Why no MacBook Air 13" with Retina...???

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zaphod64, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. zaphod64 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Apple, you only had one job to do: Update the MBA 13" with a Retina display.

    What the h*ell should I do with a New MacBook having no standard interfaces?

    I do not want to buy a super chique New MacBook for I must carry a crappy load of adapter cables with me.

    This is absurd, simply nonsense.

    The minimum is USB3 and SDXC slot (both of course down compatible).

    WTF, I hope Apple does not sell one of this MacBooks. :mad:
     
  2. bking10 macrumors member

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    #2
    my guess is that they would rather people either buy the macbook or the macbook pro. kind of like what they did with the ipad mini 3. can't get rid of it, but dont add anything great to kind of steer people to the other options.
     
  3. newellj macrumors 601

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    #3
    That computer already exists: it's the 13" rMBP. Yes, it weighs about a half pound more, because of the extra battery necessary to drive the retina display. It actually has a footprint that's 8 square inches smaller than the 13" MBA, which matters on desks, conference room tables and airplanes.

    The MBA that really needed an upgrade was the 11", which sadly did not.
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    This is the obvious question. They had a nearly perfect ultra book. Good power and connectivity, great battery life, small, light, efficient, reasonably pricied. There was really only one knock on it: a substandard screen.

    So rather than adding the screen everyone wants, Apple releases a new line of notebook with a terrific screen, far weaker processor and GPU, and almost no connectivity. They could've had one ultra book line that pleased basically everyone and instead opted for fragmented lines that both have significant drawbacks. It's... puzzling.
     
  5. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #5
    Perfectly stated. The Macbook Air is the best designed ultra book of all time. It is light enough and basic enough for the most casual users, yet has enough power and connectivity for even more demanding users. The only thing they needed to do was throw a retina display in it and maybe trim the bezels just a bit.

    I too am just blown away at the direction they took.

    ----------

    While only a half pound heavier, it makes a difference. Its smaller footprint is nice for space but when you consider it is heavier, with 4 less hours of battery life, is thicker and less comfortable on the wrist for typing, and runs much hotter than the MBA, it is hardly the same.

    The rMBP is great for a pro laptop and the screen is beautiful, but it does not match the Air in design or comfort of use imo.
     
  6. CausticSoda macrumors 6502

    CausticSoda

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    #6
    I found this hard to believe, so looked it up. It seems that, actually, the footprint is basically identical, and the pro weighs about 1.5 pounds more, not 0.5 pound. Are you really comparing the 13" MBA and 13" MBP?
     
  7. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #7
    You are looking at the dimensions of the classic MBP. The retina MBP does have a smaller footprint than the 13 Air and is only .5 pounds heavier.

    https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs/

    https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina/
     
  8. CausticSoda macrumors 6502

    CausticSoda

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    #8
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #9
    This is your answer folks, like it or not.

    Upgrading the 13" MBA to retina would have required a larger battery, which would have offset most of the weight difference between the two existing 13" devices. At that point Apple would have had huge overlap between the two.

    I actually think that this comes down to the fact that the new MacBook is just the first of an entirely new lineup of Macbooks, so the overall strategy isn't clear right now. I think they are just riding out the existing MBA design until they are ready to release the next iteration.
     
  10. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Nonsense. There load on GPU doesn't differ as much when you are simply browsing or watching non-HD movie regardless of if it's retina or not. Actually, even UHD movies would consume just as much power on both devices cause the CPU/GPU is rendering the movie in the original resolution regardless of the display capabilities. You can go to youtube and select UHD quality on any kind of laptop.

    They haven't introduced 13" rMBA cause then obviously no one would buy the rMBP 13" and that would hurt the MBP line as a whole and mess up their pricing. What they can and probably will do with time, is discontinue the rMBP 13" altogether and THEN introduce the rMBA 13" (with force touchpad and all new features, possibly even slightly updated chassis - additional thunderbolt port?) everyone is crawing for. The new MacBook isn't the successor of MBA for a reason, it's a netbook, not ultrabook.
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #11
    You need to check again. Higher resolution screens consume more power. No if's about it.

    The new MacBook is no ultrabook. It has CPU performance on-par with the i5's from just a couple of years ago - in other words the type of computers that most of the world is working on.
     
  12. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #12
    To add to this reasoning: look at the price of the base model MBA. It's the only Mac Laptop with a sub-$1000 price tag. If you add a retina display, the cost goes up to, well, the MacBook/MacBook Pro level.

    I think the Air might stick around for a while, but will be intended to be the entry level Apple notebook. And, entry-level notebooks get entry-level displays.

    To my mind, it actually would've made more sense to swap names: the new ultra thin laptop would be the new "MacBook Air," and the non-retina (not as) thin laptop should get the "MacBook" name going forward.
     
  13. SmOgER, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #13


    Yes, the DO consume more power. But under day-to-day tasks, the battery hit will be relatively small.

