Apple's NVIDIA-based MacBook Airs arrive early, get unboxed

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple Store online customers are reporting Friday that their NVIDIA-based MacBook Air notebooks have begun arriving almost a week early. Included are some unboxing notes and photos.



Unboxing notes



AppleInsider reader Renegrub submits the following photos of a new 128GB SSD-equipped 1.86GHz MacBook Air with some brief notes on the unboxing experience compared to the earlier 2008 model.



As can be seen in the photos, Apple's new eco-friendly packaging is actually slightly larger in volume due to the shift in materials, and somewhat less glamorous than the one used for the inaugural MacBook Air. Overall, the no frills packaging resembles that of the boxes used for the new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros.



Another noted change is that the included install discs are now broken out into two separate DVDs, one for Mac OS X and another for Applications. The second-to-last photo also reveals the revised drop-down port compartment where the mini-DVI port has been replaced with a Mini DisplayPort.



Internal design changes



In addition to gaining NVIDIA's new GeForce 9400M integrated graphics system and industry standard Mini DisplayPort, the new MacBook Airs also run on a new version of Intel's special-run 'small form factor' mobile processors introduced in August.



The original MacBook Air contained a 65-nanometer versions of the processor that Intel shrunk extensively and exclusively for Apple and Lenovo.



Nicknamed the Core 2 Duo S, the new 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz parts run at nearly the same clock speeds as the processors used in the first-generation MacBook Air, but support a faster 1.06GHz system bus (up from 800MHz) and a larger 6MB Level 2 onboard memory cache.



They new 45-nanometer chips also consume less power at just 17W compared to the 20W of the custom-ordered 65-nanometer versions.



Unboxing photos



































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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Wow...it looks like...a MacBook Air. Amaaaazing. Thank you so much AI for showing us how the MacBook Air with nVidia card looks like. I would never have guessed.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    Wow...it looks like...a MacBook Air. Amaaaazing. Thank you so much AI for showing us how the MacBook Air with nVidia card looks like. I would never have guessed.



    Stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like AppleInsider.



    You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).



    Now, go! ssshhh.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    Stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like AppleInsider.



    You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).



    Now, go! ssshhh.



    Yeah, I've been a bit harsh lately on people of the forum and AI. I apologize to AI and everyone I have offended in the past few weeks.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Achiever View Post


    Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?



    The MacBook and MacBook Pro get the new trackpad because they got all-new redesigned cases. The MacBook Air keeps the old trackpad because it keeps the same case. It would not be worth re-engineering the MacBook Air's case and producing new tooling just to change the trackpad.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    Why have they added a handle onto the box? I thought they were getting rid of those?



    Honestly, as neat as the handle is, it's pretty useless. I'd rather my MacBook box didn't have one because I can never get the box to close perfectly and it won't slide into any spaces sideways without binding. I'd even assume that the handle is the reason they put the box inside another one for shipping (of course, that might just be security).
  • Reply 7 of 47
    That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.



    I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Achiever View Post


    Wait...if those pictures are legit, you're telling me that the MBA still has a trackpad with a click button? Why would the new MBs and MBPs lose the button but the Air keep it?



    Yes, they are legit. The MacBook Air doesn't have the glass screen like the new MacBooks either. The most likely explanation is size and weight. The trackpad button is probably too thick to fit into the enclosure.



    Other possibilities could be that Apple didn't want to re-engineer the Air yet for financial reasons, or is hasn't finished doing it because it's complicated and takes time, or simply can't do it and keep it's original dimensions and weight. There are many possible reasons for not including it.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheDragoneater View Post


    Why have they added a handle onto the box? I thought they were getting rid of those?



    Honestly, as neat as the handle is, it's pretty useless. I'd rather my MacBook box didn't have one because I can never get the box to close perfectly and it won't slide into any spaces sideways without binding. I'd even assume that the handle is the reason they put the box inside another one for shipping (of course, that might just be security).



    When the MacBook Air first came out, they came in a custom Apple designed bag just for the first MacBook Air customers.



    After the stores ran out of the special bag they just put them in regular Apple bags. Now they won't need to use a bag since it has a handle.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    ytvytv Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    stop being an ass. Appleinsider is a news website, and whatever news they have, they publish it for their readers. Be grateful to have a resource like appleinsider.



    You may not be interested, but who cares about what you think? Other people might be in the market for one and are now looking for what stuff has exactly changed (and in this case, what stayed the same).



    Now, go! Ssshhh.



    lol..
  • Reply 11 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post


    That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.



    I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.



    There is a small but significant segment of the market that never uses their optical drive and doesn't need more than a single USB port. Not everyone is a poweruser who need all the bells and whistles. For some having a light weight Mac is worth it.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    When the MacBook Air first came out, they came in a custom Apple designed bag just for the first MacBook Air customers.



    After the stores ran out of the special bag they just put them in regular Apple bags. Now they won't need to use a bag since it has a handle.



    Jeez guys, you rip a shred off poor old Kim for being a bit negative about some of the tenuous links to talking about the technology, then you go on to discuss the change in the handle on the box that the laptop comes in !?!?!!
  • Reply 13 of 47
    lafelafe Posts: 252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post


    That is very interesting that they didn't include a click-pad like the new MB/MBP.



