Apple planning lower cost MacBook Air for second quarter of 2018

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 80
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 975member
    entropys said:
    I expect the MBA is the top selling Mac.
    At my kids’ expensive private school with a BYOD policy, meaning parents and kids choose their laptops and the school is platform agnostic, it is the most common laptop, followed by daylight and then spectres and XPS. I reckon you could count the MacBooks on one hand. iPads and ludicrously heavy gamer laptops both might even outnumber them.
    My kids have two MBAs and a Spectre.

    the only thing the MBA needs apart from keeping the CPU up to date is a higher Res screen.

    if you want the rMacBook to replace it, in order of importance, Apple has to : add useful ports, fix the keyboard, reduce the price, increase performance, improve battery.
    In other words, turn the rMB into an MBA.
    Not so sure. We work for a number of large business who are favouring the MBr for non-power users. Two differnet seems to be clear market room for both of them. 

    I do wonder if the timing has to do this news from intel.
    https://wccftech.com/intel-core-i3-8130u-announcement-and-10nm-cannonlake-cpus-listed/
    If Apple did have a hybrid machine in the works then the 10nm without graphics could be shot for MBr and the MBA as amore traditional intel graphics machine.
  • Reply 42 of 80
    pentaepentae Posts: 32member
    After going from the Macbook Air to the Macbook Pro (fully specced out) I have wanted to go back to my Macbook Air. It was and still is a much, much better computer. The new MBP's (I'm on my 2nd) run too hot and chew through the battery. I feel like i'm typing on a sweaty ball sack. The new lineup of MBP's is absolute garbage.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 43 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member
    macxpress said:
    Makes absolutely no sense to me to keep the MacBook Air around. Apple doesn't need a "value" Mac. Since when has Apple been in a race to the bottom? There's no room for a MacBook Air in Apple's lineup IMO. 
    Uhhh,  since they came out with the SE (which is about as close as Apple will come to "the bottom"...)

    The market has changed.   It matured and transitioned to a world of evolutionary improvements from one of exponential improvements.   In addition, Apple has transitioned from being simply peddler of hardware & software gadgets to an ecosystem that includes hardware and software gadgets.

    The world moves one...   Try to keep up...

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 44 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member
    xamax said:
    Makes sense as part of the merging of iOS with macOS strategy, MacBooks need to be more and more like the iPads until they are exactly the iPad on steroids - but the iPads will also evolve to be more computer like in what computers have that’s good. It’s a great future ahead, pity it is taking such a long time in baby steps... but that’s what they deem necessary...
    Yeh...
    They're dealing with more than hardware and software limitations and development.   The prejudices and biases of both users and developers may be equally or even more important.

    Can you even imagine the uproar from an iPad running MacOS? 
    Although it's obviously physically possible,  walls would be splattered with brain matter as heads exploded...
  • Reply 45 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member

    xamax said:
    Makes sense as part of the merging of iOS with macOS strategy, 
    What strategy? They’ve said several times they aren’t merging those two OSes. 
    Yeh, that's true.  Instead they just keep blurring the lines between them...
    iOS iPads now sport an external keyboard and a rudimentary file system.  What's next?  Or will progress in Apple's stated goal of making it a laptop replacement just fade away?  Many seem to think Apple will freeze the iPad line and laptop users will be forced to adapt their work habits to the newer format if they want the "laptop killer".   But, Apple has never been dogmatic like that.   Instead, the product line(s) will adapt to changing technology and user needs.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 46 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member
    My own opinion:
    Apple has squeezed its laptop line up in a narrow niche of thin, light highly portable devices and spurned the two broad ends of the spectrum.   Specifically:

    1)  As many have pointed out, Apple needs an affordable laptop that can meet the needs of the average Joe using it for low intensity tasks -- browsing the web, etc...

    2) It has abandoned the traditional business model where the laptop spends the majority of its time sitting on a desk attached to a high end keyboard and large, high end monitor.   Instead, the keyboards on every version of the MB, MBA and MBPro are compromises between high functionality and thin and light: They are not as thin or as light as the keyboard of an iPad (duh!) but yet they are not as functional as a traditional full throw IBM Selectric style keyboard.   Likewise, a 13" display is not much better than a typical iPad.   Most serious business users want at least a 20" inch high resolution screen and with 24-27" being the preferred.   Yes, the laptop has to be small and light enough to travel, but since that is a small part of its functional life, it is not the biggest concern.

    In my experience, most business users use a simple dock with a high end keyboard and screen attached.  They never deal with cables.  When they get to the office, they just drop the laptop onto its dock and start typing -- they never even open the lid.  And, with today's growth of external GPUs the high end external screen becomes increasingly more realistic.

