In a move timed for the back-to-school shopping season, Apple has made some significant changes to its MacBook lineup as it looks to streamline its options for students and make the Touch Bar mandatory.
Most notably, the 12-inch MacBook has been discontinued, marking the end for what was once seen as the future of Apple’s notebook. Launched in 2015 as Apple’s thinnest and lightest computer, it featured just a single USB-C port and a new rose gold color to match the iPhone. It hadn’t been updated in more than two years, and was actually more expensive than the newer MacBook Air, which launched in October. The previous-generation MacBook Air with a non-retina screen has also been eliminated.
Speaking of the Air, Apple has cut the price of its entry-level laptop to $1,099, knocking $100 off the previous price and adding True Tone technology to its Retina display. According to Apple, “The True Tone technology in Mac computers uses advanced multichannel sensors to adjust the color and intensity of your display and Touch Bar to match the ambient light so that images appear more natural.” What that means is the display dynamically adjusts its color depending on the ambient light in the room.
Rounding out the updated models is the $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has received a major upgrade, gaining 8th-generation Intel quad-core processors, a True Tone Retina display and the T2 Security Chip. Apple has also added the Touch Bar and Touch ID to the entry-level model, bringing it in line with the other MacBooks Pro and eliminating the only non-Touch Bar model that was available for sale.
With the elimination of the previous-generation MacBook Air, Apple no longer has a notebook that starts below a thousand dollars. However, college students can get the $1,099 MacBook Air for $999 and the $1,299 MacBook Pro for $1,199. Additionally, students can get a free pair of $350 Beats Studio 3 headphones with the purchase of a new Mac or iPad.