Big screen, big money
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.
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alan stonebridge, Twitter: @maclife Editor