGP running at a much slower clock speed than even the disappointing 13" MBP would be an improvement in any way for the MBA... Long live the C2D and Nvidia GPU until Intel can actually beat the technology all around. If Apple can use standard voltage SB in the MBA, maybe we will see a SB CPU, or if it can use a discrete GPU with ultra low voltage CPUs, then sure. Otherwise I think Apple needs to wait for Ivy Bridge or a complete AMD solution.
  20. KPOM, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Do we have any benchmarks on the 11" Samsung 9? That would give us at least some sense of how a Sandy Bridge MacBook Air might perform, both at CPU and GPU-intensive tasks. Samsung chose to go with the Core i3-380UM, which is relatively slow and lacks Turbo Boost, though there are also Core i7 ULV Sandy Bridge chips that offer Turbo Boost.

    One difference, though, is that in 2008 the Core 2 Duo was still in the prime of its product cycle. Mobile Arrandale chips were still more than a year into the future. Now, though, the Core 2 Duo is basically EOL. Intel will accommodate Apple for a little while but eventually will want to redeploy those chip fabs. Also, a more important difference is that the MacBook Air was a niche product until October 2010. In Q4, Apple reportedly sold 1 million of them. They'll need an update of some kind going into the holiday season next year.
  21. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia

    erudite as always Scotters :D
  22. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    The 380UM isn't even a Sandy Bridge chip though, it's a Westmere (intel's previous generation).

    Luckily all Sandy Bridge ultramobiles are either i5 or i7 and all have Turbo Boost (and all features that even the 2011 base MBP 13" and 15" lack, such as AES-NI, QuickSync, VT-d)
  23. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I concur SD, once again a sound voice of reason;)
  24. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I too am usually wrong here as well; but here goes my two cents. With Lion due this year I see updates/new models of the rest of the Mac lineup by the October timeframe. This means the Mac mini, MBA, and the iMac. All will be updated to Thunderbolt, improved graphics. In the case of the Mac mini and MBA, they will get at least the i3 processor. All shipping with a base of 4GB RAM.

    Note that I left the Macbook out. That will be replaced by the upgraded MBA IMO. I think that the $999 price point could be met nicely by MBA 10", i3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD.
  25. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    There are no low voltage SB CPUs in the i3 range. i5 and i7 only. And like Scottsdale said, Apple will really take a hit in the graphics department if they do go with Intel's IGP.

    People can't compare the IGP that's in the MBP 13" to the one that they would have to use in the MBA. The low voltage version is much much slower than even the 9400M from a few years ago.

    So I agree with Scottsdale. If they can go all AMD or somehow use a low voltage discrete GPU, then it makes no sense to update the MBA just for the sake of having Intel's marketing.

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