More details are emerging on the rumoured smaller, lighter MacBook Air, and it's all good stuff. I hope the rumours are correct and we do see a revamped Air before the end of the year. AppleInsider has a detailed roundup of facts as they are known and I'm already getting excited. The new device is likely to feature Intel's Core i-series ultra low-voltage processor and will be thinner and lighter than the present model.
As a frequent traveller I need to carry my MacBook Pro with me if I'm away for more than a few days and, as far as I'm concerned, the smaller the computer the better.
The current model hasn't been updated since mid-2009 and sales have tailed off in the wake of the introduction of the aluminium-bodied MacBook Pro 13.3in models and, of course, the iPad. The footprint of the current Air is exactly the same as that of the MacBook Pro and the difference in weight and thickness doesn't seem to be the deal-clincher it used to be. However, with the expected 11.6in screen and an even thinner profile – with weight to match – the new Air would be the lightest-ever OS X device and I am convinced it will be a winner.
Long-term, I think the future of portable computing will be angled towards touch-based UIs as seen on the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. At the moment, though, iOS4 is not a completely standalone solution. There are some things that you can't do, or are fiddly to do, on the iPad, but the biggest weakness is that iOS devices currently need a mothership in the form of a Mac or PC. Synchronisation and backup means you need a computer nearby and, if you are travelling for long periods, the absence of the computer can be a big problem.
I therefore look forward to a really light and small OS X device which can act as a mothership for my iPhone and iPad