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:
- Backlit keyboard (yes, it's first on my list)
- Intel Sandy Bridge
- ThunderBolt/Light Peak
- 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?