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Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt MacBook Airs coming in June or July

post #1 of 57
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A new report claims that Apple's supply chain will begin shipments of new MacBook Air models upgraded to include Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt high-speed interconnect later this month in preparation for a June or July launch.

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday that sources from makers in the MacBook Air supply chain will begin shipping 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models "in late May."

"Main supply chain makers for the new models remain about the same as for the existing MacBook Air, with Quanta Computer solely responsible for assembly, Catcher Technology supplying casings, Auras Technology a main supplier of thermal modules, Shin Zu Shing supplying hinges, and Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying batteries," the report noted the sources as saying.

Given the expected high volume of initial shipments of Apple's thin-and-light notebook and the relatively higher prices of Apple's components, Taiwan-based makers "rest the hope on Apple orders for revenue contributions," according to the report.

DigiTimes' sources corroborate an exclusive report from AppleInsider that pegged MacBook Air shipments as going to mass production in late May. According to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, checks with Asian suppliers and system builders revealed that, after declining sequentially after the release of new MacBook Pros, MacBook Air shipments are expected to rebound in the June quarter ahead of a refresh.



In February, CNet claimed Apple would transition the MacBook Air to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors in June.

Apple's first Macs to feature the Sandy Bridge architecture were the early 2011 MacBook Pros released in late February. The new MacBook Pros also saw the first implementation of the new high-speed Thunderbolt port. Earlier this month, the Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker unveiled new iMac all-in-one desktops with quad-core Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt.

According to one analyst, supply chain sources indicate that Apple intends to refresh the rest of its Mac lineup "in upcoming months," though further details were unavailable.
post #2 of 57
I've had the cash burning a hole in my savings account since February for a 13" MBA with a quad Sandy Bridge processor and Thunderbolt...

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post #3 of 57
Great! This will make my third MacBook Air. That will make for an amazing little machine - SSD, HD Video Cam, ThunderBolt, and Sandy Bridge? And don't forget Lion.

Bring it on, Apple.
post #4 of 57
I thought Sandy Bridge was pretty much an impossibility in a MBA due to power and thermal requirements and the MBA update would have to wait for Ivy Bridge, no?
post #5 of 57
Apple store is down now, perhaps the updated Mac books are out.


Hoping for a speed bumped mac mini but it will be the last to be beefed up.
post #6 of 57
I might actually try to sell my 15" MBP and get an Air.... ack! Tough decisions!
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

I thought Sandy Bridge was pretty much an impossibility in a MBA due to power and thermal requirements and the MBA update would have to wait for Ivy Bridge, no?

That would be true for quad-core. Intel are making Sandy Bridge dual-core low power and ultra-low power CPUs suitable for the 13" and 11" MBAs, respectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

I might actually try to sell my 15" MBP and get an Air.... ack! Tough decisions!

A 15" MacBook Air would make the decision easy -- at least for me.
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post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

I might actually try to sell my 15" MBP and get an Air.... ack! Tough decisions!

Just buy both.
post #9 of 57
And let's not forget those faster SSD's!
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post #10 of 57
You get great syncing with iPhone and iPad. But buy an Air and how do you transfer photos, music, emails, documents? A good Sync program is needed that prioritizes more recent files so that your Air is "with it" in relation to your 1 TB drive in the iMac.
post #11 of 57
Apple should make a lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenoleno View Post

You get great syncing with iPhone and iPad. But buy an Air and how do you transfer photos, music, emails, documents? A good Sync program is needed that prioritizes more recent files so that your Air is "with it" in relation to your 1 TB drive in the iMac.

Home Sharing. Back to My Mac. iDisk. Email. Public Folder. With Back to My Mac you can access your Mac anytime from any place, and transfer any file.
post #13 of 57
When is the Sandybridge MacMini arriving, that is what I want to know.
post #14 of 57
I hope they find a way to add an SD card slot on the 11" model.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Apple should make a lighter (400 to 600 g) and smaller (7-inch) MacBook Air.

Don't hold your breath. If Apple expand the MacBook Air line, it would most likely be with a 15" model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Home Sharing. Back to My Mac. iDisk. Email. Public Folder. With Back to My Mac you can access your Mac anytime from any place, and transfer any file.

That's nice, but it's not an adequate substitute for automatically syncing a user's home directory on two different Macs.
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post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptainK View Post

When is the Sandybridge MacMini arriving, that is what I want to know.

Probably some time this summer. I think the big question is whether it will have one Thunderbolt port or two.
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post #17 of 57
That is what I really need.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayhawkMac View Post

Will updated MBA have an 8 Gig BTO Option?

We just got 4GB as an option this year. I think it's too soon for 8GB. Probably next year.
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post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptainK View Post

When is the Sandybridge MacMini arriving, that is what I want to know.

