Where Can the MBA go from Here?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ZipZap, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    I am considering going from a MBA 2010 to 2012. I really dont want to chase this Apple upgrade thing but I do see enough change in the 2012 to warrant an upgrade. As a result I feel I wont need to change for at least 3 new cycles.

    But I am curious what you all feel are future enhancements that could occur and be useful/necessary.

    I suspect there will be a retina display eventually, but at a cost that I am not willing to pay.

    What else?
  2. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    That's a very hard question to answer. Does Apple add built-in cell radios? A pico projector for Facetime conferencing? Holographic display with Minority-Report style interactivity? Direct data-brain connection a la Neuromancer / Johnny Mnemonic?
  3. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011

    I know people have shot this down for years, but with the changes in OS X, the popularity of iOS devices, Windows 8 implementing it successfully and general appeal of "fancy features" then I dont see how anyone can still deny that Touch will be coming to desktops/laptops. It's inevitable and I'm betting that everyone who hates it will change their minds once they quit thinking about what Jobs said and start using it themselves.

    Just like how Siri is smoothly bringing in voice input, "touch" implements a new input that doesn't necessary mean the death of an old input. Touch, Voice, Mouse, Keyboard makes for a pretty versatile device.
  4. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Smaller, faster, lighter, longer battery life. Expect redesgn next year, smaller bezel, 20%/yr cpu increase, lighter carbon body, 12+ batt life, Good year to sit out or buy a refurb,
  5. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Well certainly in 2013 we'll see Haswell CPUs/GPUs and in 2014, Broadwell CPUs/GPus. Then if you want to go even farther down the road, Skylake and Skymont in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

    Each upgrade will of course bring better CPU performance and GPU performance, and presumably better battery life (but that's perhaps more incremental unless there's some sort of breakthrough). Realistically, we'll probably see USB 4.0 around the time Skymont launches (but perhaps the following year, who knows).

    I'd also say that in about 2 years we'll see a slight redesign. It won't be anything drastic, but perhaps a smaller footprint or larger (and better quality) screen (to have less bezel). Other than all that, I don't see too much happening.

    Now inductive charging, wireless ports, touchscreen display, tablet hybrid, built-in projector, holographic display, etc are all possibilities.... so who knows!

    Personally, I'd like it to get thinner and lighter (without losing structural integrity or feeling cheap). That'd be a pretty cool engineering feat. It's not really necessary at all, but hey, why not?
  6. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    I think the only major changes down the road will be retina display. I'm still paying off my 11" ultimate which I bought at launch, so I won't be upgrading this cycle hopefully I can avoid temptation and sit out the next and get one in 2014, by then retina and more than 512gb storage should be an option.

    As for comparison to your 2010 model, this seems like a big upgrade in performance, as long as you don't mind not having retina display I say go for it.
  7. dgdosen macrumors 68000


    Dec 13, 2003
    I think the next change will have retina, and I'd call that major. We'll have to see if Apple uses more non-standard and non-replaceable parts.
  8. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004
    This will remain the most incremental Device...

    There is very little in reducing costs in this machine. Though I think in the future you will see an 11" I3/64/4 for 799, possibly in the next cycle. Possibly only in an Education only market. (Memory and SSD's both being the thing that come down in price. There is also a few bucks to be saved in an I3 version). But these would be pretty sturdy machines for school and probably longer lasting technology wise.

    In the consumer marketplace, I would expect the 999 price point to be I5/128/4 what ever I5 is at that point, and that the 1099 will be the I5/256/4 machine in the next cycle.

    The ultimate machine will be 11" I7/256/8 Retina and go for 1599. You will be able to BTO a 512 SSD.

    The Air will always be about integrated graphics, there is a lot of room for them to grow between HD4000 and 650M It will be about power consumption and cost.

    Somewhere in the next 4-5 years we will see battery doubling technology ready for market. It is likely we will see 10 hours being the new level with the rest going to weight reduction on the devices.

    This is in addition to improved power management and more power in the devices.

    BTO 4g wireless, this will be included in all devices in two years. There will be one more level of improvement in WiFi that will be pushed out in 2-5 years. And will be in all IOS devices. We will see a dramatic speed improvement in Wireless sync between New IOS and New Macs. I also expect there to be a movement to wireless cameras at this point as well. Fast enough the consumer cameras and prosumer DSL will find this to be the easiest way to do this. I would also expect Wi-MIDI or Wi-FW to come to this space as well. Some very low latency system that would allow music equipment to move from wired to wireless. This would allow the air to be utilized by all sorts of musical types that were once all about the ibook and have been lost in the process.

    Because of the general stall in computer speed we will see more improvements in software. Performance and user experience will become more important than features. And it will run on your air. I fully expect airplay to be as mature and significant as smart glass. There will continue to be a clash between Apple and Microsoft over this particular space. I will be happy that this will just get better.

    Your air will still not be appropriate for most design work. Except for the most frugal who will attempt to do it all on a single CPU plugged into a big monitor somewhere. This will work, but it is really not what the machine is designed for, even in Retina.

    Retina on the desktop will work on an 11" screen, because it will be about somethings being the same size yet sharper, or increased desktop space depending on the application.

    I would expect there to be a significant enough reason to be tempted every two cycles and compelled every 3 cycles. Cycle to cycle will not be interesting enough.
  9. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Perhaps, perhaps not. I personally believe we'll see a 13in retina MBP in the next year, so it'd make sense to keep the two lines differentiated by retina displays.

    But I could definitely see that if one does not believe there exists a 13in retina MBP in the works, that'd the MBA line would get retina too. So who knows! Guess we'll find out eventually :)
  10. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Excellent thought!


    Very helpful, thanks!


    Battery doubling technology...can you point me to any additional information on this?


    That depends on whether apple really wants to use retina as a differentiator.

    I think Apple will standardize on retina and all models will get it. Doing so also has production, cost and support value. Todays its probably manufacturing volume that's holding Apple back.
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    There is plenty to improve beyond the retina screen. I do not want a touch screen, because i think it is annoying to have to reach up and touch it, and the trackpad is so advanced that I think it would be redundant. But, whatever. If that is where the world is going, I can play along. Here is some stuff that could always be improved.

    The battery life on the 11" is very short (better than the competition, though)

    The bezel is large and aesthetically unpleasing.

    The camera is OK, but not fantastic (comparable to the competition).

    The keyboard feels a little cheap compared to the MBP (good, but not great).

    The storage is small (I am not sure if I care anymore, because of Google Drive, Dropbox, and large USB sticks).

    The wireless doesn't get great reception (comparable to the competition, but seems weaker than my MBP was).

    The new Magsafe connection is too strong and the shape makes it difficult to remove (Why does Apple always have to mess around with this stuff? I liked the previous one better).
  12. bit density macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2004

    If you follow places like slashdot, and seemingly every 3-6 months there is another breaking paper about battery tech improvements. Improvement of anodes and cathodes, new chemistry, new techniques, new storage. But very little of it has made it to market yet. There is a strong market for new battery technology, and it would appear that there is enough motivations and ideas to make it happen. Stanford University is an excellent place to research some of these things.
  13. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    For the next 2 MBA revisions?

    - 1 Terabyte SSD
    - Retina Display
    - [4-legged Mammal]-OS
    - Siri

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