9To5Mac’s Ben Livejoy says he’s something of a fanboy where Apple laptops are concerned, and observes that while the split between the MacBook Air and Pro ranges has made sense for a whole bunch of reasons up to now, differences between the two MB families have become markedly smaller, with Airs and Pros both using SSDs for storage, and neither any longer offering mega capacities by today’s standards. Both have effectively non-upgradeable RAM. Neither has an optical drive. Neither has Ethernet. And the base model 15-inch MacBook Pro has even lost the discrete graphics support that used to help distinguish it from lesser MacBooks, while you can buy a MacBook Air with a Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, nad 512GB SSD, and its Intel HD Graphics 5000 IGPU will happily drive a 27-inch Thunderbolt Display at full resolution alongside its own display, making it a practical machine even for demanding tasks like video editing.
Lovejoy says once they put a Retina display into a MacBook Air, and use the wedge approach to slim down that MacBook Pro, will there really be justification for two distinct MB ranges? He thinks not, and says he’s confident there will be a single MacBook range by 2015 or even late 2014.
I’m inclined to agree, although model redundancy has never seemed to trouble Apple, which has often had three different 13-inch notebooks in their product range in recent years. However, with the current three 13-inchers priced at $1099, $1199, and $1299 for theit base models, there’s a case to be made for some convergence. CM
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