Apple has plans to release an affordable laptop and a Mac mini aimed at professionals by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported today. The releases would update product lines that have been running long in the tooth.
The Mac mini desktop hasn't been replaced since its last update in fall 2014. It currently starts at $499, but the report suggests that the new Mac will be oriented towards professionals with more storage and processor options that could drive up the price.
Apple's current cheapest laptop is the MacBook Air, which starts at $999. If a new low-cost option is coming to Apple's notebook line, this would be the computer to beat. Bloomberg's report suggests that the new laptop, which will reportedly still be called the Air, will still have a 13-inch screen, but finally, after years of speculation, get a high-resolution retina display along with thinner bezels. No word on if it will you use the same polarizing keyboard seen on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, or if it will have ports other than Thunderbolt 3. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Quanta Computer, which make the existing MacBooks, will reportedly make the new laptop. Apple declined to comment to Bloomberg.
The rumor that a low-cost MacBook is coming has been around for awhile, but it gained weight today considering Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who shares the byline on the Bloomberg article with Debby Wu, has a long history of inside sources at Apple.
Apple is releasing the newest version of macOS, Mojave (10.14), so it's possible that if there are new machines, Apple will choose to unveil them closer to that launch.
Now, they play it coy with the Mini Mac, after waiting for almost two years for it to come out, I'm close to moving on the HP Z2 Mini, which has an i7-8700, 32GB, 1TB SSD and is 8"x8"x3". The Z2 is going on to it's 4th Generation, which will come out any week now. Digital Storm was hinting at their Spark SFF, but they are playing Apple's game too. No indication when that will come out, after waiting 8 months.
I'm tired of playing Apple's guessing game anymore. I tried twice to buy their products, and both times I am let down--because they give no heads up on product plans.
I'd expect a low cost Macbook to have 2GB of RAM and an intel core-duo with a 500 GB hard drive ...
You don't need a high powered mac for Lightroom, Excel, Word, Powerpoint etc..... I think they should reword the article as being designed for "commercial" use, like in the retail space as well, secretaries, office workers etc..... I think that's the market they're trying to capture with a lower cost mac.
I think probably the best way to achieve this is to plop in a Ryzen 2200GE processor. You would have good quad core and graphics performance for cheap. Add a custom case, ram and motherboard with an external power supply and you've got a great office PC.