Why we need a larger MacBook (not the Pro): the numbers

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by va1984, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. va1984 macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    I have long been saying that I would love Apple to make a larger MacBook -- say, 14" -- a fanless machine focused on portability and not Pro-oriented. Today I just happened to see some numbers that show the case for it very clearly.

    The Pro machines are heavier than the MacBook: 1.83kg and 1.37kg for the 15" and 13" respectively, compared to 0.92kg. Their screens are, of course, also larger: 15.4" and 13.3" versus 12".
    But when you work out how much weight you are carrying for each square inch of display area, the difference between a "Pro" and a "portable" machine is clear:

    12" MacBook: 70.3 square inches of display per kg
    13" MacBook Pro: 58 square inches per kg
    15" Macbook Pro: 58.2 square inches per kg

    There is a 20% weight premium that comes with the Pro-ness of the Pro machines.

    Imagine if Apple could keep the same weight/display ratio and make a 15.4" MacBook (not Pro) weighing ~ 1.5kg... that would be a really compelling machine for me. Or a 14" MacBook weighing ~1.25kg (2.7lbs). That would be incredible.
  2. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I totally agree. They should replace the Air completely with a larger 14" MacBook. Keep the logic board and M-series chips, keep the same screen resolution but on a bigger panel, and then use the extra internal volume for another USB-C on the right side and increase battery size for more up-time. Ultimately, a sub 3-pound, 14" non-pro would be fantastic!
  3. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
  4. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    Why not take the current MBA, replace the 13.3 with a 14inch Full HD TN (is good enough) and replace the thunderbolt 2 with a TB3, and voila, the perfect cheap MacBook.
  5. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    The form factor would be good, but I think the M-series chips are more power efficient and run totally fan-less. The current MacBook is so good that just adding a larger option would be a good option I think. And for those of us with aging eyes (screw thus age 48 stuff, and the sudden need for reading glasses!) Having a larger screen with similar specs of the current MacBook would be great!
  6. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    ... 48 stuff, and the sudden need for reading glasses!) Having a larger screen with similar specs of the current MacBook would be great![/QUOTE]

    I just turned 49 and looking down the road of reading glasses (blindly ).
    I agree that the current MacBook air is fast enough. Give it a newer more power efficient 7th gen processor thats at least equivilent (or better) and im happy. The current form factor is perfect and the reason the MacBook air is still going strong almost 10yrs later is because they nailed the ergonomics perfectly first time.
    I own both a mbp 15 inch and mba 13inch and most of the time I reach for the lesser Air despite its short comings as its just easier to get along with.

    The only thing is I find the current resolution of the 1440x900 to be too limiting with the software i use most (Autocad, excel) but quality of the TN panel other than resolution is fine. 1080p TN panels are used in $300 netbooks so should not increase the price at all like an IPS panel would.
    If they that and replaced the tb2 with tb3 they'd have a perfect laptop that would sell like hotcakes with very high profit margins.
  7. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    Sorry guys, the 12" MacBook is truly perfect - i've been using them since 2015 and Macs since 1995.
    The Air is a disgrace to the range and those silver bezels - yuk.
    If you want a larger screen, simply go for the Non TB 13" MacBook Pro or a 15" MacBook Pro.
    14" will eat too heavily into the MacBook Pro pricing.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2018 ---
    NO!!!!!!! Check out the horrible, off centred tiny trackpad! C'mon man, LG is mass produced rubbish, Apple is quality.
  8. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    The Macbook Air still sells in huge numbers because it's form is what people want.
    It's portable, light, does everything right, and has a better keyboard for longer typing periods being easier to type on and devoid of loud clacking sounds. It also has usable ports.
    For non heavyweight programs it's perfect (except for me personally the resolution).
    I bought a 2016 nTB 13inch to replace my 2011 Air but after keys kept getting stuck and battery life dropped by half I returned it and kept the Air instead.
    My 2015 MBP 15inch almost never leaves my desk and is my portable workstation.
    My Air is my coffee shop, couch, travel companion.
    I will probably upgrade to a MacBook 12 inch at the next revision but who knows.
  9. va1984 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    Couldn't agree more. My heart aches when I see people buying a new MacBook Air in 2018 (and you see people doing it).
  10. ChinkyBob macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2014
    It' hardly a disgrace. A tad dated now compared to the rest of the range, but still better than 90% of the windows options I see everywhere else (a testament to how good the original design actually was).
    Other than Dell high end XPS's and similar most windows options have big bezels too, but much worse battery life, cheap build quality, keyboards, etc.
    The air is still light, effective, built well.
    They have magsafe, normal ports, sd card slot, has a tapered design and decent keyboard which makes typing all day a comfortable option, things the mac book Pros do not,
    The other Mac options have potentially dodgy keyboards, inconsistant battery life, dongle hassle.
    The only thing dated about MBA is the screen. Revisit the screen, use a new gen processor for increased power and battery life and it's perfect.
    My two cents.
  11. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    This is the common problem of the users with tight wallets: they want more that costs less.

    Ultimately, Apple probably has a philosophy that the “pro” machines are bigger, heavier, different and expensive.
    Everything else is trimmed down and not as powerful.

    The MacBook Pro will be light and fanless in 4-5 years when the cpu process allows 7 or 5nm.
    Until then you get the MacBook, and it will be smaller to force people to buy-up if they must.
  12. Zazoh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    I love the form factor and portability of the rMB - when I need more screen, I plug in to external monitor, have one at work and one at home. Note, I find the screen size of the rMB very useable. I used to have a 15" MBP, way too big and heavy and it wasn't Retina display, so really field of view was about the same.
  13. va1984 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    Your first sentence makes zero sense in the context of this conversation. Never in my post above did I mention money. I would buy a 14"-15" lightweight MacBook if it was priced as much as a 15" MacBook Pro. Let me fix that, I would buy a 15" lightweight MacBook even if it had the same processing power as the 12" MacBook and it cost $3000.
    In fact, at the moment I own a 13" MBP whereas I could have gotten the 15", because I don't want the extra weight and I don't want to carry around a graphics card I don't need. So Apple could have an extra $1k of my money right now, if they made the right product to get it.

    Indeed, I think you might be wrong with respect to Apple's general philosophy: where does the 12" MacBook fit in with your "bigger, heavier, different and expensive" theory? It's "smaller, lighter, not-that-different and quite expensive". This shows that Apple understands that there is a premium market for well designed, ultralight and ultraportable laptops that are not needlessly overpowered for the needs of professionals who are not in the engineering/video/graphics/music industry.

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