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Those Airy MacBooks

Many of us still recall the way Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air. It was clever, cute, and iconic
First Draught
Those Airy MacBooks
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #138 • View online
Many of us still recall the way Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air. It was clever, cute, and iconic (in a similar vein to the way he unveiled the iPod and the iPod nano). As he took the device out of a manila envelope, audible gasps spread in the audience. That was 10 years ago.
And so it seems fitting that there are now rumors of Apple updating the device – finally after years of neglect. The report comes from Mark Gurman, who notes:
The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution “Retina” version that Apple uses on other products, the people said.
This has led to some confusion for a couple reasons. First, it does seem like a MacBook Air with thinner bezels would look quite a bit different than the current variety – which features rather large bezels! Second, one such device that features thinner bezels and the higher-resolution “Retina” screen already exists: the MacBook. And actually, it’s overall thinner than the MacBook Air (and substantially lighter).
This has long bothered me. As Jobs noted a decade ago, that Air was introduced as differentiated from the MacBook (at the time, quite a bit larger) and the MacBook Pro. While the initial version was slow performance-wise, design-wise, it was the new state of the art.
And while the Air remains many folks’ favorite laptop of all time, it hasn’t been state of the art in sometime. So it’s interesting to think about what they can do to update it.
My guess – based on nothing other than logic and instinct – is that this new device won’t actually be a new Air, but instead will be a new, less expensive MacBook. (Would they dare call it “iBook”?) I think the Air may be going away and I think it’s time for it to go away, at least for now. Again, it’s no longer worthy of the “Air” moniker. So it’s just sort of silly as a product line in 2018.
It would seem to be a good time for Apple to whittle the laptop line back to two: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. And I think it’s fine to have a lower-cost (read: $999) MacBook while also offering a more full-featured model (think: two – yes, two! – ports) at a higher price point.
All of that seems pretty straightforward. But I’m still not sure what to make of the 13-inch (Air) versus 12-inch (MacBook) screen discrepancy – though Gurman’s “about 13-inches” gives some wiggle room there. Who knows, maybe the entire line of MacBooks is getting tweaked to get slightly larger screens, which may also mean a slightly larger base, which might also mean a slightly larger battery (this would be one of the remaining hurdles going from the Air to the MacBook – the Air has a much better battery: two hours better even just by Apple’s own stated standards), and the newly updated keyboard (please no TouchBar).
That would leave the aforementioned port issue as the last big hurdle people would have to jump. USB-C just hasn’t taken off in the way Apple clearly thought it would when they made the move with the MacBook. Could they go back to regular USB? Do they include a “regular” USB port alongside the USB-C one? Would it even fit? If this laptop is meant to be aimed at the education market as the Air has been, can you get away with USB-C yet?
Questions remain. But this rumor would seem to be the closest many of us have gotten to what might be the perfect laptop.
Aside: I just had to upgrade my Revue account to accommodate the influx of new subscribers over the past week. Welcome! 👋

5ish Links
Oscars to Add ‘Popular Film’ Category
Steve Jobs’ IPO that Never Happened
How Maps Became the New Search Box
The Car Century was a Mistake; It's Time to Move On.
Notes Nearing Ninety: Learning to Write Less
One Great Tip
Dark Mode Dave
Apple Watch tip:
Without raising your wrist, slowly roll the Digital Crown up, display will slowly brighten, lets you check the display without raising your wrist, without being too bright.
Been around since watchOS 3.1.3, but one of those easy to miss features I love.😎⌚️
7:04 AM - 17 Aug 2018
500ish Words
The Apple I Knew…
A Giphy To Go
Or what if we go back to "iBook"?...
Or what if we go back to "iBook"?...
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M.G. Siegler

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