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First look: Apple's new 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air - Page 4

post #121 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

That made me smile, seeings as how when Apple first put the black bezel on their laptops (not very long ago at all) a lot of people thought it was hideous and made them look like generic Windows laptops.

I know, it's weird. I look at the current new MBA bezel and it looks "thick" and old-fashioned, at least in the pictures. In person overall it will look good though. Tech design is cyclical!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whistle View Post

While someone is lunging these new Airs, cannot help thinking that iPad is the way to go. I can get almost all I want to do on a mobile computer with this 1.5 lb 10+hr 3G Internet and touch screen. See image below and compare to real estate shown on the first post.

There's definitely a role for the iPad. I for one don't like folding out the screen and having a separate keyboard after using the iPad. But some people do need their full Excel, Flash and whatever else, that's fine. Apple is covering all sides, from iPhone to iPad to MBA to MBP to iMac. All set for another best quarter ever. And remember iPad is still not launched in any more than just 26 countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

I now hear that all blu-ray codes have been broken by the pirates / Some recent boots i got are encoded in blu tray and hd -dvd at the same time .

Blu ray will now start to become very very cheap . look at what a plasma 50in cost 4 yrs ago 3k ?? More ?? Today you can buy for 800$

The incredible country wide battle for our media dollars means APPLE will have to get blu ray in its computers .

RANT OVER.


9

BluRay has been cracked for a while now. For at least a year and a half there's been 1080p BluRay rips on pirate torrents. ...Although even when recompressed to 4GB it's still too slow for me to download where I am Besides legality concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

I think that every once in awhile we need to step back from our geek-roots, and pick up a device and just try to do some real-world stuff with it instead of getting wrapped around the axel over specs and benchmark results.

Well put.

I'm surprised what I do with my iPad. Internet, books, magazines, TV shows, relaxing gaming, and so on. And I can leave my heavy bag of my laptop and cables etc at work overnight and just come back and chill with the iPad in front of the TV, and the next morning on iPad during breakfast. And iPhone with Retina Display means I can watch fairly nice quality video connected to my 21" screen without having to lug and hookup my laptop, charger, etc. (iPhone has to be jailbroken though to watch HD content on VGA connected monitors).
post #122 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

...My gut feeling: Apple's sales volumes are such that Apple can easily request a custom run of any panel they want for negligibly more than an off the shelf. They seem to have things made for them to suit their desires...

I'm not too sure about that. They are already investing heavily in custom displays for iPhone, iPod touch *and* iPad. They've been getting some pressure from analysts due to lower gross profit margins. I think a custom screen for 11" was possibly too much risk/margin cut for them to bear.

I can't think of any reason they would intentionally want a 16:9 screen on the 11".
post #123 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

I saw the 11" MBA in the Apple shop in Enschede today and I was blown away by it. It's a netbook, sure, but other netbooks pale in comparison. It's so thin and so light, with a good screen and a good, usable keyboard. I almost bought it on the spot, but luckily I could restrain myself. 1000,- is a fair price for it IMO, though it's still a lot of money.
Another thing that struck me again was how enthousiastic the persons who visit the shop were. Clients explain to each other the ins and outs of the machines. So cool! Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the personell and the clients because also the people who work there just radiate 'Apple is fun.' I had a good time there in the Apple shop

I had the same impression. I was surprised by how quick and responsive it felt. I kept looking for some sign that the 1.4Ghz Core 2 Duo was going to disappoint, that Apple had finally made a netbook: a crappy underpowered laptop with a cramped keyboard and tiny display, and I have to say: except for the tiny display, the 11" MacBook Air isn't a netbook. It feels solid, not cheap. The keyboard and trackpad are full sized. I've seen Windows Vista running on 1.6Ghz Sony VAIO P's, and this blows it away. In fact, it's comparable to the speed and responsiveness of top-of-the-line MacBook Pros from a few years ago, when they were still using the Core Duo (derived from the old Pentium III chip). Those first-gen Intel-based MacBook Pros can still run OS X Snow Leopard quite well, so it's no wonder the 11" Air can too, (not to mention that the graphics and memory run are faster on the AIr).

Or, think of it this way: both iPad and MacBook Air run versions of OS X, which itself is a version of NeXTStep--an OS that originally ran on Motorola 68030s and Intel 486s. Surely if the iPad's 1Ghz A4 can run it well, the Air's 1.4Ghz or 1.86Ghz Core 2 Duo can too. And it does.

The SSD more than makes up for the lower processor clock speed. This sucker will boot in 15 secs. Resume is instantaneous, like waking an iPad. Go see one for yourself.

Most people seem attracted to the 11" model, but I prefer the 13" model. It feels barely heavier, but still much lighter than the MacBook Pros, which, after handling the Air, feel like they're filled with lead bricks. I just felt after seeing one in the store that the 11" screen was too much of a compromise in screen real-estate. The 11" has a 16:9 screen (unlike the 13" model, which still uses 16:10) which surrenders vertical resolution for extra width. Seriously, for $100 more, the 13" has a larger & higher resolution screen, faster CPU, 2 hours longer battery life and a SD card reader built-in? No-brainer.

