The Bigger Picture of a Small Thing

On March 9th, Apple announced the new MacBook. Odd naming conventions aside, the Internet’s reaction to it was largely irrational; the biggest complaints being the lack of ports and wondering what’s the point of such a device. Yes the MacBook will be available in the present, but it’s really geared towards setting the stage for the future - as was the case with the MacBook Air.

Going back a few years, the original Air was underpowered upon it’s 2008 release, as will be the new MacBook. Today, the Air is a fully functional notebook that can serve the needs of most people. It had set the stage for big changes such as the removal of a DVD drive, which later affected the Pro lineup. Today, it’s taken for granted that you don’t need a disc drive in your notebook and most people don’t complain.

In the same regard, the MacBook is the first step in stripping even more I/O ports and devices. If you’re not ready for that change now, no one is forcing the device down your throat. Take for example the 13-inch non-retina MacBook Pro still for sale. All the ports you currently need will likely still be available many years down the line.

And then there are the technical advancements required to produce the MacBook which are transposable towards the rest of the lineup. During the keynote, I found the reduced size of the logic board to be the most impressive aspect. Sure, not requiring a fan helps reduce the footprint, although we can expect a revision in the design of the MacBook Pro’s logic board for next year, leaving more room for batteries. A plus all across the board.

I mentioned the odd naming convention at the top of the post. Obviously I’m referring to the fact that the MacBook is lighter & smaller than the MacBook Air. Quite a head scratcher if you ask me. This makes me believe, to many people’s chagrin, that we may never see a retina display on MacBook Airs because they will reach end-of-life within 2 years. I’m predicting this was the last revision to the Air lineup. Next year they will sell-off what is left and then the MacBook family will be trimmed-down to the MacBook (effectively replacing the Air as the “ultrabook”) and MacBook Pro, for those who need the ports and more power.

Image source: iDownloadBlog