This has never ever happened before with Apple. Well, except all those times it happened before. Photo (CC-BY) Marcin Wichary.

This has never ever happened before with Apple. Well, except all those times it happened before. Photo (CC-BY) Marcin Wichary.

If you’re a music maker, a DJ, or anyone working with creative audio and video, you care about connectivity so you can do your job – rightfully so. So, if that has you freaked out by the strange “all-new MacBook,” let me the first person to tell you: relax. You don’t want it, but you don’t have to lose sleep over it.

It seems Apple yesterday introduced a new product tier. Apple has done that before, creating different categories for their computers to serve different markets. (It’s what has turned them into a hugely profitable company.) You may still prefer a PC, but if you do want to stay on the Mac and this has you worried, there’s no reason to over-think this. The introduction of the Apple Watch yesterday doesn’t mean everything from Apple will now be strapped to our wrists, either.

Here’s my take – and yes, we’ll see if I’m proven right or wrong.

Apple now has three laptop lines where there once were two. Here are Apple’s product names, followed by how I am (apparently controversially) interpreting those product names:

1. “MacBook Pro” and “MacBook Pro with Retina Display.” A version of the MacBook for pros.
2. “MacBook Air.” A lighter version of the MacBook Pro.
3. “The all-new MacBook.” An all-new MacBook.

See, that wasn’t that difficult, was it?

People are panicking presumably because they’re interpreting the move to a one-port connection on the “all-new MacBook” means Apple will remove all ports on all models.

I don’t think there is any reason to believe that. The “all-new MacBook” and the gold color may have stolen the headlines, but Apple updated the Air and Pro line yesterday, too. The impact on the Pro line? You get the same connectivity, but with longer battery life and higher performance. (The 15″ model was unaffected, but Apple’s product announcements depend on timing of chips from Intel and others, so expect a speed bump there soon.)

Here are some facts to consider:

1. Apple didn’t remove ports from anything. Apple still ships dedicated Thunderbolt and USB ports on the iMac, the Mac mini, the Mac Pro, the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro. They introduced what appears to be a new product category. People doing work who require on connectivity (producers, musicians, DJs, sound engineers) will continue to buy the Pro – hence the name.

2. Apple is strongly backing Thunderbolt. Apple is updating Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt2. With video production a key market and video accessories relying on Thunderbolt as a bus, there is no reason to believe Apple is backing away from Thunderbolt.

For instance, I think DJ Tech Tools is way off the mark at least in regards to Thunderbolt. (I agree with everything else Dan White says – there are better options for a DJ laptop.) “Thunderbolt might become the next Firewire” – wait a minute. FireWire’s greater bandwidth is exploited by video and audio devices that need the greater bandwidth. It’s a niche tool that has been widely adopted in those segments. It’s been a stalwart of Apple’s product lineup, and remains so thanks to backwards compatibility of Thunderbolt to FireWire. So if Thunderbolt is the next FireWire, that’s sort of the whole point. If you’re not seeing DJ products with FireWire or Thunderbolt, it’s because DJ products don’t need that bandwidth (and a lot of these products are geared at a wide consumer segment, not pros, anyway).

3. Apple is still strongly behind the video and audio markets. They have a flagship pro video product (Final Cut Pro X), a flagship pro audio product (Logic Pro X), and feature pro applications from themselves and third party vendors even in TV ads they air on prime time. Who else is doing that? Microsoft? PC vendors? There’s literally no other company (following the breakup of Sony divisions that had some of these overlaps, if none of this visibility).

4. Mac sales are up as iPad sales are down. Here’s Ars Technica’s summary, if you don’t have time to read through minutes of Apple’s financial call: “The company sold 5.52 million Macs in Q1 of 2015, a 14.05 percent increase from the 4.84 million sold last year. The Mac is Apple’s third-best selling product by unit sales and continues to be the third-largest piece of Apple’s revenue pie—at $6.94 billion, they’re responsible for 9.31 percent of total revenue.”

