15in MacBook Air will go HEAD TO HEAD with MacBook Pro in April
Vendor spills beans at trade show
Apple has a 15 inch MacBook Air in the works and it's coming out in April, a Mac accessories manufacturer has told Electric Pig.
The unnamed accessories maker dropped the tip at CU Exposed, a trade fair for MacBook accessories on 13 March. Currently only available in the 11 inch and 13 inch form factors, the debut of 15 inch MacBook Air will put Apple's slender Air range more directly in competition with the MacBook Pro line.
Pros are cheaper and bulkier but pack greater processing power and more ports. Airs have no Ethernet ports, or optical CD/DVD drives, encouraging users to use Wi-Fi and store content in the cloud.
The 13 inch Air 128 GB (1.7GHz Intel i5) costs £1,099, compared to £999 for the 13 inch Pro, which packs a 500GB hard drive and 2.4GHz i5 Intel Core chip.
A 15 inch Air has been expected since the Air range launched with a 13.3 inch model in January 2008. An 11 inch Air was introduced at the end of 2010 and the discontinuation of the simple MacBook has left the £849, 1.08kg model as Apple's cheapest laptop.
Apple has cannibalised its own market share before: something it famously did by including the iPod functionality on the iPhone – which has seen iPod sales dive – dropping 15 per cent between 2010 and 2011, from 50.3 million to just 42.6 million.
Still, the Pro might hang on to a place at top end of the market – for desktop users who want 17 inch screens, some punchier chip power, and possibly the ability to insert a CD. Video editors and others requiring hefty storage capacity will be unlikely to switch to the Air range because the flash storage drives – the only type that will fit in the slender Air case – become painfully pricey at higher capacities.
To cater to users handling video and other big files, Apple will need to keep a beefy Pro – perhaps the 17 inch model with some hefty hard disk storage. The current 17 inch Pro comes with a 750GB hard disk drive included in the £2,099 price. Swapping that for a 512GB flash storage drive in the current model adds £880 to the price tag. Users requiring serious storage will most likely prefer to stick to the Pro. ®
True enough, if running Windows is a viable choice in the particular circumstance. However it might be nice if we had at least one thread that didn't turn into the usual 'Mac vs Windows' tediumfest,
If they wanted to stick to the Mac OS world, they could buy a cheaper Air, use the SSD as a pure boot drive and buy one of the various Thunderbolt mobile drives that seem to be finally popping up. Another thing to carry around (although probably still less weight than a Pro overall) and certainly faster than the Pro's built in drive.
There are always options. And there is certainly not One True Way, whether it comes from Cupertino or Redmond.
Go to Dell and price a comparable laptop meaning a Precision laptop and spec them out the same and see the prices then. All the laptops at $499+ all look good on paper.
Look at the ultrabooks coming out now to compete with the Macbook Air......they are having a hard time getting the price under $1000 because of quality components and not junk.
And as always with Apple they usually only update once a year, maybe twice with the laptops, but its usually best to wait for the next update to get the latest and greatest. Sometimes Dell/others get the products out quicker that have been updated over the year, but usually Apple will update pretty quick on a new release of hardware like the upcoming ivy bridge.
Plus with a Mac you have less problems with hardware in my experience over 11 years, plus you can run OS X, Windows, Linux, etc. I only run OS X, its nice not having to worry about spyware, etc and things always just work usually.
Every time I turn my Windows 7 PC on I am troubleshooting or updating or wasting time in one way or another.
Funny thing about that -- people keep telling me the Apple gear is pricey compared to "PC" gear, but whenever I research the prices, it turns out that when choosing non-Apple gear that has the same oomph, the Mac turns out to be the more affordable choice. Happened to me several times. And, of course, you can install Windows on it if you really, really want to (I prefer to run my machines on Linux).
Go figure. Maybe because Apple does not offer anything cheap people are misled to think they are overpriced. But at the same performance and equipment levels, the last notebook I bought was a MacBook Pro which cost me approx. 200 quid less than anything comparable on the market at the time. *shrug* Sure, you can get a notebook at half the price. But it won't compare favourably in performance and, more likely than not, have a battery uptime that is less than half. If you can live with that, go and buy it. I need lots of compute power and lots of uptime, so... I'm off to the pub to have a pint or two while working.
Except you won't get a laptop with a similar / better spec from a manufacturer that doesn't specialise in disposable laptops. Closest you'll get from a proper manufacturer will be 100 / 150 quid less, which at that point you may as well buy a laptop that is using OS X rather than one, which is soon to be shipping with the joy of Windows 8 and it's glorious apps such as Cut the Rope, Angry Birds and all the twatter / facebollocks you can shake a stick at...
Ending the argument