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post #124 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I had the same impression. I was surprised by how quick and responsive it felt. I kept looking for some sign that the 1.4Ghz Core 2 Duo was going to disappoint, that Apple had finally made a netbook: a crappy underpowered laptop with a cramped keyboard and tiny display, and I have to say: except for the tiny display, the 11" MacBook Air isn't a netbook. It feels solid, not cheap. The keyboard and trackpad are full sized. I've seen Windows Vista running on 1.6Ghz Sony VAIO P's, and this blows it away. In fact, it's comparable to the speed and responsiveness of top-of-the-line MacBook Pros from a few years ago, when they were still using the Core Duo (derived from the old Pentium III chip). Those first-gen Intel-based MacBook Pros can still run OS X Snow Leopard quite well, so it's no wonder the 11" Air can too, (not to mention that the graphics and memory run are faster on the AIr).

I think this is where some, even long term techy people, will need to stop and reevaluate their definition of netbook. They came into being because Intel made the Atom processor. These cheap little, low-power CPUs, that werent very good but at least were x86 compatible. We can call netbooks ultraportables, but just being small and light doesnt mean they are netbooks.

The CPUs in either MBA costs more than most netbooks and, as you stated, they have full-sized keyboards.

I cant wait for a site like AnandTech to do a full comparison and review. Its funny, they will say how top notch the engineering is, how so far above even pricey notebooks the displays on Mac notebooks are, how great the 320M for an IGP, battery life, etc., but then end up forgetting all that when it comes to the CPU and thus conclude that Apple is charging way too much for the machine despite the fact that the CPU price difference between C2D and Core-iX is minor and their obvious knowledge that its not the only component of a system. They did that recently testing a 13 MBP as a Windows machine.

But this is a little difference as there are no Core-iX chips that could possibly make sense here and they may be testing it against Atom processors, so well see. Anand does have an interest in highly-portable computing devices so I am sure he bought one immediately.

Quote:
The SSD more than makes up for the lower processor clock speed. This sucker will boot in 15 secs. Resume is instantaneous, like waking an iPad. Go see one for yourself.

FYI: The SSD is a mini-PCIe with Serial-ATA passthrough and the physical dimensions match up with mini-PCIe WiFi card in these systems. What isnt know is if uses the wonky passthrough that Asus used in the past (whom Apple has had ties with before) or if they are uses mini-PCIe compatible interface standards thus making 3rd-party mini-PCIe SATA SSDs in this shape board an easy task for manufacturers.
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post #125 of 186
I'm selling my 13" MBP officially. I am officially in love with the MBA.
post #126 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by srcolb View Post

11" MacBook Air: AUDIO: MONO

13" MacBook Air: AUDIO: STERIO


wait, who do you work for? I caught a whiff earlier of the mis-info campaigns rolling out of various competitor bunkers…*

they should teach you guys to spell. honestly…. stereo? Is it that hard?


*(e.g. a 2-post user loudly declaring something completely wrong? usually a dead give-away)
post #127 of 186
The MacBook Air 11.6-inch is great, but a lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller one (5 to 9 inches) would be even better as an ultra-mobile (inside a bag or purse) and even pocketable Mac. The full Mac always with you!
post #128 of 186
Went to have a good second look at both machines today. As a current owner of the now old MBA, the new 13 is not quite enough to drive me to upgrade (I did upgrade once from HD to SSD; what a difference!). The 11 is another story. Smaller (less space in my bag), lighter (yes, it does matter) and with a nicer screen and no fiddly USB door and same battery life but better holding power than now. Ordered! Now I just gotta talk one of my friends into buying my old one...

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #129 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think this is where some, even long term techy people, will need to stop and reevaluate their definition of netbook. They came into being because Intel made the Atom processor. These cheap little, low-power CPUs, that werent very good but at least were x86 compatible. We can call netbooks ultraportables, but just being small and light doesnt mean they are netbooks.

Well, there's no rigorous dictionary definition, but ASUS made up the term netbook, and their Eee PC 701 was the first one. This weak Linux machine was the epitome of cheap: 7-inch screen, 4Gb of flash storage, instant on, and basic software like a web browser and email client. It wasn't meant to be a general PC, or even to sell in developed countries. Eee PC was meant for the OLPC market--giving internet access to children in poorer countries. The target price was $199. It just happened that during our nice little economic downturn that these cheap laptops seemed to have found a footing in the US market. That was further made possible by Microsoft jumping into this market in order to make sure that their Windows hegemony would not be threatened by Linux netbooks. The need to run Windows on netbooks necessitated bigger hard drives and erased the "limited purpose" for which the original netbooks were created. The result is that more recent netbooks (since 2008) have been cheap, underpowered, general-purpose Windows PCs.

The Eee PCs produced for the OLPC project aren't necessarily ultraportables: they are defined by their cheapness and limited abilities above all other considerations. If they are small and light it's because of the amount of de-contenting ASUS had to make in order to keep costs low, so ultraportability is an incidental side-effect. Products like the Sony VAIO X and the MacBook Air are not in the same league nor built for the same purpose. They were designed to put portability at a premium.

Hence, I take issue with people calling the MacBook Air a "netbook".

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post #130 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

They're always worried about all sorts of micromanaging things they've been whipped into thinking by MS. Where files are, how much space they're taking, how many apps are running, how to defrag, how to cleanly uninstall, etc etc. In some ways the simplicity and rationale of the Mac is Apple's own enemy.

You don't really believe this, do you? It has no reality.
post #131 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don’t get this line of thinking at all. Who would by a ultra-portable and expect it to have massive internal storage that is found in a notebook or desktop HDD.