    In short, The current line of Apple laptops is squeezed too tightly into a niche market.   I think they need to expand the line up to meet the needs of a broader audience.  And, the MBA could well be a piece of that:  let it maintain compatibility with traditional Intel style peripherals while the MB becomes even thinner and lighter with an A series processor....

  • Reply 47 of 80
    pentae said:
    After going from the Macbook Air to the Macbook Pro (fully specced out) I have wanted to go back to my Macbook Air. It was and still is a much, much better computer. The new MBP's (I'm on my 2nd) run too hot and chew through the battery. I feel like i'm typing on a sweaty ball sack. The new lineup of MBP's is absolute garbage.
    BS.  I've been using a MBP with Touch Bar since they were introduced and it rarely gets even warm and lasts all day.  The MBA was underpowered, so there is no way you are doing what you used to do on the MBA and having shorter battery life and higher temps.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 80
    After reading through this thread, I'm reminded that the MacBook lineup is a bit of a mess right now.  So I won't be surprised if at the next opportunity, Apple reboots the lineup and gets the lower portion straightened out.  In the "old days" we had "thin and light" MacBook Air (as light as possible, some compromises) < MacBook (do-everything, good size/price/features) < MacBook Pro (bigger, faster, beyond what typical user needs).   Currently the thin and light model is called the MacBook, MacBook Air is a weird legacy compromise machine, and the MacBook Pro (which is also thin and light) line goes from mainstream specs to high end (but not high end enough for some).

    Perhaps Apple will/should go back to having a clean size-based continuum.  I expect retina displays will be the option option, as will USB-C ports/charging.  So the difference will be screen size, GPU, CPU, max RAM, max SSD.  At the low end you get a 11" or 12" model with 2 USB-C and modest graphics, but 8-10 hour battery.  In the middle you get 13" screen 4 USB-C.  At the top you get the current MBP line.  Hopefully TouchID is standard on all models, but obviously FaceID will be coming to Macs soon.  I don't expect any new models of MacBooks to include any legacy ports.

    Apple will keep working on keyboard and battery tech (both of which are excellent and continue to evolve).

    Having said all this, the laptop market (to say nothing of the desktop market) is so mature that there's not much more do do except keep getting faster and smaller, so Apple's not going to invest billions in radical improvements in these product lines.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 49 of 80
    pentaepentae Posts: 32member
    pentae said:
    After going from the Macbook Air to the Macbook Pro (fully specced out) I have wanted to go back to my Macbook Air. It was and still is a much, much better computer. The new MBP's (I'm on my 2nd) run too hot and chew through the battery. I feel like i'm typing on a sweaty ball sack. The new lineup of MBP's is absolute garbage.
    BS.  I've been using a MBP with Touch Bar since they were introduced and it rarely gets even warm and lasts all day.  The MBA was underpowered, so there is no way you are doing what you used to do on the MBA and having shorter battery life and higher temps.
    Comparing it to what? Have you owned a MBA? The non touchbar model has one fan (the touchbar model has two) do you know how I know this? because the palm rest was 35 degrees C and too hot to use comfortably so I had to return it for a touchbar model just to get a palm rest thats a few degrees cooler because of the second fan. Worst computer Apple have made in at least 15 years. I could write thousands of words on why the new MBP is utter garbage. I'm sorry you've never experienced anything better.

    edited March 2018 cgWerksmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 50 of 80
    pentae said:
    pentae said:
    After going from the Macbook Air to the Macbook Pro (fully specced out) I have wanted to go back to my Macbook Air. It was and still is a much, much better computer. The new MBP's (I'm on my 2nd) run too hot and chew through the battery. I feel like i'm typing on a sweaty ball sack. The new lineup of MBP's is absolute garbage.
    BS.  I've been using a MBP with Touch Bar since they were introduced and it rarely gets even warm and lasts all day.  The MBA was underpowered, so there is no way you are doing what you used to do on the MBA and having shorter battery life and higher temps.
    Comparing it to what? Have you owned a MBA? The non touchbar model has one fan (the touchbar model has two) do you know how I know this? because the palm rest was 35 degrees C and too hot to use comfortably so I had to return it for a touchbar model just to get a palm rest thats a few degrees cooler because of the second fan. Worst computer Apple have made in at least 15 years. I could write thousands of words on why the new MBP is utter garbage. I'm sorry you've never experienced anything better.

    I've owned 3 MacBook Airs and love my MBPwT.  Sorry you didn't clarify that the MacBook Pro you were complaining about is the non-Touchbar model.  I have no experience with that one.