    I know I should just not saying anything if I can't say something nice, and there are plenty of people who do want/need one. However, I still just can't see why you would want the MBA. Is it really worth the extra money for thinness to deal with such a featureless notebook? Someone recently interested in going Mac asked me about them and I had to tell them that it would be real mistake for them. When I explained that it only had one USB port and no optical drive, they couldn't believe it. Pretty much any conversation (with non-fanboys) have led to the same thing. No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.



    I'm somebody, so I'll post my reasons.



    Reasons I love my MBA (first Gen):



    1) It's slim and light. I can carry it in the same backpack as my pathetic,

    work-required, Toshiba laptop, and not break my spine carrying two full-size

    laptops like I used to.



    2) It's a Mac.



    3) It is cool-looking, and when non-fanboys ask about it (as they always do),

    I tell them what's great about the operating system, and end up recommending

    they look at the bigger MacBooks if they want optical drives, etc.



    4) I don't use an optical drive. (I think I've needed one once since I've had

    the thing, and my iMac provided its over wireless and it worked great.)



    5) It's not my main computer. I have a 24" White iMac for most things.

    The MBA is for mobile activities.



    6) Until now, it was the only machine Apple offered with the SSD. I love

    the security of knowing there's not a mechanical spinning disk with my

    data on it.



    7) It's snappy.



    Thanks for reading.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    The MacBook Air is getting better, but that port door is possibly one of the worst design ideas Apple's ever come up with. My friend has an Air, and he cannot plug is his wireless 3G internet dongle because of it. He loves the Air, but hates that door with vengeance.
  • Reply 15 of 47
    irelandireland Posts: 17,645member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lafe;


    7) It's snappy.



    Thanks for reading.



    lol
  • Reply 16 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    My friend has an Air, and he cannot plug is his wireless 3G internet dongle because of it.



    He can buy a 12" mUSB-to-fUSB cable for 99¢. I have a 3G WiFi card, it fits in the USB port just fine on my machines, but since it's bulky, anything next to it gets in the way, so the extender cable is necessary, even without a MBA.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    I also have a first gen MBA and love it.

    It's changed the way I handle my computer needs.

    I carry it everywhere and with a USB EVDO dongle (which I attach with a USB extender) I'm able to connect from anywhere.

    A great machine.

    I opted for the SSD, concerned by the potential for HD failure (two fragged disks in two years on work Thinkpads). The machine is a wonder of engineering.

    Unlike Lafe, I use my MBA for most of my computing (occasionally hooked up to larger screens) with the exception of photo and video editing, I use my 15' MBP for that.

    Cheers,
  • Reply 18 of 47
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post


    No one can really explain why they want a MBA other than the cool factor, which I guess is enough for some.



    I have a MacBook Air because light weight is important to me and because I cannot tolerate having an optical drive in a laptop that I will never use. I don't need any additional ports. I care very little about the cool factor.



    If I could make my dream changes to the MacBook Air, they would be the following from most desired to least desired:

    - 2560x1600 13" display (I would use Resolution Independence even though it's unpolished)

    - lighter weight

    - faster/more RAM

    - longer battery life

    - lower cost



    I expect that the next major redesign in two or so years will integrate 256GB or 512GB flash onto the motherboard to reduce size, weight, and cost while increasing reliability. Perhaps there will be two options: slower CPU with 4GB ram, 256GB flash, and a 1920x1200 13" display or faster CPU with 8GB ram, 512GB flash, and a 2560x1600 13" display.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Is this the first time the box got bigger, even though the device did not get bigger?



    I wondered about that, I wondered if it was an optical illusion or something. Apple usually doesn't increase packaging size if they can avoid it.



    Quote:

    He can buy a 12" mUSB-to-fUSB cable for 99¢. I have a 3G WiFi card, it fits in the USB port just fine on my machines, but since it's bulky, anything next to it gets in the way, so the extender cable is necessary, even without a MBA.



    It seems like the Air design was a missed opportunity to include a cellular internet card built-in or optional. I think the typical Air buyer would love to have a pervasive network, not having to think about whether there is a hot spot nearby. Having to use a long, protruding and potentially fragile stick for that use just seems antithetical to the Apple "message".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I expect that the next major redesign in two or so years will integrate 256MB or 512MB flash onto the motherboard to reduce size, weight, and cost while increasing reliability.



    Have hybrid storage been proven to be useful to anyone? It's a nice concept, but a "speed boost", it is not, at least not that I've heard or read.
  • Reply 20 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I wondered about that, I wondered if it was an optical illusion or something. Apple usually doesn't increase packaging size if they can avoid it.



    Could it be the same size as the MB box, so Apple has to use manufacturing, which would reduce the overall carbon footprint more than having multiple box sizes that reduce the packaging slightly?



    Quote:

    It seems like the Air design was a missed opportunity to include a cellular internet card built-in or optional. I think the typical Air buyer would love to have a pervasive network, not having to think about whether there is a hot spot nearby. Having to use a long, protruding and potentially fragile stick for that use just seems antithetical to the Apple "message".



    I agree. I know Apple doesn't want to pre-include a card or have multiple version of each type depending on if you didn't want a card, wanted EV-DO or HSDPA, but I think the use of original method of supplying WiFI with an optional AirPort card, could work here. I think for many?mysefl included?the real missing feature of the MBA is the 3G card.
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