Rumor: Apple to launch 15-inch MacBook Air in April, 'effectively killing the Pro'

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  • bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 810member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    If the 17" "pro" is considerably faster than the only 15" air, count me out. My 15" is my main work machine, I go everywhere with it, 17" is just too big to lug around everywhere. They really need to keep the 15" pro imo.



    After getting my grubby little hands on a 17" MacBook pro for a few days I have to agree. Lugging that big beast around would get old rather quickly. Even if it gets the air treatment that would still be to big to take everywhere. IMHO.



    I wonder if Apple might keep a single model 15" with an optical drive around for a while. I personaly don't think it has to be either/or situation. Yet.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I was amused by the sources cited on this article. They actually stated that it was speculation from an anonymous accessory maker. They're taking guesses and leveraging them into their plans for accessory designs. I'd actually like it if Apple did some of what you mention here in terms of heat dissipation. A silent machine that runs cooler, the potential for a second drive, or longer battery life would be very "Pro". I guess Apple can do whatever they like, but they pretty much address the capacity of what can really be addressed within the typical Air density. I am not sure how much they'd gain building a 15" Air. The weight also seems to be commonly misunderstood. I don't think the shell is a massive contributing factor there compared to what is inside it. The next time I do any real travel I plan to pick up what happens to be the current air just because it fits so well in a backpack. Unfortunately I doubt drive capacity will be greater at that time .



    Weight is an unusually selling point with a machine you set down to use. If we're talking a couple pounds it's an issue but a couple ounces isn't a big deal to carry around in a bag that liekly weighs more than it.



    They might be seeing an ODD-less MBP and think it's a MBA. That certainly isn't uncommon on these forums.



    Personally, I can see a 15" MBA even going with the HiRes display option the current iGPU of the MBAs can handle it. I also think their performance levels are good enough for most users. Just pack in more battery life, append a couple hundred over the base MBA price and I think you'll have a very popular 15" notebook from Apple.



    For a thinner MBP Apple can do several things to shrink the thickness without losing RJ-45 jack, which is by far the largest port remaining. They can shrink the top case by using the milled technique of the MBAs, or make the bottom plate bevel less. I think they could thin out the chassis a little around the RJ-45 jack, but not much.



    I hope the next MBPs come with HiDPI and IPS displays... but I'll take either one. I expect Apple to focus heavily on Macs this year. I think we're going to be overwhelmed with the Mac updates this year. I also wouldn't be surprised if they expand their line up. At this point they need more products, not less.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    No thanks. I despise carrying external anything for a device.



    I despise having 1/2 the battery life that could be gained from the ODD's space. I despise the lack of ports on the right side of my MBP.
  • vandilvandil Posts: 187member
    We are two and a half months into 2012. I own a 13" Macbook Pro and I have used my optical drive and ethernet port exactly zero times this year. I think I used the optical drive once in 2011.



    I think lugging around an optical drive is a waste of weight, but I prefer having a hard disk drive over the flash module thing the Airs have. USB optical drives are fine. New Macs use Lion over the Internet or on a recovery partition or flash drive, so a DVD-drive (Apple-blessed or not) isn't needed for recovery purposes. A USB ethernet adaptor can be be made available for those that need it (or for those situations where you might want one), just like they did with dial-up modems.



    So i welcome the optical drive-less design and having an extra USB port to replace the ethernet jack. They can get rid of the Firewire 800 jack while they're at it and allow people to create a thunderbolt-to-firewire800 adaptor for those that need it.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Apple has a patent for a hybrid SSD/HDD that fits in a 2.5" bay. They could potentially use that to the fast boot/wake in the MBAs. Or they could offer a dual-drive system that uses both the SSD card found in the MBAs and a 2.5" SSD/HDD drive.



    In regards to ports, once you remove that ODD you give yourself 5.25" of port side space.



    Yes, but that's assuming they keep the mbp form factor, which I am sure they won't. The question is how thin a 15" Air can be and still squeeze in an HDD. Possibly a 15" Air will be just that much thicker and larger than the 13" model that a few 'essential' ports can be fitted - Ethernet / USB / Thunderbolt?
  • applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post


    Best post I've read so far on this subject.