And Tim Cook said directly that he thought the reason the Mac was out-performing the iPad was because the iPad has longer upgrade cycles.

A lot of the Mac sales have historically come from both the Air and Pro – the Air sells in volume, and the Pro in higher margins. That could also explain why Apple retained and even refreshed the MacBook Air – they don’t want to mess around with a product that’s a cash cow for them, least of all with an untested design that will be too radical for some existing, loyal customers.

Apple is still making a lot of money off its high-margin laptops. And even more interesting, laptop sales were up even though Apple hadn’t revised its Pro machines since the end of 2013. So all the revisions – including the Pro – are essential to Apple’s bottom line. You can also expect that the margin on the simpler-to-manufacture, higher-cost MacBook Pro is perfectly healthy relative to these new machines, whatever people may argue about Apple making money on adapters. (I was unaware random commenters on the Internet knew so much about Apple’s supply chain, but hey.)

Know your history, predict the future. Remember, Apple co-developed Thunderbolt with Intel. Similarly, Apple was the developer of FireWire (with IEEE as the standards body adopting it), going back to the 90s. And remember that this controversial combined USB-C connector is actually the work of the USB Implementers Forum. As before, Apple is supporting a “pro” bus supported by an ecosystem largely centered on the Mac (previously FireWire, now Thunderbolt) and a “consumer” bus supported by a cross-platform ecosystem (now USB3 and the USB-C connector). Remember, too, that the original MacBook Air made more compromises for slimness and lightness than later models – enough so that it attracted similar derision from people who needed more power. In fact, the first Air only had USB, no FireWire; a later revision added Thunderbolt.

Okay, so then the question is, what bearing will USB-C have on the Pro line?

Answer: none, for now. Down the road, it seems you’re likely to see USB-C replace the USB port, as third-party hardware vendors grows.

In fact, that’s the most interesting thing about the “all-new MacBook.” While us pros cheerily chug away on our existing machines, the folks carrying these strange, pricey, if pretty beasts to coffee shops to check Facebook will be the ones creating the market for future hardware – just as Apple did with FireWire and USB. We really were freaked out, once upon a time, that the iMac had no floppy drive. The reason we were concerned, though, was because the third-party USB ecosystem didn’t exist when the iMac was introduced. The iMac almost single-handedly created that market.

My guess is what we’ll see in future Pro models is USB-C and Thunderbolt side by side.

Now, that said…

Go buy a PC if you want one. Seriously – none of the above is intended to be any commentary on the relative state of laptops made by Apple and laptops (or desktops) made by someone else. But the value proposition on the new models is fundamentally the same after this announcement as before. The relative advantages and disadvantages of the PC ecosystem and Windows over Apple and OS X are the same. I do think the PC ecosystem has some merits in hardware choice and in backwards compatibility. It can save you a lot of money in desktops and custom builds (hence some Mac users build Hackintoshes), there are real advantages for people, for instance, relying on the GPU. And with both Mac and Windows boxes, some software will guide your decision.

But let’s not waste time and energy trying to read some kind of existential transformation of Apple in one new product.

All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

And that means everything I’m saying here is such a safe bet, it’s kind of boring. So on to other things.

  • James Husted

    This is a NETBOOK, NOT a LAPTOP. They don’t say anything different in their press. People seem to be comparing it against laptops, all which are more powerful. This is just an expensive Netbook. Their presentation even said “Redefining the Netbook”. I guess you could do music production on it, like you might do on a Chromebook, but that is NOT what it was designed for.

    • Well, or Apple’s take on an ultrabook… and yes, I agree.

    • Graham Thorne

      Agree 100% why people are going mad I have no idea… 🙂

  • James Husted

    This is a NETBOOK, NOT a LAPTOP. They don’t say anything different in their press. People seem to be comparing it against laptops, all which are more powerful. This is just an expensive Netbook. Their presentation even said “Redefining the Netbook”. I guess you could do music production on it, like you might do on a Chromebook, but that is NOT what it was designed for.

