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MacBook Air update with lower price expected from Apple in September

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
Citing supply chain sources, a Wall Street analyst claims that Apple is poised to introduce two new MacBook Air models this September, along with the expected iPod line refresh.

Analyst Keith Bachman with BMO Capital Markets this week issued a note to investors in which he said Apple will finally update its MacBook Air line next month. He said the Cupertino, Calif., company will launch two new units in September.

"We are not yet clear on all the specs, but supply chain checks suggest that unit shipments o the new Air products could far exceed the current Air, which we believe could suggest lower starting prices," Bachman wrote. "We project 2.9 million total notebooks in the September quarter, which we believe is reasonable."

Updates have been repeatedly rumored over the last year but never panned out. The hardware was last updated in June 2009, giving it a Core 2 Duo processor and Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics at a lower starting price of $1,499.

Bachman also spoke of Apple's anticipated update to its iPod line, though he did not specifically cite any industry insiders in his prediction for a redesigned, "much smaller" iPod nano.

"We believe that the Nano will be much smaller than past versions, and will not have a physical track wheel," he said, adding that it's possible that the iPod shuffle could be eliminated if the iPod nano is reduced in size.

Bachman also noted strong iPad and iPhone sales, and said checks in the supply chain indicate that the iPod touch has not been cannibalized by the iPad. BMO Capital Markets has maintained its "outperform" rating for AAPL stock, and has a price target of $315.
post #2 of 98
Great! This is just a fantastic piece of comupter! Just got one last year, so will have to wait till the next iteration or well, the next after the next to get the next one.
post #3 of 98
First iOS notebook?
post #4 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

First iOS notebook?

Not even anytime soon! iOS and Mac OS are still very different things. There is also no need to make a unique OS. I think Apple will first introduce a proper touch Mac OS before thinking of merging iOS and Mac OS. So, no need to wait for this at the moment.
post #5 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

First iOS notebook?

So an iPad with a keyboard and lots of storage. What would that really get you - the storage / retrieval model just does not make sense at this point for managing large amounts of docs. Also, I assume you would remove the trackpad sense the screen would be touch? It really begins to sound like a very different animal. Not at all an update -- don't think this is happening anymore than OS X on the iPad.
post #6 of 98
Give it a Core i3 and a price of around $1200 and I'll bite. Just wish it used a 2.5" Storage solution because SSDs are way more prevalent in that form factor.
post #7 of 98
"I hereby announce the MacBook Hydrogen! And here it..." BOOM!
post #8 of 98
I wonder if they would use flash memory for the hard drive. Would 64GB or 128GB of flash memory be cheaper than an SSD?
post #9 of 98
I'm looking forwards the iPod refresh. My first generation Touch is on it's last legs (battery is dying), and now I've got an iPad, my iPod needs are back to just a music player. Will be interested to see what the new Nano looks like.
post #10 of 98
The system memory is fixed and cannot be increased. 2GB is insufficient for today's multi-tasking. 4GB or bust.
post #11 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

Not even anytime soon! iOS and Mac OS are still very different things. There is also no need to make a unique OS. I think Apple will first introduce a proper touch Mac OS before thinking of merging iOS and Mac OS. So, no need to wait for this at the moment.

Personally, I don't see a merging of these two OS's anytime soon, or possibly ever. They're used in devices serving two different demographics (or purposes, I have Macs and MacBook Pro's as well as an iPad).

I belive that if a push exists to bring Mac OS to smaller devices, that is what will happen. And vice versa, I believe that if a push exists to put iOS in larger devices, that will happen. However, these devices won't be the same devices because they serve totally different purposes. They will differentiate on appearance, size, performance, I/O, and I'm guessing other features I can't think of right now.
post #12 of 98
I agree that it shouldn't be iOS and use the App Store.

There's a sensible space for the Air with Mac OS X. It can run lots of custom x86 stuff, has a keyboard with keys, etc etc. I'd like one with about a 10" screen or so - smaller than the current model. SSD would make sense too, although it might push the price too high so it should be an option rather than mandatory.
post #13 of 98
That would be slick!!
post #14 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOSbox-gamer View Post

The system memory is fixed and cannot be increased. 2GB is insufficient for today's multi-tasking. 4GB or bust.

I agree. 4GB is a minimum now. When the first MacBook Air was released, some Macs still came with 1GB. Now, nearly all Macs come with at least 4GB. There is no excuse for the MacBook Air to have less than 4GB.
Mac user since August 1983.
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post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffyzDead View Post

That would be slick!!

