Apple to begin production of Thunderbolt MacBook Airs next month

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  • Reply 121 of 214
    gary54gary54 Posts: 169member
    is where?
  • Reply 122 of 214
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gary54 View Post


    is where?



    It's in my pocket. Reach down deep in there and get it.
  • Reply 123 of 214
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gary54 View Post


    is where?



    I know it isn't in my pocket as unlike the above poster my pockets are already full.



    On the serious side though we should be seeing a lot of interesting updates in the next few months. Maybe even some entirely new products from apple. As far as buying suggestions / advice I don't recommend that anybody buy right now be it a Mini, AIR nor iMac. Updates should start to roll out shortly for one or more. Personally I suspect the iMac next.



    The Mini shouldn't be far off either but I wouldn't put it past Apple to draw out the update for the Mini far longer than they should. The point is chips exist to update the Mini now. Unless of course they switch the Mini to AMD chips which won't ship for a bit longer.
  • Reply 124 of 214
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flounder View Post


    It's in my pocket. Reach down deep in there and get it.



    You don't have to be curt when someone asks you a question.No one knows when the mac minis are coming out with the thunderbolt technology.A simple answer.
  • Reply 125 of 214
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marvfox View Post


    You don't have to be curt





    And you don't have to completely lack a sense of humor. But we all have our shortcomings!
  • Reply 126 of 214
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    While it's not up to me to dictate the needs of others, I'd like to point out that selecting the 3G option for the iPad costs $130 over the WiFi version. If Apple offered this strictly as an option for the Air, then that's fine.



    I'd like to see a cell provider offer a sort of unified data plan where you could register multiple devices (phone/tablet/laptop) and have them all feed off the same data plan. That would help pique my interest in having 3G (or faster) connectivity on the Air rather than just relying on WiFi. I'm sure something like that's a ways off though.
  • Reply 127 of 214
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bancho View Post


    While it's not up to me to dictate the needs of others, I'd like to point out that selecting the 3G option for the iPad costs $130 over the WiFi version. If Apple offered this strictly as an option for the Air, then that's fine.



    I'd like to see a cell provider offer a sort of unified data plan where you could register multiple devices (phone/tablet/laptop) and have them all feed off the same data plan. That would help pique my interest in having 3G (or faster) connectivity on the Air rather than just relying on WiFi. I'm sure something like that's a ways off though.



    I'd really like an integrated cellular network option. I can understand those who are certain that wouldn't use this not wanting to pay for that additional hardware.



    But the MBA is a highly portable machine with limited I/O ports, much like the iPad. Having the cellular chip integrated into the machine obviates the need for a dongle and tying up a port which is rather precious on the MBAs.



    Once the cellular networks have moved to LTE I think the likelihood of having this option on MBAs will be pretty good. Right now with GSM and CDMA networks I can see how this would be rather painful for Apple to offer this option. I hope when 4g rolls around though that Apple makes this available.
  • Reply 128 of 214
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shev View Post


    facetime HD camera,

    backlit keyboard,

    sandy bridge,

    thunderbolt,

    same price,



    then I'm in.



    this and a MATTE screen, atl east as BTO.

    then i'm so gonna sell my MBP 15" baby.

    an integrated hspa+ modem would be cool too.
  • Reply 129 of 214
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by buschwusch View Post


    this and a MATTE screen, atl east as BTO.

    then i'm so gonna sell my MBP 15" baby.

    an integrated hspa+ modem would be cool too.



    The problem is simple Matte screens suck if you sit at your machine for any length of time handling text or graphics. I have an early 2008 MBP with such a screen so it isn't my imagination.



    It would be nice if Apple could come up with a anti reflective coating that doesn't turn the image to mush but I've yet to see such a coating. As it now never again.
  • Reply 130 of 214
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I'd really like an integrated cellular network option. I can understand those who are certain that wouldn't use this not wanting to pay for that additional hardware.



    But the MBA is a highly portable machine with limited I/O ports, much like the iPad. Having the cellular chip integrated into the machine obviates the need for a dongle and tying up a port which is rather precious on the MBAs.