    As for the new rMB, even if we leave the performance alone (which is only borderline acceptable for a $1300 2015 machine), we are still left only one usb port. But anyway, I guess what I wanted to say in my previous post with that 'netbook' statement, is that the performance doesn't go hand in hand with price for it, in other words, rMB is more of a fahion accesory, not really a device to replace your ultrabook.

    ----------

    You got it all wrong.

    new rMBA takes over the rMBP 13" and it's current price and all the extras like force touchpad and more storage/ram.
    non-retina MBA line stays alive (couldn't hurt to bump the resolution to 1680x1050 though and make retina-like bezels).
    Then we have rMBP 15", where the name "pro" in it actually means something (not like the current 13" rMBP, which is slower than MBA when using in it's retina native resolution) and seems logical.

    IMO that would make much more sense than killing the current MBA line.

    PS.

    If we are talking ultrabooks - 4 years, not 2.
    2011 ultrabooks scored on Cinebench quite similarly to the CPU used in rMB but tested in active cooled environment (Yoga 3 Pro). It's still not a bad perfoemance, considering that back in 2011 these ultrabooks were truly one of the kind and this certainly should be enough if the CPU is not throttling, but not for $1300. With this price tag, like I said, it's a fashion accessory.

    EDIT once again: That all being said, I still don't think that it will be able to play UHD youtube videos without lagging. It will be more because of the poor youtube html5/flash player optimization, but still, consumers won't care about the reasoning.
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

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    #14
    This is nonsense. Look at the length to which Apple went to minimize battery drain and maximize the battery capacity in the rMB. Simply illuminating the retina display requires a large boost in battery capacity.

    Or come at this differently. Spec for spec, how much more is going on under the hood in the 13" rMBP than in the 13" MBA? You aren't really telling us that there's that much difference between the amount of current used by the HD 5000 vs. the Iris 5100? Compare the battery size that the two systems use: 54Wh for the MBA vs. 72Wh for the rMBP.

    ----------

    Or (guessing), Apple had a choice: build a really competitive 2015 machine (which is what everyone wanted) or build something that will be a market leader in 2017 after a year or two of product development. Not surprisingly, they chose the latter, even though it disappointed a lot of people here - which by the way does not mean that it will disappoint a lot of Apple's customer base.

    ----------

    Or maybe not silly. :) Maybe what it means is that Apple has got too many separate laptop product lines right now? I'm not trying to be funny. We have the MPB, the MBA, the rMBP and now the rMB or nMB or whatever you want to call it.

    I really wonder what the average consumer thinks when they walk around and see all of these machines for sale. A lot probably get confused? Even the people here, who are much better informed and motivated than the general consumer, can get confused.
     
  15. SmOgER, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #15


    rMB has poor battery life for the big part because of the fact that it's so ridiculously thin. And 13 rMBP, this machine uses 28W TDP CPUs instead of the 15W TDP despite the fact that it's i5 is only around as fast as MBA's i7. I can understand why Apple didn't want to choose lower TDP CPUs for rMBP, but they are nowhere near as efficient as MBA ones, the one which are precisely at the point where additional clock speed no longer can be archieved by very little power draw increase. Arguably apple could have MBA's i7 instead of the base model not so efficient i5-4308U, but this would just confuse the people when both base and upgrade have i7s which aren't the same, not to mention base model having substantially more battery life than the upgraded one which equals less revenue from the upgraded models.
     
  16. helloshirosan macrumors member

    helloshirosan

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    #16
    I'm upgrading from a 2008 13 inch Macbook Pro. I've been holding off and using my Late 2012 quad-core Mac Mini. I decided that my next Macbook laptop would be an Air seeing as how I have no need for a Pro even through I edit videos occasionally. In regards to the 2015 MBA with the 11 and 13 inch variants, I think it is pretty easy to answer the question as to why it hasn't adopted a retina screen. Like the Mac Mini (entry to desktop), the MBA is Apple's entry level to their line of laptops. It really is that self explanatory from a business prospective. Why the new Macbook 12 inch has retina and the MBA doesn't is because the 12 inch is more for business traveling people. Try to look at it like you would look at cars. Exotic sports cars have different variants to fit different needs for different drivers. That's how I look at it. Simple.
     
  17. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    #17
    Well said!
     
  18. symphara macrumors 6502a

    symphara

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    #18
    I just cannot shake the feeling that the 13" rMBP is not that portable laptop with good performance we want.

    I have a 13" Air in my lap and a new 13" rMBP next to me. I just put them on my kitchen scales - the Air weights 1340g, the Pro 1544g. It doesn't seem like much, but holding them each in one hand feels that the Pro is quite a bit heavier. I know which one I want to carry around with me when I travel.

    The worse feature is the thickness of the Pro. Typing in my lap is so much less comfortable. The Air is very thin opposite the hinge, it feels very natural. The Pro has this ridge pushing against my palms, so I have to either "float" my hands over it, which is uncomfortable, or rest my palms completely on the sides of the trackpad, which is also very uncomfortable a position to type in or use the trackpad, as I have large hands.

