MacBook Air 2013 – Three Reasons it is the new Laptop Standard
By Jim Lundy
Last week at Apple’s WWDC, Apple announced new models of its pioneering MacBook Air laptop computer. There was so much focus on iOS 7 at that event that most seem to have missed what we feel may be a new standard in PCs. This post is about why we feel the MacBook Air just became the new standard for knowledge workers everywhere
First, let’s get to the reasons why. The three things that make it the machine to beat:
1. Flash Storage via Solid State Drives (SSD).
2. All Day Battery of up to 12 hours.
3. Light Weight, at under 3 pounds.
The MacBook Air has been around since January, 2008. Since its introduction, it has been one of the most talked about designs (and one of the most copied). We have had a 2011 version of the MacBook Air in-house at Aragon Research and it has performed flawlessly. The one thing that held it back was that the processor power was a little light and the SSD options were a little pricey.
That all changed with the new 2013 MacBook Air models that were introduced last week. First, with lower prices that start at $1,099 for the 13″ edition, that will make this unit appealing to consumers. It is the higher end configurations that enterprises should pay attention to. It is the 13″ 256 GB Model that is the new ideal configuration for Knowledge Workers.
Macbook Air – All Day Battery and Flash (SSD) Storage
On top of that, it is the complete update to the unit that could make it challenge the MacBook Pro for office supremacy. The All Day Battery now means that people won’t feel panicky if they forget their power cord. Enterprises can now pick between 128GB or a base of 256 GB of Flash Storage. Storage was the one thing that held back mass adoption of the MacBook Air and now that issue is off the table. We recommend that enterprises who are replacing aging laptops evaluate units with SSDs for office work. The MacBook Air needs to be on the list.
MacBook Air and the Power of Industrial Design
Lastly, the weight of the Macbook Air at under 2.68 pounds, keeps it as the category leader. No matter who you are, you can’t argue with the form factor of the MacBook Air. What is interesting is the timelessness of the design. It is fundamentally the same form factor that it was in 2008. The power of design at Apple is an unmistakeable differentiator. What is so interesting is that the MacBook Air design has stood the test of time. No competitor has taken this core design further and many have tried. Note that the executive in charge of the design for the Macbook Air was none other than Jonathan Ive.
So, while the Developers may need MacBook Pros for extra ports, it isn’t clear that the Pro is better for heavy graphics; the new MacBook Air more than holds its own in performance comparisons.
So, our bottom line is that the MacBook Air has just become much more of a mainstream choice for business buyers. Of course, MacBook Pro models will be updated later this year and we do expect similar improvements to those models. Consumers and Enterprises now have more choice and ultimately given the speed and flexibility of the MacBook Air, user productivity just got a boost.