IF YOU’RE A REGULAR READER of INQ, you’re probably aware that I’m a fan of Apple, and some of you may even refer to me as ‘iCarly’ in the comments below. Thanks for that.
It's true. I adore Apple products and have done since I got my first MacBook Pro around eight years ago. I 'upgraded' to an 11in MacBook Air in 2014 and while it’s still in perfect working order, I’ve been quietly planning my next MacBook purchase.
But, last night, something odd happened, and for the first time in eight years, I wondered whether my next laptop might be a non-Apple device instead.
This out of body experience came soon after Apple lauded its new MacBook Pros, 13in and 15in machines that initially had me drooling with their slimmed down aluminium designs, Touch ID sensor and Touch Bar, a largely unnecessary but dazzling dynamic touchscreen display that sits above the keyboard.
However, when I delved into the specs, my initial excitement soon went the same way as Apple’s MagSafe connector.
Which brings me to my first point. MagSafe is a brilliant, loyal piece of kit. I’ve lost count of the number of times I've tripped over my MacBook charger and ripped it out of laptop, and it's still going strong. This likely won't be the case with USB-C, which Apple has decided to replace MagSafe with on the new MacBook Pros.
As well as not being as durable as MagSafe, Apple’s decision to go solely with USB-C ports means I've just bought a new phone that, if I decided to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro, I can’t plug into my ruddy laptop. Unless I cough up £25 for a new cable.
It also means that, if I decide to buy Lightning headphones for my iPhone 7, I won’t be able to hook these up, either. I'm sure many are pleased with Apple’s decision to retain the 3.5mm port on its new MacBooks, but if it’s so confident that the future of audio lies in wireless - and its Lightning-enabled headphones - why is it keeping its new laptops stuck in the past?
The MacBook Pro’s specs are also arguably, for a self-styled ‘professional’ laptop, somewhat sub-par. The screen, while a bit brighter and more colourful, offers the same resolution as a laptop Apple released two years ago, and the Intel 6th-generation innards under the hood have since been surpassed by the chipmaker’s newer, 7th-generation Kaby Lake offering.
I’ll be honest, I use my MacBook mainly for writing, texting and posting GIFs on Twitter, so I can probably let things like the inclusion of Intel 6th-gen chips go.
One thing I cannot let go, let alone get over, however, is the price of Apple’s new MacBooks. Here in the UK, the newfangled 13in and 15in laptops cost £1,749 and £2,349.
First off: screw you, Brexit. Secondly, that’s around £300 and £450 more than the starting prices for Apple’s previous-generation MacBook Pros, not to mention hundreds of pounds pricier than similarly-specced Windows 10 machines.
This basically means that, on my journalist salary of a few coins and crisps, I cannot afford a MacBook Pro, which is what I had in mind for my next upgrade.
Nor can I get a new 11in MacBook Air, like I’m currently using because Apple has decided to kill the ruddy thing off.
What Apple wants me to do, it says, is to opt for its sub-standard 13in MacBook model, that's had the Touch Bar scrubbed and two of its USB-C ports taken away. This is the ideal upgrade for MacBook Air users, I'm told. Great!
Oh, but wait. Apple has decided to slap the thing with a £1,449 price tag, almost double what I paid for my 11in MacBook Air just two years ago.
Apple (and, admittedly, Brexit) has priced me out of the MacBook market. Maybe, just maybe, if it had a MagSafe connector, better specs and offered the ability for me to plug my iPhone into it, I'd maybe start saving, but instead, I might start looking elsewhere for my next laptop.
RIP 11in MacBook Air (and iCarly). µ
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