Is Apple sacrificing the MacBook Air for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iPad Pro? It sure feels like it.
By Caitlin McGarry
Is Apple phasing out the MacBook Air? It certainly seems so, with the 11-inch Air no longer for sale and the 13-inch model getting a new rival in the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
That’s right, Apple introduced two13-inch MacBook Pros at Thursday’s “Hello again” event in Cupertino. One has a Touch Bar, which replaces the keyboard’s function keys. The other keeps all of its keys, but is 12 percent thinner than a MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt 3 ports to replace the MagSafe connector and standard USB ports. (Don’t worry, all the MacBooks are keeping their headphone jacks.)
Apple won’t be updating the 13-inch MacBook Air going forward, according to CNET, but you can still pick one up for $999 if all you care about is price—oh, and battery life. The Air lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, while the 13-inch Pros last up to 10.
The Pros are more expensive than the Air, but they’re also more powerful. The new 13-inch Pro with function keys starts at $1499 with a 2GHz dual-core i5, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 256GB flash and 8GB of RAM. For $300 more, you get the Touch Bar, Touch ID, and 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor.
With just one MacBook Air model hanging around, it’s clear that Apple is focused on the 12-inch MacBook (which has just one USB-C port—kind of a problem if you use a lot of peripheral devices) and its new Pro laptops.
But none of those options are cheap, and without the MacBook Air, Apple won’t have a single sub-$1,000 laptop in its lineup. (The 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299.) There’s always the iPad Pros—there you have a 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch to choose from. The 9.7-inch model starts at $599, but that’s the base 32GB model and doesn’t include accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
The MacBook Air is a solid laptop and it would be a shame to see it disappear altogether. The Pro is more computer than most people need, and the 12-inch MacBook’s single port and high price tag can be tough to stomach. What do you think Apple’s master plan for the MacBook is? Share your predictions in the comments.
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