    "One possible scenario would be to drop the 13" pro to make the new lines:

    MBA - 11, 13, and 15"

    MBP - 15 and 17"



    This seems the most logical scenario to me as well. Also, don't forget the other advantages of the pro is that they have quad-core processors and can be expanded up to 8GB of RAM vs dual-core processors & 4GB of RAM on the MBA.



    Here's a wild idea !!



    We know Apple likes to surprise. How about an 11" aluminum unibody MacBook Pro (or call it MacBook)? Same screen res as the current 13" Pro (which is the same as the 11" Air). No optical drive, 64GB (upgradeable) SSD, 2GB (upgradeable) RAM, and an HDD. Priced at $999. Would sell like hot cakes!



    There - Tim Cook - an idea worth a few million in revenues !!

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Yes, but that's assuming they keep the mbp form factor, which I am sure they won't. The question is how thin a 15" Air can be and still squeeze in an HDD. Possibly a 15" Air will be just that much thicker and larger than the 13" model that a few 'essential' ports can be fitted - Ethernet / USB / Thunderbolt?



    I wouldn't expect a MBA to have a 2.5" drive. It seems to me by definition an Air wouldn't have that. I was talking about a MBP that follows some of the design cues from the MBA like it did last time.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I hope the next MBPs come with HiDPI and IPS displays... but I'll take either one. I expect Apple to focus heavily on Macs this year. I think we're going to be overwhelmed with the Mac updates this year. I also wouldn't be surprised if they expand their line up. At this point they need more products, not less.



    I would love Hi Res screens in the MBP / AIR, but wouldn't a shift to Hi Res laptop screens also require a change to their monitors? How difficult would that be in a 27" screen?



    By the end of next year there will surely be more products - 7.8" iPad, Apple Television... and possibly even one more thing. But that doesn't preclude streamlining of the laptop range.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I would love Hi Res screens in the MBP / AIR, but wouldn't a shift to Hi Res laptop screens also require a change to their monitors? How difficult would that be in a 27" screen?



    I'd expect the 27" iMac to be the last to get it. HiDPI displays are s trickle up technology for the yields weren't talking about. I also wouldn't expect the MBAs to get them before the MBPs because the MBAs don't seem geared toward high-end buyer.



    Quote:

    By the end of next year there will surely be more products - 7.8" iPad, Apple Television... and possibly even one more thing. But that doesn't preclude streamlining of the laptop range.



    I can't see I think either of those are a shoe in.
  • macwisemacwise Posts: 63member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokken View Post


    There aren't that many people need to use...the horsepower



    You do realize the latest Airs with their slower processors outgun my fully loaded quad-core i7 MBP with a 7,200 RPM drive, right?



    I fully expect that a Macbook Air 15" with the latest chipsets would put any laptop (and many desktops) to shame.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macwise View Post


    You do realize the latest Airs with their slower processors outgun my fully loaded quad-core i7 MBP with a 7,200 RPM drive, right?



    I fully expect that a Macbook Air 15" with the latest chipsets would put any laptop (and many desktops) to shame.



    In CPU performance? In GPU performance? In drive performance? The only one that is likely is in drive performance because a 7200 RPM HDD is slow.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I'd expect the 27" iMac to be the last to get it. HiDPI displays are s trickle up technology for the yields weren't talking about. I also wouldn't expect the MBAs to get them before the MBPs because the MBAs don't seem geared toward high-end buyer.



    I am not convinced the MBA and the MBP will have a different form factor. I wonder if the difference will be in the specs only.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I am not convinced the MBA and the MBP will have a different form factor. I wonder if the difference will be in the specs only.



    I don't know what you mean. Do you expect the next MBPs will have a tapered design like the MBA? I do, but I expect them to be thicker to accommodate ports and internals that the MBAs can't.
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Not sure about the 6/16 part. I guess you don't use rulers very often.



    But you're almost right about the 5/16" I just measured the back part of the case to .321" = 8.15 mm



    Edit: actually the male RJ-45 is exactly 5/16". Nevertheless, as you say, not enough room for it on the Air.



