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Apple announces new 13-inch MacBook Pros, updated MacBook Air, discounts for students

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Apple has just announced two new 13-inch MacBook Pros and killed off the Touch Bar-less models introduced in 2016. The 2018 MacBook Air (review) also gets a minor update.

The update to the 2018 MacBook Air is minor, only bringing support for True Tone to the device’s Retina display. True Tone is Apple-speak for technology that matches the whiteness of the display to that of ambient lighting. In other words, if you’re in a room with yellow light, the display will turn slightly yellow so as to seem more natural.

The Apple MacBook Air finally gets a display that can stand alongside the Pro models.

The bigger update comes to the MacBook Pro line, which sees the death of the Touch Bar-less MacBook Pros and the introduction of two new, updated 13-inch MacBook Pros with TouchBar.

While the usefulness of the TouchBar is debatable, the update brings more structure to Apple’s previously fragmented line-up.

The MacBook Pros have a TouchBar, the Air doesn’t. The new models also come with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports as opposed to four as seen on the 2018 Touch Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The specs of the new models are as follows:

  • CPU: 1.4 GHz quad core 8th gen Intel CPU
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
  • RAM: 8 GB 2,133 MHz LPDDR3
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB SSD
  • Display: 13-inch Retina Display with True Tone
  • Features: Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • IO: 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports

Price: $1,299 / $1,499 in the US and starts at Rs 1,19,000 in India. College students can get the base model for Rs 1,11,264.

The 2018 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro is significantly more powerful and comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, but that power won’t really be necessary for most users.

The one thing we can’t fathom is why Apple is still offering a 128 GB storage option on a “Pro” device. It’s 2019, phones offer more storage than that. The pricing is also egregious, with an upgrade to 256 GB storage costing $200 in the US.

On the plus side, the 8th gen CPUs are, in some applications, twice as fast as the ones on the 2017 non Touch Bar MacBook Pros that the new models replace.

The new MacBook Air, on the other hand, is unchanged except for the addition of True Tone support. It still features a low power dual-core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. As with the new Pro models, the Air also sees a student discount, bringing the price of the 128 GB base model to Rs 92,704. The display still lacks P3 support, which means it can show only two-thirds as many colours as the MacBook Pro models.

Indian pricing is still steep when compared to international markets, but when compared to similarly specced Windows machines in India, the value proposition isn’t too terrible.

Interestingly, the venerable and pointless-in-2019 MacBook Air from 2015 is finally gone from the store, as is the woefully underpowered 12-inch MacBook.

As we follow the planned launch of India’s second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 on 15 July, you can find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.

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