I don't think carbon would fit with Apple's green image. That stuff from what I read is nasty to use and hard to recycle.

4GB Ram, glass display (easier to clean) and I may very well bite.
Until then, I will continue to happily use my first-gen MBA when at the office.
post #16 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffyzDead View Post

Dare I say.... "Carbon fibre"
That would be slick!!

That would also be rather heavy compared to aluminum.
post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I don't think carbon would fit with Apple's green image. That stuff from what I read is nasty to use and hard to recycle.

4GB Ram, glass display (easier to clean) and I may very well bite.
Until then, I will continue to happily use my first-gen MBA when at the office.

Add an SDXC slot to that 11" glass display, 4 gb ram and SSD/NAND and so would I.
post #18 of 98
eventually there will be an iPad with keyboard.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/.a/6a01...5974513970c-pi

Bu it won't be a MacBook.
post #19 of 98
I've been waiting for this baby to be updated! I'm getting a new 27" iMac for my home studio, but also want a laptop for when I need to do some lite Photoshop and video editing on the road. (I travel ALOT).

As much as I love my iPad....it can't run the programs I use at home currently.

Then my studio will be complete. Bwa-ha-HA!

I just hope the rumor of it getting an 11.6" screen ain't true. I could live with it....but I'd prefer the screen size to stay the same. Also an i3 processor would be nice....as well as an sd card slot like the macbooks. :-)
post #20 of 98
Two Words: Air Touch.
post #21 of 98
Id like to see a MacBook/Pro without the optical drive soon. The MacBook Air is nice for what it is, but its a niche that will remain expensive and HW limited so long as it uses CULV processors and 1.8 drives. I want the full-size without the ODD taking up pointless space. Hopefully, that is what will be coming with this cheaper MBA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

First iOS notebook?

As others have stated. iOS on a notebook doesnt make any sense right now. Maybe at some point enough of the work down to make Mac OS X efficient enough for iOS will make its way back to the Mac, like QuickTime X did for the engine, but nothing that will be overtly noticeable to the user.
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post #22 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post

I wonder if they would use flash memory for the hard drive. Would 64GB or 128GB of flash memory be cheaper than an SSD?

SSD is FLASH. Is your thought having like a "high-speed" USB style thumbdrive technology for storage?
post #23 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

SSD is FLASH. Is your thought having like a "high-speed" USB style thumbdrive technology for storage?

He might be referring to on-board NAND v. an SATA connected SSD.

Personally, I cant even see Apple going that route with a Mac without burning more than few bridges unless they make it something like 16GB built-in and an HDD or SSD for your user accounts and other data. This would yield a very system. I can start up 20 apps from a cold boot in 15 seconds with my SSD and would imagine on-baord NAND would knock off a few more seconds.
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post #24 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post

I wonder if they would use flash memory for the hard drive. Would 64GB or 128GB of flash memory be cheaper than an SSD?

SSDs are made from flash memory so im not sure what you are talking about here. Apple could put the controller and flash on a PC board to save space butin the end it is still an SSD. In a nut shell SSDs are flash, a controller and algorithms all wrapped up in a neat package.



Dave
post #25 of 98
I'm still believing that Apple might pull a surprise and shock everyone. They plan to introduce a MacBook Air in September. If true, then that would coincide with iOS 4.1 coming out for the iPad and other iDevices. My theory is the Macbook Air will be reborn and as the AirBook or iAir with iOS 4.1 and not OSX anymore.
post #26 of 98
I know people don't like to hear this but AIR is likely seen as a flop at Apple. However the concept has some merit so a refactored AIR is a good possibility.

Number on it won't be an iOS device as that would be almost certain death for the product. Mac users woild have no use for such a laptop and iOS is currently to limited for such a platform.

Appple is currently at a dead end as far as suitable Intel hardware goes. Thus i'm kinda hoping that the platform adopts one or more of AMDs new Fusion processors. They seem to have the best potential these days for this class hardware. Especially when some of Intels offerings like the i3 offer zip improvements with respect to Core 2. Intel might move some competitive hardware forward to address this but i'd really like to see Apple play AMD against Intel.

Also the issue of ports has to be brought up, one silly little USB port is not good enough, further that trap door has to go. The minimal would be two (2) USB ports along with Ethernet and the other suspects. I only mention Ethernet again after suffering through really bad WiFi at a hotel again this weekend. In case you want to point it out NO an adapter isn't the solution, especially when an Ethernet port is free on many chipsets.

I concur with others here 4GB of RAM should be the minimal these days. That simply based on economics, though for my usage is not a big factor.

