Macworld USA – September 2019

(Kiana) #1
SEPTEMBER 2019 MACWORLD 13

RIP, MacBook. (For now, maybe?)

Pro, as well as the latter getting a more
streamlined selection of models. (For the
moment, we’ll set aside the frustrations
about Apple laptops voiced from certain
corners, including keyboard woes.)
The simultaneous discontinuation of
the 12-inch MacBook, Apple’s smallest
and most lightweight offering, seemingly
brings the laptop lineup back into the
territory of that two-by-two product grid:
the MacBook Air is Apple’s consumer
portable; the MacBook Pro is its
professional model.
But this also means that, for the first
time in a long time, Apple’s desktop lineup
provides a broader range of options than
its laptop bench. You have the Mac mini,
the iMac, the iMac Pro, and the
forthcoming Mac Pro. Even if you jammed
the iMac and the iMac Pro into the same
product box, your grid
would still be straining
at the seams. In fact,
you can pretty much
move the desktops
into their own two-by-
two product grid:
all-in-one consumer
(iMac) and
professional (iMac
Pro) models versus
modular
consumer (Mac
mini) and


professional (Mac Pro) models.
Even that analogy is imperfect: while
the Mac Pro and iMac Pro are clearly
professional-level machines, the iMac and
Mac mini are hardly slouches.

THE MISSING LINK
So, what gives? Is Apple all in on desktops
over laptops now? One interpretation
might be that Apple has realized mobile
computing has shifted toward iOS
devices, especially for the kind of
lightweight category that the 12-inch
MacBook used to fill.
Still, the MacBook lineup seems to be
missing something. Since the MacBook
Air’s introduction back in 2008, Apple’s
always had a thin, light laptop in the mix,
usually representing the puck toward
which the company is skating with its
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