My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

Summary: I find myself using my 11" MacBook Air almost as much than my workhorse 15-inch MBP and I've been waiting next-generation model to replace it. Here's my wish list.

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The Late-2010 MacBook Air has been an unmitigated success for Apple. CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple's 28 percent (unit) increase in Mac sales was "fueled primarily by the continued great popularity of MacBook Air" in Apple's second quarter 2011 earnings call. Everyone is buying it, I suspect at the expense of the larger MacBook Pro.

Personally, I own an 11-inch MacBook Air and find myself using it almost as much (if not more) than my workhorse 15-inch MBP. I've been waiting intently for the rumored third-generation MacBook Air, which I expect to replace my heavy MBP15, but only if it comes with a backlit keyboard.

According to CNet sources the successor to the current ("Late 2010") MacBook Air is expected as soon as "June" and it could come with Intel's mobile Sandy Bridge processor under the hood. Sandy Bridge would be an important update because current Air's ship with an antiquated Core 2 Duo chip introduction three years ago and two generations behind Sandy Bridge.

The MacBook Air, polycarbonate MacBook and Mac mini are the only remaining Macs that still use Intel's Core 2 Duo processor technology -- which I argued isn't suited for professional users.

In late February 2011 the MacBook Pro 15 and 17-inch models were updated with Sandy Bridge processors and ThunderBolt/Light Peak ports -- and the new 'Air is expected to follow in its footsteps.

One other request that I have is for Apple to put the MacBook Air RAM onto a blade (that's socketed) so that it can be upgraded by end users. Why limit a machine to only 2 to 4GB of RAM in an era of programs like Final Cut, Creative Suite and VMWare? (This can only be described as "planned obsolescence.")

Here's my wish list for the 2011 MacBook Air:

  1. Backlit keyboard (yes, it's first on my list)
  2. Intel Sandy Bridge
  3. ThunderBolt/Light Peak
  4. Socketed RAM

The MacBook Air was last updated on October 20, 2010, which was 194 days ago. This is well inside of the average update cycle for the MBA, which is 336 days according to the MacRumors Buyers Guide.

Are Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt and a backlit keyboard enough to entice you to buy a MacBook Air?

What features are on your MacBook Air wishlist?

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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20 comments
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  • Air is Air, Pro is Pro

    I agree the backlit is a must, specially if you are an Air and should be on your lap when you go to bed.

    But I don't think the Air should be made into something for the Pro's to work with. That is why there is the MBP. If all PRO's go Air, the won't be a market for a more powerful laptop, which is a diservice. Just like it happened to the XServe.
    fabio5
    • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

      "...Final Cut, Creative Suite and VMWare" The MacBook Air was never designed nor intended to be used to run these types of programs. It's ridiculous to expect or suggest the 3rd Gen MacBook Air would or could.
      Masari.Jones
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    Yes to the Backlit keyboard, no to the bigger form factor the removable RAM would bring.
    Brian Tdot
    • Socketed RAM should have zero impact

      @Brian Tdot
      I can't imagine that adding a socket would add anything to the size of the form factor.
      The SSD is socketed in the current MBA, so why can't Apple socket the RAM too.
      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
    • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

      @Brian Tdot Why would you think Socketed RAM would increase the size? I don't understand your reasoning.
      peripo
      • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

        @peripo In the way that RAM and a socket is larger than chips directly soldered into the bus.

        I mean, we're talking very little extra so it's really angels on the head of a pin but it's a bit bigger.
        steviesteveo190
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    Totally concur on the backlit keyboard. That's the main reason I'm staying with my first-generation MBA, even though I'd prefer 4gb of RAM.
    pdclark
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    I'm also thinking of buying the "new" MBA w/ Sandy Bridge IF it gets the backlit keyboard back. I currently have a 13 inch MBP and I love the backlit keyboard. However, if you want to let Apple know we want the keyboard back, send them a message here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/macbookair.html
    teomeo
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    GPS would be nice. If nothing else would allow for tracking of lost or stolen computer.
    StoneColdFunk
    • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

      @StoneColdFunk
      Buddy it is called 'LoJack for laptops' .. look it up!
      It has saved my ass on more than 1 occasion.
      A GPS would be a great idea for navigation, as most AIR users tend to travel a lot 'hence the weight and size of the AIR' and this service would come in handy ..
      CND-Dude
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    I'm also for the return of the backlit keyboard and inclusion of Sandy Bridge processors. The inclusion of thunderbolt would greatly expand the capabilities of such a portable unit. The thought of a GPS opens a whole multitude of possibilities which would be great additions to an already great computer.
    kennmsr
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    I don't care about backlit - learn to touch type!
    I care about a useless tiny SSD. Yes, useless, cause not everybody in the world can afford 2 computers, 1 iPad & an iPhone! Also, the hassle of having an external drive (to carry, care for, pray it doesn't die), kinda defeats purpose of super-light mpAir!

    i just wish i had kept my 10" PowerBook. it was WAY better than my white crackBook (poor quality plastic from Apple)!
    scottsworld
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    3G and GPS for us pilots who found the iPad very enticing but want something more than a "tablet".
    Lapsley
    • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

      @Lapsley I kind of don't want pilots to have more than a tablet, at least when they're flying. I'm slightly dubious about how much laptop computing power a pilot can reasonably use while also flying a plane.
      steviesteveo190
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    Backlit is a must, new processors too. I really do not care about ThunderBolt/Light Peak given the fact that I probably have replaced my machine another two times before enough gadgets supporting it are on the market.
    rhon1
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    I want to be able to run Excel, Word, and 20 browser windows at once without my Air slowing down. I ran a test with MBA 11', 13' and MBP at an Apple store and the difference was drastic between the Air and the Pro. I hope the new Sandy Bridge fixes that.

    The screen colors on the Air are also off - if you look at the CNN.com header red on MacBook Air, iPad, and MacBook Pro, the Air has very dull reds. I hope they fix that as well. I agree that the Air doesn't need enhancements that will take away its lightness and portability.
    itnova
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    For someone to buy my late 2010 model 13" maxed out air so I can get a new one. I've found that all of my other Macs are now "special case" use machines. My Air is my day to day. Of course I rarely use it to do media creation or coding but for it's not an iPad it's not a MBPro machine, it's fantastic.
    webnuts4u2-news
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    " Why limit a machine to only 2 to 4GB of RAM in an era of programs like Final Cut, Creative Suite and VMWare? (This can only be described as planned obsolescence.) "<br><br>Well, yes. That's what it is. It's extremely sensible for Apple that they do this. Users have to decide if it's worth it for them to buy it despite that.<br><br>This is the adversarial nature of consumer electronics.
    steviesteveo190
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

    8GB memory. Nothing else, really. Backlit keyboards are useless, I turn them off...
    aliceyoung44
  • RE: My wish list for the June 2011 MacBook Air

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