Storage on these ultra compacts is always an issue. SSD are the right way to go for reliability and low power but terrible for space usage. Thus i'm hoping Apple goes the same route many netbook makers took and adopts the use of PCI-Express cards for storage. These should be even faster than SATA drives and very thin.

After having my MBP 15" for close to two years now I've learned a few things. One is the importance of USB ports. The other is the need for big disk drives these days. As such I'm not sure I'd ever be a potential AIR customer as it is to difficult to stuff enough storage into the box.


Dave
post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I'm still believing that Apple might pull a surprise and shock everyone. They plan to introduce a MacBook Air in September. If true, then that would coincide with iOS 4.1 coming out for the iPad and other iDevices. My theory is the Macbook Air will be reborn and as the AirBook or iAir with iOS 4.1 and not OSX anymore.

Im not following you on this one. iOS has no known provisions for a trackpad/mouse pointer or Aqua GUI so Id have to think your saying it would be a touchscreen interface using CocoaTouch on hte display with a physical keyboard below?

And it wouldnt be able to run any Mac apps, just iPad and iPhone apps that wont look or function right, most of which would have to be turned to portrait mode with a keyboard sticking off to the side? Would the keyboard fold around back? If iPhone apps look horrid on a 9.7 iPad wouldnt they look even worse on a machine that has traditionally been 13?

What about being about being able to plug in a HDD to its USB port, Ethernet, and other things that iOS currently doesnt have any code for? Will there be another App Store for this iAir machine? Wont this size and machine type interfere with the iPad and convolute the product line?
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post #28 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I know people don't like to hear this but AIR is likely seen as a flop at Apple. However the concept has some merit so a refactored AIR is a good possibility.

Number on it won't be an iOS device as that would be almost certain death for the product. Mac users woild have no use for such a laptop and iOS is currently to limited for such a platform.

Appple is currently at a dead end as far as suitable Intel hardware goes. Thus i'm kinda hoping that the platform adopts one or more of AMDs new Fusion processors. They seem to have the best potential these days for this class hardware. Especially when some of Intels offerings like the i3 offer zip improvements with respect to Core 2. Intel might move some competitive hardware forward to address this but i'd really like to see Apple play AMD against Intel.

Also the issue of ports has to be brought up, one silly little USB port is not good enough, further that trap door has to go. The minimal would be two (2) USB ports along with Ethernet and the other suspects. I only mention Ethernet again after suffering through really bad WiFi at a hotel again this weekend. In case you want to point it out NO an adapter isn't the solution, especially when an Ethernet port is free on many chipsets.

I concur with others here 4GB of RAM should be the minimal these days. That simply based on economics, though for my usage is not a big factor.

Storage on these ultra compacts is always an issue. SSD are the right way to go for reliability and low power but terrible for space usage. Thus i'm hoping Apple goes the same route many netbook makers took and adopts the use of PCI-Express cards for storage. These should be even faster than SATA drives and very thin.

After having my MBP 15" for close to two years now I've learned a few things. One is the importance of USB ports. The other is the need for big disk drives these days. As such I'm not sure I'd ever be a potential AIR customer as it is to difficult to stuff enough storage into the box.


Dave

I agree with most of your post, but I dont think AMD is even a possibility. The biggest question I have is the IGP it will use. To save power and space they may go with IntelHD, which I can see as being adequate for its intended market, though I know it will update many on this forum to no end.
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post #29 of 98
Oy, the MacBook Air is a flop by Apple's standards. It's not wildly successful because it doesn't make much sense. Trading 2 lbs of weight for performance, battery life, flexibility, and a optical drive while ALSO being cheaper just makes me scratch my head as to why someone would purchase a MacBook Air.

Regardless, the fact that it hasn't been updated in so long makes me wonder if Apple's put it on the backburner. At the very least, since there hasn't been a price drop on it in a year, they must be making quite a bit more on them now than they were a year ago. This is one of the "problems" I have with Apple's fixed pricing.

Anyway, I'm just venting my reasons as to why I never recommend purchasing one to any of my friends. I'm sure the MBA fits someone's needs out there (though I would still question their needs). I'd more than happily recommend a MacBook or MacBook Pro to someone though.
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Oy, the MacBook Air is a flop by Apple's standards. It's not wildly successful because it doesn't make much sense. Trading 2 lbs of weight for performance, battery life, flexibility, and a optical drive while ALSO being cheaper just makes me scratch my head as to why someone would purchase a MacBook Air.

