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

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  • orthorimorthorim Posts: 135member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    The only times I use an optical drive is when I have to send a huge publishing project to Japan or Europe. Many times those archives are 2-3 GB. I can FedEx them there by the time they could download them, if the download even makes it to the end without disconnecting for some reason.



    The other thing we use DVDs for is backing up our accounting data and putting it in the fire safe off site. I don't want that stuff on somebody's computer or in the cloud and DVDs are a lot cheaper and more secure than USB memory sticks.



    Dude - it's 2012. I can download 1GB in about 1 hour and I am in a 3rd world country with shitty internet connections. Japan or Europe? Please.



    Use download managers if you have disconnect issues. Use a seed box (100MB up/down) and make torrents, that costs all of $5/month. Or a dedicated FTP server. Or Dropbox, actually, which automates all of this stuff.
  • orthorimorthorim Posts: 135member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I always thought the first Dell Adamo was smart looking.



    If for some reason Jony Ive is bothering you and just won't leave, show him a picture of that. He'll run screaming... what a piece of garbage...
  • orthorimorthorim Posts: 135member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I don't mind the MBA style ssds, but you should consider cost here. That kind of density is most likely very expensive. I'm sure the idea would sell, but I don't know that you'd feel the difference as much as you expect.



    Hm? One thing that makes the MacBook Air so competitive is the SSD. Hard to get a PC laptop with the same size SSD for the same price. So Apple's internal SSD prices are *very* reasonable. The SSD upgrades are expensive but not much more so than getting an aftermarket SSD.



    I think it'll be a reasonably cheap 15" MBA with the option to go all out on the SSD.... probably only 512 but I wish they'd make a 1TB option too. I doubt they'll want to get into RAID and all the complications it might bring... not gonna happen. If you have full control over the hardware it would seem there are much better and stable ways to improve performance than RAID. Flash drives already access cells in parallel, just like a RAID accesses disks in parallel.
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  • lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tmallon;


    I second the need for the gig ethernet port, now the million dollar question to buy a Pro now, or wait and see what we end up with.



    You're never going to get a millionnaire... It's a THREE THOUSAND dollars question, not a million dollar question. Or else, you must be getting a gold unibody MacBook Pro!



    (Ok, if anyone's looking for me, I'm hidden...)
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by orthorim View Post


    Hm? One thing that makes the MacBook Air so competitive is the SSD. Hard to get a PC laptop with the same size SSD for the same price. So Apple's internal SSD prices are *very* reasonable. The SSD upgrades are expensive but not much more so than getting an aftermarket SSD.



    I think it'll be a reasonably cheap 15" MBA with the option to go all out on the SSD.... probably only 512 but I wish they'd make a 1TB option too. I doubt they'll want to get into RAID and all the complications it might bring... not gonna happen. If you have full control over the hardware it would seem there are much better and stable ways to improve performance than RAID. Flash drives already access cells in parallel, just like a RAID accesses disks in parallel.



    You misunderstood me here. I never suggested that the SSD pricing in the macbook air was not reasonable. I suggested that given the potential cost of the part, it's most likely cost prohibitive in your suggested configuration at this time. You had suggested I would imagine it contributes heavily to the cost of the machine even with Apple's careful sourcing. This is the kind of thing I'd expect within a few cycles, but not necessarily on the coming cycle.



    RAID was really designed to solve problems that aren't present here. You seem to understand it, but many people do not. You have no idea how many times I've had to explain to people why a RAID 5 is not a backup , or maybe you do. Anyway I'm still turning this over in my head here. I guess if they went to all ULV cpus and/or dropped discrete graphics that could probably be used to bump storage capacity even with the stick type ssds assuming they're maintaining comparable price points, but it would definitely be a bubble balanced around expensive storage.



    I guess it depends how they see their current customer base. There's still a need for some kind of tiered solution in terms of raw computing power for those that need it, but i'm not sure how they'll choose to address it. Keep in mind that I'm not referencing the article given the troll sourcing of it.
  • womblingfreewomblingfree Posts: 206member
    Top of the range Pro has a 17" screen, 750GB hdd and is a quad-core i7. If that's what's going in the best Air then lovely, but i doubt it just yet.



