Prediction about MacBook Range Evolution

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
We've been told that the entire MacBook range will move to an aluminum case design. This suggests that we'll see a common design across three different screen sizes. There'll be a 13" model, a 15" model and a 17" model. They'll all have LED screens and the new black flat keyboard of the MacBook Air, in-built DVD drives, multiple ports and probably the same tapered edges.



This makes me wonder whether the two ranges will migrate into a single range of MacBooks. Perhaps the word Pro will only apply to models within each size category that offer the highest processor specification. In other words, Pro models could be defined by chip speed, amount of RAM and Hard Disk sizes etc, not by case design. All three MacBooks could come with an entry level chip of say 2.4 Ghz, but offer 2.6 Ghz and high-end 2.8 Ghz chips. Top models would be designated MacBook Pros. Such a strategy would create a much larger product matrix catering to a needs across all customer segments.



Or perhaps Apple will just offer one MacBook range with three different screen sizes and allow customers to specify their own chip speeds, RAM and Hard Disk sizes through BTO?



Just a thought.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    paprochypaprochy Posts: 129member
    While that seems to make logical sense and would simplify production and so forth, we live in a world where product branding is much more important if you want to make money. It is important to differentiate the two product lines in order to be able to market each one effectively. A lot of people opt for the pro not based solely on specs, but also on design and image. I know it sounds un-pragmatic, but that's more or less how it works.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Many thanks for all this expert speculation. As a potential new Macbook purchaser, could there be some estimates of when new versions will become available ?



    Thank you.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Not having larger screen options in the lower price class, and not having a smaller machine with decent graphics, definitely puts Apple at a disadvantage. Unified MB and MBP lines would fix that. Engineering and production-wise, I think unified lines would be preferable.



    People who are going to buy power and features anyway can be made to pay for them no matter what. So the ones whose money Apple stands to lose by unifying product lines are those who would be upsold from MB to MBP for style, status and feeling. Maybe those people are now buying MBA and iPhone instead, and the MB-MBP upsells matter less? Then I'd kind of expect Apple to take this move.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MikeStevens View Post


    Many thanks for all this expert speculation. As a potential new Macbook purchaser, could there be some estimates of when new versions will become available ?



    Thank you.



    You only need to wait a few more weeks.

    The best buys are now with back to school sales.

    The deals will not be as good in a month, but the technology will jump forward.

    (you get what you pay for)
  • Reply 5 of 10
    The two things I would like to see are a 15" MacBook and integrated graphics with its own memory. I have seen laptops with 14" screens and they were bordering on being too small. Vertical space is more important to me than horizontal space, especially since I use my TV for watching movies. Looking at a photo of the MacBook I do not think its screen is much wider than my 14" iBook, but I am very sure it is a lot shorter.



    I measured my screen and it is 8.5" in height and 11.25" in width. Will someone post the height and width of the MacBook screen, please?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    g_warreng_warren Posts: 713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    The two things I would like to see are a 15" MacBook and integrated graphics with its own memory. I have seen laptops with 14" screens and they were bordering on being too small. Vertical space is more important to me than horizontal space, especially since I use my TV for watching movies. Looking at a photo of the MacBook I do not think its screen is much wider than my 14" iBook, but I am very sure it is a lot shorter.



    I measured my screen and it is 8.5" in height and 11.25" in width. Will someone post the height and width of the MacBook screen, please?



    Using the native resolution of (1280 x 800) from the Apple spec page (where the width and height aren't listed) and our old friend Pythagoras, I reckon the height is approximately 7.05", and the width 11.28". I don't own a MacBook but that sounds like it should be about right.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    The two things I would like to see are a 15" MacBook and integrated graphics with its own memory. I have seen laptops with 14" screens and they were bordering on being too small. Vertical space is more important to me than horizontal space, especially since I use my TV for watching movies. Looking at a photo of the MacBook I do not think its screen is much wider than my 14" iBook, but I am very sure it is a lot shorter.



    I measured my screen and it is 8.5" in height and 11.25" in width. Will someone post the height and width of the MacBook screen, please?



    The 13" MB display is 7.25" x 11.25" (approx.) but the resolution is 1280*800 which is much more than the 1024*768 resolution of the 14" iBook: you have more pixels horizontally AND vertically.

    Of course a 13" display is smaller that a 14" display, which is smaller than a 15" display, etc... But you won't loose display real estate in going with a 13" MB over the 14" iBook, in fact you'd have a few more (32) pixels vertically (which is what you seem to want).



    Integrated graphics with its own memory = dedicated graphics, I believe and for now, it is MB Pro territory.



    But I agree that a 15" MacBook (a 15" model under $1499) would be well received by the market.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Generally Apple take the most popular features and reserve them for the high-end machines ? thereby forcing customers to 'up-sell'.



    In theory, there's nothing to stop Apple from producing a MacBook with a high quality 17" screen ? but it makes more sense from a business point of view to bundle the 17" screen with the other 'premium' features like FireWire 800, the discreet graphics card, the illuminated keyboard, the high quality speakers and the ExpressCard slot.



    This is why you always want to buy the cheap machine, but there is always one feature you can't live without that is only available on the expensive machine.



    Currently, if you want any one of the following features:



    ? discreet graphics card

    ? 7200rpm hard drive

    ? FireWire 800

    ? ExpressCard

    ? illuminated keyboard

    ? larger than 13.3" screen

    ? matte screen



    ...you have to buy ALL of those features.



    I don't think that'll change. They may throw in the illuminated keyboard, but I wouldn't expect to see any of these premium features in the MacBook (especially the screen size).



    But we may see a MacBook Pro with a 13.3" screen.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Many older folks will flat out not use a computer with a smaller screen than 15", because they can't see what's going on.



    The cheapest laptops tend to come with a 15" screen. I have also bought a 17" that cost 2/3 as much as the cheapest Macbook. (We would probably have ordered a Thinkpad, but needed the laptop the same day.)



    Being able to read from the screen is not a premium feature. 15" and 17" screens are not premium features.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,150member
    I think Apple's notebook line-up has been silly. Just about everyone I know that has wanted to buy a MacBook is aggravated that they only come in a 13.3" size and nothing bigger. The jump in price is pretty incredible. 13.3-inch = $999. 15.4-inch = $1,999. A thousand dollars just to get a bigger screen? That's outrageous!



    I am in education, here's a quote for a notebook we just bought from Dell.



    Dell Latitude D830:

    Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, 2.2GHz, 800MHz

    15.4-inch Wide screen WSXGA+

    2GB DDR2-667 RAM

    128 MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M

    8X DVD+/-RW

    Intel 4965 WLAN a/g/n

    3-year warranty

    $1,063.17



    A similar computer from Apple is just about $1,000 more. Point being that a 15.4-inch screen shouldn't be so extreme a price penalty! I am getting to the point where I am starting to have a hard time justifying to my boss buying Apple notebooks when you can get better deals and bigger screens from Dell and HP at significantly lower prices.
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