Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thunderbolt, iCloud and Macbook Air a Killer Combination?

I was just sitting here on a rainy day and scanning the Mac rumor web sites.

It seems that the Macbook Air refresh is going to wait for the Lion release.  Then the usual speculation happens as to why and when and what users hope will happen.  A couple of people troll and then those people engage in a word war that I hope my kids never ask me to explain.  Yawn.

Then I got to thinking about the Air refresh.  The big story there may not be the Lion/Air combination.  What if the big story was the Thunderbolt/Air refresh?  Thunderbolt seems to be the hot Apple refresh item on their other products.  iMac and Macbook Pro got it, why not Air?

For years, if someone asked me which Apple laptop to get, I would say any of them but the Air.  Mostly because of the ports that weren't there.  No Firewire.  One USB.  Without a lot of storage on board that seems kind of limited and what if you wanted to do a couple of peripherals?

The Air just didn't do enough and I wonder how it is going to fair in a world that includes the iPad.  It's just too close to the computing power of the iPad with about the same flexibility.

What if the refresh included Thunderbolt?  The right dongle for that port and you could have a number of Firewire or USB devices and a monitor going right into the machine through Thunderbolt.  I've always liked those docking stations that some Windows laptops have.  With Thunderbolt, you could get the same single connection convenience.

Then, if people ask what Macbook they should get, I would have to ask how much power they are really going to need.  If you don't need to do anything seriously processor/graphics card intensive  the answer may be an Air.  With iCloud, how much on-board storage are you going to need?  Who knows?  Maybe the processors take a big jump in speed and the Air/Macbook line is even further blurred....

Thunderbolt, iCloud and Macbook Air could be a killer combination.  That might be the real Macbook Air refresh story.


spencmusic said...

Yah I agree. I think that the current technology on the air is what is eventually coming to the MacBooks. SSD, cloud capabilities, and the thin size are what future computers will be all running on. With the quickness of the solid state storage and the really limited need of peripherals these days (mac app store), if i was in need of a new laptop, I think air would be my choice.

Matthew and Elyse said...

And what happens when you don't have a wifi connection in your classroom?