Apple rumored to revamp MacBook Air lineup with 15-in. model in early 2012

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  • Reply 21 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    I have never understood why Apple even has the MBA brand. The Macbook should simply be what the MacBook Air is today: a lightweight consumer grade laptop. And leave the MacBook Pro at the top end: a prosumer laptop with heavier built-in features like an optical drive. The regular MacBook just seems useless to me in the mix.



    At the time the Air came out, it made sense to have all three models because you did not have a low cost option for the Air. The original Air a bit ahead of its time, was feature poor, and carried a premium price. Today, the situation is different and the basic macbook is no more.
  • Reply 22 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    Where are you getting your info? Everything I've read pegged two tiers (dual and quad) with the quads losing about 10W and the non ULV dual core cpus still running too hot for the air. Intel won't leave out something suitable for the macbook air due to their desire to push that and ultrabooks. If they did, Apple would be forced to stay with the current architecture (as they did for a while with core2 duo) which would be bad.






    Nice quote from AnandTech speculating about this tradeoff, as well as the tradeoff for Pro user that want to carry around more then 256gb of storage. I think his final thought makes more sense for this year - a slimmed down Pro with no optical drive, but not yet slim enough to get it into Air territory.



    Quote:

    For a while now we've heard rumors of a thinner, redesigned MacBook Pro without an optical drive. Removing the optical drive alone isn't enough to significantly decrease the thickness of the machine, Apple would have to move away from the 2.5" HDD form factor as well. Given that there are no reasonable performing HDDs in a smaller form factor, one would assume that if and when Apple removes the optical drive from the MacBook Pro, it will also remove the hard drive.



    Ivy Bridge would be an interesting time to make such a drastic move, as Intel's 22nm process should be able to significantly reduce power consumption. Although the time may be right from a processor perspective, I wonder whether the MacBook Pro audience would be fine with only 128GB or 256GB of storage.



    There is of course another option: expand the MacBook Air line with a larger (thicker?) 15-inch model. The trick here would be cramming a 35W quad-core chip into the system, otherwise it just becomes a 13-inch MBA with a bigger screen. That's where the thicker comment comes into play. Currently the MacBook Air only has to worry about dissipating 17W from the CPU, which includes the GPU. The 15-inch MacBook Pro however has a 45W quad-core CPU and a discrete GPU. Ivy Bridge will significantly increase integrated graphics performance, but not enough to truly eliminate the need for a discrete GPU. I suspect for Apple to do the ultra thin 15-inch MacBook Pro the right way it would have to wait until Haswell, where integrated graphics performance is supposed to be much better.



  • Reply 23 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    That one referenced dual core recently, but they just talk about desktop chips there. I know I saw articles that mentioned the mobile chips, but I can't find them now . Note that even the desktop chips included some dual core models.



    http://www.legitreviews.com/news/11932/



    One i5 desktop model is dual, all else quad core.



    http://www.hardcore-hardware.com/201...dy-bridge.html



    This site has an engineering sample of Ivy Bridge mobile and the sample they have is quad core.



    I seem to recall the plan for Ivy Bridge from early on was to bump all or most of the lineup to quad core. With the lower TDP planned for these chips, it seems like that is certainly doable. The new tri-gate transistor is going to save a lot of power allowing for more cores to be built in.





    http://newsroom.intel.com/community/...-3-d-structure



    "The 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate transistors provide up to 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors. This incredible gain means that they are ideal for use in small handheld devices, which operate using less energy to "switch" back and forth. Alternatively, the new transistors consume less than half the power when at the same performance as 2-D planar transistors on 32nm chips."



    So if 2 cores and a 12EU GPU only used 17W, fitting 4 cores and a 16EU GPU into the same system w/Ivy Bridge should be very doable. That's exactly what we would have in the Air.
  • Reply 24 of 68
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Seriously, what kinda bullshit is this? I see this comment all the time. The 17" MBP weighs 6.6 pounds. That is not heavy. My loaded backpack when when I was in high school weighed well over that. Heck, taking a stack of D&D books to game w/friends weighs more than that. I'm 35 and have no problem w/weights like this. What is wrong w/this picture?