As for your comment that these limitations are artificial, OF COURSE THEY ARE. Apple specifically tried to make a light and thin notebook that was highly-portable with decent usage time. If those aspects don’t fit your primary needs then this isn’t the machine for you, plain and simple. Could Apple have halved the battery and stuck in dual 9.5mm 750GB HDDs for a total of 1.5TB storage. Sure, but that doesn’t make any sense.

I think you've completely missed the point. Where you pulled "massive internal storage" and invented numbers like "750GB" and "1.5TB" is unknown. As I look at our posts, I noted a 300GB HDD installed in a MacBook, using 111GB, and wizard69 noted something in the 80 to 90GB area in terms of a loaded drive. Far, far from 1.5TB.

You're putting words into people's mouths and you need to know that's highly unsanitary :-)

When wizard69 talked about artificial limitations, I believe the comment referred to the fact that the 256GB module that Apple sells as an option with the 13" unit looks as though it would fit in the 11" unit. Same footprint, same height, same length, same controller. However, it's not a BTO option, so the storage limitation on the 11" is self-imposed. Putting the 256GB module into the 11" would fit the bill.

Both myself & wizard69 never claimed a need for "massive storage," as you put it. Reasonable storage, yes. Our point was that 64GB & 128GB is not reasonable, and you missed this completely.
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post #132 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont get this line of thinking at all. Who would by a ultra-portable and expect it to have massive internal storage that is found in a notebook or desktop HDD.

.


Most ultraportables have massive internal storage. That is why most people expect it.

500 Gigs is not unheard of.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/colle...e_laptops.html
post #133 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsa View Post

I saw the 11" MBA in the Apple shop in Enschede today and I was blown away by it. It's a netbook, sure, but other netbooks pale in comparison. It's so thin and so light, with a good screen and a good, usable keyboard.

It is easily the best netbook ever made. The 11 inch is great. The upgraded model is necessary, for RAM and disk, but in that configuration it could easily be someone's primary computer.

I never really saw the appeal of the 13 in the past. I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the Mini 11. But as soon as I closed the lid and picked it up, I was amazed.

While the specs are weak, they are plenty good enough for the vast majority of tasks. I fired up Jimcarrey.com to test whether it could handle flash, and it did just fine. A little slow, but hell, it's a netbook! Otherwise it handled it fine.
post #134 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


Ignore the ethernet talk, I admit that isn't needed.

I was told by the PBTC at the iStore that you can get an ethernet dongle. Was he right?
post #135 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Perhaps this interest is another testament evidenced by the success of the iPad. I.e., a lot of people don't need a full blown computer or use the likes of Photoshop/Illustrator/Final Cut Pro/Lightroom/Aperture/Logic, etc.

.


I think that your premise is flawed, because the Air IS a full blown computer.

It should handle many of the programs you listed with no real problems. It is as powerful as the average workstation used to be not so long ago.

I think that the 64 is too small, but 128 should be OK for most folks if they use an external drive for the big stuff, like massive video libraries. But 128 is enough for most users photos and such.

The iPad is not really in the same league with the Air. It is wholly different category. The Air IS a "full blown computer". The iPad is an accessory appliance.
post #136 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by srcolb View Post

11" MacBook Air: AUDIO: MONO

13" MacBook Air: AUDIO: STERIO



Mono or stereo, laptop speakers suck. If you care about the sound on the road, use headphones. At home, plug in.

OT: I just bought a tube-type iPod dock to use as my primary computer speakers. It was an old discontinued one I bought for a song, brand new and in the box. It sounds great. I can plug in my iPhone to the dock, or I can use it hooked up to the laptop at my desk. The tubes glow red, and are lit up with blue LEDs. It looks cool and sounds good. And it was cheap
post #137 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

So they should've stuck an Atom CPU there to increase the battery life. Sony's Vaio X series have them and get you up to 10h at the same 11" form factor at almost the price of the new MBAs.

Would you care if it had an Atom over the Core2Duo?

Doesn't the Core2Duo have, well, twice the power of a comparably clocked Atom? Or not?

A dual core processor allows you to do CPU intensive stuff in the background, while seamlessly working in the foreground, doesn't it?
post #138 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quillz View Post

Because for some people, they want something that is ultra portable. They don't need a large display, an optical drive, etc. For those people, a very light and compact 11.6'' will fit their needs better than a 13'' model.

Bingo.

Is it really so confusing that different products have the same price?

The alternative is to be asked "how much do you want to spend?" and then to be steered to the only model in the price range.

The price is less important to Apple customers than other factors. I see the choice between different form factors to be a good thing. I see no problem whatsoever if, for example, higher-end iPads overlap the bottom end Airs which, when decked out, overlap the MBPs.

I think that is a good thing. I doubt that most people will get befuddled by having a choice.
post #139 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

The MacBook Air 11.6-inch is great, but a lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller one (5 to 9 inches) would be even better as an ultra-mobile (inside a bag or purse) and even pocketable Mac. The full Mac always with you!



If Apple ever gets its shit together WRT voice recognition, that could work great. Maybe they will buy Dragon?
post #140 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Well, there's no rigorous dictionary definition,

Never mind what the word really means. It is important that it not include the Air, so just use it in that manner and the meme might eventually catch on. At least it might here, in this forum, and it may even become an unassailable shibboleth eventually.

