Apple has traditionally been restrictive with its hardware choices, especially in its MacBook range. Beyond memory and storage options, your choices about hardware like screen, ports, and physical size are Apple’s decisions that you have no choice but to accept.
That attitude is diminishing as more Apple Silicon-powered MacBook models (both Air and Pro versions) fill some of the gaps; A bigger screen.
Details about this new larger MacBook come from display analyst Ross Young and his regular look at the consumer electronics supply chain. Chris Smith reports.
“…the big MacBook Air could be here as early as spring 2023 with a 15.5-inch display. It is interesting. According to Mr. Yang, Apple will make the 13.6-inch M2 model the smaller of the two, having long offered 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air machines. The 11-inch model was discontinued some time ago, leaving only one option for Air fanciers.”
The screen size is interesting. The 15.5-inch doesn’t match the “professional” models of the MacBook Pro, which measure 14.2 and 16.2 inches, respectively. It matches the display of the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro, powered by Intel’s x86 chips.
Apple may have redesigned the MacBook Pro when it launched the M1 Pro and M1 Max in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes, with a more angular look, more ports, and the return of smart features like the MagSafe charging connector and notch. screen to accommodate the camera and sensors.
The M2 MacBook Air also picked up these design changes, though the M1 Air, which was kept in the portfolio so that Apple could continue to offer a $999 macOS laptop, didn’t move on from the old and tired Intel design.
I would expect the new MacBook Air to follow Apple’s new design language. Presumably the geekerati following Apple can too. However, the reported display size fits the old tired design. I have a terrible feeling that Apple will make another interesting choice to create an artificial separation between its laptops.
Nevertheless, there is already a difference. And it has nothing to do with the size of the laptop or the design of the laptop. This is divided between laptops with enough power for everyday consumers and laptops with ridiculous power for professionals.
In the past, if you wanted a bigger screen, you had to go for both a physically bigger machine with more performance. The idea of just three Apple machines that were good/better/best left very little room for something as drastically awkward as “big screen but only reasonable power”.
This new 2023 model means that MacBook consumers who want a larger screen will have the sensible choice of a laptop with a larger screen instead of being sold a larger laptop with an unwanted power surplus.
If you’re looking for a bigger screen for your MacBook, now’s the time to look past the MacBook Pro; Apple has something better on its way. In early 2023, you’ll get a much more relevant model at a more consumer-friendly price point.
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and App Store headlines in this week’s Apple Loop news roundup…