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?
Aside: I just had to upgrade my Revue account to accommodate the influx of new subscribers over the past week. Welcome! 👋