Long explanations with "reasoning" are totally unnecessary. Words and phrases mean whatever the speaker intends. So Netbook cannot include the Air, by definition. Period. End of story.
post #141 of 186
NetBooks IMO are defined by smaller than full sized keyboards, and slow graphic cars, and usually a very, very slow processor to seal the deal. That's not the Air. And it's definitely not the 13" Air. Most people are buying the 11.6" Air, but I think the 13.3" Air is the better purchase.
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post #142 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

NetBooks IMO are defined by smaller than full sized keyboards, and slow graphic cars, and usually a very, very slow processor to seal the deal. That's not the Air. And it's definitely not the 13" Air. Most people are buying the 11.6" Air, but I think the 13.3" Air is the better purchase.


Netbooks IMO are defined by none of those attributes. For example, many netbooks are available with reasonably fast processors.

Its too bad Steve put down netbooks like he did. Now there are a legion of folks who deny it when Apple has finally released one.

Hey - use any word you want. It makes no real-world difference. It is what it is, independent of your, or anyone else's descriptors.
post #143 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Most people seem attracted to the 11" model, but I prefer the 13" model. It feels barely heavier, but still much lighter than the MacBook Pros, which, after handling the Air, feel like they're filled with lead bricks. I just felt after seeing one in the store that the 11" screen was too much of a compromise in screen real-estate. The 11" has a 16:9 screen (unlike the 13" model, which still uses 16:10) which surrenders vertical resolution for extra width. Seriously, for $100 more, the 13" has a larger & higher resolution screen, faster CPU, 2 hours longer battery life and a SD card reader built-in? No-brainer.

The current MacDailyNews Poll* surveying their readers on which of Apple's announcements go them most excited about, after Lion, the MBA 11" is top dog and is growing.

Other polls (Googled) are expressing the same thing, i.e., significant interest, with the 11" in the lead.

Personally, the 11" 1.6 GHz/4GB RAM, satisfies me while traveling. Although I must say that my iPad has much diminished my MacBook Pro usage on the road, and I suspect that the introduction of iOS 4 and the resulting new/updated apps, will affect it even more.

Aside from the obvious, i.e., footprint and weight, Apple's iLife, iWorks apps and installed Snow Leopard software†, as well as my developer apps/utilities even working remotely should work quite well on the 11". As a matter of fact, I just might buy one for ancillary developing purposes, especially when I can connect it to one of my 28.5" monitors.

On the creative side, I don't expect it to handle Adobe's CS applications or my more powerful data management needs.

And just another thought. For the past year, I have been taking stock of what I am actually accessing on my MacBook Pro. And more recently, particularly now with all the airline issues, I started to do the same for everything I carried with me abroad. Aside from the few extra pairs of underwear, much of what I lugged about never left my suitcase or for that matter, my briefcase.

Now, either I am quite dirty, or as my wife would say, I'm a pack-rat. As for my computer needs, my DC auto adapter has virtually eliminated that extra battery. WiFi is so ubiquitous that I seldom use ethernet; however, 'seldom' is not complete, so I still carry, a cable, but a much shorter one. And I have yet to use my MagSafe Airline Adapter, so that stays home.

As for my books/manuals, my iPad seems to more than suffice. I basically have a PDF of virtually all my manuals in iBooks. The same holds true for much of my business/planning documents, especially the larger ones. And with MobileMe, my computer roller bag is now an overnight luggage case. Otherwise it just stays in the closet.

Most important, using Smart Folders, I found that most of the files on my computer are rarely accessed. Using Time Machine, it turns out that my urgent need to expand my MBP storage last year could have been used on a new iPhone 4 or now as a sizable downpayment on new MBA. I had better not mention that to my wife.

* http://www.macdailynews.com/
http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html
post #144 of 186
I'm speculating, based on what Steve Jobs said about the new MBAs pointing to "the future of mobile computing", (or something to that effect) that the next generation (generation, not iteration) of MacBooks will be the evolutionary descendant of the current MacBook Air. The distinction between the next (or following) generation of the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will be that the MacBooks will be "thin" or "quasi-thin" client machines, while the MacBook Pros will be "fat" clients. As quasi-thin clients, the next generation MacBooks will not need high-powered processors, or massive storage, as users' files will be stored in that giant $1 billion server farm (and possibly a couple more in the future). In fact, the Mac App Store model even suggests the possibility that applications will even be stored there, rather that on your quasi-thin client: you would buy the license for, say, Pages, and because it's not stored locally, you could access it anywhere, from any Maconce you log on, all the applications you've licensed from the Mac App Store would show up on your dock, regardless of whose Mac you're logged onto, or where. Any Mac you used would be "your" Mac, for the time that you're logged on.
Of course, this model would not be feasible for more heavy duty applications, like the Adobe CS kit, or Final Cut Studioand you wouldn't run those on a thin- or quasi-thin client anyway; that's where the MacBook Pro would come in!
But there's no reason why "basic" (the iWork suite, iTunes, iLife (w/ some major streamlining/remodeling of iMovie and iPhoto) apps couldn't be served to you anywhere in the world from Apple's server farm, thus freeing up storage and processor requirements.