    • Well, or Apple’s take on an ultrabook… and yes, I agree.

    • Graham Thorne

      Agree 100% why people are going mad I have no idea… 🙂

  • James Husted

    This is a NETBOOK, NOT a LAPTOP. They don’t say anything different in their press. People seem to be comparing it against laptops, all which are more powerful. This is just an expensive Netbook. Their presentation even said “Redefining the Netbook”. I guess you could do music production on it, like you might do on a Chromebook, but that is NOT what it was designed for.

    • Well, or Apple’s take on an ultrabook… and yes, I agree.

    • Graham Thorne

      Agree 100% why people are going mad I have no idea… 🙂

  • heinrichz

    Last night i bought a late 2013 15 MBP with 1TB SSD for $1950.. It has 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 USB3 and an HDMI connector. What more do i need? Seems like a good value to me.
    The Air type Netbooks clearly are the trend now in the coffee shops and for the Net Techies because the IOS stuff is just very cumbersome for browsing and serious work also with more and more advertising now constantly cluttering the process. That’s why professional Web users and Bloggers gravitate towards these ultra portable machines and …the lighter they are the better!! So i do think that most peeps won’t be deterred by the diminished connectivity.

    • Yep, that 13″ model is great – I have the same one, except I was a cheapskate on the SSD 😉

  • heinrichz

    Last night i bought a late 2013 15 MBP with 1TB SSD for $1950.. It has 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 USB3 and an HDMI connector. What more do i need? Seems like a good value to me.
    The Air type Netbooks clearly are the trend now in the coffee shops and for the Net Techies because the IOS stuff is just very cumbersome for browsing and serious work also with more and more advertising now constantly cluttering the process. That’s why professional Web users and Bloggers gravitate towards these ultra portable machines and …the lighter they are the better!! So i do think that most peeps won’t be deterred by the diminished connectivity.

    • Yep, that 13″ model is great – I have the same one, except I was a cheapskate on the SSD 😉

  • heinrichz

    Last night i bought a late 2013 15 MBP with 1TB SSD for $1950.. It has 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 USB3 and an HDMI connector. What more do i need? Seems like a good value to me.
    The Air type Netbooks clearly are the trend now in the coffee shops and for the Net Techies because the IOS stuff is just very cumbersome for browsing and serious work also with more and more advertising now constantly cluttering the process. That’s why professional Web users and Bloggers gravitate towards these ultra portable machines and …the lighter they are the better!! So i do think that most peeps won’t be deterred by the diminished connectivity.

    • Yep, that 13″ model is great – I have the same one, except I was a cheapskate on the SSD 😉

  • Totally agree. When I first saw the new MacBooks I did freak out a little at the possibility that they were gonna ditch Thunderbolt going forward. But I think these are ultimately going to replace the MacBook Air line and the Pro will still be the Pro. I like my Air but it’s pretty useless for music. I do wish they had at least included a second USB-C port. The whole dongle/connector thing is a big negative.

  • Totally agree. When I first saw the new MacBooks I did freak out a little at the possibility that they were gonna ditch Thunderbolt going forward. But I think these are ultimately going to replace the MacBook Air line and the Pro will still be the Pro. I like my Air but it’s pretty useless for music. I do wish they had at least included a second USB-C port. The whole dongle/connector thing is a big negative.

  • Totally agree. When I first saw the new MacBooks I did freak out a little at the possibility that they were gonna ditch Thunderbolt going forward. But I think these are ultimately going to replace the MacBook Air line and the Pro will still be the Pro. I like my Air but it’s pretty useless for music. I do wish they had at least included a second USB-C port. The whole dongle/connector thing is a big negative.

  • A few thoughts on this:

    – If Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports, this suddenly becomes an interesting machine.

