#macbook air

Mark Gurman, reporting that OS X Yosemite will likely be coming at the end of October, alongside:

Also in the cards for the Mac side, sources say, are at least a couple of next-generation Mac lines. Sources say that Apple is finishing up work on both a smaller MacBook with a high-resolution display and a new desktop computer, either an iMac or a standalone monitor, with a 4K resolution screen.

The new MacBook will include a Retina Display that is approximately 12-inches diagonally and it will include a much thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body, the sources said. Apple believes that this new Retina MacBook will be a significant step forward in the laptop industry, and it is currently unclear if Apple will label this machine as a smaller MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Air, or as an entirely new line.

Yes, my mythical perfect last laptop. And a 4K monitor (maybe iMac?) to boot — answering this question (though the “retina” question remains). Hold on to your butts.

blogoculaire asked:

What is the percentage of time you use your iPad(s)/iPhone versus PC/MacBook(s). Can you make it to 100% soon?

I’d say it’s probably 70/30 on iDevices vs. MacBook. Most of the MacBook Air time is work-related. And that figure is so heavily tilted in the iDevices favor because I use the iPhone far more than any other device.

That said, when it comes to “general computing”, I much prefer to use the iPad Air (with the Logitech keyboard) for almost everything. But I suspect a rumored 12” Retina MacBook Air could tilt the numbers back in the MacBook favor, if only temporarily.

Arnold Kim:

A new forum post on Weiphone.com [Google Translation] has revealed a number of details about Apple’s upcoming plans for its MacBook notebooks as well as some details about its iWatch initiative. The author of the post has posted legitimate leaks and photos of un-released MacBook hardware in the past, lending credibility to this new information.

The poster writes about the upcoming MacBook Pro line as well as a new 12” notebook that has previously been predicted, suggesting the future MacBook could be released without a fan assembly and with a redesigned trackpad

Still just a rumor, of course. But seemingly a pretty solid one. Or maybe I’m just projecting since this is the device I really want. Perhaps the last Mac I ever buy…

David Pierce:

From a non-video perspective, the Mac Pro is in general very fast: once we switched the Sharp monitor’s refresh rate from 30Hz to 60Hz, absolutely everything felt smooth and fluid. (OS X is comically small on a 4K monitor, however.) The machine boots in a surprisingly slow 35 seconds, resumes from sleep very quickly, and it’s nearly always clear there’s plenty of power at your disposal while the Pro quietly hums along.

Two surprises here:

1) That it takes that long to boot — far longer than my MacBook Air.

2) That OS X isn’t yet better tailored for 4K monitors, despite that being a selling point of this machine.

Of course, the selling point of this machine is that it can power 4K monitors, but Apple doesn’t (yet) make one of these, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised at this oversight. I suspect 2014 will see Apple remedy both of these things: an OS X that is 4K-ready and a 4K display for this Mac Pro.

The real question: will the iMac be able to go 4K this year under the “retina” moniker? I imagine that it’s a slam dunk that the MacBook Air will get a retina upgrade this year, but is it still too cost prohibitive for its consumer-class brother with a far larger screen? 

As all the Mac Pro reviews have made very clear, this device is not consumer-class given its price, so I imagine Apple has far more wiggle room here to release a large retina display at an even larger price point.

David Chartier:

For all the incredibleness of the MacBook Air’s new battery, the device is still dependent on WiFi hotspots and, let’s face it, the internet is an essential ingredient these days for getting most things done. Now, keep in mind that adding 4G radios to the MacBook Air likely poses its own share of challenges that Apple has clearly decided to avoid for the Mac, at least so far. In general, it seems like 3G/4G radios have never been very popular in notebooks for some reason. Plus, a 4G radio would add weight to the MacBook Air—renowned for its thin and light design—and, of course, affect that incredible 12-hour battery or, in PCMag’s case, 15-hour battery.

I do wonder if we’re to the point where an LTE option for a MacBook might make sense. Weight and design were and are certainly issues, but battery life was undoubtedly another key which is probably moot now with these insane battery times.

Yes, it’s a pain dealing with carriers (just in the U.S., let alone the world), but a lot of plans already offer shared data, so this could be just another device. 

Update: As many of you have noted, OS X would have to be tailored so as to not do things like download OS updates when using the data connection. Seems like an easy enough thing to implement.

Nilay Patel reviewing the new 13-inch MacBook Air:

13 hours and 29 minutes. That’s all you really need to know — that’s how long the new MacBook Air running Safari lasted running The Verge Battery Test, which cycles through a series of websites and images at 65 percent brightness. Run time in Chrome was shorter, at 11 hours and 29 minutes, but both are still ridiculously impressive. In fact, it’s the record for a laptop running our test without an external battery.

A few of my own thoughts:

1) Wow.

2) And this is running OS X Mountain Lion — OS X Mavericks is supposed to come with even more battery optimizations when it ships in the fall. That’s scary to think about.

3) I’ve noticed this about Safari versus Chrome as well on my laptops. No idea why that is.

James Kendrick:

The MacBook Air recently released is a laptop that sets the bar for the genre. Even with all that Apple has accomplished with the new laptop, a common complaint is the lack of a touch screen. The support for touch screens in Windows 8 is creating an expectation that laptops need to have them. The fact is that OS X handles multi-touch on a trackpad better than Windows 8 does on a touch screen.

I still don’t understand touch-screen laptops. It just seems like a gimmick at best and a feature that actually make the devices harder to use at worst.

