Apple’s products, across the board, are small and beautiful. Unlike Samsung or Motorola or Dell or HP, Apple’s products also elicit a ‘less is more expensive’ mantra. That focus on the premium end of the product spectrum was never more evident than in Apple Watch and Apple’s new MacBook.
The MacBook Is Back
It’s been five or six years since the MacBook Air supplanted the MacBook as Apple’s entry-level notebook model. Apple has placed the new MacBook squarely between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Apple claims to have reinvented the notebook but that’s merely advertising baloney and not to be taken seriously.
In reality, all the new MacBook does is become smaller, lighter, thinner, and add a Retina display while keeping all day battery life, remove a whole bunch of useful ports in exchange for one lonely USB-C port (that’s right, one), improve both keyboard and trackpad, and take a cue from the iPhone line with a Silver, Gold, and Space Gray colors.
Otherwise, a notebook is a notebook and MacBook isn’t much different than every new notebook you can find on the Windows side of the world, minus a few features I would have expected from a company trying to reinvent the notebook.
In specifications, the MacBook is lighter at 2 pounds, thinner at 13.1 mm and features a 12-inch display, which fits nicely between the heavier and larger 11-inch MacBook Air, and, by comparison, the positively gargantuan MacBook Pro line.
The Retina display features 2304×1440 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio. There’s just one port. One. A solitary USB-C port which can become almost anything; display port, USB port, power port, etc. Plus, dual microphones, stereo speakers, a single headphone port, Wi-Fi (802.11 ac), Bluetooth 4.0, and external display capability (through a USB-C adapter) of 3840×2160 pixels, which isn’t shabby.
MacBook comes with 8GB of RAM, a dual-core Intel Core M CPU, 256GB of SSD storage, and a $1,299 starting price. Compare that to the 11-inch MacBook Air which starts at $899– $400 more for a smaller, lighter, thinner package with more pixels on the screen.
In some ways, that $1,299 starting price tag is reminiscent of the original MacBook Air model back in the day ($1,799); you get smaller and more beautiful while paying more, but then I’m reminded that the original 9-inch black and white, 128k Mac from 1984 was priced at $2,495 while the new iMac with Retina 5k display is merely $5 more.
Regardless, Apple has moved the Mac bar forward, if only incrementally and not a completely re-invented device. Re-invented? How about a MacPad which is a Mac with the new MacBook keyboard and hardware, with a thinner iPad for the screen. An iPad and a Mac with a detachable iPad screen.
That would be a reinventing the notebook.