Apple Revises MacBook Air and Entry-Level MacBook Pro, Quietly Removes MacBook From Sale

This morning, Apple has announced an updated MacBook Air. The new machine is the same as the 2018 model, but now includes a True Tone display. The MacBook Air now starts at $1,099, while students can buy one for $999.

I think Apple has finally gotten the starting price right for the MacBook Air.1

One rung up the product line, the two-port MacBook Pro, previously dubbed the “MacBook Escape” by the Mac faithful, has received a pretty big overhaul. Here’s a bit from Apple’s press release:

The entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.

Both of the new notebooks ship with the “new materials” keyboard tweak that showed up in the recent MacBook Pro revision. No scissor keyboards here.

I think this makes the MacBook Pro line much more cohesive. For $1,299, a customer can get a machine with all the features of the more expensive models, and as they go up the line, the machines become faster, pick up an extra two ports and eventually, a larger display with the 15-inch model.

Every MacBook Pro comes with the Touch Bar now, and all Mac notebooks come with Touch ID and Thunderbolt 3. The latter puts to rest previous incompatibilities between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro that often led to strife in Dongletown.

(Apple, please come out with Touch ID in an external keyboard for us desktop users…)

Noticeably absent from these updates is the 12-inch MacBook. In fact, the small machine seems to be missing from Apple’s website entirely:

It makes sense to me that now would be the time to kill off the MacBook. The MacBook Air is a great notebook, and the MacBook Pro line makes more sense now than it has at any point in the last three years. In fact, from top to bottom, the whole Mac notebook line seems pretty easy to understand again.

  1. The old, non-Retina MacBook Air has been removed from sale as a result.