Apple Tablet/Laptop Prediction for 2014
After seeing this article about the new "iPad Pro" - https://socialreader.com/me/content/a4lMk?chid=38928&_p=article_related I've been trying to figure out what the next MacBook Air line is going to look like and what an iPad Pro might be.
Here's a shot. Would love to hear what everyone else is thinking.
1. I think the iPad Pro will launch this year. It will be slightly larger than the iPad Air. Probably 11.6 with the same aspect ratio of the current MacBook Air. It will be targeted for creating and might even include a digitizer pen as an accessory for $80 just like the magic mouse accessories. Might even be called a "magic pen". (see Apple's interest in pens here - http://macdailynews.com/2011/09/27/apple-granted-u-s-patent-for-super-arm-powered-smart-penportable-computer-predates-livescribe/). I would guess that we'll see them announce specific software support like Adobes Creative Suite and other drawing/graphics tools at launch.
2. I think the MacBook Air will get a refresh. It will focus on making the devices thinner, lighter, with better screens and better performance. I think to do that they're going to eliminate the 13 and 11 inch models and merge them into a single 12.5 inch screen version. Here's why. 12.5 is the perfect size if you can package it right. Right now the 13 has large bezels on the screen and a pretty big boarder around the keyboard. If you cut out all of that space you end up with roughly a 12.5 inch diagonal screen with minimal bezel and no keyboard deck waste. If they keep the same 16:10 aspect ratio (2400 x 1500 makes this work just fine, which is the same pixel density as the 13 MBP w. retina), the width of the screen ends up at 10.6 inches. The current keyboard measures about 10.75 inches. So, it fits perfectly. The hinge area will have to lose some of its gap, but you now have a device with a larger screen than the 11 but the same physical size overall and only a slight sacrifice on screen size from the 13.1 inch screen (which is presumably made up for in resolution improvement). Right now the 13 gets over 12 hours of battery life. They're so far ahead of the competition it isn't even funny. The 11 gets 9 hours. If they 12 gets over 10 and packs all of the above features, it won't be considered a compromise and will likely still be best of class.
3. I don't think this is going to happen, but it is the only other thing I can figure they might do is some sort of hybrid. I can't figure out how they'll do this. I'm sure they won't put out something like the surface because it's too compromised as a laptop. I also don't think they'll do a screen flipping laptop hybrid because they are too bulky and have too many moving parts. (the only way I see them doing this is if they go with the Dell XPS 12 mechanism on the described laptop above). No one has figured this out since the old "tablets" with windows XP. They were too bulky and would never fly given today's expectation for size and weight. I suppose they could build an iPad pro dock that has an Air keyboard and extended battery, but that just doesn't seem simple enough for Apple. It has too many moving parts and
Anyways, just wanted to get these thoughts out there. Anyone else agree? Disagree?