Something has to give regarding the Mac Mini. By using laptop components rather than the components found in the iMac, bang for the buck isn't what it should be.

Personally I think Apple should create a one-size-fits-all desktop tower basically using iMac components and replacing both the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

With a wide range of configurations made available, such a desktop would be able to serve less demanding customers right up through to power users.

The top iMac configuration is now providing performance that rivals what the Mac Pro could do not so long ago. Throw in Thunderbolt and such a box would serve the needs of the high-demand market. Meanwhile considering the entry iMac sells for $1199 here in Canada, how tough could it be to conjure up a tower that is close in price to the current Mini yet has the pieces found in the entry iMac.

Keep the server configuration of the current Mini with a Sandy Bridge update and fold the Mini and Mac Pro into one highly configurable model. It's a win for many and it makes sense to simplify desktop offerings considering many are gravitating towards laptops.

I think it's absurd to buy an all-in-one in that you have 12-year technology in terms of the monitor fused with computer pieces that would never last that long. A ridiculous waste.

Really, it makes no sense to leave matters as is only with some updating yet I can't pretend to know what Apple has in mind.
post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

That will make for an amazing little machine - SSD, HD Video Cam, ThunderBolt, and Sandy Bridge?

If they'd just build in wireless connectivity as well, my credit card would be out in a heartbeat. My MBP is starting to feel too heavy and my iPad is too constraining. So what I'd really like would be a small MBA with integral 3G (or better, 4G).
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Don't hold your breath. If Apple expand the MacBook Air line, it would most likely be with a 15" model.


That's nice, but it's not an adequate substitute for automatically syncing a user's home directory on two different Macs.

Or even better selective over the cloud syncing as with (the great) dropbox. Idisk cant even do that it's either all 20(40etc.) gb locally or none, idiotic, to say the least.

Instead of airdrop, which isn't something everyone was nagging about, they better start fixing the syncing and resolution independence.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

I've had the cash burning a hole in my savings account since February for a 13" MBA with a quad Sandy Bridge processor and Thunderbolt...

Keep the money in a place where you will not be tempted to spend it asap.Then wait until perhaps June and buy it than.
post #23 of 57
it needs a back-lit keyboard.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Something has to give regarding the Mac Mini. By using laptop components rather than the components found in the iMac, bang for the buck isn't what it should be.

Personally I think Apple should create a one-size-fits-all desktop tower basically using iMac components and replacing both the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

With a wide range of configurations made available, such a desktop would be able to serve less demanding customers right up through to power users.

The top iMac configuration is now providing performance that rivals what the Mac Pro could do not so long ago. Throw in Thunderbolt and such a box would serve the needs of the high-demand market. Meanwhile considering the entry iMac sells for $1199 here in Canada, how tough could it be to conjure up a tower that is close in price to the current Mini yet has the pieces found in the entry iMac.

Keep the server configuration of the current Mini with a Sandy Bridge update and fold the Mini and Mac Pro into one highly configurable model. It's a win for many and it makes sense to simplify desktop offerings considering many are gravitating towards laptops.

I think it's absurd to buy an all-in-one in that you have 12-year technology in terms of the monitor fused with computer pieces that would never last that long. A ridiculous waste.

Really, it makes no sense to leave matters as is only with some updating yet I can't pretend to know what Apple has in mind.

Interesting idea but I don't think they will go that route. Apple seems to like doing things in 3s: 3 laptops, 3 desktops, 3 iOS products.

I do agree that it's a shame they don't make more of the Mac Mini. In many ways it's the ideal Mac. It's small enough to sit on your desktop rather than the huge Mac pro casing, you can choose your own monitor so no glare/anti-glare arguments as with the iMac. I just wish they made more of an effort, had a bigger range of specs and more powerful versions.

Bring back the cube!
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

I've had the cash burning a hole in my savings account since February for a 13" MBA with a quad Sandy Bridge processor and Thunderbolt...

So, Apple cannot fit a quad processor into a 13" MBP but it can fit it into the even smaller 13" MBA?
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Something has to give regarding the Mac Mini. By using laptop components rather than the components found in the iMac, bang for the buck isn't what it should be.

Apple is not in the business of providing boring, sensible products, it is in the business of providing exciting products, and best bang for the buck is normally only achieved with the boring, sensible products.

And once you have Sandy Bridge, TB and quad-core (which admittedly is unfortunately rather unlikely) in a Mac mini, you get performance which rivals the 2010 Mac Pro.
post #27 of 57
I hope Apple doesn't kill the MacBook, it is in a dire need for an update.

