Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Apple has cut the MacBook Air price and given it a display upgrade. Apple also updated the MacBook Pro and is offering a student discount on it.
The new MacBook Air price is $1,099, or $100 less than before. Additionally, there will be a $100 extra discount for students, which puts the effective price for students at $999. The MacBook Air will also now feature True Tone technology to offer better color reproduction. The other specs remain the same, including Intel’s dual-core eighth-gen i5 chips.
The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is getting a major overhaul. The device will now be powered by an eighth-generation quad-core processor, which the company claims will make it twice as powerful. The laptop will also now feature a Touch Bar, Touch ID and True Tone Retina display.
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Other upgrades include a three-mic array similar to that of the higher-end MacBook Pros, wider stereo speakers and Apple’s T2 Security Chip. The T2 Security Chip brings added security, support for “Hey Siri” without clicking the menu and more. It will mark the first time such premium features are making their way to an entry-level MacBook Pro.
In terms of price, the $1,299 MacBook Pro will also be subjected to the $100 student discount. The new entry-level MacBook Pro comes in two configurations: a 256 GB model for $1,499 and a $1,299 model with a 128 GB SSD.
“With a lower $999 student price for MacBook Air and the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with faster performance, Touch Bar and Touch ID at $1,199 for students, there’s never been a better time to bring a Mac to college,” Apple’s senior director of Mac product marketing, Tom Boger, said in a press release.
Apple said all its MacBooks will now feature a third-generation butterfly keyboard with some minor tweaks. Such tweaks will presumably help users avoid issues that have troubled MacBook owners in the past. The butterfly keyboard now will come with a rubber-like material underneath. This will not only keep debris and dust away but will also give extra bounce to the keys.
Apple acknowledged issues with the MacBook keyboards in March. Reports suggest that in the future, Apple will change the design of the keyboard to feature glass fiber.
Apple’s new MacBook Air price and updated MacBook Pro are part of its Back to School promotion, which starts today. The promotion is available to “higher education students, their parents, faculty, staff and home-school teachers” via the Apple Education Store. The promotion includes Beats headphones with eligible Mac or iPad purchases. There are also education discounts on qualifying Macs, iPads, AppleCare, selected accessories and services.
Which Beats headphones buyers get free depends on the type of purchase. For instance, on the purchase of the iPad Pro or iPad, buyers can choose from the Beats X, Beats Solo 3 Wireless, or a $199 credit to buy the Beats Studio 3. To get the Beats Studio 3 headphones free, education buyers will need to buy any Mac except the Mac mini.
Apple also discontinued its standard 12-inch MacBook today. The 12-inch MacBook debuted in 2015 as the smallest, lightest laptop from Apple. However, the device has lost its relevance in the current Apple line-up. It was more expensive than the MacBook Air, yet it offered fewer features and was slower.
The 12-inch MacBook also faced keyboard issues that troubled users of the 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Although Apple tweaked the keyboard in the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro to alleviate the issues, the keyboard on the regular MacBook was left untouched.
The $999 MacBook Air is not available on Apple’s site. According to the iPhone maker, the $999 MacBook Air will still be available through its Education Institution store. The 13-inch MacBook Air debuted in 2015 as a low-cost option. Apple updated the machine in 2017 by improving the Intel processor but kept the same sub-$1,000 price tag. By removing the two MacBooks, Apple has streamlined and simplified the lineup.