    Sorry to offend your sensibilities to the point of the need for insults. It was a joke on my part but never the less a MBA at 17" would be lighter than a MBP. The major part of the marketing of the Air (and maybe that's the reason for the name?) is they are lighter.
  • Reply 25 of 68
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SailorPaul View Post


    The amount of energy expended to move the 6 pound laptop across town is greater. (and thus more objectionable to the employee. However the two objects still weigh 6 and 40 pounds respectively. It's the end user experience that varies.



    Unless of course it's a Windows machine, which automatically gains weight from all crap loaded by apps and viruses. /s



  • Reply 26 of 68
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Panu View Post


    A six-pound object weighs more than a 40-pound object if you have to carry the six-pound object across town but you only have to carry the 40-pound object across the room. Whether a six-pound laptop is heavy or light depends on how far you normally have to carry it.



    If you lose the 40 lbs of fat from around your waist, carrying a laptop on the subway is not an issue.
  • Reply 27 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    http://www.legitreviews.com/news/11932/



    One i5 desktop model is dual, all else quad core.



    http://www.hardcore-hardware.com/201...dy-bridge.html



    This site has an engineering sample of Ivy Bridge mobile and the sample they have is quad core.



    I seem to recall the plan for Ivy Bridge from early on was to bump all or most of the lineup to quad core. With the lower TDP planned for these chips, it seems like that is certainly doable. The new tri-gate transistor is going to save a lot of power allowing for more cores to be built in.





    http://newsroom.intel.com/community/...-3-d-structure



    "The 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate transistors provide up to 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors. This incredible gain means that they are ideal for use in small handheld devices, which operate using less energy to "switch" back and forth. Alternatively, the new transistors consume less than half the power when at the same performance as 2-D planar transistors on 32nm chips."



    So if 2 cores and a 12EU GPU only used 17W, fitting 4 cores and a 16EU GPU into the same system w/Ivy Bridge should be very doable. That's exactly what we would have in the Air.



    As awesome as it would be to have a quad-core processor in the MBA I don't think it will happen next year. I think we'll have to wait until Intel Haswell's processors are released in 2013 to get quad-core MBA.



    Or Apple probably wants to keep the MBA a dual-core solution while keeping the MB Pro a quad-core solution for those that need that kind of power.
  • Reply 28 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Sorry to offend your sensibilities to the point of the need for insults. It was a joke on my part but never the less a MBA at 17" would be lighter than a MBP. The major part of the marketing of the Air (and maybe that's the reason for the name?) is they are lighter.



    I never insulted you, I said the complaint of weight, which I do see often and not just your post, was bullshit. Of course an Air of similar size will be lighter than a MBP, that's kind of the point of the brand. I'm just trying to understand how people can honestly cry about an under 7 lb laptop which they probably have in a backpack or over the shoulder messenger bag anyway.



    If it were a discussion about which one fits better on the backseat tray of an airplane, I wouldn't question that, but people complaining about the weight has always just made me roll my eyes. It isn't like we're trying to pack around Osborne 1's here, they were 24 lbs
  • Reply 29 of 68
    this current generation is full of 'wooses'.



    my 128k mac and 512k mac each weighed in at over 20 lbs and had a canvas napsack to carry it around. we all survived and there was no need for 'zuccotti park'. we even walked to school.



    even the woman (girls) handled the weight.



    have a nice holiday. they're making the ipads lighter.
  • Reply 30 of 68
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    When is Ivy Bridge out?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    I keep seeing articles like this one: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ivy...tor,13753.html that have them releasing to customers in late 2011, but then see others that say they won't be selling them until March or April. Best guess honestly is that we may well see these in the hands of OEM systems by January or February, but not available at retail until March or April. Otherwise, March or April all around.



