Questions regarding the 2011 MacBook Air and 2011 Mac Mini

Apple released the new MacBook Airs and Minis today.  Right off the bat, I noticed something curious:

Reported battery life on the Airs has decreased at least by an hour from the previous models.  One could chalk this up to the backlit keyboard… but it could also indicate that the processors are not of the Sandy Bridge variety*, which offer increased performance for what amounts to about the same power consumption.

So question 1:  Do the new MacBook Airs (and consequently the Minis) have Sandy Bridge processors?

* EDIT! – Yes, the new Airs and Minis are both Sandy Bridge (duh, they have thunderbolt!)  That backlit keyboard must constitute a good chunk of the lost battery life.

Another curious omission on the new MacBook Airs is a lack of an HD FaceTime camera.  Apple lists it as the vanilla ‘FaceTime Camera’, with the ‘HD’ nowhere to be found.  Apple sometimes makes mistakes and changes their product descriptions later, but I doubt they would mess this up.   Perhaps there simply wasn’t enough room in the svelte Air lid for a camera of the HD variety.  That’s a shame… but at least we got the backlit keyboard!

One final question regarding the Airs (and even Minis, if you configure it such):  Are the SSDs faster?  Are we blessed with the 6MBs pipeline?

Time will tell on all of these answers and observations…. For now, the upgrades are still amazing and welcomed, and we await the benchmarks and tear-downs!

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One thought on “Questions regarding the 2011 MacBook Air and 2011 Mac Mini

  1. The 2011 Mac Mini is closer to the headless Mac (xMac) dream than before, but Apple is still oddly not treating it like a proper desktop computer. For example, why not solder on 64GB SSD as standard onto the motherboard, instead of offering us a cut-throat priced 256GB as the only SSD option? That should give them room to offer us second – or third, even, as there is plenty of room inside the casing – hard disk or optical drive options as upgrades.

    But hold on – we don’t even need to have internal mechanical disks in the Mini anymore if Apple would just give us an external SATA port or two instead of the far less ubiquitous Firewire 800 port! (Firewire 800? Who is the Mac Mini being marketed to – video editing enthusiasts? The same people who would want to spend Thunderbird peripheral prices on a $500 computer, I assume?)

    Get on with the programme, Apple. At least know who you are marketing the Mac Mini line to.

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