Yeah, this Mac notebook mainstay may be a bit long in the tooth, but it has a reliable non-butterfly design keyboard, a case that takes dents and drops and still protects, and is– or, was– priced right. And, yes, I’m ready for a new MacBook Air.
Year Of Updates
2018 might be the best year for Apple product updates in a decade. We know a new line of iPhones are on the way, all likely to mimic iPhone X with Face ID. I expect Face ID to show up in new iPad Pro models, too. The Mac? Maybe next year.
Apple seems to be on a high end Mac upgrade spree already. iMac Pro with Intel Xeons Inside. The new MacBook Pro line comes with Core i9 options and a screaming fast 4TB of SSD storage and 32GB of RAM.
What about the rest of us? What about we Mac users who live on the cutting edge of entry-level Macs? The MacBooks still have that butterfly keyboard design that helped launch a few class action lawsuits. The venerable MacBook Air still doesn’t have a Retina display.
So, what’s on the way?
There are at least two schools of thought.
First, same old same old, whereby Apple merely upgrades the entry level Macs with new a Intel Inside refresh. Bah humbug. Even a MacBook Air at $899 with a Retina display is ho hum and does more to damage Apple’s reputation among the faithful than to inspire a resurgence to the Mac line.
Second, another school of thought is one that might grow some Mac marketshare even while the pro models require a second mortgage to buy. Think about this argument. An entry-level Mac powered by an Apple-designed, ARM-based, A-series CPU– instead of Intel Inside. Yes, it needs a Retina display, and it may not even need to have Boot Camp to run Windows. This is the workhorse entry-level Mac we have dreamed of for a few years; a truly portable device that can stay on and ready to run all day and half the night.
Give this Mac limited SSD storage and RAM options. For example, the MacBook can be bumped to 16GB while the MacBook Pro goes up to 32GB. Leave the entry-level MacBook Air at 8GB. Leave SSD storage at 128GB. Make the only option available– other than a few color choices– an internal modem for always on LTE data connectivity.
Woohoo! I’ll take two.
Today’s MacBook Air weighs in at about 3-pounds while the newer MacBook models start at more money for less horsepower and a pound lighter. That makes the current MacBook Air almost mid-range despite the $999 price tag.
OK, Apple. Do it. Stick an iPhone CPU into a Mac notebook. Give it a Retina display, an LTE data connection option, paint it with a few colors, make it tough as nails, slap a $799 price tag on it, and sit back while Windows PC users turn green with Mac envy. Again.