    What's the deal here - the last I read Intel had pushed the Ivy Bridge release date to the "2nd Quarter" - which usually ends up meaning "the end of Q2" meaning in turn no fully new MB Pros until around May to July and only speed bumps (if any) until then.



    What's changed and how do we know it?



    I'm dubious of the whole article - in its particulars. I'm not dubious there will be a 15" in an MBA-like form factor - and that the pros will go on a notable diet in '012 or whenever the parts Apple needs to do the job are out - just when and how equipped.



    Further, in the past I've also expected Apple to have a $799-899 competitor out there on numerous occasions (e.g., by repricing and keeping an older model around as they've done with the 3GS and 4 in their phone lines) - only to find they seem to be quite happy to keep the entry level at a grand.



    If Apple gives us a every day entry-level $849 MBA, I think that will be a clear indicator we've entered the Post-Jobsian era at the company. With more changes in the way business is done in the offing.



    I'm already noticing (tho' I would have trouble making the case) what feel like signs that the new management team is anxious enough about sales figures that they seem to be chasing them a bit - I would say to reassure the world that they're still this unstoppably growing juggernaut even if the figure on the prow of the ship has changed.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    A 15" MBA would be my perfect laptop. I'm expecting it to be crazy expensive though!



    Not necessarily - if you look at the existing Air and Pro price points and assume there's going to be both a 15" Air and 15" Pro (and assume as I do that there's going to continue to be a distinction between Airs and Pros for several years at least), both 15" models should fit along the overall price curve. So I don't see an endangered "family" of products here yet. The endangered species, tho' would appear to be the 13" MBP - especially once there's a 15" Air of comparable total volume/weight and likely performance.
  • Reply 31 of 68
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


    What's the deal here - the last I read Intel had pushed the Ivy Bridge release date to the "2nd Quarter" - which usually ends up meaning "the end of Q2" meaning in turn no fully new MB Pros until around May to July and only speed bumps (if any) until then.



    What's changed and how do we know it?





    The tomshardware article I linked to took its information from Intel's Q3 report call. There also wouldn't need to be a big delay between when the new processors were announced and when they started appearing in Apple products given the early releases they have worked out w/Intel in the past.
  • Reply 32 of 68
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rune66 View Post


    Probably not. So pro's will have to stick with the old MBP line still.



    Ugh - you do know you can get a less than $100 3M coating to do the same thing, right?



    Let it go - your in the minority. Either deal with it or get an add-on to give you the fuzzy matte screen of your dreams
  • Reply 33 of 68
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by giffnyc View Post


    Nice quote from AnandTech speculating about this tradeoff, as well as the tradeoff for Pro user that want to carry around more then 256gb of storage. I think his final thought makes more sense for this year - a slimmed down Pro with no optical drive, but not yet slim enough to get it into Air territory.



    This. While I love my work-issued 13" MBA, I also love my MacBook Pro because it has an SSD and a hard drive for my photos. I had no problem kicking the optical drive out, and I hope Apple does the same on the MBP - slimming the computer, reducing weight but keeping the flexibility. And it would be nice if they put the express card slot back - it's why I'm hanging on to my late 2008 MBP Thunderbolt may be nice, but an express card compact flash or eSATA adaptor is far more compact and convenient than a cable and box thunderbolt solution.
  • Reply 34 of 68
    How about revamping the accessories as well? I have two things on my wish list:

    1) Ultra-thin adapter. It's so convenient to carry around an 11" Air in a sleeve, but then you have this bulky brick to deal with also.

    2) Bring back the IR sensor or make a new Bluetooth remote, which I really need for my presentations.
  • Reply 35 of 68
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    The MacBook Air 11-inch outselling the 13-inch model 10 to 1. That is why Apple should make also a MacBook Air 7-inch to outsell them all. Because true portability is the number one feature in this case!
  • Reply 36 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    The MacBook Air 11-inch outselling the 13-inch model 10 to 1. That is why Apple should make also a MacBook Air 7-inch to outsell them all. Because true portability is the number one feature in this case!