Now, before you all jump all over me at how ridiculous this is, I'm merely speculating out loud here. I don't have a crystal ball, nor do I have any inside information. It's fun to speculate though!
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post #145 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm predicting, based on what Steve Jobs said about the new MBAs pointing to "the future of mobile computing", (or something to that effect) that the next generation (generation, not iteration) of MacBooks will be the evolutionary descendant of the current MacBook Air. The distinction between the next (or following) generation of the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will be that the MacBooks will be "thin" or "quasi-thin" client machines, while the MacBook Pros will be "fat" clients. As quasi-thin clients, the next generation MacBooks will not need high-powered processors, or massive storage, as users' files will be stored in that giant $1 billion server farm (and possibly a couple more in the future). In fact, the Mac App Store model even suggests the possibility that applications will even be stored there, rather that on your quasi-thin client: you would buy the license for, say, Pages, and because it's not stored locally, you could access it anywhere, from any Mac—once you log on, all the applications you've licensed from the Mac App Store would show up on your dock, regardless of whose Mac you're logged onto, or where. Any Mac you used would be "your" Mac, for the time that you're logged on.
Of course, this model would not be feasible for more heavy duty applications, like the Adobe CS kit, or Final Cut Studio—and you wouldn't run those on a thin- or quasi-thin client anyway; that's where the MacBook Pro would come in!
But there's no reason why "basic" (the iWork suite, iTunes, iLife (w/ some major streamlining/remodeling of iMovie and iPhoto) apps couldn't be served to you anywhere in the world from Apple's server farm, thus freeing up storage and processor requirements.

Now, before you all jump all over me at how ridiculous this is, I'm merely speculating out loud here. I don't have a crystal ball, nor do I have any inside information. It's fun to speculate though!

I agree, and I'll go you one better: these Airs look forward to a time of nothing but "thin clients" but with one caveat-- at that point "thin" will be considerably fatter than it is now.

What's happening is that flash storage capacities, ULV CPU and GPU power, and materials and miniaturization tech is catching up with mainstream computing, and will shortly or have already surpassed it. Which is to say the MacBook Air or its conceptual descendent of 2012 will be able to handle FCP just fine, thanks, and assuming that 4k video doesn't go mainstream by then (and there's basically no chance of that) the SSD of the day will be plenty big enough to store your files locally (or at least as capable as your current MacBook Pro drive).

Think about it: what uses for a computer have arisen in the last few years that additionally tax the hardware? After an explosive growth phase during which personal computers could barely keep up with all the cool new things we kept inventing to do with them, the last number of years have been nothing but consolidation, with HD video being pretty much it for something requiring more processor overhead than pervious generations.

Now all the interesting action is in seeing how small, light and power efficient we can make our computing devices, and we've sort or reset the arms race to the much lower threshold of ULV, mobile and small form factor kit. But even these are getting as capable as the desktop hardware of just a few years ago, and we're getting pretty close to the point where the power curve has lapped itself and even phones can do what desktops of just a few years ago could do. When phones can do what desktops of one or two years ago (from now) could do, then we're into the "can do 99% of what 99% of users want to do with ease" part of the equation.

Intel, of course, has to keep pretending like "goes to 11" has some kind of utility, so they'll keep churning out ever more powerful desktop class CPUs, and Nvidia and ATI will keep making ever more powerful "gamer" video cards, but at some point folks are going to start catching on that their computers are vastly more powerful than they could ever need.

Apple knows this. Geekery at large will continue to bitch about "underpowered" and "crippled" machines, and for a tiny subset of users those complaints will actually have some meaning. But for the rest of us, the MacBook Air of 2012 will every bit as powerful and capacious as we could ever want or need.

The only point of growth that outstrips hardware is storage, and that's becoming increasingly moot as we offload our terabytes of digital life onto remote servers. Even that trend supports smaller and lighter machines, since simply upping HDD capacity year after year at some point becomes self-defeating. Who really want 10 terabytes of fragile storage in your laptop? Better to distribute your music, photos, and movies across the web, where you can access it any time and you don't' risk losing your entire life in an instant.
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post #146 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm speculating, based on what Steve Jobs said about the new MBAs pointing to "the future of mobile computing", (or something to that effect) that the next generation (generation, not iteration) of MacBooks will be the evolutionary descendant of the current MacBook Air. The distinction between the next (or following) generation of the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines will be that the MacBooks will be "thin" or "quasi-thin" client machines, while the MacBook Pros will be "fat" clients. As quasi-thin clients, the next generation MacBooks will not need high-powered processors, or massive storage, as users' files will be stored in that giant $1 billion server farm (and possibly a couple more in the future).

Unfortunately, you may be spot on. Apple will steal a page from banks, who charge us an ATM fee to access our own money, and we'll have to pay and pay and pay to access our own files and folders, apps and other data.

I can see it coming down to the point where we used to pay once for local storage space... but instead, we'll be constantly paying for the "privilege" of cloud storage.
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post #147 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I agree, and I'll go you one better: these Airs look forward to a time of nothing but "thin clients" but with one caveat-- at that point "thin" will be considerably fatter than it is now.

What's happening is that flash storage capacities, ULV CPU and GPU power, and materials and miniaturization tech is catching up with mainstream computing, and will shortly or have already surpassed it. Which is to say the MacBook Air or its conceptual descendent of 2012 will be able to handle FCP just fine, thanks, and assuming that 4k video doesn't go mainstream by then (and there's basically no chance of that) the SSD of the day will be plenty big enough to store your files locally (or at least as capable as your current MacBook Pro drive).

Think about it: what uses for a computer have arisen in the last few years that additionally tax the hardware? After an explosive growth phase during which personal computers could barely keep up with all the cool new things we kept inventing to do with them, the last number of years have been nothing but consolidation, with HD video being pretty much it for something requiring more processor overhead than pervious generations.