    My guess is we'll see the Macbook Air drop the 'Air' suffix sooner or later, while the Pro gets a re-design, either following the Airs lead, or the iPads, or something quite new. They could just drop the Pro suffix as well and call them all Macbooks I suppose, but my guess is there'll be two distinct lines.
  • winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    I had this crazy idea I was throwing around in my head last night, I just want to have some debate on it and see what people would change.



    Kill the 11" MBA and make the 13" MBA the entry model. Doubtable that it would be done but ah well.



    1. Entry model 13" ULV processor with 4 GB of RAM/128 GB SSD standard - $999

    2. Regular 13" MBP with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD standard - $1199

    3. Thinner 15" MBP 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD standard - $1,499

    4. Higher end 15" MBP $1,799

    5. 17" - $1999



    Still working out the kinks in terms of display, memory, SSD. Higher end 15" would have 256 GB with option for 512, etc.



    I don't have these expectations but I can't wait to see what the new models bring.
  • sc54321sc54321 Posts: 54member
    I'd love to get a 15" MB (Air/Pro), I do a lot of travel and a lighter decent sized MB would be excellent. I do think Ethernet port is pretty important.



    Lot of hotels only support ethernet connection in the rooms. Unless you're going to carry around an airport express with you I think you're stuck, but if you have to start carrying accessories around you sorta defeat the purpose of going for a lighter laptop...



    I worry that when the new 15" arrives it will be sans ethernet port which is a shame.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Winter View Post


    I had this crazy idea I was throwing around in my head last night, I just want to have some debate on it and see what people would change.



    Kill the 11" MBA and make the 13" MBA the entry model. Doubtable that it would be done but ah well.



    Seriously if the 11" AIR sells why can it? I'd never buy it simply because it is too small for me as a laptop. That has more to do with getting old and simply needing a bigger screen, but from what I understand the 11" sells well so I can't see a justification in killing it.

    Quote:



    1. Entry model 13" ULV processor with 4 GB of RAM/128 GB SSD standard - $999



    Now if we want to talk about lower prices from Apple that is another thing. However there is a secondary issue ( maybe primary on the 13") and that is the AIRs come up short on storage and RAM.



    The storage and RAM concern are hard learned lessons so I'd rather see Apple address those issues in a significant way before trying to lower prices. Before you ask, yes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD are to small for a replacement computer for my 2008 MBP.

    [Quote]



    2. Regular 13" MBP with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD standard - $1199

    [Quote]

    This machine should get a dedicated GPU and a HiDPI screen. Again the RAM and SSD sizes are too small. The 13" machines are probably the smallest I'd ever consider but unfortunately Apple underpowers them apparently for marketing reasons. I don't really understand this as most people are focused on size first, but performance is a real secondary consideration.

    Quote:



    3. Thinner 15" MBP 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD standard - $1,499



    Again I see the same mistake, far to little RAM and SSD. Especially if this machine is to replace machines current MBP users have. To that end the base SSD would need to be 512GB. That could be in either one volume or spread out across more than one physical device.

    Quote:



    4. Higher end 15" MBP $1,799

    5. 17" - $1999



    Still working out the kinks in terms of display, memory, SSD. Higher end 15" would have 256 GB with option for 512, etc.



    I don't have these expectations but I can't wait to see what the new models bring.



    Well none of us can wait! However many of the configuration ps you have above would be dead in the water. A brand new MBP at $1500 dollars would be a total ripoff as you have them configured. Remember RAM is dirt cheap these days. Further Pro users are much more in tune with their needs there than AIR users are.



    SSDs are another matter and frankly this is why I expect support for hybrid machines with both SSD and conventional HD bays. In fact without such support I could see Apple loosing significant sales. Unless of course they can come up with some sort of sweetheart deal for very large SSDs.



    In the end I think most of what you have above ends up being too little to drive sales.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post


    I'd love to get a 15" MB (Air/Pro), I do a lot of travel and a lighter decent sized MB would be excellent. I do think Ethernet port is pretty important.



    It is extremely important. Not just for travel either. Some security solutions demand a built in Ethernet port.

    Quote:



    Lot of hotels only support ethernet connection in the rooms. Unless you're going to carry around an airport express with you I think you're stuck, but if you have to start carrying accessories around you sorta defeat the purpose of going for a lighter laptop...



    More so those wired connections are generally significantly faster. The other thing here is that WiFi in hotels can be sporadic at best even if it is an advertised feature. The classic example is WiFi in the lobby area while you are pretty much screwed on the third floor at the other end of the building.