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post #28 of 57
Compared to an iMac, a Mac Mini is a horrible deal. Absolutely horrendous. The display alone in the 21.5" iMac is worth at least $300-400, leaving you with laptop hardware that is so anemic, I had to return mine recently after only having one for 3 days.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

So, Apple cannot fit a quad processor into a 13" MBP but it can fit it into the even smaller 13" MBA?

They will if they want my money. AI'ers check me on this, but IIR there isn't a reason why a quad i5 wouldn't physically fit inside a 13" MBP, I believe Apple just chose not to do it.

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post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

They will if they want my money. AI'ers check me on this, but IIR there isn't a reason why a quad i5 wouldn't physically fit inside a 13" MBP, I believe Apple just chose not to do it.

Space isnt the only factor, its about about power usage which means a larger battery, the heat is creates, and the additional or larger components to disperse that heat, as well as these components extra use of power to do their job.

Excluding price, Quadcore Core-i chips are going to start at 45W compared to the 35W used by the 13 MBPs today. MBAs use even smaller and power efficient chips with a TDP of 18W and 10W.

They already can get toasty inside that small chassis. I say its not possible until Apple finally removes the optical drive. Even then there are plenty of other considerations. For instance, whats more important to users in a 13 notebook, a longer duration from a larger battery life or putting in the fastest CPU possible.
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post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Compared to an iMac, a Mac Mini is a horrible deal. Absolutely horrendous. The display alone in the 21.5" iMac is worth at least $300-400, leaving you with laptop hardware that is so anemic, I had to return mine recently after only having one for 3 days.

I hook mine to the TV, the compact size makes it ideal.

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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

They will if they want my money. AI'ers check me on this, but IIR there isn't a reason why a quad i5 wouldn't physically fit inside a 13" MBP, I believe Apple just chose not to do it.

Sure...Chose not to for battery, heat, cost, etc.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

it needs a back-lit keyboard.

This is what held me back from buying the current gen Air. The first gen had it, why take it out? Was it for battery life? Would a string of LEDs actually have that big of an affect on the battery life? You can still turn it off though so it seems silly that this is why they removed it. Maybe to further differentiate the MacBook Pro models? IDK, I think it was just stupid they removed it. For a machine that is supposed to be ultra portable, why remove such a great feature? I hope they bring it back for the Air, at least in the 13" model. If they do, I'll buy it. If they don't, I won't buy it. I know it seems silly but I have a MacBook Pro with the backlit keyboard and it is one of the best features I have ever had on any notebook.
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Compared to an iMac, a Mac Mini is a horrible deal. Absolutely horrendous. The display alone in the 21.5" iMac is worth at least $300-400, leaving you with laptop hardware that is so anemic, I had to return mine recently after only having one for 3 days.

Of course the mini is the PERFECT computer for a home entertainment center. The small size and nice look is perfect. I did not hear one complaint from the wife about it when I installed it....

Of course an Apple Wireless keyboard with a built in track pad would be fantastic....
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.dub View Post

This is what held me back from buying the current gen Air. The first gen had it, why take it out? Was it for battery life? Would a string of LEDs actually have that big of an affect on the battery life? You can still turn it off though so it seems silly that this is why they removed it. Maybe to further differentiate the MacBook Pro models? IDK, I think it was just stupid they removed it. For a machine that is supposed to be ultra portable, why remove such a great feature? I hope they bring it back for the Air, at least in the 13" model. If they do, I'll buy it. If they don't, I won't buy it. I know it seems silly but I have a MacBook Pro with the backlit keyboard and it is one of the best features I have ever had on any notebook.

This was my initial concern as well. But after owning the 11" beauty, I discovered that the lettering on the black keys actually illuminate when the screen pops on. I owned the original backlit 'Air' and I can honestly say that it pales in comparison to the newer models - in every aspect.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Compared to an iMac, a Mac Mini is a horrible deal. Absolutely horrendous. The display alone in the 21.5" iMac is worth at least $300-400, leaving you with laptop hardware that is so anemic, I had to return mine recently after only having one for 3 days.

I think it is a fantastic deal. Why would I settle for a 21.5" screen when I already own a 60" one? I lie in bed and surf like a champ. And the mini only set me back $649.
post #37 of 57
That would be an amazing laptop! Sandy Bridge and thunderbolt in something so thin.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

This was my initial concern as well. But after owning the 11" beauty, I discovered that the lettering on the black keys actually illuminate when the screen pops on. I owned the original backlit 'Air' and I can honestly say that it pales in comparison to the newer models - in every aspect.

That's good to know. I'll have to see if I can test it out on the 11" and 13".
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

it needs a back-lit keyboard.

And user upgradeable memory.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

And user upgradeable memory.

User upgradeable memory would mean higher prices, lower reliability, and a thicker case. No thank you.

User upgradeable memory wouldn't make sense in the iPad and, in my opinion, wouldn't make sense in the MacBook Air.
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