What is one of the biggest, literally, missing features of the MacBook Air? How about a bigger screen?
Unlike the MacBook Pro family, the MacBook Air is locked into a single screen size. If you want a macOS laptop with a bigger screen, you have no choice but to go for the more expensive and, in all likelihood, overpowered MacBook Pro. That’s the choice today, but if you want a better option, you should wait. Apple has something big planned for 2023.
Apple’s iPhone portfolio has expanded over the last decade to accommodate more price points, more features, and more models. That’s certainly helped with sales, but it also makes the buying decision a more personal experience, although the options still tend to scale everything up at once… if you want a larger phone, you’ll need to move up a model. That model also has higher specs, likely more storage, and a more powerful processor. You can’t just go bump up one feature and leave the rest as they stand.
The same is true in the Mac world, especially with Apple’s laptops. If you want a more powerful processor, then you’re going to move up to the next step in the portfolio, which means more processing power, more highly specced features, and more cost. The a la carte approach in the Windows PC market barely exists within Apple’s.
But that simple sliding scale of ‘better laptops’ will be challenged later this year with the launch of a new MacBook Air.
This MacBook Air will deliver something that fans of Apple’s consumer-focused laptop have repeatedly asked for. A larger screen. Apple is reportedly manufacturing these new laptops and the new display components right now.
Why is this new MacBook Air so interesting? Because those reports also point to Apple offering the 15-inch MacBook Air with the same Apple Silicon M2 chipset as the 13-inch MacBook Air models. Right now, if you want a larger screened MacBook, you have no choice but to jump up to the 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro models, with the old-style jumps in specs and performance.
The 15-inch MacBook Air looks like a simple ‘swap’ of the display. No doubt there will be a price increase for the larger display, but there won’t be any increased cost because Apple pops in some faster widgets to bump up the dollars on the sticker.
A quick sidebar; some reports suggest Apple could be including an option on this 15-inch MacBook Air to bump up the processor to the M2 Pro chipset seen in the MacBook Pro family. If this is the only 15-inch option, this would be a curious option by Apple. If this does come to pass, I hope that Apple offers both the M2 and the M2 Pro for a larger MacBook Air.
With the upcoming MacBook Air, Apple is opening up the Mac laptop portfolio to offer consumers more choices at each price point. While Apple’s approach is still far less modular or option-heavy than the competition, this change will be welcomed by many. Assuming the 15-inch option is just the larger screen and no bells or whistles get added to lift up the price.
Now read the latest MacBook, iPhone, and App Store news in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop column…
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