    If I had to do it all over again, I would gladly trade in my 11" (1.8 GHz, 4GBRAM, 256GBHD) MBA for the 13" -- the battery life sucks.



    I am lucky if I get 3 hours. My wife, otoh, routinely gets 7 - 10 hours on her 13".
  • Reply 37 of 68
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Usually Intel is a little better about release cycles and projected dates. Then again Sandy Bridge E missed targets. It is just strange that we have these rumors, though I do remember Intel saying over a year ago that Ivy Bridge would launch in late 2011.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    I keep seeing articles like this one: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ivy...tor,13753.html that have them releasing to customers in late 2011, but then see others that say they won't be selling them until March or April. Best guess honestly is that we may well see these in the hands of OEM systems by January or February, but not available at retail until March or April. Otherwise, March or April all around.



  • Reply 38 of 68
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Actually Ivy Bridge will have a 4 core minimum, so yes, the MBA will be a quad core when it upgrades to Ivy Bridge.



    A 15 inch AIR would need a couple of other things to get me to move off the MBP platform. This includes an 8GB RAM option and more than 256 GB in the SSD. Performance needs to be better than the current AIRs but I suspect that will happen anyways.

    Quote:



    Yes I'm aware of that. I've worn my backpack all over and I have 2 daughters, 3 1/2 and a 6. They both get shoulders rides for long periods. I fail to see the problem. I'm not even in especially good shape



    I think the hint in one of the above messages was the reference to subways which probably means New York City. The interesting thing here is that I've been going to a physical therapist for a few weeks to recover from a broken leg. The shop is actually a chain and as a result they had one of the ladies in the office flying down to NYC to fill in. During a free moment we had a bit of conversation about the "men" in NYC. Obviously they didn't meet her standards for the term man, but I won't go into details to offend anyone.



    In any event I object to the concept that the weight of something varies as you carry it. That might happen if you are carrying a bucket and it is raining out but for the most part objects do not put on weight when carried. A persons ability to carry a fixed amount of weight is variable but that is no surprise. The big problem here is why give a computer to someone that can't manage to find a way to carry it properly? It would be one thing if the individual was handicapped in some way, otherwise it would have been cheaper to buy the guy a box of Wheaties.
  • Reply 39 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Panu View Post


    The difficulty of carrying an object is not just a function of its weight, it's more like the weight of an object times the distance you have to carry it. I once issued a six-pound laptop to an employee who had no problem carrying it from his car into the building and back at the end of the day. He said it wasn't too heavy at all. Then his workplace moved to the client's site downtown. He had to carry the laptop to the subway station, on the subway during the ride, then two blocks from the station to the building, then while in the elevator, then from the elevator to his desk, at which point he was almost too worn out to work. He came back for a lighter laptop. It was too heavy.



    A six-pound object weighs more than a 40-pound object if you have to carry the six-pound object across town but you only have to carry the 40-pound object across the room. Whether a six-pound laptop is heavy or light depends on how far you normally have to carry it.



    Ok, this guy uses his head. Some of you talk like you know something about weight, like 6 lbs is silly to complain about but its common physics and Panu's explanation nails it. He even offered a real world situation to make it clear. Sure I can bench my weight at the gym sure i can curl way more than 6 lbs. It is that same mentality that makes people think they should get the largest most feature rich pack and load it with all their camp gear and a full change of clothes as well as silverware. Why not, 40 lbs isn't that much. I'll tell you why not, the straps cut into your shoulders over distance the weight is compounded with each step and you will hike half the distance of someone who is educated enough to know how to hike and backpack ultra light. They aren't looking at the ground, they aren't worried about missteps because they aren't burdened. I know businessmen who travel a lot and the weight of a laptop is a big deal, especially when you can get one at 1/3 to 1/2 the weight of other laptops. A lot of shoulder bagging gets old with the more weight you carry. Its logical, its scientific and has nothing to do with being a wuss.
  • Reply 40 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    That would surely be why a MBA 17" could be possible, unlike a MBP it could be carried by an average human being for more than a hundred yards



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