Apple has reduced the price for Retina MacBook Air and added True Tone to its display, while the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with 8th-generation quad-core processors, True Tone Retina Display, Touch Bar, Touch ID and T2 security chip. The price for the refreshed MacBook Air has been reduced from $1,299 to $1,099 while entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro still starts from $1,299 but has a lot more features to offer now.
2019 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
Apple has aimed the new products towards students so for them the prices are cheaper than what is available for the general public. Students can buy the Retina MacBook Air for $999 while 13-inch MacBook Pro is available for $1,199. Apple is also giving away free Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones as part of their Back to School promotion, and these new MacBooks are covered in the promotion, which makes these products excellent value for money.
The updates 13-inch MacBook Pro base model ships with a 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 chip, with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. It can be configured with a 1.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz. Apart from True Tone, MacBook Air got no other update. Both these notebooks ship with super-fast SSD drives (starting from 128GB), beautiful displays, all-day battery life as well as beautiful designs. However, they both have Apple’s controversial Butterfly keyboard design which puts a question mark on their reliability. Apple has updated its Keyboard Service Program to include these new devices:
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
Keyboard Service Program provides 4 years extended coverage for free keyboard fixes on eligible MacBooks.
Apple has also lowered the prices for SSD upgrades by 50% in most cases. It’s been a while since we could put ‘Apple’ and ‘price reductions’ in the same sentence.
RIP 12-inch MacBook and old MacBook Air
Although Apple has reduced the price for Retina MacBook Air, the company has discontinued the older non-Retina MacBook Air which sold for $999. This was the old MacBook Air with the same design since 2010. If we look at notebooks before and after the 2010 MacBook Air, it would be obvious how much impact it had on the industry. Not only did it make all notebooks thinner, it convinced the industry that flash storage was the future. MacBook Air also had 12-hour battery life at one time, which was way better than what competitors offered.
Apple has also silently killed off the single-port 12-inch MacBook model which was launched in 2015. Since the introduction of Retina MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook did not fit well in Apple’s notebook line-up and instead of updating its specs and lowering its price, Apple has simply stopped selling it. It was the only fan-less notebook in Apple’s line-up. It was expected that Apple would update it someday with an ARM processor but now that they have removed it from their product line-up, it seems unlikely that they would bring it back.