    Once the cellular networks have moved to LTE I think the likelihood of having this option on MBAs will be pretty good. Right now with GSM and CDMA networks I can see how this would be rather painful for Apple to offer this option. I hope when 4g rolls around though that Apple makes this available.



    Yes this would be good but even now you do not need to tie a USB port up with a mobile broadband stick ? you can tether an Iphone through Bluetooth to give you 3G internet access or use one of the WiFi devices...



    All I really want is a larger SSD and perhaps 6GB of Ram...
  • Reply 131 of 214
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    The specs for the next MacBook Air revision have firmed-up nicely. It's going to be interesting to see whether Apple delivers what people are asking for:
    • Sandy Bridge + reasonable GPU

    • Larger capacity SSD

    • Facetime HD

    • Thunderbolt port

    • Backlit keyboard

    • 3G card slot

    • A less reflective screen

    I agree that Matte screens are not ideal if you use your computer for long periods of time. It would be nice if Apple could simply dial-down the gloss on existing screens. Indeed, it seems they have already done so on the 13" MBA because the screen seems less reflective than that on my 13" MacBook Pro.



    For me, the only potential deal breaker is SSD capacities. As of now, there is no point in buying a MacBook Air until 500 Gb is available. The rest of the market is rapidly transitioning towards 1TB or 2TB drives. Within 18 months we'll be at 5 TB or 10 TB capacities for regular HDDs. i don't need that, but 256 Gb isn't enough. With 500 GB I have enough room for everything plus extra capacity. Since iTunes allowed people to start downloading movies, disk space has become a major issue. The average user must have at least 50 GB of movies, music and other iTunes stuff. i have over 150 GB of movies alone.
  • Reply 132 of 214
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    The specs for the next MacBook Air revision have firmed-up nicely. It's going to be interesting to see whether Apple delivers what people are asking for:
    • Sandy Bridge + reasonable GPU

    • Larger capacity SSD

    • Facetime HD

    • Thunderbolt port

    • Backlit keyboard

    • 3G card slot

    • A less reflective screen

    I agree that Matte screens are not ideal if you use your computer for long periods of time. It would be nice if Apple could simply dial-down the gloss on existing screens. Indeed, it seems they have already done so on the 13" MBA because the screen seems less reflective than that on my 13" MacBook Pro.



    For me, the only potential deal breaker is SSD capacities. As of now, there is no point in buying a MacBook Air until 500 Gb is available. The rest of the market is rapidly transitioning towards 1TB or 2TB drives. Within 18 months we'll be at 5 TB or 10 TB capacities for regular HDDs. i don't need that, but 256 Gb isn't enough. With 500 GB I have enough room for everything plus extra capacity. Since iTunes allowed people to start downloading movies, disk space has become a major issue. The average user must have at least 50 GB of movies, music and other iTunes stuff. i have over 150 GB of movies alone.



    All those updates look great.



    I do question the 3G card even though I?d love to see it and Apple has created a very small, interchangeable option for GSM/UMTS or CDMA/EV-DO on the iPad 2, per the iFixit teardown.



    I also question the reflective nature of the glass panel. Unless they find a way to meld the panels which can thin out the glass I don?t that will change. Additionally, without the 13? MBP getting a matte option I don?t think we should expect a matte option on the MBAs.



    I'd like to see a better panel on the 11? MBA. It?s considerably better than other notebook vendors but not as good as their larger brethren. I?d even like to see IPS finally get adapted to MBAs and MBPs now that they can do a 10? iPad with an IPS panel but I do understand that performance differences between a Mac and iPad will harm the battery life, as well as scaling it from 11? to 13? to 15? to 17? with all that increased surface area. Maybe we?ll have to wait for a lower-power IPS panel for which I believe LG has patents.



    Finally, I?m really just hopping for double-resolution displays coming to all new Macs after Lion is released
  • Reply 133 of 214
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post


    For me, the only potential deal breaker is SSD capacities.



