When the MacBook Air came out in 2008, it was considered the standard for ultra-portable notebooks. The MacBook Air took a couple years for commercial acceptance, but it took off in a way that nobody had ever expected. The MacBook Air led to the creation of the competing Intel Ultrabook, but none of the Intel or Windows-powered devices could come close to matching the Air’s success.
Things have changed in the past couple of years, and the MacBook Air may not be the unique device it used to be. Microsoft’s Surface Pro took a couple of generations to take off, but the Surface Pro 3, released in June of 2014, was the first device that was easily seen as a MacBook Air killer. Tech Times wrote an article last year on the topic.
“It appears though that Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is being put in competition against Apple products such as the iPad and MacBook Air. Based on a few reviews gathered, Microsoft’s latest baby is a killer.”
Then, there is the Dell XPS 13, which Computerworld thought was a much better buy than the MacBook Air.
“Dell’s new XPS13 is a MacBook Air killer that shoehorns a 13-inch screen into a bezel that would normally hold an 11-inch panel. The new laptop also features Intel’s new Broadwell U CPU and a high-resolution touch screen.”
The main thing holding the Surface Pro 3 and XPS 13 back was the much-disliked Windows 8 operating system. However, now that both devices come with the much-acclaimed Windows 10, they continue to take away customers who would have normally purchased a MacBook Air.
However, it’s not just Windows devices that are taking attention away from the MacBook Air. Earlier this year, Apple released the ultra-light 12-inch MacBook, which has a Retina screen (unlike the MacBook Air) and has an updated design. As BGR says, the device that may really kill off the MacBook Air is the iPad Pro, due to be announced this week.
“Effectively, the iPad Pro could be turned into a MacBook killer, a product that would rival similarly sized MacBooks and other laptops. That’s assuming Apple and its partners can deliver on the software side.”
The “software” side could be a huge issue, given that, unlike the MacBook Air, the iPad Pro won’t be running a full desktop operating system. However, iOS is more than adequate for many, who just need a device for word processing, Internet surfing, and multimedia capabilities. The MacBook Air will always have a place in technology history, even if it isn’t quite relevant like it was five years ago.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News]