Apple planning lower cost MacBook Air for second quarter of 2018

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 80
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 614member
    Why keep it?  Ports, man - PORTS!

    entropysBrianJewett
  • Reply 62 of 80
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member
    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. 
    I disagree...
    Assuming that until or unless they give the iPad Pro a cursor, they still need a small, light highly portable computing platform.   So, I would see:
    -- the MB getting even thinner and lighter equipped with an A series processor.
    -- The MBA becoming a mid-level Intel based platform
    -- The MBP is thin, light, powerful and expensive....

    It's a product line that "just works" with no major holes left in it -- except for a low cost platform to compete with cheap Windows machines and Chromebooks.  But Apple may easily choose to cede that market...


    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 63 of 80
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    GeorgeBMac said:
    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).
    Exactly! Thin and light are great... until they compromise the design too much. Apple already has the MB to fill that slot. The MBP, aside from cost, has other compromises, especially for a 'pro' machine. They need a machine that doesn't cost two arms and a leg, but still is capable for a bit more than the most basic of tasks. A MBA with some updated internals would provide that fairly well.

    chasm said:
    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.
    They were a downgrade, but I think an acceptable one. While I've gotten used to the 'chicklet' keyboards, I think one could type faster and more accurately on the old Mac II Extended or even previous MBP keyboards. It does feel odd going back, though.

    I suppose I *could* get used to the new MBP keyboard, but it's oddity combined with unreliability just won't fly. Plus, there are other problems like that horrendously huge trackpad that is in the way and the TouchBar which is also in the way. The only good thing, is I've heard they run cooler/quieter than the previous generation?

    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.
    I'm not sure I understand the reasoning here. I have a MBA, but don't think a MB would be good enough (despite it's higher price). I suppose if you're only thinking of students taking notes and stuff, but I think the MBA has a wider market than that.

    chasm said:
    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. 
    For me, it's that I don't want the Touch Bar to be there, at all. Too easy to bump while typing numbers, and relatively useless. Sure, Touch ID would be nice, but I don't want the TouchBar that comes with it.

    entropys said:
    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,
    Isn't the MB keyboard already better than the MBP keyboard, at least in reliability?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 64 of 80
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,304member
    cgWerks said:
    But but but - Marco Arment’s Techie Echo Chamber of Doom, Worry, and Concern said it’s a problem!
    I disagree with Marco on a whole bunch of topics, but he's got Apple's number these days. Spot on most of the time. 
    Not really. Complaining about everything from an ultra niche perspective detached from the mass market normals who comprise Apple’s user base just makes him another out of touch curmudgeon. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 65 of 80
    Soli said:
    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.
    Really not trying to pick on you, or be pedantic - just making an observation: your auto-correct of "not" to "note" more-or-less changes the entire meaning of your last sentence!!
    Solimuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 66 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,206member
    Soli said:
    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.
    Really not trying to pick on you, or be pedantic - just making an observation: your auto-correct of "not" to "note" more-or-less changes the entire meaning of your last sentence!!
    Pick away. I made an egregious typo that changes how my comment could be received if the second part of the sentence isn't taken into account. Thanks for pointing it out, unfortunately it's too late for me to edit that post.
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 67 of 80
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    Don’t worry we worked out what you meant. All good.
    Soli
  • Reply 68 of 80
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    I guess the only reason to make this was to make an educational Mac laptop that better competes with Crapbooks and cheap Windows laptops. 
  • Reply 69 of 80
    Nice to know that there will be at least one Apple laptop with a working keyboard and an easily replaced battery.
  • Reply 70 of 80
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    macxpress said:
    I guess the only reason to make this was to make an educational Mac laptop that better competes with Crapbooks and cheap Windows laptops. 
    Except they aren't even close to that. Some people think a $300 laptop is expensive. Apple's cheapest laptops are competing with the upper-range stuff.
    Apple doesn't have to compete with cheap stuff, but they have to be competitive for what you're getting. Aside from the first few years, the MBA has been an incredibly solid competitor, IMO. Even the lower end of the MBP line used to be, as well.
  • Reply 71 of 80
    TomETomE Posts: 143member
    A New MacBook Air ?  
    Well, I don't care what they call it, but I want one.  I cannot type on this new Keyboard on the all the new Macs.
    Just give it a Retina display or a better display than the current MacBook Air.
    Keep the Same MacBook Air Keyboard - flush the butterfly keyboards down the drain - long time Mac Users know these keyboards are c--p.
    Not everything new is better.
    I want the ports , not this stupid single port that requires a dongle for everything.
    Love being able to put my camera memory card into the old MacBook Air.
    Better speakers would be nice. 
    Make it with a 15" screen.
    It really doesn't have to be as thin as paper.
    It could even have an "A" series processor or a co-processor.
    Come on Apple - I know you can do it.

