Last night, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. It was streamed, so I had a chance to catch up on that while preparing the kids for bed. One of the things that I dislike disproportionately is that all keynotes are now pre-recorded, polished, and scripted down to the second. It becomes eerily weird to watch a tech keynote that feels like a multi-million dollar Hollywood production at the same time. And this isn’t only Apple – Microsoft and Google do the same now. I wish we’d get back to presenting with a live audience and allow room for human errors and ‘errs’ during the talks.
I’m not much of an Apple user. I have a few leftover iPad Minis that the 4-year-old gets to use for Youtube Kids. No iPhone, no Apple Watch, and I snicker when I see someone willingly and voluntarily using Safari on any device. “Just why would you do that” I yell to myself silently.
Yet, the MacBook Air has always been a neat device. The latest refresh announced last night now has the new M2 processor, a more professional-looking design, and an excellent resolution. It looks like a suitable device for work, even if my work revolves around Microsoft-based elements. I could easily do blog posts, catch up on emails and messages, and similar tasks on a macOS-based device. And most prominently, the insane all-day battery life is very enticing *looks nervously at upcoming long-haul flights*.
The price, however, is offputting to me. I couldn’t purchase a device with just 8 GB of RAM in 2022, so I specced the new MacBook Air for 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. Pretty decent and somewhat tolerable to make the device last for several years. This adds up to 2139 € (about $2285) with taxes. Without taxes, it’s 1625 € (~$1736). This includes the charger.
Why not order one from the US, then? Well, for starters, the keyboard layout is somewhat different. We here in the Nordics rely on having the funny umlaut keys, like ä ö å, readily available. And perhaps you can remap those, but I fear the physical key positioning would be different – like missing the
> key next to Z.
And I guess importing one from the US would make it problematic with support and warranty and tricky to manage with customs.
I’m not sure what I was expecting the price point to be. Perhaps I was overly optimistic; during the keynote, it was mentioned that the starting price was $1199. This usually translated to “about 1200 €”, but I now realize that quoted price was without taxes and shipping costs. Still, the base starting price of 1599 € with just 8 GB of RAM is pretty high.
In addition, I’m not entirely sure I could live with macOS. I would love to love the operating system, yet I fear I’ll start hating the little applesque quirks that it inevitably will have. “Oh, it’s been like that since Steve Jobs said so,” style. I might also be just too old to learn a new paradigm after spending the past 30 years with MS-DOS and Windows, and some Linux mostly. I wonder if I can ditch the horrible charger altogether and go for a genuine USB-C charger like the rest.
Thankfully, the device won’t be available until July. Perhaps that will turn to August before it’s available, so I have a few more months to consider and ponder if this is a worthwhile investment. I’m still using my ThinkPad from last year, of course, but it leaves a bit to be desired on battery life when out and about. And I’ve yet to find a similar Windows-based laptop as the new MacBook Air is.
I’ll revisit this post in a few months to see how I ended up!
I work with Azure and frequently write about my experiences. I’m a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, ex-MSFT. Based in Helsinki, Finland.