Monday, January 4, 2010

Redesigning the New MacBook Air

Monday, January 4, 2010

new macbook air
No one knows exactly how Apple will redesign the new MacBook Air, but there are many speculations. The best way to decide what may be different about the new MacBook is to look at the laptops competition and see where it might be able to improve.

Now the design is something that is going to be difficult to improve. The first design was so good that Apple didn’t change it for its second generation. The aluminum enclosure of the Air set a trend that all MacBook Pros and many other PC makers soon followed.

The razor-thin Air does provide very little room for ports and connectors, so this is definitely an aspect that could be improved upon. Apple came up with the solution to have a flip-out set of USB ports, MiniDisplayPort, and audio ports that retract back into the body of the laptop. The Dell Adamo features a design modification that places all the ports at the back of the laptop behind the screen, allowing a much fuller array of connection ports. Hewlett-Packard went a different direction with their Envy 13. They made it slightly thicker (0.8 inches) than the Air which allows for a couple more connectors. This gives Apple several different options to allow for more connectors on the newly developed Air.

It is also rumored that Apple is going to try to make the new MacBook Air even lighter than the previous model while maintaining its famed sturdiness. To accomplish this, Apple could use something like a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber. HP utilized magnesium as the base of the Envy to make it lighter, so this could also be a consideration for the Air.

It also possible that Apple could make a bigger, smaller, or tablet version of the Air. The tablet version could potentially mean a new enclosure and new silicon.

Great graphic chips are something that are difficult to squeeze into an ultrathin design like the Air. The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD sets the MacBook Air from many of the other slimmer designed laptops. Apple introduced Nvidia 9400M graphics silicon to the world with the second generation Air. This offered acceptable graphics, certainly much better than the original MacBook Air. Nvidia is getting ready to release their Ion 2 graphics, but no one is sure how clear they may be. If this is a successful venture for Nvidia, I am sure that the new MacBook Air designers will be very interested.

There is also the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics chip which Advanced Micro Devices boasts as being a “thin and light mobile graphics processor…delivering unprecedented performance-per-watt…while watching Blu-ray movies. This is a chip that has found its way into an HP ultrathin laptop, so this could quite possibly be a consideration for the Air as well.

All of these are merely speculations of what Apple might possibly improve in the new MacBook Air that they are currently developing. Although the Air defined what many laptops are today, there is plenty of room for improvement. It will be quite interesting to see what Apple will do with the newest version of their MacBook Air.


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