Forget The MacBook Pro, Apple Has Something Better

Apple’s move to design its own ARM-based processor the Macs has gathered critical acclaim and commercial success. That’s an attractive combination if you are looking for a new laptop for a new year. But hold up. You might want to consider what Apple’s next step will be before breaking out your wallet.

With the high-end MacBook Pro laptops launched late last year, those who truly needed the levels of performance offered bye the 14-inch and 16-inch professional macOS machines will have been sated. That power is expensive, and may be far in excess of the needs of most consumers.

Which is, of course, where the MacBook Air comes in. Apple’s consumer laptop has always been a balance between the fashionable thin wedge that Apple’s design team loved and the specifications needed to power a well specced laptop. It may be Apple’s entry-level laptop but it’s still a thousand dollar laptop.

The move to Apple Silicon and the launch of the MacBook Air with the M1 chipset in late 2020 removed the shackles on the macOS laptop and the benchmarks jumped up accordingly. Yet that chipset is now over a year old on consumer shelves, and presumably had much more development time spent on it. Apple has already uprated it for the aforementioned MacBook Pro laptops.

Apple’s next-generation M2 chip will be launched this year, and recent leaks have already pegged it as offering more performance that the M1 Pro and M1 Max currently available. The M2 is also expected to follow the M1 and debut in the MacBook Air, so it makes sense to hold off any upgrade to see the performance differential Apple will offer.

You also have to think about the design. The first Apple Silicon MacBook Air differed only fractionally from the previous Intel-powered MacBook Air laptops; it certainly gave the line a sense of continuity and reassurance that nothing had fundamentally changed and everything was business as usual… but it was already a tired laptop design.

Apple has show with the new MacBook Pro laptops that it has a new design language for its mobile computers. With the MacBook Air up next for a refresh, you can be sure that the design language is going to influence the consumer laptop in the same way as the professional laptop.

The move to the new design means you should consider what new features this year’s MacBook Air should come with. The move to a miniLED, which offers more vibrant colors for less power draw, would match the miniLED screens already found in the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro. The new MacBook Pro laptops also come with a fast charge system through the return of the MagSafe port (although you need to buy a new charger and cable at $150 if you wanted the fastest charging time possible). And they’re going to come in different pastel shades, in much the same way as last year’s M1 powered iMacs.

An increase in performance, a new sleek and modern design, and a number of new hardware features. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 with Apple’s MacBook Air. Just wait and see…

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