    – I want to see benchmarks of this new Core M CPU before making any decisions.

    – While it may be a bit underpowered as a main audio workstation, I’m pretty sure this could run Ableton or Maschine well enough to be a gig machine (depending on how you do things, obviously – I try to make versions that are lighter on the CPU to play live).

    – It’s a first generation product. It might be better to wait for revision 2 (or 3).

    • Freeks

      “f Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports,”

      I doubt it will happen, but it would be great Kickstarter project. It just might be that Apple will not approve third party chargers.

    • Hub – interesting question. I don’t see why not.

      In fact, by removing MagSafe, Apple has essentially opened up this MacBook to any third-party power vendor for the first time, unless I missed something. So since this is a standard USB port, anyone can come and make a hub.

      Actually, that’s the most surprising thing about this, because Apple has been protective of power supplies.

    • gunboat_d

      yeah, few years back i saw the writing on the wall and sold my firewire interface. that was a good move. then i made sure to get a new laptop that had at least 3 USB ports and a removable cd-rom. this new non-Air is not for us. it’s thin, but at some point, it’s the other gear that musicians have to carry that will take up more space (Push, Maschine, MPC, compact controllers, interfaces, etc). unless you make music with only a KMI device and use your laptop’s audio outs, we’re *always* going to have to carry something.

  • A few thoughts on this:

    – If Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports, this suddenly becomes an interesting machine.

    – I want to see benchmarks of this new Core M CPU before making any decisions.

    – While it may be a bit underpowered as a main audio workstation, I’m pretty sure this could run Ableton or Maschine well enough to be a gig machine (depending on how you do things, obviously – I try to make versions that are lighter on the CPU to play live).

    – It’s a first generation product. It might be better to wait for revision 2 (or 3).

    • Freeks

      “f Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports,”

      I doubt it will happen, but it would be great Kickstarter project. It just might be that Apple will not approve third party chargers.

    • Hub – interesting question. I don’t see why not.

      In fact, by removing MagSafe, Apple has essentially opened up this MacBook to any third-party power vendor for the first time, unless I missed something. So since this is a standard USB port, anyone can come and make a hub.

      Actually, that’s the most surprising thing about this, because Apple has been protective of power supplies.

    • gunboat_d

      yeah, few years back i saw the writing on the wall and sold my firewire interface. that was a good move. then i made sure to get a new laptop that had at least 3 USB ports and a removable cd-rom. this new non-Air is not for us. it’s thin, but at some point, it’s the other gear that musicians have to carry that will take up more space (Push, Maschine, MPC, compact controllers, interfaces, etc). unless you make music with only a KMI device and use your laptop’s audio outs, we’re *always* going to have to carry something.

  • A few thoughts on this:

    – If Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports, this suddenly becomes an interesting machine.

    – I want to see benchmarks of this new Core M CPU before making any decisions.

    – While it may be a bit underpowered as a main audio workstation, I’m pretty sure this could run Ableton or Maschine well enough to be a gig machine (depending on how you do things, obviously – I try to make versions that are lighter on the CPU to play live).

    – It’s a first generation product. It might be better to wait for revision 2 (or 3).

    • Freeks

      “f Apple (or someone else) releases a charger/hub with 4 USB ports,”

      I doubt it will happen, but it would be great Kickstarter project. It just might be that Apple will not approve third party chargers.

    • Hub – interesting question. I don’t see why not.

      In fact, by removing MagSafe, Apple has essentially opened up this MacBook to any third-party power vendor for the first time, unless I missed something. So since this is a standard USB port, anyone can come and make a hub.

      Actually, that’s the most surprising thing about this, because Apple has been protective of power supplies.