Now all the interesting action is in seeing how small, light and power efficient we can make our computing devices, and we've sort or reset the arms race to the much lower threshold of ULV, mobile and small form factor kit. But even these are getting as capable as the desktop hardware of just a few years ago, and we're getting pretty close to the point where the power curve has lapped itself and even phones can do what desktops of just a few years ago could do. When phones can do what desktops of one or two years ago (from now) could do, then we're into the "can do 99% of what 99% of users want to do with ease" part of the equation.

Intel, of course, has to keep pretending like "goes to 11" has some kind of utility, so they'll keep churning out ever more powerful desktop class CPUs, and Nvidia and ATI will keep making ever more powerful "gamer" video cards, but at some point folks are going to start catching on that their computers are vastly more powerful than they could ever need.

Apple knows this. Geekery at large will continue to bitch about "underpowered" and "crippled" machines, and for a tiny subset of users those complaints will actually have some meaning. But for the rest of us, the MacBook Air of 2012 will every bit as powerful and capacious as we could ever want or need.

The only point of growth that outstrips hardware is storage, and that's becoming increasingly moot as we offload our terabytes of digital life onto remote servers. Even that trend supports smaller and lighter machines, since simply upping HDD capacity year after year at some point becomes self-defeating. Who really want 10 terabytes of fragile storage in your laptop? Better to distribute your music, photos, and movies across the web, where you can access it any time and you don't' risk losing your entire life in an instant.

Hahaha! You're making me realize I was actually being fairly conservative in my speculation.

5-10 years ago, when Apple was still trying to claw its way into some kind of relevance, they were doing those "Photoshop tests" against PCs in their feeble attempt to debunk the "megahertz myth", and that was a time when they were playing up specs and numbers and whatnot. I think now, they're not so worried about that. It's more about user experience, which is where the focus should be. All this focus on specs is nothing more than a geek-machismo, and makes me laugh and face-palm. A 3 Ghz i7 processor is not gonna help you write your e-mail faster than a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo. At least not to any meaningful degree.

Actually, taking this speculation further, even MacBook Pros could be quasi-thin clients, though served by your company's server, rather than Apple's server farm. Think about it: Super lightweight MacBook Pros with 512 GB SSDs. You could edit "aliases" of your movie files on the go, and when you get back to the office, your MacBook Pro would upload your work to the company server.

I think there's an ulterior motive to Apple's rejection of Flash as well. Because of its massive overhead, it would not work within a thin-client paradigm, whereas, if Apple "evolves" iOS into a HTML5-based "internet OS", there would be a number of advantages: 1) it's efficient. 2) it's scalable 3) it could function anywhere 4) it could serve files and apps on the fly. Perfectly suited to a thin-client/server farm relationship. And, if the OS is built on HTML5, it would basically be invisiblethere would be no need for a "browser", as the OS itself would serve up everything a browser would serve up without the intermediate "browser" layer.
Of course, this would just be for the iOS/consumer market. I don't see companies and businesses trusting their critical needs to an external server farm. Mac OS XI would also be a server-based OS but would be hosted locally, at your company, rather than externally.
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post #148 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I'm speculating, based on what Steve Jobs said about the new MBAs pointing to "the future of mobile computing", (or something to that effect) that the next generation (generation, not iteration) of MacBooks will be the evolutionary descendant of the current MacBook Air. The distinction between the next (or following) generation of the MacBook and MacBook Pro line.

"And we think it's the future of notebooks."

Say goodbye to the CD/DVD drive. Simple as that.

Software sold in stores will be sold on USB sticks. Just like Lion. Most of the rest of Mac software will be sold on the Mac App Store.
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post #149 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

Unfortunately, you may be spot on. Apple will steal a page from banks, who charge us an ATM fee to access our own money, and we'll have to pay and pay and pay to access our own files and folders, apps and other data.

I can see it coming down to the point where we used to pay once for local storage space... but instead, we'll be constantly paying for the "privilege" of cloud storage.

Not sure how Apple is going to prevent you from keeping your files on local discs-- are you imagining that they'll somehow engineer an OS that prohibits you from saving to anything but the cloud? That would be..... surprising.

Cloud storage systems will of course not be free-- they'll either be ad supported or fee based. Bandwidth doesn't grow on trees, and anyone, not just Apple, has to monetize their services somehow. But no matter how it's done, I can't see where it'll be mandatory, and the usual competitive pressure will apply.
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post #150 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

Unfortunately, you may be spot on. Apple will steal a page from banks, who charge us an ATM fee to access our own money, and we'll have to pay and pay and pay to access our own files and folders, apps and other data.

I can see it coming down to the point where we used to pay once for local storage space... but instead, we'll be constantly paying for the "privilege" of cloud storage.

Well, my feeling is that everything will shift toward that paradigm. It's not so much that we'll be paying over and over again for access to our own apps and content, but more that we're paying Apple to safely host our content, so we don't have to worry about it. Let's say, for example, the alternative would be super massive 4 TB notebook drives, so you could store a gazillion photos, and thousands of hours of home videos and whatnot. Then your laptop gets stolen, or your kid is playing with some magnets and, when he gets tired of playing, places the magnets on your laptop. You're screwed. BUT, if you keep your stuff in the cloud, the theft (or magnetization) of your laptop would certainly be a major annoyance and inconvenience, but it would not be disastrous—you can replace your laptop, but you can't replace your vacation photos from Fiji.
As a consumer, you'd be paying Apple for the convenience of hosting your content so you could access it from anywhere. Everyone already pays monthly electric, telephone, wireless, internet bills and so on. This would be no different.