    Edit: odd you complain about the fans.  The fan(s) on my MBP rarely come on at all, whereas doing the same work on my MacBook Airs would spin up the fan regularly.  Especially the original MBA was terrible from a heat dissipation perspective.  You couldn't do video chats without the CPU overheating and being throttled.

    My MPB is my 20th Mac and it's the best of the bunch.  (Sorry, I decided to mix things up.  Usually people only list how many Apple devices they've owned before they say something bad about current Apple Inc.)
    edited March 2018 fastasleep
  • Reply 51 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,562member
    After reading through this thread, I'm reminded that the MacBook lineup is a bit of a mess right now.  So I won't be surprised if at the next opportunity, Apple reboots the lineup and gets the lower portion straightened out.  In the "old days" we had "thin and light" MacBook Air (as light as possible, some compromises) < MacBook (do-everything, good size/price/features) < MacBook Pro (bigger, faster, beyond what typical user needs).   Currently the thin and light model is called the MacBook, MacBook Air is a weird legacy compromise machine, and the MacBook Pro (which is also thin and light) line goes from mainstream specs to high end (but not high end enough for some).

    Perhaps Apple will/should go back to having a clean size-based continuum.  I expect retina displays will be the option option, as will USB-C ports/charging.  So the difference will be screen size, GPU, CPU, max RAM, max SSD.  At the low end you get a 11" or 12" model with 2 USB-C and modest graphics, but 8-10 hour battery.  In the middle you get 13" screen 4 USB-C.  At the top you get the current MBP line.  Hopefully TouchID is standard on all models, but obviously FaceID will be coming to Macs soon.  I don't expect any new models of MacBooks to include any legacy ports.

    Apple will keep working on keyboard and battery tech (both of which are excellent and continue to evolve).

    Having said all this, the laptop market (to say nothing of the desktop market) is so mature that there's not much more do do except keep getting faster and smaller, so Apple's not going to invest billions in radical improvements in these product lines.
    Agree! 
    Well, except for the part about smaller and lighter...  Yes, they will of course continue in that direction -- but it also involves comprises that will pigeon hole the product line if it becomes/continues to be its sole and only direction.   I think the analogy is:  The SE vs iPhone vs iPhone+ vs iPad....  They each have their uses and target audiences -- but one is not necessarily better than the others, just bigger...

    Thinner, lighter, smaller isn't always better...  I for one want a consumer level Mac but I simply don't want to deal with a 12" screen and flat keyboard (because portability is not my primary need).   For me, my minimum requirements are:  at least a 14" screen and keyboard with at least moderate sized keys, touch feel and throw...
    I think the MBA could meet that need while leaving the MB to be highly portable and the MBP as the portable performance machine (particularly if it is paired with a high end dock/keyboard and monitor).
    cgWerksmuthuk_vanalingamBrianJewett
  • Reply 52 of 80
    pentaepentae Posts: 32member
    I've owned 3 MacBook Airs and love my MBPwT.  Sorry you didn't clarify that the MacBook Pro you were complaining about is the non-Touchbar model.  I have no experience with that one.

    Edit: odd you complain about the fans.  The fan(s) on my MBP rarely come on at all, whereas doing the same work on my MacBook Airs would spin up the fan regularly.  Especially the original MBA was terrible from a heat dissipation perspective.  You couldn't do video chats without the CPU overheating and being throttled.

    My MPB is my 20th Mac and it's the best of the bunch.  (Sorry, I decided to mix things up.  Usually people only list how many Apple devices they've owned before they say something bad about current Apple Inc.)
    Yeah, MBPwT is marginally better but when you use it while its plugged into power palm rest gets too hot. On Battery its OK. Also living in a tropical climate makes the borderline 'too hot' situation even worse. If I lived in a cold place I am sure I wouldn't notice.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 53 of 80
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member
    I don’t really see how they can “update” the MacBook Air line in any significant way and still maintain differentiation from the MacBook line. The only reason the Air currently exists is because of the price point. That’s not enough reason to exist. Apple just needs to scrap the MacBook Air line and drop the price of the entry level MacBook. There is zero room or reason for a 3rd line. 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 54 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,460member
    slurpy said:
    I don’t really see how they can “update” the MacBook Air line in any significant way and still maintain differentiation from the MacBook line. The only reason the Air currently exists is because of the price point. That’s not enough reason to exist. Apple just needs to scrap the MacBook Air line and drop the price of the entry level MacBook. There is zero room or reason for a 3rd line. 
    If they make it ARM-based it could have the advantages of the 12" MacBook with its Retina IPS display, but the much lower price point that comes from not having a CPU that retails for more than a quarter of the MacBook Air's MSRP. Note that they'll do that, but that's one way they could differentiate it while keeping the price where it is.
  • Reply 55 of 80
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,083member
    I don't yet own a MacBook model with the flatter, larger keys, but as a pro writer I was naturally interested in it, so I played with them in the store, and borrowed a friend's model to test it for myself. Took a little getting used to, I would certainly say, but in point of fact my typing accuracy rose and the difference became very minimal really quickly.