    pentae
  • Reply 72 of 80
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,206member
    TomE said:
    A New MacBook Air ?  
    Well, I don't care what they call it, but I want one.  I cannot type on this new Keyboard on the all the new Macs.
    Just give it a Retina display or a better display than the current MacBook Air.
    Keep the Same MacBook Air Keyboard - flush the butterfly keyboards down the drain - long time Mac Users know these keyboards are c--p.
    Not everything new is better.
    I want the ports , not this stupid single port that requires a dongle for everything.
    Love being able to put my camera memory card into the old MacBook Air.
    Better speakers would be nice. 
    Make it with a 15" screen.
    It really doesn't have to be as thin as paper.
    It could even have an "A" series processor or a co-processor.
    Come on Apple - I know you can do it.
    I think there's a high probability that any major redesign of the MBA will get the new keyboard found on the MBs and MPS.
  • Reply 73 of 80
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    Soli said:
    I think there's a high probability that any major redesign of the MBA will get the new keyboard found on the MBs and MPS.
    Although, recent history has shown it at least possible for Apple to admit they were wrong and do a course-correction. We can always hope.
  • Reply 74 of 80
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    I have found myself, unexpectedly I should add, thinking of buying a used or reconditioned MacBook Air and a lower priced new one would be attractive. I work all day on a 3 screen MacPro 6 core with 18 TB of RAIDs and much more besides attached. I own iPads and iPhones but I find myself using my 15" 2010 MacBook Pro for couch reading of web sites and personal mail. That said I find my MBP too darned heavy these days and its battery life is abysmal. Every time I pick up my wife's 2016 13" MBA I laugh at how light it is. I just don't like my iPad for anything except watching Netflix in bed to be honest, far preferring a Mac and MacOS for the couch so the MBA seems the perfect extra product for me now. Given it would be used for Mail and Safari almost exclusively I need no bells or whistles on it. But darn it, do I wait to see if these rumors are true or go get one now?
  • Reply 75 of 80
    This isn't that hard.  Apple needs a laptop with a GOOD keyboard (not just thin and it'll-do), and with PORTS.  Nobody else sells premium laptops without ports (USB-C doesn't count for 90% of the tools out there).  I refuse to buy any more dongles, at ANY price.  My laptop should have HDMI and/or VGA in the chassis.  It should have an excellent keyboard.  It should have good wireless.  And ideally it has an all-day battery - I'd rather have that than part-day battery and "thinness".  How can a nearly-trillion dollar company screw this up?

    Apple prides itself, justifiably MOST of the time, on user experience.  EXCEPT on laptops.  On the MBP line we are supposed to put up with a poor keyboard and no ports.  How do people use their laptops?  Not like Apple CEOs I'll bet.  I teach 4x a week, and plug my 2012 MBP into HDMI each time; no adapters.  But if I buy new, I'll have to remember a dongle every time.  Or I'll go to a meeting in another building or city and need an adapter.  It is stupid.  This is like the Thunderbolt fiasco - look, one port can do almost everything!  That's a technical marvel, not a user experience marvel.

    Go back to basics, Apple: How people use their laptops.  You might be surprised.  Get out of Apple Central, with insanely fast works-everytime WiFi and adapters in every presentation room.  See how your USERS actually make use of the hardware and software.  We can all see what would make Macs great - why can't Apple?  If you work at Apple and are still surprised why the MBA is so popular, you need to educate yourself.  The MBA has small and light and ports covered - that's why it sells.

    I'm in the market for a new laptop.  But the odds are pretty strong that I'll get a refurbished, or a "new" 2015 MBP, or I will bail on Apple after 30 years and go Windows (ugh) or Linux.  That would be sad, but I'm close.  I need small (13" or less), light, no dongles, has ports - to go with cameras I am in the process of buying.  Apple dumped the 11" MBA and came out with a lame (2 USB-C ports!) MB and has ignored the MBA.  News of a new MBA is encouraging, but odds are still high that Apple will blow it - again.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 76 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Nobody else sells premium laptops without ports
    Don’t know if you’re new to the whole Apple thing, but Apple isn’t like other companies.
     (USB-C doesn't count for 90% of the tools out there)
    It does, because it’s the future of all ports and you can get an adapter.
    I refuse to buy any more dongles, at ANY price.
    Enjoy your dot matrix SCSI printer, then.
    My laptop should have HDMI and/or VGA in the chassis.
    Then the MacBook isn’t for you. VGA? What the fuck is this, 1995? DVI has existed since ’99.
    It should have an excellent keyboard.
    Eh… yeah, gotta agree with you there. I really don’t like how the new “butterfly” keyboards feel.
    How can a nearly-trillion dollar company screw this up?
    They sell what sells. Blame the consumers. I know I do.
    The MBA has small and light and ports covered - that's why it sells.
    But no HDMI, so it’s not for you, right?

    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 77 of 80
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 924member
    Nobody else sells premium laptops without ports (USB-C doesn't count for 90% of the tools out there).
    The Acer Swift 7, the thinnest laptop out there with a starting price of $1700, has two Type-C USB 3.1 ports (one of which would be needed for charging), a nanoSIM slot, and a headphone jack. Sounds pretty similar to the MBP in ports...
  • Reply 78 of 80
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    BrianJewett said:
    Apple prides itself, justifiably MOST of the time, on user experience.  EXCEPT on laptops.  On the MBP line we are supposed to put up with a poor keyboard and no ports.  How do people use their laptops?
    They take their laptop from home to coffee shop to maybe the office. At home and office, they plug into some kind of 'dock' with monitors and when at the coffee shop, they don't need ports.

    The problem is, that these might not be the real pro users, they are just professional users with enough money to buy laptops. Apple made a machine for them. The real pro laptop users are now too small a pie slice for Apple to concern themselves with.

    Welcome to the new Apple. If your pie-slice demographic is big enough, boy do they have a product for you! If you're one of those old creative, think-different types, or a real professional (in terms of equipment), then not so much anymore.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 79 of 80
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    I am just waiting for Project Marzipan.

    It has me intrigued. I’ve spent a considerable amount of money on high-end music production apps for iOS and would be delighted if I could use them on the desktop to speed up the entire process and leverage the best worlds of both iOS and macOS.
  • Reply 80 of 80
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    I am just waiting for Project Marzipan.

    It has me intrigued. I’ve spent a considerable amount of money on high-end music production apps for iOS and would be delighted if I could use them on the desktop to speed up the entire process and leverage the best worlds of both iOS and macOS.
    Yea, upsides and downsides for something like that. It would mean more apps and developers, but also likely a further degradation of what a Mac app is like (UI and feel).
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