    I cannot imagine purchasing a machine with a Core2 CPU at this time--it just feels horrifically outdated. The 256 capacity limit on the SSD feels like a deal breaker to me also, but I think once this refresh happens if I am looking at a 13" sandy bridge MBA vs the 13" MBP with a lower resolution display, I think I figure out how to compromise on only having 256 GB and buy the Air.
  • Reply 134 of 214
    tailpipetailpipe Posts: 345member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    All those updates look great.



    I do question the 3G card even though I?d love to see it and Apple has created a very small, interchangeable option for GSM/UMTS or CDMA/EV-DO on the iPad 2, per the iFixit teardown.



    I also question the reflective nature of the glass panel. Unless they find a way to meld the panels which can thin out the glass I don?t that will change. Additionally, without the 13? MBP getting a matte option I don?t think we should expect a matte option on the MBAs.



    I'd like to see a better panel on the 11? MBA. It?s considerably better than other notebook vendors but not as good as their larger brethren. I?d even like to see IPS finally get adapted to MBAs and MBPs now that they can do a 10? iPad with an IPS panel but I do understand that performance differences between a Mac and iPad will harm the battery life, as well as scaling it from 11? to 13? to 15? to 17? with all that increased surface area. Maybe we?ll have to wait for a lower-power IPS panel for which I believe LG has patents.



    Finally, I?m really just hopping for double-resolution displays coming to all new Macs after Lion is released



    I'm not convinced by the 3G card either, it's a 'nice to have' rather than 'must have'.



    IPS screens would be truly amazing. Beyond increasing processor speed, screen resolution has to be a major factor in making successive computers better. I don't think such technology is ready for prime time just yet. In the meantime, double resolution is going to be a useful step in the right direction.



    I note that Sumsung has begun production of 64 GB SSD chips using its new 20 Nm process. This is excellent news. I am excited to see whether new MBA gets a larger SSD drive thanks to 20 Nm fabrication.
  • Reply 135 of 214
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RetroRichie View Post


    I cannot imagine purchasing a machine with a Core2 CPU at this time--it just feels horrifically outdated.



    That perception isn't really justified. Apple currently needs the combo it is offering up because there is little else they can put into the machine to fit the power and cost envelopes.

    Quote:

    The 256 capacity limit on the SSD feels like a deal breaker to me also, but I think once this refresh happens if I am looking at a 13" sandy bridge MBA vs the 13" MBP with a lower resolution display, I think I figure out how to compromise on only having 256 GB and buy the Air.



    Capacity of the storage is a big deal. With my needs I'd need external storage no matter what SSD is installed. Taking that approach a 256 GB drive is passable. On the new portables you do have the advantage of SD cards.



    The big problem with the rumored SB AIRs is how much will the GPU be compromised. I can see such a machine being a step backwards if the GPU clock rate is reduced or in other ways impacted. We might actually have to wait for Ivy Bridge to get both a GPU boost and a power improvement. Building the AIR is a tough engineering challenge when dealing with Intel processors with the integrated GPUs.
  • Reply 136 of 214
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    That perception isn't really justified. Apple currently needs the combo it is offering up because there is little else they can put into the machine to fit the power and cost envelopes.



    It's not a perception; these are outdated processors. Penryn was released in Jan of 2008 and Merom back in 2006! In fact, Intel took the final orders for these CPUs back in April and they are being discontinued. I just don't see how there's any way that Sandy Bridge isn't going into these things one way or another--and I have a hard time believing that the "power envelope" is any kind of issue. Most folks agree that the TDP of these SB CPUs is not going to be any more problematic than it is in the Pro line. As for cost, I don't see these CPUs affecting the price of the 13" MBP so they cannot be costing Apple much more per unit, and I think it is safe to say that the Air is at least on par with other Apple products in terms of margin.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The big problem with the rumored SB AIRs is how much will the GPU be compromised. I can see such a machine being a step backwards if the GPU clock rate is reduced or in other ways impacted. We might actually have to wait for Ivy Bridge to get both a GPU boost and a power improvement. Building the AIR is a tough engineering challenge when dealing with Intel processors with the integrated GPUs.



