MacBook Air summer 2012: a confrontation…

In June 2011, Intel announced a crusade against the “presumptuous fruit”, whose good-for-nothing little MacBook Air that became a separate segment of the industry, plagued innocent netbooks and violate every conceivable rule and prosper, amid the General decline of sales and downsizing is just unbearable… after Analyzing the causes of the defeat of netbooks and unsuccessful attempts of several companies to adequately respond to “fruit” challenges, Intel has pointed the way to victory is to coordinate the efforts. Basic to coordinate to consider the concept of UltraBook, the document drawn up by Intel engineers, detailed and illustrated. The most detailed description of the MacBook Air at the time. And – forward to victory.

In a year, said the head of Intel, Air will lose its leading position in the segment of “name”, and in 2013 the share of Apple in this segment will decrease to 30%. In 2014 will return justice: from Apple will be 5-10 per cent, as always.

The coalition, their experience, and a lot of money in their accounts – it all sounded ominous. Apple are scared and demoralized, begin to make mistakes, and all will be well.

In 2011, Apple had other problems, it was not until threats from the coalition of “good guys”. The company management system, optimized for impulsive leader with a painfully keen sense demanded thoughtful reconfiguration. The process was interrupted at the beginning because of a fatal problem. I had to improvise.

June 11, 2012, press conference on the occasion of opening the world wide Apple Developers Conference (Apple WWDC) began with the presentation of the new MacBook models, but the first one was the MacBook Air. Phil somewhere in a hurry, he’s probably not a very good poker player, his emotions are read as if they were typed in large print.

No fear Coalition UltraBook or at least trouble about her was not among them. Had the feeling that ahead of something so grandiose and important that the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro compared to him – just a trifle. Bad without Steve…

This is the seventh part of a series about the MacBook Air. Links to previous parts below:

First part: MacBook Air: half of computer for the price of two…;
Second part: the Computer of air: MacBook Air (NVIDIA);
Third part: MacBook Air (Mid 2009) price fall…;
The fourth part: MacBook Air “bevel profile”;
Fifth part: MacBook Air 2011: want to kill him;
Sixth part: 2012: MacBook Air goes to school.

Coalition wins?

But among the listeners attitude towards the achievements of the Coalition was different. On the market there have been dozens of light laptops, many of which are in one or in several parameters exceeded the MacBook Air. Some of them were incredibly nice, for example Samsung Series 9 900X3B.

And best displays in an ultra-light segment was the Coalition. At the same 9 900X3B screen resolution with a diagonal of 13.3 inch (33.8 cm; as in “large” MacBook Air), it was 1600×900. A recently announced Zenbook Prime UX31 supported already 1080p!

Four models were used IPS displays are premium quality, Ivy Bridge processors, they were cheaper, some were similar to the MacBook Air as the twins.

Trampled ultrabooks Air. The forces are too unequal. Two of them, they are already tens, and rows of competitors are multiplying every day. Sorry, charming was the computer…

But the first quarter of a real confrontation, as at 11 June 2012 is not yet over, the outcome is not yet calculated.

The first MacBook Air era of confrontation

Can you imagine? The design of the new MacBook Air was the same as last year and even pozaproshlogodnie Air! If not to take into account changes in the set of connectors that, if you did not look and not know what your looking for, not to see.

The screens were exactly the same as before. For the third year in a row. Neither IPS nor the full 24-bit color. In an ultra-light segment was thinner and lighter model.

Until the second coming of Steve jobs, Apple Computer the then practiced the principle of “too late and too little”: a frankly bad decisions were followed by no less a failure, and only when they have no sense.

Although even the most critical critics could not accept: if your design with more or less success trying to duplicate dozens of companies (including my own – view on a Retina MacBook Pro… But I told you about him haven’t talked yet, so Shhh!!!), perhaps it is no accident. And he’s not so bad.

11 June 2012 MacBook Air was another ultrabook with Ivy Bridge inside. And it’s not only Intel HD Graphics 4000 (one and a half times superior to the built-in Sandy Bridge Intel HD Graphics 3000 for better graphics performance, but also the technology of 22 nm instead of 32 nm, and it increased productivity, and reducing energy consumption.

Well, the answer competitors, which Apple ignores. In fact, even if they are not at all – no reason not to use a Core i3/i5/i7 third generation, Apple was not. According to the scheme “tick-tock” generation was Ivy Bridge generation, the Sandy Bridge architecture with almost no changes was moved to a more subtle technology.

