It’s now pushing December 2012 as I write this and the MacBook Air line from Apple is now the oldest Mac you can buy today. iMacs, Mac Mini’s and MacBook Pros have all seen refreshes and are new. In fact, the 2012 iMacs aren’t even shipping yet (update, they are here) and the 2013 MacBook Air should be the next Apple computer to be released. I hope.
Ultrabooks are here to stay, make no mistake and now that PC notebooks are under $400 and ultrabooks under $500 one has to ask themselves if it’s even worth it to buy a MacBook Air in 2013. IF you want to buy the cheapest ultrabook you can you can now pick up a chromebook for under $250. Granted there’s lots you can’t do with a chromebook thanks to it’s OS that’s really not much more than a chrome web browser. If you need to do some serious video editing or photo editing a chromebook isn’t for you, but you must admit it’s an attractive alternativ to a MacBook Air. You could buy five chromebooks for the same price as one MacBook Air. I know that with my work it’s all web based for the most part and I think I could make do with one. (I should buy a chromebook and test it and report back).
Is There a New MacBook Air Soon?
I have no inside information on the workings of Apple and their future products but I see a release date of early 2013 - maybe as early as mid January. This may be a little early as the lastest MacBook Air models were released in June 2012 so that’s just seven months from the last release if I’m right. Apple may take a bit longer to finally release a new MacBook Air but early winter to early spring is a good guess, and that’s all it is: a guess.
Will There Be a $500 MacBook Air?
I don’t think so. Apple has priced their products as high end consumer electronics rather than selling commodities like PC’s that are just the sum of their parts with Windows OS tacked on. These windows ultrabooks are priced at $500.00 now. Apple products have always been extraordinarily higher. Take tablets as an example: An iPad Mini costs over $300 while android based tablets like the Nexus 7 from google or the Kindle from Amazon are priced under $200.00. I think if there’s any discount on future MacBook Air’s it will be small. There could be a small price decrease – maybe a bump both MacBook Airs down in price by $200, but again – why would Apple do this? These small and light Apple notebooks are selling in the thousand dollar price range quite nicely and have for some time. I doubt Apple would do this.
What New Features Will the New MacBook Air Have?
A faster processor is a given. If nothing else, you’ll get a speed bump. I also wonder if Apple will include a lightning connector on future Apple product? I have no idea how this would be used but it’s a thought. A retinal display is probably a given, but one argument against this would be that the MacBook Air would cannibalize sales of MacBook Pros that already have retina displays. I don’t think that Apple will really change the MacBook Air that much. There’s only so small they can make the thing and I think they are real close to being there. More RAM and bigger SSD drives are another really good possibility as both ram and SSD prices continue to drop. This might be a good way for Apple to justify the higher pricing. More RAM and more storage is always welcome
Would I Buy a MacBook Air in 2013?
I’ve lived without a MacBook Air for over five years now, and I’ll probably continue along this path. I have a relatively fast windows notebook with Windows 8 with a lot more weight than the MacBook Air, but a much bigger screen and much cheaper. I could buy three of these notebooks for the price of one 13 inch MacBook Air. If I need to buy any notebook, I think a Google Chromebook is probably on my shopping list for any new ultrabook computer. I live in chrome and a text editor and as I type this I am listening to Pandora so I don’t even need to store any music. I think that in 2007 a MacBook Air was a much more attractive choice for a small and light notebook, but now with release of netbooks and chromebooks and ultrabooks with Windows 8 there are much cheaper choices for small and light computers in 2013.