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RIP MacBook Air – Hello to the new MacBook Pro!

During the #AppleEvent today, Apple made it clear how proud it is of its new MacBook Pro – and it has every reason to be. With the new Touch Bar alone, the shiny new MacBooks are easily the best made and most innovative machines Apple has released to date.

But as the event went on, those who love their MacBook Air were left with a quick note: there would actually be no new MacBook Air. Instead, vice president Phil Schiller encouraged those who are interested in the MacBook Air to instead check out the new 13-inch MacBook Pro for a number of pretty legitimate reasons:

  1. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is 12% thinner than MacBook Air
  2. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is 13% smaller in volume than MacBook Air
  3. Both MacBooks weigh the exact same (around 3 pounds)
  4. The new MacBook Pro has a 13-inch retina display, faster storage, and faster graphics
  5. It's essentially the same – yet better? – than your current MacBook Air in almost every way, shape, and form, and only for the starting price tag of $1,499 (no Touch Bar at that price).

Battery life

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has up to 10 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch MacBook Air has up to 12. The new MacBook Pro isn't an improvement in this department, but all those extra features have to take up some battery, right?

Ports

Four thunderbolt 3 ports for the MacBook Pro, through any of which you can charge the MacBook. The MacBook air has two thunderbolt ports.

Touch Bar

The MacBook Air doesn't have a Touch Bar, but the low-end MacBook Pro which acts as a replacement doesn't have one either. If you want the Touch Bar, you can pick up the model that's a step up which is still only 13 inches, starting at $1799.

Processors

The MacBook Air is powered by a fifth-generation Core i5/i7 processor, while the new MacBook Pro is powered by the same with 8GB 2133MHZ of memory – it's nearly 2x faster than the previous 13-inch MacBook.

RIP, 11-inch MacBook Air

While the 13-inch MacBook Air remains on sale for $999 — for now — the 11-inch model has been officially discontinued. iMore's Serenity Caldwell wrote an ode to her poor laptop elsewhere. You can still pick up the 11-inch Air from Apple's online refurbished store, but who knows for how long.

What do you think?

Are you mourning the loss of the #MacBookAir? Or are you excited to get your hands on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