Finally… less than four years as USB 3.0 and the Mac I. However, they (Apple) went their own way. No blue connectors. They are no different from the old connectors USB 2.0 and support both versions, without adapter and without adding complexity for users.

MagSafe 2 – a new version of the connector for connection to the power supply, it seems, with some important advantages. I only know about one of them: to use the old power supplies (you never know what happens in my life) had to be purchased at the online Apple store appropriate adapter, $ 10. Hear how sated clicks the cash register?

And one more “finally”: now, for only 29 dollars, the MacBook Air you can get hold of Gigabit Ethernet. For this I had to buy an adapter Thunderbolt-Ethernet. Only not so simple: the simultaneous use of an external monitor and Ethernet did not work.

And with Thunderbolt display from Apple was uncomfortable: connectors MagSafe 2 and Thunderbolt were on different sides of the body.

That is, there is nothing specifically protivostojanije…

A bit of technical details

The new MacBook Air had two of the model: MacBookAir5,1 is Air with a diagonal of 11.6 inches (29.5 cm) and MacBookAir5,2 – Air with a diagonal of 13.6 inches (33.8 cm).

In the online store had two initial configurations of the two models “basic” and ”advanced”. The main advantage of the first of them was the price. This allowed us to simplify the picking process, reduce costs and have less to lose because of the “cheapness”. Not greed, just take care of the welfare of the shareholders!

In both configurations, the 11-inch model used a Intel Core i5 1.7 GHz (i5-3317U) with cache third level 3 MB. Ivy Bridge. The clock frequency dynamically can be increased to 2.6 GHz. Throughput of a DMI – 5 Hightransaction/s.

Basic configuration 11-inch Air cost $ 999 (cheap, but still a half to two times more expensive competitors).

It had 4 gigabytes of RAM (in the online store, just for 100 dollars, its size can be increased to 8 GB, and all memory was vpisalas into the motherboard and its upgrade was absolutely impossible), and fast flash memory with a capacity of 64 Gigabytes (officially the not-to-upgrade – in fact, the upgrade was simple). No other options in this configuration was not.

Advanced configuration cost $ 1099, $ 100 less than its counterpart in the previous model. From “basic” because it only had one physical difference: the amount of internal flash memory. 128 GB instead of 64. But the number of options advanced configuration was superior base on the order.

The RAM size can be increased to 8 GB, for $ 100. The amount of SSD (actually is a set of modules on a separate circuit Board unscrewed) paying the $ 300 could be replaced by SSD volume of 256 GB, and 800 – volume of 512 GB.

Processor could (for $ 150) to replace the Intel Core i7 2.0 GHz (i7-3667U) with cache in the third level 4 MB, and “turbo”-a frequency of 3.2 GHz. A few months configuration with this processor added to the online store as another initial configuration.

Configurations 13-inch model in the set of connectors included and SDXC slot.

All models used Intel Core i5 1.8 GHz (i5-3427U) with cache third level 3 MB. In “turbo”mode, frequency was increased to 2.8 GHz. By default, all model variants had a 4 gigabytes of RAM, its size can be increased (over $ 100) in the online store, and never again.

The base configuration includes SSD capacity of 128 Gigabytes, and it cost 1 $ 199 ($100 cheaper than the last model).

Advanced initial configuration is characterized by a large volume SSD 256 Gigabytes, and a large (two units) number of options. Install SSD 512 GB for $ 500 and a more powerful processor Intel Core i7 2.0 GHz (i7-3667U), which is written above. It is exactly the same. And similarly, in early 2013, the option with this processor turned in a different start configuration.

All they would have to simplify and save. Or native Mac user so have fallen into insanity that they chose not to provide that choice? (This is a joke)

The coalition won?

In July 2012, the first quarter is over and the counting results of the first quarter when the sides actually confronted each other were counted, and the result was unexpected.

According to forecasts Intel, Apple’s market share in the segment of ultrabooks, in the first quarter, should have been reduced twice.

But ultrabooks (several tens of models) has been sold 500 thousand. Intel admitted that something went wrong, and the result is below expectations. Something is not enough? OS X?

Apple reported only the total number of s sold MacBook. This number again increased, and amounted to 2.8 million units. A new record for the second calendar quarter.

Sold the MacBook the first was the MacBook Air, but even if these 2.8 divided equally between them, will turn out 1.4 million pieces.

MacBook Air is the UltraBook? I wonder how it feels to win the war, to which he had no relationship?

However, the confrontation had just begun.

To be continued

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