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Apple Revamps MacBook Lineup

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today updated MacBook Air, adding True Tone to its Retina display for a more natural viewing experience, and lowering the price to $1,099, with an even lower price of $999 for college students. In addition, the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.

In addition to bumping the specs on these two models and lowering their prices, Apple also got rid of the non-retina Air (except for education institutional buyers, and at retailers like Best Buy) and completely dropped the 12-inch MacBook. We all knew the non-retina Air would eventually — finally — go away. Unless I’m overlooking something, Apple no longer sells (to consumers) any devices with non-retina displays. Update: I did overlook something: the entry level 21-inch iMac is still non-retina.

I’m a little surprised to see the MacBook dropped completely, but the Air, though bigger, is a much more capable machine. Overall, it is a tremendous simplification of the entire MacBook lineup, and that’s a good thing. Retina Air and two sizes of MacBook Pro — hard to see how it could get any simpler. Other than the increase in size of the “smallest” MacBook, the only knock against today’s revamp is that the starting price (for those other than college students) has jumped from $1000 to $1100.

Update: A few other observations:

  • Apple isn’t making a point of it, but these new MacBooks both have the new third-generation butterfly keyboards.
  • According to Student Monitor, MacBooks have 60 percent market share among college students. That’s impressive period, but downright bananas for those of us who remember where Macs were market-share-wise 20 years ago.
  • Apple’s back-to-school promotion saves you up to $200 and includes a pair of Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones, which retail for $300. That’s a great deal.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019