John Gruber in his iPad mini review:

Both the 11-inch Air and full-size iPad 3/4 make more sense to me as devices for people who only want to carry one portable computer. But if I’m going to carry both, I think it makes more sense to get a bigger MacBook and the smaller iPad Mini.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit the past week. I have been carrying around an iPad (3) and 13-inch MacBook Air for most of the past year. (The Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro is my desktop machine for now.) But I think I’m going to change things up. I think I’m going to go with a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (review forthcoming) and the iPad mini in my bag. Power + Portability.

For trips, I think I’ll still just take the regular-size iPad, when all I basically want to do is check the web, do some email, and write. Still thinking all this through though.

osakasteve asked:

Given that the size and weight of an iPad+keyboard is likely similar to a small MacBook, how would you describe the advantage of the iPad? Is it the focus of one-use-at-a-time, the usability of touch, or something less obvious?

Well, first and foremost, for the regular consumer, the iPad+keyboard combo will be *much* cheaper than a MacBook Air. 

But in terms of usage, I have an 11-inch Air and an iPad+keyboard, and I find the latter to much more enjoyable these days. The key for me: one app, one screen. Yes, there are notifications, but with iOS 6, you can easily silence them for a set period of time and just work, read, etc. 

This combined with the touch element actually makes me feel more productive when I’m using the iPad. I definitely prefer doing email on it (again, with the keyboard). With several other apps, I’ve mastered the touch UI far better than I ever have a desktop experience. And several native apps just *feel* faster than their web-based versions.  

As much as I like the 11-inch Air, I can’t get past the battery being significantly worse than the 13-inch Air. It’s basically two full hours worse. For that reason alone, I couldn’t recommend it over the 13-inch. And the iPad battery blows all MacBook batteries away. Another huge plus.

So while it’s a close call between the 13-inch Air and the iPad+keyboard, I have to give the edge to the iPad right now. I realize many people will disagree, but it’s working great for me. 

No clue if the timing (Q2) that DigiTimes is reporting is correct, but the idea sounds about right.

As previously discussed, the MacBook Air has become so good that it’s going to continue to eat into MacBook Pro sales. Apple needs something to differentiate the Pro — especially if there is a 15-inch Air. That something could well be a laptop with a “Retina” display. 

It’s important to note that when you typically hear about higher resolution screens, it generally means smaller elements on that screen. But if these screens are double the resolution of current models, Apple could do what they did with the iPhone (and soon iPad) screen, leaving the scale the same while greatly increasing the pixel density.

The drool is already dripping on keyboards of Photoshop and Final Cut users.

The 15-Inch Air

There is a lot of talk out there right now about the supposed 15-inch MacBook Air. I haven’t heard anything specific besides the usual whispers of new product numbers floating around out there. It seems pretty likely that something is coming. 

What’s a bit odd about this talk is Apple’s entire MacBook line. Namely, there is no actual MacBook anymore, just the Air and the Pro. If the Air gains a 15-inch model, the line between those two blurs even more.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of consolidation. Just pure speculation here, but maybe the Air becomes simply the “MacBook” and the focus is on the 11, 13, and new 15-inch models. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro drops the 13-inch model and focuses on the 15, and 17-inch models.

The current Air models are more than fast enough for most consumers. And I’m not sure why anyone would buy a 13-inch Pro unless they really want that optical drive. 

Maybe it’s time to separate the Pro line by doing something like a super high resolution screen and maybe insane battery life (10+ hours). 

Or maybe the 15-inch thin MacBook is meant to be a hybrid of a Pro and an Air. Maybe it has more ports, better battery life, and a higher price — but loses the optical drive. It’s dead anyway

I’ve talked to a lot of people who want a 15-inch screen on their Air. I’m sort of the opposite. At first I thought the 13-inch Air would be too small for everyday work (I was moving from a 15-inch Pro). Now it’s my main machine for everything. And I actually think I might prefer the 11-inch size if it didn’t mean taking a 2-hour hit on battery life dropping down from the 13. 

Battery life matters more to me now than anything else. Each of the last two MacBook Air models has been more than fast enough for what I need from a computer. Give me one with a full 10 hour battery and I’d be tempted, no matter the screen size.

What’s most interesting here is that the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 15-inch MacBook Pro have the exact same resolution: 1440x900. This is why I had no problem replacing my Pro with an Air.

Does a 15-inch Air go closer to the 17-inch Pro’s 1920x1200 resolution? Or maybe it does 1680x1050? If so, why would anyone buy the 15-inch Pro? What about the 13-inch Pro? For the optical drive? Please.

To me, the 13-inch Air seems like the perfect size for my needs right now. But I would be tempted by a 15-inch if the battery life was even better. Right now the 13-inch Air gets 7 hours while the 11-inch gets 5. Could a 15-inch Air get 9 hours?

If so, what’s the weight trade-off? The 13-inch Air is just a sliver under 3 pounds currently. The 15-inch Pro is 5.6 pounds. The 13-inch Pro is 4.5 pounds. Could a 15-inch Air be 4 pounds?

Or. What about this:

What if a 15-inch Air replaces the 13-inch Pro in Apple’s line-up? Apple keeps the high-end 15-inch and 17-inch Pro for actual pros, but realizes the most others will be fine given how powerful the Air is now. 

This would make Apple’s notebook offerings look like this:

Portability:

  • 11-inch Air
  • 13-inch Air

Portability/Power:

  • 15-inch Air

Power:

  • 15-inch Pro
  • 17-inch Pro

If they do that, maybe the Air eventually does get renamed to simply “MacBook”.