    I am satisfied enough with the Anandtech benchmarks on the integrated graphics in the 13" MBP, and I don't see why the clock rate would need to be reduced on the Air. The current Pro line does run hotter than the last version, but the Air currently runs very cool.
  • Reply 137 of 214
    Just realized you might have meant power in terms of performance, not power in terms of "power." Either way, I think the huge performance gains seen in the latest generation of the 13" MBP more than justifies the Air moving to Sandy Bridge.
  • Reply 138 of 214
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,151member
    The reason the MacBook Air has a less reflective display than the MacBook Pro is because the glass used in front of the display on the MacBook Pro would increase the weight of the MacBook Air.
  • Reply 139 of 214
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Thus we have to consider the possibility that clock rates will be trimmed some to permit the SB AIR to arrive. Not this is only a possibility, but is not inconsistent with previous ULV processors. Until the new AIR is delivered we won't know what the actual implementation will be.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RetroRichie View Post


    It's not a perception; these are outdated processors. Penryn was released in Jan of 2008 and Merom back in 2006!



    They are not outdated if Apple has no choice with respect to implementing a machine with the current AIRs performance levels. Seriously tell us what they should have used instead.

    Quote:

    In fact, Intel took the final orders for these CPUs back in April and they are being discontinued. I just don't see how there's any way that Sandy Bridge isn't going into these things one way or another--and I have a hard time believing that the "power envelope" is any kind of issue.



    I'm with you here as I think Sandy Bridge is the most likely candidate. It should be a good update CPU wise, GPU wise I'm not convinced.



    The dark horse here would be an AMD Llano if it ever comes to be. Llano would allow Apple to maintain both OpenCL capability and advance general GPU performance. However we have yet to see hardware so I don't think it is in the running.

    Quote:

    Most folks agree that the TDP of these SB CPUs is not going to be any more problematic than it is in the Pro line. As for cost, I don't see these CPUs affecting the price of the 13" MBP so they cannot be costing Apple much more per unit, and I think it is safe to say that the Air is at least on par with other Apple products in terms of margin.



    Well with a given process technology something has to give. The only way to get significantly lower TDP is to lower performance or operating voltage (which lowers performance). This is why I see Ivy Bridge as the platform to really propel AIR forward, power usage will drop significantly with the process tech they intend to use there.

    Quote:

    I am satisfied enough with the Anandtech benchmarks on the integrated graphics in the 13" MBP, and I don't see why the clock rate would need to be reduced on the Air. The current Pro line does run hotter than the last version, but the Air currently runs very cool.



    You loose all credibility with me when you reference Anandtech. The guy isn't credible and it has pretty much been proven that the GPU in SB falls on its face when high performance is demanded of it. Not to mention the glossed over lack of OpenCL support. Obviously if you don't need that performance you won't have a problem as the GPU does well for mainstream support of Apples GUI.
  • Reply 140 of 214
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    You loose all credibility with me when you reference Anandtech. The guy isn't credible and it has pretty much been proven that the GPU in SB falls on its face when high performance is demanded of it. Not to mention the glossed over lack of OpenCL support. Obviously if you don't need that performance you won't have a problem as the GPU does well for mainstream support of Apples GUI.



    The Anand benchmarks are consistent with the rest of what's been published out there, on notebookcheck or whatever else you can find. The 3000 is not that bad of a GPU and the amount that it underperforms the 320m is WAY overblown such as with your "falls on its face" statement--in all cases within 20%. You'd think it was a total meltdown by the way people are reacting. I will give you that the lack of OpenCL is a disappointment, but whatever losses are endured by a slight downgrade in graphics will be obliterated by CPU performance gains with a move to sandy bridge. I am not going to sit here and tell you and everyone else they shouldn't be playing Crysis on their Airs, but I would imagine that most of the Air target market can live without gaming. It will be a net gain for most.



    As for your comment "seriously tell us what they should have used instead," I am not trying to imply that there was an alternative last year. All I am saying is that now that there is an alternative, it's time to move on. Buying a new high-end machine (in terms of price, anyway) for $1500+ with a half-decade-old CPU doesn't cut it for me.
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