    Hey thanks for the random insult.



    I did in fact use a ruler although, and yes it was marked in 16ths so I'm talking about the nearest 16th of an inch. I didn't in fact measure the male RJ-45, but the hole that it goes in (as I noted) on a unibody MacBook Pro which is exactly the size I mentioned.



    So in fact, there is nothing inaccurate about my measurements at all.
  • carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vandil View Post


    but I prefer having a hard disk drive over the flash module thing the Airs have. USB optical drives are fine.



    I recently upgraded my 15" MBP by ripping out the optical drive and adding a 128GB SSD as the main boot drive. I left the old HDD in place because I thought I needed the extra space. Not sure I did.



    The SSD makes such an incredible difference to the performance of the machine.

    If I had to choose, I would now opt for fast and small over large and slow any day.



    C.
  • carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    In CPU performance? In GPU performance? In drive performance? The only one that is likely is in drive performance because a 7200 RPM HDD is slow.



    In terms of raw numbers, you are right.

    In terms of usability, the drive performance makes an astonishing difference.



    I have a Mac Pro, quad core, with 9Gigs of memory - running of a Velociraptor 10,000 RPM HDD.

    But to use, my recently upgraded MBP with an SSD feels like the faster machine.



    C.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Hey thanks for the random insult.



    Sorry, in the States we usually call 6/16" three eighths. The Imperial units of measure suck anyway and that is just one example of why.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I don't know what you mean. Do you expect the next MBPs will have a tapered design like the MBA? I do, but I expect them to be thicker to accommodate ports and internals that the MBAs can't.



    I am not convinced there will be a separate 13 MBP, but instead a higher specced MBA (possible called MBP), and I imagine the 15" MBA will be be thick enough to accommodate ports and internals as you suggest, but that a lower specced version will be called a MBA and a higher specced version the MBP. Maybe there will be some other differentiating factor in terms of looks, but I wonder if the chassis will be identical. And that there will be no 17MBA, only a MBP, but with the same design as the MBA.
  • applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    While I agree, I expect the next generation MBA to have an option of 8 GB of RAM on the motherboard. The Pro may have the option to go to 16 GB.



    All 2011 (Feb and Oct) Pros can go to 16GB (although not officially acknowledged by Apple).
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    In terms of raw numbers, you are right.

    In terms of usability, the drive performance makes an astonishing difference.



    I have a Mac Pro, quad core, with 9Gigs of memory - running of a Velociraptor 10,000 RPM HDD.

    But to use, my recently upgraded MBP with an SSD feels like the faster machine.



    Sure, but we're still talking about an HDD v. an SSD. I think it's reasonable to assume that any form factor change to the MBP will also come with fast boot, like in the MBAs, but also allow for having high capacity drives that simply aren't an option in the MBAs.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Sorry, in the States we usually call 6/16" three eighths. The Imperial units of measure suck anyway and that is just one example of why.



    Usually you change to the lowest common denominator for math class but in the real world it can oft be easier if all measurements have the same denominator.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I am not convinced there will be a separate 13 MBP, but instead a higher specced MBA (possible called MBP), and I imagine the 15" MBA will be be thick enough to accommodate ports and internals as you suggest, but that a lower specced version will be called a MBA and a higher specced version the MBP. Maybe there will be some other differentiating factor in terms of looks, but I wonder if the chassis will be identical. And that there will be no 17MBA, only a MBP, but with the same design as the MBA.



    To me that sounds like a convoluted line up. A MBA with the performance of a MBP sounds to me like it should be marketed as a MBP.
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post


    I recently upgraded my 15" MBP by ripping out the optical drive and adding a 128GB SSD as the main boot drive. I left the old HDD in place because I thought I needed the extra space. Not sure I did.



    The SSD makes such an incredible difference to the performance of the machine.

    If I had to choose, I would now opt for fast and small over large and slow any day.



    C.



    I have been tempted to do this for a long time with my MB (Alu but pre pro by about a week!), but as my machine is getting long in the tooth anyway I am not sure it is worth it.
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