Back in 2010, Apple completely redesigned the MacBook Air and created one of the greatest devices to ever be called a Mac. The MacBook Air was a revelation. It was extremely thin and light while also having the power to complete most tasks. In addition to that, it also came with a long-lasting battery, meaning it could last for hours of computing. That is why the MacBook Air has been the status quo for years. Every Windows Ultrabook, every notebook, and every ultraportable has looked at the MacBook Air for guidance. Unfortunately, 2015 has not been very kind to the MacBook Air. Apple debuted a new 12-inch MacBook and updated the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which both directly competed with the MacBook Air. In addition to that, those that preferred Windows over OS X, Dell’s XPS 13 offered a solid alternative. To make matters worse, there is also the looming threat of the new iPad Pro, which begs the question: is the MacBook Air going extinct?
Over the past couple of years, it would have seemed absolutely ridiculous to purchase a MacBook Pro. This model was thicker than the Air with only slightly more power. Its battery wasn’t all that great and it was bulkier and heavier and more expensive. However, once the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display came out, things changed. The difference between this model and the MacBook Air is both simple and compelling and that is the display. The new MacBook Pro simply outshines the MacBook Air when put side-by-side. The Pro has a resolution three times that of the Air, wider viewing angles, and better contrast and color reproduction. In addition to that, there is also an IPS display with Retina-class resolution, which looks exponentially better than the Air.
Apple always has a plan though and their decision to leave the Air’s display at the lower quality and resolution should be seen as a calculated move. Apple is comfortable with keeping the Air as a technological tag-along in the MacBook family. This means that there are two likely reasons for this: the first is that the Air is heading for a future overhaul and its first redesign in five years. The second? It has absolutely no future and is waiting to pass into obscurity. Apple’s lineup is already crowded with the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air. The MacBook is the ultraportable machine of tomorrow with the MacBook Pro being the all-encompassing laptop of today. The MacBook Air’s future looks bleak and if the iPad Pro comes out, then that could very well be all she wrote of the Air.
In case you haven’t heard, the iPad Pro is expected to be a 12.9-inch device with optional keyboard and stylus accessories. It will have the ability to run two full apps side-by-side and will be based on iOS instead of OS X. In addition to that, there are already a lot of Apple iPad apps that are capable of replacing the basic productivity tools of Apple’s desktop software. Things like writing, photo editing, communication and keeping track of things on social media are all things that could easily be done on the iPad Pro instead of the MacBook Air. In addition to that, the iPad Pro could also be capable of handling other tasks that previous versions could not thanks to the attachable keyboard and stylus. Add that with a much thinner profile than any MacBook and it’s not hard to see why the Air could be on its way out the door.
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