Apple has recently updated the Apple MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro before the back-to-school season. Meanwhile the company has been able to streamline the MacBook line-up as well.
First, the Apple MacBook Air, introduced late last year, has been given a hardware refresh. Secondly, the MacBook Pro 13 variants with the Touch Bar also get new hardware and features. At the same time, the 12-inch MacBook has been discontinued, the previous generation MacBook Air will no longer be officially on sale and all the MacBook Pro 13 variants that did not have the Touch Bar will no longer be sold by Apple. They are also no longer listed on the Apple India website.
First things first, the new stuff. The MacBook Air, powered by the 8th generation Intel Core processors, now also has a True Tone Retina Display. That means that the 13-inch display of the MacBook Air will now be able to alter the contrast and colour temperature according to the ambient lighting around you. This will make it more comfortable to use, and also means that the True Tone feature which has been a part of the iPad and the iPhone user experience, is now also available on the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro 13 line-up now includes the latest quad-core processors, Touch Bar and Touch ID, True Tone to the brilliant Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip from the entry spec variant onwards.
There are price changes too. The refreshed MacBook Air is now priced lower than before, at Rs 99,900. School and College students can take the advantage of an even lower price tag of Rs 92,704 as part of the Back to School promotion. The MacBook Pro 13 with all the new features and hardware has an entry price tag of Rs 1,19,900 and if you take advantage of the Back to School promotion, you can have this for Rs 1,11,264 at the moment.
While it was perhaps expected that Apple would eventually phase out the MacBook Pro 13 entry variant that didn’t have the Touch Bar, what stands out is the end of the road for the MacBook, the 12-inch one. This was first introduced in 2015, and can be credited with ushering in a new era for the MacBook line-up—the minimalism on the ports front, the switch to the USB Type-C, the butterfly keyboard, the end of the glowing Apple logo on the lid and in many ways, a new design language as well. There was absolutely no doubt that the 12-inch MacBook represented a great option for those who wanted a light and compact computing device to carry around and weren’t constantly cribbing about the lack of a SD card slot for instance. However, we could have perhaps seen the writing on the wall when the long due refresh of the MacBook Air was launched late last year. The MacBook Air had to take the place of the 12-inch MacBook. Unless Apple could have drastically cut the pricing of the latter, it made little sense to have both in the line-up. And such a massive price cut would have been difficult to execute, considering there is also the small matter of the iPad Pro line-up to think about.