    I think that the Air is the best designed laptop I've seen. Shame about the screen. I don't need a "retina" resolution, even 1680x1050 would had been enough to get rid of the fuzzy font rendering. Surely in 2015 there was no need to stay with a 1440x900 display?

    I'd love to upgrade to a Pro, I just don't like its ergonomics. The new rMB with its Core-M and one USB port is not even a contender. I'd rather buy a keyboard for the iPad and achieve much of the same functionality, but I need a lot more.
     
  19. newellj macrumors 601

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    #19
    I owned both a 13" Air and a 13" rMBP for a while and came to the other conclusion, but your points are both valid and interesting (to me). Apart from the substantive points, the Air is clearly a highly iconic design, a genuine classic and also an important point in the development of laptops (it basically created the ultrabook category). It's easy to understand the ferocity of the response to the Spring Forward event.

    By the way, how come I'm not seeing any outrage over the failure to put the new SSD into the 11" MBA? I'm serious - that's a pretty big slight to an Air with a unique market niche.
     
  20. symphara macrumors 6502a

    symphara

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    #20
    I think it's a question of things being adequate (as in, they'll do a good job even if they're not the best) vs being inadequate (they won't do a good job compared to what's out there).

    The SSD in the 11" Air is adequate. That's why people don't complain. At the end of the day, I think most PCs still have actual hard drives with spinning parts, those are a lot slower, and they're still adequate for most purposes.

    The screen resolution in the 13" Air is inadequate. It's really 10-year old technology. An update was long overdue. In 2008 you could buy one and knew it wasn't the best, in 2011 you'd grumble about it, in 2015 I think - unfortunately - it's plenty of reason to avoid buying the Air.
     
  21. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #21
    Great comments all-around in this thread.

    As for the lack of outrage re:new SSD in 11" MBA, it is probably due to "outrage overload". There are too many things to be outraged about with the Spring Forward event that people have probably reached their saturation point.

    The common belief seems to be that Apple is engaging in a cynical money-grab across all models within their notebook line-up. I'm inclined to agree.

    Those who are committed to purchasing an OSX notebook this cycle are not going to be happy with the choices available to them... but they maximize profits for Apple.

    If I needed to purchase an OSX notebook this year, I would be hard pressed to buy one and would need to re-think the OSX requirement.
     
  22. symphara macrumors 6502a

    symphara

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    #22
    The OSX requirement is indeed the key. I think that some (most?) people here have invested in the Apple ecosystem, and that makes it a lot harder for them.

    I personally have, aside for the hardware, an absolute zero investment, in apps/music/books, both on OSX and iOS, in terms of money and time. I haven't purchased a single app, piece of music, a single book or whatever else from them. I haven't spent a minute learning to use XCode. I don't use any of their side-products - FaceTime, iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand, their office suite etc - if these disappear tomorrow from my laptop I won't miss them at all.

    This of course makes it easy for me to evaluate my OSX requirement, which is slight: OSX is more secure than Windows, it's easier to get an X11 server compared to Windows, runs more of my Steam games compared to Linux, and runs the Blizzard games (which Linux doesn't, to my knowledge).

    But I wholly sympathise with people who've paid good money into the OSX/iOS framework. They're stuck with whatever hardware Apple offers, and when Apple takes away a good option (as with the quad-core Mac Mini) or fails to update a key area of a product line for years (as with the Air display), they're out of luck.
     
  23. newellj macrumors 601

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    #23
    I completely agree...I think that other than on power-up very, very few people will notice the faster SSD in the 13", but it is a little hard to understand why it was worth doing for the 13" and not the 11". Maybe that tells us something about sales volume.

    "Outrage overload" actually gave me an out-loud laugh, which is a first for threads in this forum for quite a while! :cool:

    It's sort of too bad, because but for the lack of a display upgrade to the MBA, there was a lot to be impressed by at the Spring Forward event. I forwarded my phone to voicemail and closed the door so I could watch the whole thing. Some of it, like the HealthKit improvements, are almost visionary. And the rMB, if it hadn't obviously bumped the display upgrade for the MBA, would probably be getting nothing but adulation from most Mac owners. *sigh* :confused:

    ----------

    I go all the way back with both MS and Apple. I still use both. On balance, I prefer Apple for most needs, though not all. Honestly, if you are a little flexible about how you satisfy your needs, and more importantly, your desires, you should be able to be happy as long as you don't think you're making a lifetime investment.

    If you get really wrapped around the axle, you probably aren't going to be happy on either side of The Great Divide. The grass may be greener on the other side but if you (pardon the extended metaphor) get down in the weeds, you will find...weeds, and plenty of them. :eek: ;)
     
  24. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #24
    I agree with you on all counts!
     
  25. joshlalonde macrumors 6502

    joshlalonde

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