    Quote:



    I worry that when the new 15" arrives it will be sans ethernet port which is a shame.



    Yeah this would truly suck. I do hope that Apple isn't that far out of tune with reality that they would jettson the Ethernet port. I could see a whole bunch of other features leaving before that port goes.
  • slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member
    Do some people just have to have something to complain about? ThunderBolt is your Ethernet port. Move on please.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post


    Do some people just have to have something to complain about? ThunderBolt is your Ethernet port. Move on please.



    If you still don't get it after reading this thread I will repeat.



    1.

    Ethernet is the only acceptable interface in some locations due to security needs. In these cases the port has to be built in because the security system is tied to the built in Ethernet hardwares identifier. Dongles are not acceptable at all here.



    2.

    In many locations WiFi is not supported or is too slow to be useful.



    3.

    TB is not a networking port. Thus connections to Ethernet would require a dongle. Dongles are simply stupid when such ports have been built into laptops for years.



    I could go on but first I'd suggest moving on yourself. This is a serious problem for many as it would mean that Mac Book Pros would be excluded from consideration. Nobody wants to switch over to a Windows machine because Apple was too stupid to find a way to build in an Ethernet port.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Dongles are simply stupid when such ports have been built into laptops for years.



    People said the same about USB's introduction. Is it impossible for Thunderbolt to afford the same security as Ethernet?
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post


    Do some people just have to have something to complain about? ThunderBolt is your Ethernet port. Move on please.



    Ethernet can be used for Gigabit Ethernet but the dongle would likely be very expensive. It's not a cost for being new, but because it has to have to be a chipped dongle like with the Thunderbolt cable. This cost will come down but it will likely always be disadvantageous to Gigabit Ethernet over USB3.0.



    Then there is the issue of having only one Thunderbolt port. One solution they have already implemented with the ATD (Apple Thunderbolt Display) but they could also create a port hub without the display attached. But that is still far from being a great option.



    I'm not sure I agree with wizard69 on all dongles are bad but I do agree that an ethernet port is likely to remain in the next round of MBPs because of the way some high security networks register MAC addresses.



    USB has its own unique identifiers but it's not a MAC address and it would be an undertaking to convert backends to register these USB IDs and even then it might now work since when you plug in ethernet to a USB port it generates a fake MAC address for the network. I could see such businesses as not allowing these machines would could be enough to affect Apple's decision.



    Apple could create a smaller/short Ethernet port interface that would fit on thinner MBPs. You'd still need a dongle but it would still be a proper ethernet port from a technical standpoint.



    My guess: Apple will make the next MBPs thinner and tapered but they will be thick enough at the back for an ethernet port at the back on the right side of the machine.
  • slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Ethernet can be used for Gigabit Ethernet but the dongle would likely be very expensive. It's not a cost for being new, but because it has to have to be a chipped dongle like with the Thunderbolt cable. This cost will come down but it will likely always be disadvantageous to Gigabit Ethernet over USB3.0.



    Then there is the issue of having only one Thunderbolt port. One solution they have already implemented with the ATD (Apple Thunderbolt Display) but they could also create a port hub without the display attached. But that is still far from being a great option.



    I'm not sure I agree with wizard69 on all dongles are bad but I do agree that an ethernet port is likely to remain in the next round of MBPs because of the way some high security networks register MAC addresses.



    USB has its own unique identifiers but it's not a MAC address and it would be an undertaking to convert backends to register these USB IDs and even then it might now work since when you plug in ethernet to a USB port it generates a fake MAC address for the network. I could see such businesses as not allowing these machines would could be enough to affect Apple's decision.



    Apple could create a smaller/short Ethernet port interface that would fit on thinner MBPs. You'd still need a dongle but it would still be a proper ethernet port from a technical standpoint.



    My guess: Apple will make the next MBPs thinner and tapered but they will be thick enough at the back for an ethernet port at the back on the right side of the machine.



    My understanding is that MAC addresses are such an easy work around from a security point of view, that it's mostly academic anyway. I also understand that, while perhaps some of the adapters are expensive because of the Eagle Peak/Light Peak chips, they support the exact same protocol which is basically an Ethernet controller, socketed to a PCI interface. I don't see why adapters couldn't be purchased by companies and flashed with secure firmware, or some other simple measure taken, if they really feel that strongly that this added measure is needed. I also was under the impression that Ivy Bridge supported hardware level encryption that could basically negate much of this need no matter what type of network connection it was running on.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slang4Art View Post


    My understanding is that MAC addresses are such an easy work around from a security point of view, that it's mostly academic anyway.