34 Comments
  • Sad in Canada on Apple's site I no longer see the 11" MacBook Air, just the 13" MBA. Without the air, the starting price for a MacBook just went way up. That new starter MacBook Pro 13" they announced today starts at around $1,899. So much for the days of getting a Mac laptop for around $1,000. : (
  • The lowest starting price for any MacBook went up from $899 (11" air) to $999 (13" air).
  • Once that air is gone though, it will go up even more. If they get rid of the Air what are people left with? The MacBook still just uses a Mobile processor. Glad they didn't touch the Mac mini for now, its what I love and use at home.
  • I expect that they will only drop the 13" air when they are able to get the 12" MacBook down to $999 or $1099. Part of the way they could do that is to drop the starting capacity to 128 Gb from 256 Gb, matching the Air's starting capacity. Maybe they will keep around a previous gen of MB like they are doing with the MB Pro. Hopefully by the time the next gen MacBook is announced (March '17?), the processor will be equivalent to the Air's.
  • Macbook uses Core M processor, which is the low power variant of Core i mobile series. It is almost identical to Core i except a few specs directly related to power usage, compare the Intel spec charts. Retina Macbook is an excellent entry level machine for those who want macOS power in an iPad footprint.
  • As of this moment, the 11" air is still on the store here in the US, as far as I can see. But if it's being removed from some other pages, that means supplies are probably limited and they will eventually just let them run out. Those who need to look however, should find them on resellers sites who already have them in hand, or get one shipped from the US, perhaps. My hope is those prices will drop a little bit. The air used to be $200 more at the low end, if I'm not mistaken.
  • The 11" is gone from the Canada Apple Store but some are in the refurb area. I think I will get a 13" Air next week since its the cheapest option and seems like that option will soon be gone. Things are just so much more here in Canada. The 13" Air here is a fair price and I don't mind paying. Still plenty powerful for me and small.
  • My first thoughts are: Likes
    1) Love the idea of the touch bar. Kind of an extension of the screen without making the laptop a touch screen.
    2) Love the new larger track pad.
    3) Love the idea of thunderbolt 3 everywhere. Dislikes
    1) Disappointed in the memory. Hoping they could've been expanded to 32GB.
    2) Display port 1.2 only? Don't you need display port 1.3 to drive an external 5K monitor? Does one need two cables attached to the an external 5K monitor? Maybe I'm wrong, in which case this dislike may move up to a like. Will have to wait for
    1) External Apple branded bluetooth keyboard with touch bar.
    2) Apple 5K cinema display hopefully this winter with new iMacs.
  • The 5k monitor is driven over thunderbolt 3 (Still over USB-C) not displayport. And it only uses 1 cable. 5K Cinema display will almost certainly never happen now. Apple worked with LG on a 5K monitor instead. Obviously they didn't get the margins they wanted to carry a product like that themselves.
  • So they are serious about these prices?
  • Unfortunately yes, they charge what they want and know people will still buy them.
  • That's the problem. If people voted with their wallets and waited to buy, maybe apple would get off their high horse and bring the prices down to a price everyone can afford. Sent from the iMore App
  • So....students should spend more than a grand now? Guess the used market will soar. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple's refurb store is where I always shop.
  • Whenever Apple introduces models that replace older models you can find great deals on brand new "old" models because retailers want to get rid of existing stock to make room for the new stuff.
  • When I bought my first IBM laptop w/Win 95, it cost me approx. $3,000 with my student discount and Office 95 software.
  • Bear in mind that the price of hardware has gone down a lot from way back then
  • Same here. At the time it was the next to best one out.
  • As much as we (mostly) all knew it was coming, sooner or later, I'm kinda sad to see the MacBook Air retiring. I feel it's probably the single most iconic laptop computer ever relaeased. Period. :-(
  • I remember when the MacBook Air was first released, it was amazing to see a computer that thin that was still a very capable computer, and you could see on Steve's face in the keynote that he was genuinely amazed with it too. It's sad to see it go, but hopefully the next iteration of the "MacBook" will contain more ports and be a lot more powerful, then it can justifiably replace the Air
  • I think the iPad is really replacing the Air for Apple. Their entry into the ecosystem is the iPad and if you need serious computing, be ready to thrown down 1-grand to get to that level.
  • I don't think it is, I think the "MacBook" is replacing the Air. Apple's sensible enough to know that there's still a large market for people who want a lightweight machine that runs a desktop OS.
  • funny to see apple became a Phone and windows computer only company. wow do love the surface studio and people will love it. apple does not care about computer market. overpriced and not really building high and low end devices only the price looks like a high end device. will carry my MacBook as long as i can and then see
  • Apple devices have been overpriced for as long as I can remember, they class themselves as a premium brand and know people will continue to pay no matter what they charge. I think Apple still very much cares about the computer market, and there are low and high end devices. The "MacBook" is the low end device and the Pro is the high-end one
  • These are a decent refresh. The TouchBar looks like a nifty little feature, but not necessarily a *must have* feature. At least Apple has brought their laptop offerings in line with everyone else's now - it had been a little embarrassing for them.
  • The Touch Bar is one of those things where until people have used it for a year and when all the applications support it, is when you'll know if it's a "must have". Before I started using MacBooks and was using Windows laptops, I had heard people talk about the MacBook's trackpad gestures, and I thought to myself "that's a nifty little feature to have". Now that I've used a MacBook with the trackpad and its gestures, along with the gesture for Mission Control in which I love Mission Control, I realize now that I can't really live without it. The Touch Bar could be a "must have" but it needs to be put to the test with all major applications supporting it.
  • The TouchBar is pretty interesting & it appears can be powerful also. It was a good idea to show off some of the powerful software apps that will use it & how it can be used. But for me, the price to get a Mac of that 'caliber' of machine is tooo much. Maybe the IPad Pro will be taking the IPad Air in some fashion?
  • I'm really happy i bought a 13 inch air a few months ago on sale. In hindsight i think i got a good deal and it fits my needs more. If they phase out the airs well at least i got a laptop that can last a while and **** it does do windows quite well.
  • you actually censored the word "h" "e" double hockey sticks? lol
  • Macbook Air has no future, it is not Retina. If you add Retina to it, then you get a Macbook Pro because of the battery and required internal improvements. Also there are low-end 13" and 15" models without the Touch Bar. And as long as it sells, Apple will keep the 13" MBA in the inventory. Just like they did with the old 13" MBP w/DVD.
  • Apple did not retire the actual 13 and 15 inch models without the Touch Bar, they are still sold.
  • I love how Cella says "and only for the starting price tag of $1,499". As if everyone has $1,499 just sitting around burning a hole in their pocket. I don't own a Mac, and probably never will, unless it's the lowest-priced Mac Mini, because I can't justify the cost.
  • The thing with Macs is that you need to have used one for at least 6 months before you can decide whether it's worth the price. I was along with you before I'd tried a Mac, thinking they were way too expensive when I could just get a Windows laptop with the same specs for a lot cheaper. I was provided with a Mac for work, and it took me a bit of time getting used to it, but now if I wanted to buy another laptop it'd have to be a Mac. It's many little things that when combined together, make the Mac great. On the MacBook Pro, full-sized back-lit keyboard, large trackpad with a wide variety of gestures that work flawlessly which greatly increase my productivity, an OS that I've had barely any problems with and has some nifty features, and the machine looks and feels great, incredibly sturdy and doesn't suffer with things such as the trackpad staining or the letters wearing off the keyboard
  • yeah i can't tell if its a snide remark or just elitist. but regardless the laptop looks great. I'm still using my dependable MacBook air and will continue to until the day it dies.