Choosing a Mac Laptop this Spring

Things are changing on the Mac laptop front. When the 2nd generation MacBook 12 was announced and released yesterday, Phil Schiller said that the MacBook is Apple’s vision for the future of the notebook. That’s a big deal.

We’ve also heard rumors of a 13″ and 15″ MacBook. Yesterday, the dates for Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference were announced. Let’s see… Looks like the 13″ and 15″ MacBooks will be the top of the line. I’m thinking we will get larger MacBooks with a little more oomph due to their larger size. Larger size equates to more room for batteries that could handle more power-hungry chips.

The MacBook 12″ would be the entry level model. The 12 is the smallest and lightest MacBook at the most affordable price point. Not sure whether the MacBook 13 will be called MacBook Pro or just the 15. Still, based on the history of the MacBook Pro, the 13 will be intermediate in price and the 15 will be higher and more full-featured. MacObserver was the first Mac site I saw yesterday that forecast the new MacBook Pros would be close in design to the MacBook 12. MacObserver guessed these will support Thunderbolt 3 via the USB-C port and might have a second USB-C port since there’s more room for one to accommodate a bigger 13 or 15 inch screen.

I can’t imagine getting a 15″ MacBook Pro. Great for screen size but I wouldn’t want to carry it or have it on my lap. But what happens if it is under 4 lbs? If so, it gets interesting to more people.

I’m much more interested in the 13″ MacBook. MacObserver predicts it will weigh well under 3 lbs. I will have to wait and see whether 12 or 13 seems more attractive once all the chips are on the table. If you have any doubts about the power of the latest MacBook 12 and would pay a little more if the right 13″ came along, you may want to join me.

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9 thoughts on “Choosing a Mac Laptop this Spring”

  1. Hey again, Janet.

    Over a decade ago when Apple first had a 12-inch and a 17-inch MacBook, I got the 12-inch. I’d been crying myself to sleep for years wishing for another supercompact, like they had in the mid-nineties.
    My sister, not a techie at all, said to a friend on the phone: “you should see the beautiful laptop my brother has.”

    And of course now they can make them way thinner and lighter. (I was rather taken aback when they made a Macbook *thinner* than the MacBook Air. Huh?)

    Btw, MacObserver, great site. I used to write for them, for pay, fifteen years ago! Same crew, and we’re still friends.

    Mmm, you know, I wonder if I’ll buy a laptop again. I rarely do serious work (except writing) when out, and my 13-inch iPad is just faaantastic. (With an external keyboard when needed.)

  2. Hey Eolake,

    Yeah, I was dying for a 2-3 lb laptop for years before Apple produced the Air. In my case, I absolutely need a Mac to do the FileMaker database development for my Studio Manager product and custom work. So tiny is good and I’ve loved the 2-lb MacBook 12 this last year.

    I’m hoping that eventually FileMaker will let me make at least basic changes from an iPad or even iPhone one of these days. Meanwhile I’m liking this new MacBook 12 and perhaps a forthcoming 13.

    Totally agree on the MacObserver site. Great that you wrote for them way back when!

  3. Thanks.
    I think it’s a lot of fun, writing. I’m not sure what to write about, though.
    My main blog (over ten years now!) is fun enough, but scatter-shot.
    And I was frankly disappointed by the lack of interest there is in reading about tablets/ereaders, so my tablet blog is not very active now. (And now tablets are pretty mature, there’s not a lot to say about them either.)
    Well, if it’s meant to happen, it will.

  4. I guess I am one of the knowledge enthusiasts (and tech enthusiasts obviously) that do care about and have lots of curiosity about tablets and ereaders. And, it seems inevitable that unless we come up with something entirely different, tablets are sticking around and getting more and more delightful as they get thinner, faster, better and more capable. Us readers, writers and thinkers need them to do our thing. Hope you keep at it. Tell us about the Kindle Oasis if you get one. And compare the 2 iPad Pros when you have both!

  5. Thanks. Those are beautiful wishes, but it actually illustrates part of the issue: I’m not getting either of them, if anybody can believe that. I already have the big iPad Pro, which is totally right-sized for me, and if I need a smaller one, I have an iPad Air as well as an iPad Mini, oh, and the iPhone Six-S-Plus. Sooo…

    As as for the Kindle… I have maybe eight Kindles! And though they’ve gotten better and better, especially since the Paperwhite, I pretty much don’t use them. I don’t read outdoors, and I find the screen, though good, to be much inferior to a good tablet. And also I find them slow and clumsy to navigate. (Why are they still so slow? Can it still be the screen?)

    This is actually sad to me, because I’ve loved the principle and promise of Kindles since the very first one (and I’ve blogged about them since the beginning).

    If mounted on my Flote floor stand, iPad Pro is my fave reader. If handheld/portable, it is my big iPhone.

  6. Ok. First, you will replace the Air 2 – and the iPad Pro 9.7 128 is only $50 more than Air 2 128.

    I have both iPad Pros because I like that leading edge and handed down the Air 2. So I guess I’ll have compare them in my own special way. In short the 9.7 is the traveling light device (w Smart Keyboard as the case) and big iPad Pro is for home and clients and when I am carrying a bag.

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