    It is easy to get around. I explained in today's UDID thread that MAC addresses are OSI Layer 2 virtual representations of the OSI Layer 1 Burned-In Address (BIA). Once it goes digital it can be spoofed. This is one way to get around a WiFi network that has locked out devices based on their MAC addresses. Of course, if two devices with the same MAC addresses try to access the same network there will be problems.



    Quote:

    I also understand that, while perhaps some of the adapters are expensive because of the Eagle Peak/Light Peak chips, they support the exact same protocol which is basically an Ethernet controller, socketed to a PCI interface.



    I'm not sure how data is structured and encapsulated with Thunderbolt but I suppose it could use a similar method as ethernet.
    Quote:

    I don't see why adapters couldn't be purchased by companies and flashed with secure firmware, or some other simple measure taken, if they really feel that strongly that this added measure is needed.



    That sounds like something that could be done but that seems like a complex solution to me. If given a choice I'd have to side with keeping ethernet, even if it means using a smaller port interface.



    PS: It's odd that ethernet is still using the J-45 jack and yet USB has so many variances in port interface sizes.



    Quote:

    I also was under the impression that Ivy Bridge supported hardware level encryption that could basically negate much of this need no matter what type of network connection it was running on.



    I don't anything know about this or how it could be used with a network connection.
  • slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member
    "I'm not sure how data is structured and encapsulated with Thunderbolt but I suppose it could use a similar method as ethernet."



    I thought it was inherently similar, so I am thinking the only reason this would really pose a problem is if there is some granular difference that a security expert can point out to us. Otherwise, as you said above, given the ease to work around, I don't see why greater focus isn't put on new types of wireless and OS level security.



    "That sounds like something that could be done but that seems like a complex solution to me. If given a choice I'd have to side with keeping ethernet, even if it means using a smaller port interface."



    Well again, if it is an easy work around to begin with, why isn't there greater emphasis put on more low level measures? Seems like IT as well as some end users are just doing a lot of back patting.



    "PS: It's odd that ethernet is still using the J-45 jack and yet USB has so many variances in port interface sizes."



    No, then you'd have all the same adapter whiners lining up to bitch about having to buy a different cable.



    "I [don't] know about this or how it could be used with a network connection."



    "New Security Features in Ivy Bridge



    Intel will also implement a digital random number generator (DRNG) with Ivy Bridge; another move that should save power over the current analogue design. The random number generator in a CPU helps to create a secure link with the security of a website by creating a unique link between the site and your PC that?s very hard to snoop and piggyback. Analogue RNGs are said to be quite inefficient when it comes to power draw, however.



    The new DRNG is designed with standards compliance in mind, with support for ANSI X9.82, NIST SP 800-90 and NIST FIPS 140-2/3 Level 2 certifiable entropy source all cited. The random number can be 16-, 32- or 64-bit.



    There?s also Supervisory Mode Execution Protection (SMEP), which Intel says will help to prevent ?execution out of untrusted application memory while operating at a more privileged level.? This refers to the ?rings of security? that we mentioned when talking about performance upgrades. The idea is that the software is run in one of four rings (or levels) of privileged access, and that you don?t want malware creeping from a less privileged ring of access into a more privileged ring, where it can really do serious harm."



    This as well as Mountain Lion sandboxing with Mac App Store deployment and device management should offer more than enough security for everyone but the tin hat committee. Unless I'm wrong, which is entirely possible.
  • winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    wizard69 - So start at 8 GB RAM/256 GB SSD? Do you think they would ever include a dedicated GPU (even say one such as in the high-end Mini)?



    I would love to put it something that is the most bang for the buck however I am trying to think a bit in Apple's senses here as to what they would do.



    Could you either PM me your suggestions or post them here? I am interested in hearing them.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    People said the same about USB's introduction. Is it impossible for Thunderbolt to afford the same security as Ethernet?



    In the same respect TB is a port not a dongle. If you have the Ehternet interface on a dongle (it doesn't matter what port it is plugged into) then its built in identification is disconnected from the laptops hardware. Thus any security so organized is of no value because any device can be connected on the other side of that port/dongle/interface.
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