    I prefer more travel than the MacBook offers, but didn't have any issue with the slightly more travel new MBP. Sometimes -- just like I did with the Magic Trackpad and other things over the years -- you gotta give new things a real workout before pronouncing judgement.

    I kept an open mind and, 6000 or so words later, I came to the conclusion that I could work with it at least as efficiently as I do on my 2012 MBP chiclet keyboard -- which, a lot of people here seem to have forgotten, got exactly the same criticism for its lack of travel compared to older Apple keyboards when it debuted. Quelle surprise.
    edited March 2018 randominternetpersonpscooter63fastasleepwatto_cobraroundaboutnow
  • Reply 56 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,460member
    chasm said:
    I don't yet own a MacBook model with the flatter, larger keys, but as a pro writer I was naturally interested in it, so I played with them in the story and borrowed a friend's model to test it for myself. Took a little getting used to, I would certainly say, but in point of fact my typing accuracy shot up and the difference became very minimal really quickly.

    I prefer more travel than the MacBook, but didn't have any issue with the slightly more travel new MBP. Sometimes -- just like I did with the Magic Trackpad and other things over the years -- you gotta give new things a real workout before pronouncing judgement.

    I kept an open mind and, 6000 words later, I came to the conclusion that I could work with it at least as efficiently as I do on my 2012 MBP chiclet keyboard -- which, a lot of people here seem to have forgotten, got exactly the same criticism for its lack of travel compared to older Apple keyboards when it debuted. Quelle surprise.
    I've never gotten used it that my typing improved and every time I go back to the old keyboard it feel sooo much better and my typing improves instantly. The display and many other features are clearly better so I use it, but I definitely do not like this keyboard better than the previous one. I think that even using a softer material on the keys themselves would improve their feel.
    edited March 2018 GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 57 of 80
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,083member
    As for this report, I would like to see the Air continue with a revamped model, but I'm not sure why there's any need. It's still a popular machine in this college town I live in, but if Apple could find a way to lower the price of the MB (which is also due for an improvement) by a couple hundred bucks, I think the Air would fall out of fashion virtually overnight. As much as I appreciate the Air (from 2010 on, anyway -- that first model was pretty bad, in point of fact), the next MacBook will (once it gains real USB 3.1 Type C) surpass it in all measures.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 58 of 80
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,083member
    zoetmb said:
    And for my money, the Touch Bar is a complete waste - I'm sorry I opted for that as it accomplishes almost nothing.  


    Since it performs the exact same job as the function keys (and more), I'm not sure this statement makes any sense at all. Are you saying the function key row is useless to you as well? You don't use Siri or Touch ID, the two extra features? I could understand if you had said "I don't use programs that really take advantage of the bar" or "I prefer to use the mouse rather than the touchpad for non-function key stuff" but saying it "accomplishes nothing" is demonstrably false.
    randominternetpersonpscooter63fastasleeproundaboutnow
  • Reply 59 of 80
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,487member
    chasm said:
    As for this report, I would like to see the Air continue with a revamped model, but I'm not sure why there's any need. It's still a popular machine in this college town I live in, but if Apple could find a way to lower the price of the MB (which is also due for an improvement) by a couple hundred bucks, I think the Air would fall out of fashion virtually overnight. As much as I appreciate the Air (from 2010 on, anyway -- that first model was pretty bad, in point of fact), the next MacBook will (once it gains real USB 3.1 Type C) surpass it in all measures.
    To beat the MBA in popularity the MacBook needs to at least match its utility, so:

    • a couple of extra ports,
    • the keyboard upgraded to at least MBP standards,
    • increase power in base configuration, and
    • match MBA price.
    These are the reasons even the neglected MBA is orders of magnitude more popular than the MacBook.
    If Apple wants to kill off the MBA, fix the MacBook so it can replace it.
    The current MacBook is what an iPad running macOS would be like. It just doesnt work. 

    In fact, the deficiencies of the MacBook as an all purpose device with high utility is such a big list it would be easier just to whack a higher res screen in the MBA to goose sales.

    edited March 2018
  • Reply 60 of 80
    I have a MacBook Air and it works great. The quintessential Mac. Powerful, thin, solidly built. Good keyboard, plus the Apple logo glows like you know it should.  ;)
    GeorgeBMaccgWerksentropyspscooter63BrianJewett
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