The middle ground device

The latest refresh of the Macbook Air is truly Apple’s middle ground device.  It bridges Apple’s successes with their mobile devices with their historic roots of the Macintosh.

The Macbook Air uses Core 2 Duos?
So the original Macbook Air in 2008 debuted with a Intel Core 2 Duo, and the latest Macbook Air still is packed with the Core 2 Duo what gives? The ULV Core 2 Duos are really marginally different performance wise to the ULV Core i5. The reason why the Macbook Air isn’t i5, is the fact that Nvidia is not allowed to make integrated graphics/chipset chips for i series and newer processors. That is why the the latest Macbook Pro refresh is using Intel Graphics + ATI graphics hybrid. And when your talking about such a diminutive form factor that the Macbook Air is, you can’t spare the board space for an extra chip.

Apple has a cozy relationship with Intel
Apple has stuck with Intel chips ever since the x86 switch. In theory AMD does bring a lot to the table. However, AMD’s chips really don’t offer awesome performance to heat ratios. AMD’s Fusion is perhaps not horrible, however the CPU performance is actually much less than the Core 2 Duo packed in the Macbook Air. And above most other things Apple sticks with the form factor dictating the technology more so than the other way around.  Evidence of this cozy relationship can been seen with the latest Thunderbolt (Light Peak) technology.  While Intel has had the technology sitting on the shelf for a while, Apple was really the first implementation.  As well as Intel was kind enough to hold off telling everyone until Apple made their announcement.

Why we will be waiting a long time for a Macbook Air refresh
Apple will hold on to the current generation Macbook Air for some time to come.  Apple has a much longer refresh cycle on the Macbook Air than nearly any other machine they sell. And also because of the whole Nvidia/Core 2 Duo issue noted earlier. It would take a rather large amount of engineering to refresh with newer technologies. So you can pretty much guarantee there won’t be a refresh for at least a year.

Why does the Macbook Air still have 2GB of RAM?

It is very true that the 2008 Macbook Air also came with 2GB of RAM.  For Apple the Macbook Air is their middle ground device.  Apple has been widely successful with the iPhone/iPad/iPod devices for several years now.  And the Macbook Air’s roots are in their PC side of the business.  However, this really is the middle ground device.  This is the device that Apple hopes to gain the everyday consumer into their historically premium priced notebooks.  First of all it starts at $999, but the thin sleek form factor makes the device more friendly to consumers whom were wanting the iPad, but instead chose the Mac.  Mac OS X runs perfectly fine on 2GB of RAM, and bundled with the SSD it it’s pure experience is faster than most high end PC’s.

Benchmarks don’t sell PC’s, the experience does, or at least that’s how Apple sees it.

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 10:15 pm and is filed under Reviews, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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