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Apple rumored to offer next-gen MacBook Airs with black finish

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
Apple is rumored to offer the option of a black finish on its next-generation Sandy Bridge powered MacBook Air ultraportable notebooks expected to arrive in the near future, but the source publication has posted an update shedding doubt on the rumor.

Update: Emails sent to the publication from an alleged Apple employee claim Apple experimented with black powder coated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs "killed the idea" because the coating soaks up body oils. "At some point we may offer a black coating, but it won't be powder coat, and it won't be anytime soon," the tipster wrote.

Citing "several anonymous tips," MacRumors reported on Monday that Apple will will offer "at least some models" of its next MacBook Air with a black finish. That would be different from the aluminum currently found on all MacBook Air models.

"The most specific of the claims suggests that a black anodized aluminum case would be available on a top-end MacBook Air model, in much the same way as Apple once offered a high-end black MacBook on top of the standard white offerings," the report said.

Author Eric Slivka said the site is "unable to confirm the rumors," but given the fact that numerous tips have been received, the information was shared "for interest and discussion."

Last week, AppleInsider revealed that Apple is expected to hold off on introducing any new Mac hardware until Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, its next-generation operating system, becomes publicly available. Lion will become available in the Mac App Store for $29.99 in July, but it is believed that any new MacBook Air models would ship with the operating system preinstalled.



AppleInsider also learned that Apple is ready to build nearly 400,000 next-generation MacBook Airs this month in preparation for the anticipated launch. The new hardware is expected to sport Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the new high-speed Thunderbolt port codeveloped by Apple and Intel.

The new thin-and-light MacBook Air launched in late 2010 with a new 11.6-inch model and a lower $999 introductory price. The device was an instant hit, and made the MacBook Air one of the most popular products in the Mac lineup overnight.
post #2 of 72
I just do not see this happening unless they make a black model completely across the whole line of laptops. I suppose the other option is that this could be made out of the unibody carbon-fiber. Here's to hoping it's a dramatic redesign!
post #3 of 72
Just yesterday I wrote that Apple should make a black Mac Mini. needless to say, a black Macbook Air would be sexy as hell. It's about time that Apple reintroduced some blackness back into their lineup. Hopefully this rumor turns out true.
post #4 of 72
The real question is why has it taken them so long to offer a black anodized aluminium finish. Black finishes are definitely in their design language, and they have superior thermal performance.

They should absolutely give us black MBAs and MBPs
post #5 of 72
That's a horrible mock-up image of the "black" Air. The shadow/reflection underneath looks like the laptop is extremely bloated.

I think the actual product would look NICE though!
post #6 of 72
And I just want to add that if this rumor is somehow true and Apple will be releasing black models, then I hope that Apple isn't cheap like before and they give people black power supplies and black cables to go along with the all black Mac.

For a company as detail oriented as Apple, I am still surprised that they never bothered to make black accessories to go along with their black products.
post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And I just want to add that if this rumor is somehow true and Apple will be releasing black models, then I hope that Apple isn't cheap like before and they give people black power supplies and black cables to go along with the all black Mac.

For a company as detail oriented as Apple, I am still surprised that they never bothered to make black accessories to go along with their black products.

Excellent points.

I hope so too.
post #8 of 72
I want blue or orange!
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinjo235 View Post

I just do not see this happening unless they make a black model completely across the whole line of laptops. I suppose the other option is that this could be made out of the unibody carbon-fiber. Here's to hoping it's a dramatic redesign!

I'm not sure I see this happening at all either.

Apple uses black in their design language, but they don't typically do finishes, paints, or coatings (with the single exception of the coloured iPods).

Even though it would be infinitely harder to accomplish, I would believe this more if they had found a way to make the metal itself black, as opposed to coating/anodising.
post #10 of 72
Terrible photoshop job on that image. What a joke. Why bother if you can't do better than that?

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post #11 of 72
One thing is for sure, the original MacBook is dead. In fact, I believe now is a good time to just call the MacBook Air the new MacBook because the price and performance levels fi in just the right place in Apple's notebook lineup. It's truly hard to suggest to anyone that the white MacBook is a good idea, with the thinness of the 11" Air at the same price and the solid performance and build quality of the 13" Pro just $200 away.
post #12 of 72
That is the worst Photochop job I've ever seen.
post #13 of 72
Those would probably (again) sell like hell.
But one's for sure: if they do this, they definitely need to bring back the backlight keyboards.
post #14 of 72
I doubt this.
post #15 of 72
can you imagine the posts in here if they released a laptop with a matte finish case with a glossy screen??
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by tadd View Post

I want blue or orange!

I want Blue Dalmatian!
post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by -cj- View Post

can you imagine the posts in here if they released a laptop with a matte finish case with a glossy screen??

With the exception of the white Macbook, all of Apple's laptop line are matte with glossy screens (unless you spring for the matte/antiglare screen option where it's offered...).
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post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Apple uses black in their design language, but they don't typically do finishes, paints, or coatings (with the single exception of the coloured iPods).

It's debatable really, the satin aluminium MBPs and MBAs already have a surface finish, that's certainly not what a piece of polished aluminium would look like, it's not even what a piece of brushed aluminium would look like.

Apple don't state anywhere exactly what their finish is, but Rain do, and their iLap has a near identical finish which they describe as being

'sand-blasted and silver anodized finish'
post #19 of 72
A black model? Like this one?

post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Just yesterday I wrote that Apple should make a black Mac Mini. needless to say, a black Macbook Air would be sexy as hell. It's about time that Apple reintroduced some blackness back into their lineup. Hopefully this rumor turns out true.

Three quarters of a year of black-only iPhones was not enough of black?
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Apple uses black in their design language, but they don't typically do finishes, paints, or coatings (with the single exception of the coloured iPods).