My hope would be that Apple would give us the option: go the iOS/thin-client route, and pay a subscription fee for secure hosting services, or go local—Mac OS X on a home/company server, where you host your own content locally, and all your devices would sync locally. There are advantages and disadvantages to both paradigms, so being able to choose whichever we prefer would be ideal.

Actually, no need to hope. It would be disastrous for Apple to force the cloud upon us.
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post #151 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

"And we think it's the future of notebooks."

Say goodbye to the CD/DVD drive. Simple as that.

Software sold in stores will be sold on USB sticks. Just like Lion. Most of the rest of Mac software will be sold on the Mac App Store.

I concur. Optical drives will go the way of the floppy.
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post #152 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I concur. Optical drives will go the way of the floppy.

He also said:

"We see these… as really the next generation of MacBooks. We think all notebooks are going to be like this one day."

I.E. All Apple's future laptops will be Flash-Storage only. No hard drives and no optical drives.
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post #153 of 186
The next generation MacBooks will be made out of LiquidMetal and will be completely solid-state (no HDD, no ODD), and therefore virtually indestructible. And to demonstrate their durability, Steve will open his MacBook onstage, and say, "Hey Tim, let me show you our latest sales figures." and will toss the MacBook to Tim Cook, who will clumsily drop it on the floor. The audience will gasp in horror, but Tim will simply pick up the MacBook, brush it off, look at the sales figures (the MacBook doesn't even hiccup) and say, "Wow! We had a great quarter!"



Speculation is fun!
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post #154 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

The next generation MacBooks will be made out of LiquidMetal and will be completely solid-state (no HDD, no ODD), and therefore virtually indestructible.

Only Superman is indestructible. LiquidMetal would be too costly and too heavy.
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post #155 of 186
The whole storage thing is interesting. HDD sizes balloon, year in and year out, and the "necessary" size of internal storage just keeps getting bigger. The MacBook Pro I'm using to post this has half a terabyte of drive space, and we'll surely see laptops shipping with multi-TB drives soon enough.

Which is great and all, but at some point it becomes completely unwieldy, if for nothing else than the "all my digital eggs in one basket" phenomena, exacerbated by how more and more of our lives reside on file systems. People are growing up now with nothing but digital photos, correspondence, home movies, media collections, financial records, diaries, personal paraphernalia, etc. Losing that at one go isn't an inconvenience, it's a devastating erasure of your very identity. And with every passing year the collection grows larger....

Even if you're conscientious about local backup, how far are we willing to take that? Are we going to be obliged to have multi-Petabyte drives lying around? HDDs are ridiculously fragile to entrust the entirety of our lives to. At some point not having most of this on the cloud will seem as odd as insisting that all of our bank statements, DMV records, tax history, etc. be reduced to a single paper copy that we keep in a shoebox under the bed.
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post #156 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Only Superman is indestructible. LiquidMetal would be too costly and too heavy.

Yeah. I actually thought of that right after I hit the <Submit> button. LiquidMetal will prolly be used more for structural components (i.e. in future iPhones/iPods), or hinges—I'm assuming it will be more resistant to repetitive motion related degradation than whatever is currently used in MacBook hinges.
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post #157 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The whole storage thing is interesting. HDD sizes balloon, year in and year out, and the "necessary" size of internal storage just keeps getting bigger. The MacBook Pro I'm using to post this has half a terabyte of drive space, and we'll surely see laptops shipping with multi-TB drives soon enough.

Which is great and all, but at some point it becomes completely unwieldy, if for nothing else than the "all my digital eggs in one basket" phenomena, exacerbated by how more and more of our lives reside on file systems. People are growing up now with nothing but digital photos, correspondence, home movies, media collections, financial records, diaries, personal paraphernalia, etc. Losing that at one go isn't an inconvenience, it's a devastating erasure of your very identity. And with every passing year the collection grows larger....

Even if you're conscientious about local backup, how far are we willing to take that? Are we going to be obliged to have multi-Petabyte drives lying around? HDDs are ridiculously fragile to entrust the entirety of our lives to. At some point not having most of this on the cloud will seem as odd as insisting that all of our bank statements, DMV records, tax history, etc. be reduced to a single paper copy that we keep in a shoebox under the bed.

I agree, but I think a better analogy to the ubiquity of cloud computing is that not keeping most of your stuff in the cloud will seem as odd as keeping your money in your mattress rather than in a bank.

Yes, banks get robbed, and clouds will have their problems as well, but I think it's reasonable to expect that the engineers and administrators that keep the cloud running will anticipate potential problems with multiple redundancies and backups.

I think the bigger issue that will arise out of cloud computing culture is the "Big Brother" factor. People will (rightly) wonder, who else has access to my stuff? Will the government be able to subpoena my content whenever they wishor worse, will they do occasional "sneak-and-peeks" without my knowledge or consent? What about commercial interests? As has been stated before, Facebook is really a data mine in the guise of a social network. I don't want people to peek at my content and then sell me stuff based on the profile of me they've constructed.

All of this will be talked about and debated. There will be government hearings. There will be lawsuits and whatnot as this stuff is worked out. It's all part of the evolution of this new digital world.
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post #158 of 186
The evolution of our only semi-private digital, socially networked world is quite a sight to behold.

