MacBook Air Revision A Prediction

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I note from Engadget that Lenovo has just unleashed an updated X300 series model, the X301, which is designed to go head-to-head with the MacBook Air.



Lenovo's offering features Intel's new ultra low voltage processor the Intel Core 2 Duo ULV both the U9300 (1.2GHz) and U9400 (1.4GHz), both with a 6MB L2 cache and 1066MHz FSB. Additionally, the X301 will support up to 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and Lenovo will offer SSDs of the 80GB or 128GB variety, as opposed to the last generation's 64GB option.



Recent rumours suggest that a revised MacBook Air would incorporate a Penryn-class processor from 2.0GHz and potentially beyond. I don't believe this is correct because P-series versus SL-series draw more power and run hotter. Computing performance, obviously, is directly related to

power consumption, as follows:



1.86 GHz » 17 W

2.00 GHz » 18 W

2.13 GHz » 19 W

2.27 GHz » 21 W

2.40 GHz » 23 W

2.53 GHz » 25 W



Incorporating any P-series Core 2 Duo chip that draws more than the existing 20 Watts would require a fairly major re-design for the MBA as well as a new battery and power adaptor. Given that the MBA is fundamentally about portability, I suspect that such a scenario is unlikely. There is also the redevelopment cost and likely impact on price to the consumer. The one thing Apple needs to do with the Air is lower prices. $1500 would be good.



So my bet is a an SL-series chip running at 1.6 and 1.86 Ghz. These babies represent a fairly substantial upgrade in performance not least because of Montevina's improved on-board GPU, 1066 MHz FSB, and so on.



I think we'll definitely see 80 Gb and 160 Gb SSDs. I hope the option of 4 Gb of RAM will also be available.



Now, I'm going to out on a limb. I wonder if Apple will re-design the ports to offer 2 x USB slots plus the video port? I think they just might.



Whatever happens, i don't think we'll see a new Air before new MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I think you're probably right on all points -- except for a possible port redesign. That would be most unlike Steve. I think he would cancel the MBA before he would add a 2nd USB port.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    4GB of RAM
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crocodile View Post


    I wonder if Apple will re-design the ports to offer 2 x USB slots plus the video port? I think they just might.



    No chance in Hell. It's the MacBook Air, not the MacBook Wires.



    Apple would sooner remove the one existing USB port than add a second.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    Since the MacBook Air has only one port it seems to me that putting USB 3.0 in it would compensate, speed-wise, for not having FireWire, but I might be jumping the gun since the specification for USB 3.0 was released last week. If Apple does wait for the next update to include USB 3.0 it will give them an easy, "major" update to the MacBook Air.



    The only two updates to the design I can see is (1) adding an audio-in jack and (2) changing the Micro-DVI to DisplayPort.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    For price reasons, I expect that Apple will retain 2GB for the low end. I hope that the faster model gets 4GB.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    From everything i've read, the new Montevina chipset is going to dramatically improve video playback as well as speeding up the system. Revised MBAs should be comparable to existing MacBooks. Anyone care to comment on that?



    BTW, I have now bought 12 movies from iTunes which together consume almost 18 Gbs of disk space. I thought 128 Gbs would be fine for a new Air. I am now beginning to think that 256 Gb is a minimum hard drive size.



    I still love the form factor of the Air. it is one great machine.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crocodile View Post


    BTW, I have now bought 12 movies from iTunes which together consume almost 18 Gbs of disk space. I thought 128 Gbs would be fine for a new Air. I am now beginning to think that 256 Gb is a minimum hard drive size.



    I still love the form factor of the Air. it is one great machine.



    When I bought my MBP in 06, It came with the standard 120gb HDD. I thought that would be plenty as I had never used more than 50% of a HDD before. But I'm now over 80 gbs on my HDD and have put a 250 gb drive in and use the original drive as an external backup.



    Macs just seem to invite media (photos, videos, and music) and big HDDs are necessary. A 120 gb drive is the smallest I would consider for any Mac.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    ndbbmndbbm Posts: 10member
    Given the Air's apparent design paradigm, how about adding wireless usb support.



    Jason
Sign In or Register to comment.