Even though it would be infinitely harder to accomplish, I would believe this more if they had found a way to make the metal itself black, as opposed to coating/anodising.

The Ti-Books were painted and not exactly perfectly durable. And I wouldn't call anodising coating (which is what the coloured Al-iPods are), technically is not adding another layer ('a coat'), it is modifying the material itself.
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmac View Post

That's a horrible mock-up image of the "black" Air. The shadow/reflection underneath looks like the laptop is extremely bloated.

I think the actual product would look NICE though!

Haha yes. On the MacBook Air black, even the USB ports and shadows will be darker!

Not to be snobby, but come on. Instant alpha is built into Preview for goodness sake!
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

Three quarters of a year of black-only iPhones was not enough of black?

They should make an all-glass MBA.
post #24 of 72
Here we go. 2 minutes in photoshop:



enjoy!
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post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALUOp View Post

A black model? Like this one?

That looks disgusting, I hope it doesn't look like that. I don't like those vertical lines in the metal. Smooth would look much better.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALUOp View Post

A black model? Like this one?

Interesting, when did PC laptops start to copy the Mac keyboards? Macs have only had that style of keyboard since what, 2008?
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

One thing is for sure, the original MacBook is dead. In fact, I believe now is a good time to just call the MacBook Air the new MacBook because the price and performance levels fi in just the right place in Apple's notebook lineup. It's truly hard to suggest to anyone that the white MacBook is a good idea, with the thinness of the 11" Air at the same price and the solid performance and build quality of the 13" Pro just $200 away.

The MacBook is still a great value for entry level laptops. OK, it needs a processor upgrade ASAP. But the whole point of the MacBook is to be cheap. Add $200 and that defeats the point...And anyways, comparing 13" to 13", the MBA is $300 more for less storage and a slower processor.
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

I want Blue Dalmatian!

+1 on that!!

(I know the wife would LOVE it)
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post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary54 View Post

I doubt this.

Implying their terrible Photoshop job is any sort of representation whatsoever of how it will actually look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Interesting, when did PC laptops start to copy the Mac keyboards?

Well, if you believe Apple had the first chicklet keyboard, they started in the 70s. Which creates problems, since Apple DIDN'T have the first keyboard like that.

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post #30 of 72
Hot stuff, especially in the sun.
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Interesting, when did PC laptops start to copy the Mac keyboards? Macs have only had that style of keyboard since what, 2008?

I believe the 2006 Core Duo MacBook was the first MacBook to have the chiclet keyboard inside a recessed well. Someone correct me if I'm wrong
post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, if you believe Apple had the first chicklet keyboard, they started in the 70s. Which creates problems, since Apple DIDN'T have the first keyboard like that.

As usual, Apple was not the FIRST in the history of human beings to do something. But I think it's fairly well accepted that they POPULARIZED the "chiclet keyboard inside a recessed well" look that has become popular since 2007/2008.

You don't see too many of those before the 2006 MacBook. I'm sure you could find an exception, but they didn't really exist in large numbers.
post #33 of 72
As long as they release it ASAP I don't care which color it is

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post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoo View Post

Here we go. 2 minutes in photoshop:



enjoy!

Huh? Someone turn out the lights?

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post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

The Ti-Books were painted and not exactly perfectly durable. And I wouldn't call anodising coating (which is what the coloured Al-iPods are), technically is not adding another layer ('a coat'), it is modifying the material itself.

Yeah, it's a vague area and I'm by no means sure.

It would probably be more accurate to say they don't do finishes and coatings unless it doesn't *look* like a finish or coating. Their whole design approach is semi-brutalist and definitely focussed on honest materials, but as long as the product appears that way to the end user, they are not above using deception (invisible coatings etc.).
post #36 of 72
This is correct that the macbook pros will be offered in different colors, probably just black to start. This is NOT a paint finish, it's actually die mixed into the metal composition of the new "liquid metal" rights apple has purchased (which I don't know enough about)
post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

It would probably be more accurate to say they don't do finishes and coatings unless it doesn't *look* like a finish or coating.

Closer, but I think I would say that it's more that it shouldn't feel like a finish. Consider the silver anodized finish that is common to MBPs and MBAs - it's also one of the possible finishes on the iPod classic, but there it's contrasted directly with a high-gloss metal back.

As a result it clearly looks finished, whereas on the MBP/MBA it's easier to imagine that it isn't - however because it's anodized and not painted it still feels like metal - cold to the touch, and slick. The problem with most finishes and coats are that they feel kinda nasty - the HTC desire's rubber coating may be practical but I wanted to put it down as fast as possible after picking it up.

Edit: Same on the 1st Gen iPhone btw. Metal back with silver anodize finish, directly touching a highly polished metal rim. The finish on the back is very obviously to the eye, but not to the hand.
post #38 of 72
I thought the rumors had been calling for a carbon fiber future. Maybe these will be that instead of aluminum. Makes more sense.
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by webmail View Post

This is correct that the macbook pros will be offered in different colors, probably just black to start. This is NOT a paint finish, it's actually die mixed into the metal composition of the new "liquid metal" rights apple has purchased (which I don't know enough about)

I don't think that the 'LiquidMetal' tech allows for dye throughout the metal, it's certainly not mentioned on their website. Anyway, as yet there's no evidence that Apple are intending to use Liquidmetal for their macbook enclosure - their only patents that mention it are for fuel cells

http://www.cultofmac.com/apple-is-gr...xclusive/75486
post #40 of 72
These new MacBook Airs are shaping up to the most revolutionary and magical yet. Genuinely cannot wait to flash my credit card in the direction of Apple.
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