I work at a high school, with kids who have never known anything but a life of ubiquitous texting and meticulously groomed public identity, and yet the entire phenomena is incredibly recent (for anyone estimating time from a post 30 perspective).

For instance, geo-location services are brand new by almost anyone's estimation, and yet for the high school freshmen I'm seeing now the idea that all your friends have these little transponders in their pockets that locate them on a map is just normal. They don't worry about privacy or abuse of the technology any more than their parents worry about credit card companies knowing their spending patterns-- that is, maybe some, a little, but only in passing, and only then if something weird happens.

We've all been living with the accelerating pace of technological change our entire lives, and understand that big shifts in technology can lead to big shifts in society. But no one before this generation of children has seen anything like the changes that are happening now-- where new capacities are introduced almost monthly, and there is literally no time to even begin to consider what the ramification might be before it gets layered up with the next thing.

Are twittering, Face Booking, geo-locating, never alone, hive-mind children something that is in any way desirable or healthy or sustainable? Will it lead to new ways to thrive or some heretofore unnamed chronic mental illness? Who knows? Who cares? Here comes augmented reality, all the time! Wheeeee!!!!!
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post #159 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Well, my feeling is that everything will shift toward that paradigm. It's not so much that we'll be paying over and over again for access to our own apps and content, but more that we're paying Apple to safely host our content, so we don't have to worry about it. Let's say, for example, the alternative would be super massive 4 TB notebook drives, so you could store a gazillion photos, and thousands of hours of home videos and whatnot. Then your laptop gets stolen, or your kid is playing with some magnets and, when he gets tired of playing, places the magnets on your laptop. You're screwed. BUT, if you keep your stuff in the cloud, the theft (or magnetization) of your laptop would certainly be a major annoyance and inconvenience, but it would not be disastrous—you can replace your laptop, but you can't replace your vacation photos from Fiji.

This is a fallacy. Some people even believe that it's best for them to pay the Federal government excess money & then file for a return because they don't trust themselves with their own money. Perhaps thought-processes such as this are why Apple has $51 billion in the bank...

Servers screw up all the time. They crash. Redundant systems fail. Account numbers and social security numbers get released to the wild. Passwords are stolen, security is breached. Hell, Citicorp recently inadvertently published over 250,000 customer's account numbers and SS#'s. Yeah, I want my stuff stored in the cloud. Smart move, eh?

I know how to back up, I have a SuperDuper license. I won't use Time Machine because I don't find it reliable enough. I even have a 2.5" drive in a portable kit that's the exact same sized drive I have in my MacBook. The host drive has failed before and in less than 10 minutes, I'm up and operating again. This is simple.

And thusly, I have no additional copy of all my personal, business & financial files floating in that insecure, unsafe and predator-filled cloud.

What you describe as the possible future of Mac computing is to me, a nightmare of epic dimensions.
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post #160 of 186
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Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

This is a fallacy. Some people even believe that it's best for them to pay the Federal government excess money & then file for a return because they don't trust themselves with their own money. Perhaps thought-processes such as this are why Apple has $51 billion in the bank...

Servers screw up all the time. They crash. Redundant systems fail. Account numbers and social security numbers get released to the wild. Passwords are stolen, security is breached. Hell, Citicorp recently inadvertently published over 250,000 customer's account numbers and SS#'s. Yeah, I want my stuff stored in the cloud. Smart move, eh?

I know how to back up, I have a SuperDuper license. I won't use Time Machine because I don't find it reliable enough. I even have a 2.5" drive in a portable kit that's the exact same sized drive I have in my MacBook. The host drive has failed before and in less than 10 minutes, I'm up and operating again. This is simple.

And thusly, I have no additional copy of all my personal, business & financial files floating in that insecure, unsafe and predator-filled cloud.

What you describe as the possible future of Mac computing is to me, a nightmare of epic dimensions.

I share your concerns for sure. I'm leery of the whole "trusting my soul to the cloud" idea as well. It's a calculated risk. I assume you use credit or debit cards for purchases. You're basically trusting (with, I hope, a healthy degree of wariness as well) that your credit card info is not "stolen" at the gas pump or by someone eavesdropping on your Amazon purchases, or whatever. What about at a restaurant, when you pay for your meal with your (not you specifically, but you in a general sense) credit/debit card: your server takes your card back behind the counter, and a few minutes later, returns to your table with your receipt to sign for. How do you know someone's not back there copying down your account number? You don't unless you follow your server as he/she takes your card to do the transaction. We do these risk/trust calculations every day. It's a necessary part of living in this modern world.

Part of this risk/trust calculation is a reasonable assumption that a bank would not be in business long if it could easily be robbed, or if the tellers or other staff were routinely helping themselves to the money in your accounts. Likewise, a cloud service won't last long if it could easily be breached, or if your data could be corrupted or lost.

There was a fear in the early days of the automobile, that a car would break apart and explode if it went faster than 20 miles an hour. People probably inferred that consequence as a result of the cultural experiences of horse-drawn carriages. The roads back then were crap, and if it went too fast, it could very likely fall apart, seriously injuring or killing its passengers. We don't really worry about that these days.
And as @addabox said, kids these days don't really worry about geolocation issues. They accept it as a fundamental reality, almost as a form of security and connection. They know where there friends & family are at all times. Sure, there are likely nefarious types who could also use that information for nefarious purposes, but that doesn't really worry this newest generation all that much.
Culture evolves as technology evolves.
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