More details surface on Apple's next-generation MacBook Airs

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A few more alleged details on Apple's forthcoming revamp of the MacBook Air line continue to trickle in, with one data point likely providing an explanation for the photo of a unreleased 13.3-inch MacBook Air design that surfaced overnight.



One of the people who helped flesh out some of the specifics in AppleInsider's report friday on the 11.6-inch MacBook Air has added a bit more color to story. According to this person:

The 11.6-inch MacBook Air won't replace the 13.3-inch model, but will instead complement it as a more aggressively-priced option.

Both the new 11.6- and 13.3-inch models sport matching outfits in the form of new, all-unibody designs and single button trackpads.

The port door found on the existing MacBook Air is gone from the new designs, which feature a port layout similar to the existing MacBook Pros.

The new "SSD card" storage is based off an SATA connection.

The base component of both models is just slightly thicker than a standard USB port at its thickest point.

As such, AppleInsider believes the photo of the mysterious 13.3-inch MacBook Air that appeared on Engadget last night is indeed a prototype (from back in April) of the new 13.3-inch MacBook Air and is architecturally very close to what Apple plans to release next week alongside the new 11.6-inch model.







From that image, along with one also published of the machine's system profile, it appears that:

The new SSD card-based storage sits above and to the left of the new battery chamber, which appears to include 4 separate battery components.

The unit has dual USB ports, one on each side

Other I/O include a MagSafe power adapter, mini DisplayPort, and SD card reader

The prototype from April is running the same 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo SL9400 processor found in the current generation MacBook Air

It also has 2GB of memory as standard

Bus speed clocks in at 1.07GHz

The unit identifies itself as MacBook Air 3,1

For additional details on the new MacBook Air's, please see AppleInsider's earlier report.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    If the pricing is right the odd one out will now be the white MacBook. Is it's days numbered?
  • Reply 2 of 110
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    I need a lightweight laptop as part of the way I work, currently a 2009 MBP 13" but would consider an Air. Really am interested (from a purchasing perspective) to see what they come up with.
  • Reply 3 of 110
    I was really looking for a bit better specs. I like everything about this except the non-updated specs. The current air is somewhat slow in normal use.
  • Reply 4 of 110
    kubekube Posts: 40member
    I currently use a macbook pro as a headless mac. Both at work and home I have monitor, screen and keyboard. I run the computer with the lid closed, and carry the computer where I go.



    I also use the computer with lid open, for presentations and when I travel.



    The biggest downside to this method is the size and weight of the macbook pro. Although I'm not going to buy an air, when purchasing time comes up I would be tempted if the disk size and processor speed measure up.



    I'll be interested in whether the air will make a good headless mac and whether apple will push that configuration.
  • Reply 5 of 110
    The iPad has shown the efficacy of using multitouch in combination with a smaller form factor (zoom, pan, page flip, etcetera). And the smaller the form factor the lower the weight and price.



    Sounds like Apple is continuing to fold innovation in one arena back into other arenas to me....
  • Reply 6 of 110
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    [...]more aggressively-priced option.



    Good to hear.
  • Reply 7 of 110
    Quote:

    The 11.6-inch MacBook Air won't replace the 13.3-inch model, but will instead compliment it...



    "Hey, 13.3, you're lookin' fine today...."



    Complement vs. compliment is elementary school vocabulary curriculum. Sad.
  • Reply 8 of 110
    No firewire though, so no final cut pro work on the road. Just like the current MBA unfortunately. Obviously major editors don't care, but for someone like me who is a student taking a course, it would have been handy. I suppose I can still edit once I put clips onto a USB thumb drive.
  • Reply 9 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    If the pricing is right the odd one out will now be the white MacBook. Is it's days numbered?



    Or the plastic Macbook will get the major price cut its specs deserve.
  • Reply 10 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    If the pricing is right the odd one out will now be the white MacBook. Is it's days numbered?



