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October 29, 2018

Here’s how a new MacBook could blow us away (but we’re not holding our breath)

by John_A

Apple’s October 30 event is just around the corner, and if you believe the rumors, a new MacBook just might make an appearance. We don’t know much about this mythic laptop — whether it’ll be called a MacBook Air, MacBook, or maybe even an Apple Laptop (okay, okay, that one’s stupid).

What we do know for sure is that it’s been many years since Apple has shown any interest in selling cheap Macs. So, while ours hopes aren’t high that Apple will do all these things (or even one of these things), here are a few ways Apple could really bring us on board with a new MacBook.

A lower price

The price of the new MacBook will be the most important aspect about it. When we’re talking about the range of around a thousand bucks for a laptop every couple of hundred counts. The difference between $1,300 and $1,000 is a wide chasm. It’s the main reason we could never fully recommend the current 12-inch MacBook. As great of a laptop as it seemed, it sat at the same exact price as the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The rumors that this new MacBook is meant to replace the MacBook Air has us feeling more positively about the potential price point. The Air’s $1,000 price tag always made it an affordable way for college students and professionals alike to get into the Mac ecosystem. It’s about time Apple reclaimed that important segment of the laptop-buying population with a laptop that doesn’t feel five years old.

A broad demonstration of iOS apps on the Mac

Apple has stated repeatedly that it has no intention of ever merging iOS and MacOS. However, it has certainly demonstrated some ways they can share more of the same apps.

At WWDC this year, Apple gave us a hint as to how it would solve the Mac’s App Store problem. By changing some of the APIs involved behind-the-scenes, it’s now easier than before to port an app from iOS to MacOS. Apple started off with some low hanging fruit: First-party apps like Apple News and Stocks. But they promised more. The proof will be in the pudding of third party app support, and we’re hoping to see Apple show off a broad range of new apps that have brought over to the Mac.

If Apple shows off some high profile apps that weren’t previously available, we’ll be impressed — and a bit more hopeful about Apple’s new approach.

Insane thinness or weight

Most of us remember when Steve Jobs pulled the MacBook Air out of a manilla envelope on stage.

If this new MacBook is indeed a complete redesign, Apple could have made significant strides in the size of its chassis. The two-pound 12-inch MacBook is still one of the lighter laptops out there, but it no longer holds the record. Laptops like the Samsung Notebook 9 now hold the lightweight championship title, while the Acer Swift 7 is impossibly slim.

Laptops have become so slim, and so light, that only a drastic new design would let Apple take the crown. It’d likely be a controversial move, but it could also help the company regain its status as a trendsetter in laptop design, a title it hasn’t held for years.

Record-breaking battery life

Battery life is another area MacBooks used to trounce its rivals. The MacBook Air’s twelve-hour battery life was revolutionary at the time. Owning a Windows laptop used to mean you needed to be close to an outlet, but today, the roles have reversed.

Windows laptops have improved over the just a few years, and many now score better than the MacBook Pro, Air, or 12-inch MacBook. While the laptops like the new HP Spectre x360 are claiming over 20 hours of battery life, the MacBook hasn’t seen a significant increase in endurance for many years. In fact, the MacBook Pro saw a decline in battery life in its last redesign in 2016.

If Apple has managed to beat its peers and call dibs on some of Intel’s Whiskey Lake or Amber Lake processors, we could once again see a MacBook at the head of the pack in terms of battery performance.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • The best MacBook deals for October 2018
  • What to expect from Apple’s September 12 ‘Gather Round’ event
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