Yet despite all that, it’s cherished by those it was designed for and copied by every major vendor, almost to a tee, expect there versions ended up being more expensive in most cases.

Quote:
Anyway, I'm just venting my reasons as to why I never recommend purchasing one to any of my friends. I'm sure the MBA fits someone's needs out there (though I would still question their needs). I'd more than happily recommend a MacBook or MacBook Pro to someone though.

Two people I know who love their MBA. One has a Mac Pro with a 30” ACD, the other with an iMac at home. Both travel for work from time-to-time and prefer to take a small and portable machine with them instead of their desktops. It’s lighter and smaller — id est, it’s easier to travel with than a MB or MBP — and they simply don’t need that kind of power or storage since it’s only a short term machine. A netbook, even one running OSx86, isn’t an option because they need to do real work on this machine which means copious amounts of typing so a full-sized notebook keyboard is a must. An iPad might work in some regards, if it’s mainly for consumption, but for any productivity apps like iWork/Office it’s still not a replacement for a proper machine with a desktop OS.
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post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

Apple always emphasizes the whole User Experience, and with the AIR, it is the slimmest, thinnest, lightest notebook computer on the market. Apple will not sacrifice its core values of design in order to add unnecessary specs. Some people will think that a number is the be all and end all of the User Experience, but believe me, the thinness is unique and delightful to behold.


I've seen a lot of stupid responses to the request for more RAM in this thread but yours is the biggest heap of garbage yet.

First RAM technology continues to move forward to higher densities, more RAM does not imply a thicker AIR. It does imply the use of new tech as opposed to cheap but far older tech.

Second; on systems like these a large array of RAM can be of a bigger advantage than you might realize. You have to remember that these machines are already at a disadvantage due to the slower processors employed. More RAM means fewer cycles spent reloading that RAM saving power and at the same time increasing performance.

Third; Apple screwed up in the first place focusing to much on design and not enough on function. AIRs failure in the market is directly related to trying to appease people like you that don't have a value system that is rational. The vast majority of Apples customers expect reasonable value for money expended, something AIR could never live up to. It is not art it is a laptop.


In any event I'd expect Apple to address issues of salability on any AIR replacement offered up. Such a platform done right could actually replace the Mac Book in the lineup. In effect a Mac Book without the optical drive.



Dave
post #32 of 98
Click-wheel-less iPod nano? I bet that's what those square displays are for!
Still, it wolud be sad to see the current design go.
post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

... makes me scratch my head as to why someone would purchase a MacBook Air.


Anyway, I'm just venting my reasons as to why I never recommend purchasing one to any of my friends. I'm sure the MBA fits someone's needs out there (though I would still question their needs). I'd more than happily recommend a MacBook or MacBook Pro to someone though.

Wtf??... Since when, as a society, have we only purchased what we absolutely needed? I purchased a Macbook Air because I wanted one, not because I "needed" it.

You have got to be kidding.
post #34 of 98
The reason is simple being tied to Intel puts Apple into a bad position. In essences they are forced to follow Intels marketing and maket manipulation practices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree with most of your post, but I dont think AMD is even a possibility.

I wonder why you even say this? AMD seems to have a bad rep in this forum even though they developed the 64 bit architecture the Mac currently runs on. Plus the Fusion architecture has a lot of promise and would jive very VERY well with Apples Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. Fusion has the potential to work better with Mac OS than any other OS.
Quote:
The biggest question I have is the IGP it will use. To save power and space they may go with IntelHD, which I can see as being adequate for its intended market, though I know it will update many on this forum to no end.

This is the whole problem with Intel and is why i think it would be reasonable to look at AMD for a better solution. Not that the first Fusions will be all that great but even a little bit of OpenCL support and generally better graphics will go a long way to making a viable platform.

Lets say for example that at least one of these new machines is to play in the netbook category, that is ATOM based hardware. Go with AMDs Bobcat based Fusion and you get similar processor performance along with a much better GPU. What is not to like? People have to remember this is an entirely new generation of hardware from AMD and is argurably an excellent competitor to all of Intels ATOM chips. Plus the Fusion concept is extendable from the sub netbook categories up to laptops and small desktops.

More than anything else though i don't want Apples designs stuck on Intel hardware. It is there blatant market manipulation that sucks here.


Dave
post #35 of 98
I personally think the current air is too similar to the 13 inch Macbook Pro but with less power, less features, less battery life, old design trackpad, higher price tag, less less less less. the one and ONLY benefit is weight, which I understand people may like, but I think they should try to differentiate it by making it ~11.6 inches like a previous rumor suggested, and make it ONLY SSD. This would reduce the footprint, still barely accomodate a full size keyboard if engineered that way, and definitely reduce weight and thickness (with an all SSD approach certainly, since the design would not have to be built to accomodate a 1.8 inch drive, and the SSD could even be embedded into the mobo along with everything else).