    As white plastic? Maybe. Otherwise, I'd doubt it. Jobs has always liked offering contrasting basic and pro pairs in the product line, and, so far as I know, the basic MacBook is still selling quite well. Even if another iPod mini assassination were in store, the Air is not a suitable replacement as Apple's low-end laptop.
  • Reply 11 of 110
    What might the component just above the alleged SSD card be that is connected via the same sort of connector (mini PCIe?)? Could it be an optional WWAN (3G, LTE) module?
  • Reply 12 of 110
    hattighattig Posts: 860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    I was really looking for a bit better specs. I like everything about this except the non-updated specs. The current air is somewhat slow in normal use.



    I'm certain that specifications will improve from the April prototype. Certainly 4GB of RAM is mandatory. The SSD should be pretty fast as well.



    This 'wedgier' MacBook Air with 2 USB ports and an SD port certainly removes one of the issues people had with the non-expandability of the previous model.



    A lower price would also be good, if Apple can't get a faster CPU because they're stuck with 45nm Core 2 Duos because of Intel's empire building with the Core i3/i5 integrated graphics.
  • Reply 13 of 110
    Compliment = Say nice things

    Complement = Make complete



    The separate battery compartments seems contrary to Apple's unremovable, huge battery philosophy. I mean, they have videos on their website explaining why it's better to have one enormous battery rather than separate ones with their accompanying support structures.



    The other design changes seem welcome though. Personally, I'm much more excited about Lion than I am about a new MacBook Air...
  • Reply 14 of 110
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clickmyface View Post


    No firewire though, so no final cut pro work on the road. Just like the current MBA unfortunately. Obviously major editors don't care, but for someone like me who is a student taking a course, it would have been handy. I suppose I can still edit once I put clips onto a USB thumb drive.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The base component of both models is just slightly thicker than a standard USB port at its thickest point.



    The MacBook Air is too thin to fit a FW port.
  • Reply 15 of 110
    If you're a student taking videography/broadcasting and your instructors did not disabuse you of the idea of editing on a MacBook Air, time to transfer.
  • Reply 16 of 110
    The base component of the MacBook Pros is just slightly thicker than an ethernet port, but the bottom panel curves out and adds extra thickness.



    Hopefully the base panel on the air is flat and not curved. It would be a shame if it became quite a bit thicker. I also think it may loose some of the character of the original Airs design. The drop down ports drawer and the tappering made it really quite special to look at.
  • Reply 17 of 110
    usb 3 would be nice
  • Reply 18 of 110
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    The 11.6-inch model can be great to carry for Keynote and PowerPoint presentations if it is light enough.
  • Reply 19 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RolandG View Post


    What might the component just above the alleged SSD card be that is connected via the same sort of connector (mini PCIe?)? Could it be an optional WWAN (3G, LTE) module?



    Good eye! I didn't look that closely (viewing on iPad).



    From the looks of it, the new SSD appears to be plugged into a PCI slot as well. That would allow it to be blistering FAST. Also, I'm sure some SSD distros would figure out some aftermarket offerings to increase the capacity.



    Apple really needs a sub-13" portable. I have colleagues that still use their 12" PowerBooks, I've even considered snagging one myself.



    Also, limiting the new MBA to 2GB would catastrophic IMHO. With so many folks virtualizing Windows these days (because CRM systems STILL don't support Mac), having at least 4GB is mandatory.



    I've been anticipating the release of a ~12" MacBook for years. I hope Apple gets it right. They've pulling some confusing moves with the Mac lineup, despite such simple requirements for their portables.
  • Reply 20 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clickmyface View Post


    No firewire though, so no final cut pro work on the road. Just like the current MBA unfortunately. Obviously major editors don't care, but for someone like me who is a student taking a course, it would have been handy. I suppose I can still edit once I put clips onto a USB thumb drive.



    This is just the most ridiculous "dig" at the Air I've ever heard.



    The Air struggles to display video even in a tiny window on a web page, even HTML streaming video. The whole idea of using a MacBook Air as a road machine to edit video is just so absolutely freaking ridiculous it isn't worth talking about.
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