Why an affordable MacBook actually makes sense

Apple’s MacBooks top several of our laptop roundups, not least the best laptop for graphic design. But with great power comes a great price – MacBooks aren’t cheap. Which makes the latest Apple rumour somewhat surprising.

As per new reports, Apple is planning a new, low(er) cost MacBook designed to compete with the likes of Google’s Chromebooks. The machine could pack the M1 chip and potentially bring back an older design, such as that of the discontinued 12-inch Macbook. 

The M1 MacBook Air is currently Apple’s cheapest laptop (Image credit: Future)

According to everyone’s favourite Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo (below), Apple is planning to reveal a new MacBook as soon as 2024, designed to be differentiated from the current Air and Pro models. The current cheapest model is the M1 MacBook Air, which still starts at a (fairly whopping) $999.

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Apple has just announced a new event this month, titled Scary Fast, where it is expected to unveil powerful new MacBooks featuring the rumoured new M3 chip. These are expected to be partly pitched at gamers, with Apple recently showing a renewed interest in the field – the iPhone 15 Pro is the first to be compatible with several AAA titles such as the latest Assassin’s Creed entry. In other words, we probably won’t see a ‘budget’ MacBook this week.

Don’t hold your breath for the return of one of these (Image credit: Future)

Kuo claims Apple’s more affordable MacBooks will adopt some design changes, potentially featuring “different materials” to the current models (hey, with the Y2K aesthetic back with a vengeance, perhaps we’ll get another colourful transluscent “clamshell” iBook? (Yeah, probably not.) 

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