Today Apple released updates to the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. Let us look at each, starting with the MacBook Air.
When it was introduced in 2008 it was the lightest laptop Apple had made to date. It famously fit into standard manilla envelope. Since then, the MacBook Air has been a favorite of many Apple laptop purchasers. When it was first introduced it was more expensive than other models, like the MacBook, but it was intended to be lighter than any other laptop. The form factor of the MacBook Air remained largely unchanged until last year when Apple introduced the new MacBook Air with an all new design similar to the MacBook Pros. Apple kept the older 13-inch MacBook Air around, because it was $999 and that is a great price point.
Today’s MacBook Air updates builds upon last year’s model and adds a couple of features. The first is the screen has been updated to be a True Tone display. A True Tone display allows you to see colors even better than before.
The second change the storage options available. Last year you could get 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB of storage. These options have been modified. the 1.5TB option is gone and has been replaced with a 1TB option instead.
The last big change is that the price has dropped $100. This means that the base model MacBook Air now starts at $1099. This is still $100 higher than the old-style MacBook Air. If you are a college student you can get a MacBook Air starting at $999, so you can still get the price, but you have to be a college student.
The other items are still the same. The screen size, color options, and weight all remain the same. Now let us look at the MacBook Pro.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has seen a bit more of a change than the MacBook Air. The Pro is designed to be the device that those who need a bit more power will purchase. The MacBook Pro has seen some big changes.
The first of these changes is that now all 13-inch MacBook Pro models include the Touch Bar. Previously, only the higher end models would include the Touch Bar. The inclusion of the Touch Bar means that all MacBook Pros now come with the T2 security chip. Having a T2 security chip results in better security, like having encryption for your SSD automatically enabled. This is definitely a welcome one, for those security minded individuals.
The second change is the processor. There are four starting points for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The two less expensive models now have a 1.4GHz 8th generation Intel processor. The previous models were 2.3GHz, which may seem like a downgrade in terms of speed, and it might be. However, the new MacBook Pros are quad-core processors with 128MB of eDRAM. The previous models were dual-core with 64MB of eDRAM. These can be configured for a 1.7GHz processor.
With the processor upgrade, the graphics on the base-models have also been updated. It now has an Intel Iris Plus 645, instead of the 640 that last year’s models had.
The storage within the MacBook Pros have also changed. You are now able to configure the base model with 128GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB drives. Previously these topped out at 1TB. The option for a 2TB drive will definitely be welcome for some users.
There have been a couple other changes which are worth noting. The first of these is that the 12-inch MacBook is no longer for sale. With the 13-inch MacBook Air being released last year, the MacBook was a bit of an oddity. The screen size was smaller, it did not have Thunderbolt and it had not been updated since 2015. Some may be sad to see it go, but who knows what will happen in the future.
The second change to be discussed is pricing for upgrading storage on all Macs. With today’s updates, the price of storage has changed. Prices are now at least $200 less expensive than they were before. A drop in price for storage is always welcome and should result in some opting for larger storage for their Macs. This change applies to all Macs, not just the newly released MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.
Today’s updates are solid updates. The new MacBook Air includes a True Tone display and is cheaper than last year’s model. With the price drop on storage, you may be able to get more storage for less than before, which is always good to see.
The base-model MacBook Pros now includes the Touch Bar, 8th generation Intel processors, and you have more storage options than before.
If you are in the market for a new Mac, now is the time to purchase. This is particularly true if you are looking for a laptop for college, because you get an extra $100 off.