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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Macbook Air will survive tablet domination

Apple intends to continue selling its traditional computers by making separate devices that work in unison instead of a one-size-fits-all gadgetry.
Asia One - July 8, 2013
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Macbook Air will survive tablet domination

As smartphones and tablets have become more powerful mobile computing devices, the need for laptop computers is dwindling.

Sure, laptops are still around, but the majority of consumers today are looking at tablets as a better option for their mobile computing needs. Add a keyboard accessory and the tablet transforms into a productivity machine.

Tablets and smartphones have reached a point where its power and functionality rival that of a computer (albeit their differing form factor), and consumers have dismissed laptops as a less portable option.

Knowing that they are in trouble, laptop manufacturers have been coming up with a myriad of innovations that adopt key tablet features in order to stay relevant in this post-PC era.

We've seen laptops that convert into tablets in many different ways. Laptop displays have touch screens similar to that of tablets, giving consumers a reason to stick to one machine as opposed to having a computer and a tablet separately.

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system showed us that its new hybrid UI can be a better experience than having to use multiple devices.

Meanwhile, Apple is playing a different game. At its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company claims that its Mac line is still healthy, particularly its laptops, and they still continue to push updates to meet demands.

On one hand, its high-end Macbook Pros are still sought after by professionals (photographers, designers, movie producers, sound engineers), whereas its consumer-level Macbook Air (MBA) remains popular among regular folks, especially those who are buying into the complete Apple ecosystem (iPhone, iPad and Mac).

Unlike the rest of the competition who are desperately attempting to do something different, Apple hasn't been doing any cosmetic changes to the MBA since its last major overhaul three years ago except for its internals, and they're still selling very well alongside the iPads.

Although they may seem like incremental updates each year, Apple continue to push boundaries with innovations under the hood.

The latest line of MBAs are equipped with more energy-efficient processors (fourth-gen Intel Haswell) and better battery technology that can get your machine going for up to 12 hours!

It's amazing how far we've come with laptop technology. Less than a decade ago, battery life on laptops average at about one to two hours. Today, MBAs have entered iPad territory of lasting a day without charge.

All that in addition to a more generous amount of Solid State Drive (SSD) storage (the base 11-inch Air now starts at 128GB) to a more affordable price point, making the MBA among the few laptops that can truly hold itself against the rise of tablets.

This isn't an attempt by Apple to get their customers to ditch their iPads for the MBA. Far from it. This is Apple's attempt to win on all fronts.

A lot of people have been expecting Apple to merge the iPad and the MBA into a convertible Macbook someday, but the company thinks that convertibles aren't practical, and prefer its customers to use its Mac, iPad and iPhone separaately.

I think it all comes down to preference. It's good to have choices. There are indeed a group of people who actually prefer a hybrid machine. Others prefer different set of devices that perform different tasks.

But this is how Apple intends to continue to sell its traditional computers; by making its products separate devices that work in unison instead of a one-size-fits-all gadgetry.

Apple's unveiling of refreshed MBA units at WWDC continues to create demand for its Macs amidst the growing popularity of iOS.

So while many are anticipating the next iPhone and iPad, they have new MacBooks to keep them busy.


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