April 14, 2015

Who was the new MacBook designed for? (hint: not you)

Eric Griffin

It’s now old news that Apple resurrected the MacBook name and released a super-thin, ultra portable laptop. Unlike the previous MacBook model, which was an affordable entry-level computer, the new MacBook now finds itself in an interesting position as both the least powerful and more expensive laptop Apple offers. Wait – it’s less powerful AND more expensive than other models (like the MacBook Air)? Let’s dive in to that a bit.

Apple typically takes the good/better/best approach when it comes to product lines, and for good reason. The “good” lets price-sensitive customers adopt the product, the “better” strikes the perfect balance of performance and price, and the “best” gives the power-user what he or she craves. The new MacBook, however, doesn’t fit in to any of these categories.

Apple set out to do one thing, and one thing only: shed the weight. Unfortunately they did thisx` at the expense of virtually every aspect: battery life, speed, ports, cost, and the symbolic glowing Apple on the lid. When designing a lightweight, take-it-everywhere laptop, a few types of people come to mind as the target buyer: Entry-level users looking for their first Mac, students who need an affordable laptop, or writers/journalists who need portability and all day battery life.

The problem is that the MacBook isn’t the best option for any of these customers. Entry-level users will be disappointed with the MacBook’s speed and lack of ports (after all, if you’re just starting out you probably don’t have wireless-everything). Students, who are price sensitive, can get the more powerful yet still incredibly light MacBook Air for 30% less money. Writers can get the power they need to blog and edit images or video on the go with 30% more battery life by getting the MacBook Air.

So who was the new MacBook designed for? I’ve come up with 1 answer to this question: people who primarily use an iPad, but are looking to do more, AND aren’t price sensitive. At least with all of the qualms, Apple broke records with the MacBook’s design by making the lightest, thinnest fully functional laptop. Nope! sadly that title is held by the Microsoft Surface. Here’s a comparison:

Macbook vs Surface Pro 2

Maybe it was all an accident? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHZ8ek-6ccc

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