Infact, I predicted and continue to predict Apple will make the Air a full SSD system and further reduce thickness since I first saw the original air.

I TOTALLY AGREE that the next air would be way better with 4gb RAM and is borderline necessary considering the way Apple markets the air in their lineup. They really try hard to make it almost as powerful as the low end Macbook Pro's but with ultra low power and space saving parts. Not saying they have been successful though...
post #36 of 98
nothing but problems with macbook air I had - sold on craigslist
I know several people that have them with dead batteries and it is a complete hassle.

BTW what Apple has done for years as a strategy is to delay models with new cpu's , etc., until price comes down due to volume. easy to see on i3,i5,i7 stuff. they wait until volume curve from pc ramps and then the get good price. then make a lot more profit.
post #37 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzMega View Post

Two Words: Air Touch.

Two Words: Not Happening
post #38 of 98
To those harping about the MBA not needing more than 2GB of ram, while that may be technically true for OSX on such a mobile laptop, I use my 1st gen MBA with VMWare/XP and it's the XP OS that I would use the extra ram for. It runs pretty well with 2GB but with all the patches that cone down, the requirements slowly add up.

My 2 cents.
post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The reason is simple being tied to Intel puts Apple into a bad position. In essences they are forced to follow Intels marketing and maket manipulation practices.

I wonder why you even say this? AMD seems to have a bad rep in this forum even though they developed the 64 bit architecture the Mac currently runs on. Plus the Fusion architecture has a lot of promise and would jive very VERY well with Apples Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. Fusion has the potential to work better with Mac OS than any other OS.

This is the whole problem with Intel and is why i think it would be reasonable to look at AMD for a better solution. Not that the first Fusions will be all that great but even a little bit of OpenCL support and generally better graphics will go a long way to making a viable platform.

Lets say for example that at least one of these new machines is to play in the netbook category, that is ATOM based hardware. Go with AMDs Bobcat based Fusion and you get similar processor performance along with a much better GPU. What is not to like? People have to remember this is an entirely new generation of hardware from AMD and is argurably an excellent competitor to all of Intels ATOM chips. Plus the Fusion concept is extendable from the sub netbook categories up to laptops and small desktops.

More than anything else though i don't want Apples designs stuck on Intel hardware. It is there blatant market manipulation that sucks here.


Dave

The biggest failure of the MBAs technology isnt its power, its the battery life. What mobile chip from AMD will offer the same performance with better power efficiency? If there is one, that is the only reason I can see Apple moving to AMD from Intel for a highly mobile machine.

In fact, I can see Apple using Atom or porting Mac OS X to ARM before I see Apple using AMD in their notebooks at this point.

If Intel cant even handle the supply and demand on its new chips I dont see AMD being able to handle a fraction of that without a large amount of cash from Apple to ensure exclusivity of new chips and an extra being setup, all of which we would likely have heard about in some form by now.
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post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Oy, the MacBook Air is a flop by Apple's standards. It's not wildly successful because it doesn't make much sense. Trading 2 lbs of weight for performance, battery life, flexibility, and a optical drive while ALSO being cheaper just makes me scratch my head as to why someone would purchase a MacBook Air.

Regardless, the fact that it hasn't been updated in so long makes me wonder if Apple's put it on the backburner. At the very least, since there hasn't been a price drop on it in a year, they must be making quite a bit more on them now than they were a year ago. This is one of the "problems" I have with Apple's fixed pricing.

Anyway, I'm just venting my reasons as to why I never recommend purchasing one to any of my friends. I'm sure the MBA fits someone's needs out there (though I would still question their needs). I'd more than happily recommend a MacBook or MacBook Pro to someone though.

Mine is the original from February 2008. My wife's, a 128G SSD is a year old and my mother-in-law's is about 2 years old. All professionals, writers, browsers, iPhoto'ers, iTunes users, Office users, eMailers, etc. etc. My 80G hard drive still has 40G available.

Not everybody is a power user. All 3 of us had PowerBooks, MacBookPros, etc. Now we're all eminently happy with our 13" screens, full sized keyboards and 3 pounds. The lack of of additional ports makes no difference whatsoever. I stream Netflix movies to mine or download from iTunes. And as for speed, the one with the ssd is fast, very fast.
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