Big screen, big money

Mac|Life - - CONSIDER -

While we were tak­ing the lat­est Macs for a spin for our re­views in this is­sue, in par­tic­u­lar the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro, some­thing about Ap­ple’s lineup of por­ta­ble Macs struck me as a lit­tle odd, verg­ing on an­noy­ing. There’s an in­her­ent as­sump­tion that if you want a larger screen, you must also want a beast of a ma­chine.

My own MacBook is a 15-inch Pro from the end of 2016. That isn’t be­cause I have real need of its four Thun­der­bolt 3 ports, the most pow­er­ful graph­ics pro­ces­sor Ap­ple puts in a por­ta­ble Mac, or its Touch Bar (though I do like that fea­ture). The pri­mary rea­son I bought it was for a larger dis­play. While test­ing the smaller por­ta­ble Macs, I got to won­der­ing how many peo­ple – of­fice work­ers, in par­tic­u­lar – would ben­e­fit from a more af­ford­able 15-inch MacBook in the slightly smaller, thin­ner, and lighter body in­tro­duced in 2016.

As with the 13-inch Pro, Ap­ple sells a “low-end” 15-inch model, though it costs $1,999, and is ac­tu­ally based on the old, slightly heav­ier de­sign with Thun­der­bolt 2 ports. Even then, it’s a bit bet­ter spec­i­fied than I have in mind.

I find it frus­trat­ing that there’s no truly af­ford­able 15-inch MacBook on which I can com­fort­ably view Num­bers spread­sheets, work on InDe­sign pages, and edit pho­tos. I doubt it’ll hap­pen, but I’d love to see Ap­ple rec­og­nize that reg­u­lar of­fice work­ers like my­self, who are in­creas­ingly mo­bile and not near an ex­ter­nal dis­play, some­times find even a 13-inch screen a tad too small.

From the re­sponses we re­ceived when I talked about this sub­ject in our email news­let­ter, some of you agree. How­ever, one reader pointed out a likely rea­son Ap­ple doesn’t ad­dress this sce­nario, which you can read about on the op­po­site page.

Speak­ing of our weekly email news­let­ter, if you’re not sub­scribed to it you can sign up at bit.ly/maclife­news to have your say on top­ics like this one. Or just email us with your thoughts on all things Ap­ple at let­ters@maclife.com.

alan stone­bridge, Twit­ter: @maclife Edi­tor

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