What it is: The MacBook Air was Apple’s original ultra-portable laptop.
When Apple introduced the MAcBook Air, most laptops were thick, bulky, and heavy. That meant they were just fine for sitting on a desk or table, but not so fine for lugging around easily. When Apple introduced the MacBook Air, they offered one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market.
Shortly after the MacBook Air appeared, rivals copied the design and started offering similar thin and light laptops. Of course, if you wanted a Macintosh laptop, you had a choice of either the MacBook Air (for maximum portability) or the MacBook Pro (for maximum power).
Then Apple introduced the MacBook, an even thinner and lighter laptop than the MacBook Air. Unlike the MacBook Air, the MacBook used a slightly slower processor. Still, the introduction of the MacBook muddled Apple’s laptop product line.
Now if you wanted maximum power, you could still choose a MacBook Pro, but Apple kept making the MacBook Pro lighter and thinner too. If you wanted maximum portability, you could choose the MacBook. If you wanted portability and lower cost, you could choose the MacBook Air.
Beyond the lower cost, the MacBook Air offers few advantages over the MacBook. That’s why rumors claim that Apple will eventually kill the MacBook Air product line to simplify their products.
Here are the advantages of the MacBook Air. It costs less, comes with a slighter more powerful processor than the MacBook, and has a traditional keyboard.
The MacBook costs more, comes with a weaker processor, and has the new flat keyboard that isn’t as touch-typist friendly as the MacBook Air keyboard. You can get used to the new MacBook keyboard, but it’s not the same tactile feel as the MacBook Air.
Ironically if you want a better touch typing experience on a keyboard, you can get the optional keyboard with the iPad Pro. Strangely, the iPad Pro keyboard actually offers more tactile feedback than the flat MacBook keyboard.
So it’s likely Apple will phase out the MacBook Air and promote the iPad Pro in its place. If you want a MacBook Air, you better grab one soon before they disappear altogether. They’re still good laptops and the least expensive Macintosh laptops you’ll find. If you want low cost and portability, a MacBook Air will work for you today.
Tomorrow, you might have to choose between the more expensive MacBook or an iPad Pro. for those who need a Macintosh, the potential phasing out of the MacBook Air will leave a gap in Apple’s product line, but it appears inevitable that the MacBook Air will disappear eventually. There’s just so many light and thin laptops Apple can sell and it’s likely they’ll choose the higher profit margin of the MacBook instead.