    • gunboat_d

      yeah, few years back i saw the writing on the wall and sold my firewire interface. that was a good move. then i made sure to get a new laptop that had at least 3 USB ports and a removable cd-rom. this new non-Air is not for us. it’s thin, but at some point, it’s the other gear that musicians have to carry that will take up more space (Push, Maschine, MPC, compact controllers, interfaces, etc). unless you make music with only a KMI device and use your laptop’s audio outs, we’re *always* going to have to carry something.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    Well said , Peter.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    Well said , Peter.

  • Graham Metcalfe

    Well said , Peter.

  • James Husted

    Hopefully there will always be a real laptop range in the Apple world. I see no reason there won’t be. I can see the Air line fading away. Hopefully there will always be the progression from iPhone>iPad>MacBook Netbook>MacBook Pro>iMac>MacPro. Something in every price range and power range. I do wish they would do something new between the iMac and the MacPro though 12-core “cheese grater” towers are in the used market at reasonable prices nowadays.

  • James Husted

    Hopefully there will always be a real laptop range in the Apple world. I see no reason there won’t be. I can see the Air line fading away. Hopefully there will always be the progression from iPhone>iPad>MacBook Netbook>MacBook Pro>iMac>MacPro. Something in every price range and power range. I do wish they would do something new between the iMac and the MacPro though 12-core “cheese grater” towers are in the used market at reasonable prices nowadays.

  • James Husted

    Hopefully there will always be a real laptop range in the Apple world. I see no reason there won’t be. I can see the Air line fading away. Hopefully there will always be the progression from iPhone>iPad>MacBook Netbook>MacBook Pro>iMac>MacPro. Something in every price range and power range. I do wish they would do something new between the iMac and the MacPro though 12-core “cheese grater” towers are in the used market at reasonable prices nowadays.

  • Whether or not the “all-new” MacBook will eventually replace the Air line remains to be seen. Just look at how long they kept (and still keep) the non-Retina MacBook Pro available. I perfectly agree that adding new “features” does not necessarily mean that existing ones will be removed immediately.

    While Final Cut had a bumpy start (and apparently some users are still missing features that existed in the versions prior to X), we can definitely say that Logic Pro X is a significant step forward from earlier versions – and no “dumbing down” anywhere to be seen. In fact, I appreiate Apple’s efforts to keep GarageBand and Logic upwards compatible and evolving in somewhat parallel steps. For the way I work with various singers, this is a blessing. I wish Ableton had anything like this…

    Now, that being said, it has happened to Apple before that the first version of a new product line would not have been anywhere near perfect. So, waiting for the next revision/evolution step of the “all-new” MB is probably a good idea for everyone who does not really need a new laptop right now. And no, it is not a netbook. It is an extremely portable laptop that compromises on certain features (hardware connectivity, CPU power) to give the user easiness of use and luxury features (Retina screen, colour schemes) in a visually attractive package. As you rightly so said, Peter, not meant for a “Pro” or “power” users’ daily work.

    • Yeah, they’re clearly keeping the Air around for now. The historical pattern has been, if they do phase out a machine it doesn’t get a refresh, and this just did. That’s why I think they’re envisioning three tiers. It still seems likely there’s a USB-C addition to the other models at some point; it’s just way, way too new now. But I’m watching even the tech press suddenly predicting USB-C will wipe out Thunderbolt and Lightning. It’s just surreal – we already knew USB-C was coming and there was already a strong argument for why it wouldn’t supplant either of those other formats.

      • “Thunderbolt and Lightning”? That was a great one, Peter! Now, put on that Queen record and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody! 🙂

  • Whether or not the “all-new” MacBook will eventually replace the Air line remains to be seen. Just look at how long they kept (and still keep) the non-Retina MacBook Pro available. I perfectly agree that adding new “features” does not necessarily mean that existing ones will be removed immediately.

    While Final Cut had a bumpy start (and apparently some users are still missing features that existed in the versions prior to X), we can definitely say that Logic Pro X is a significant step forward from earlier versions – and no “dumbing down” anywhere to be seen. In fact, I appreiate Apple’s efforts to keep GarageBand and Logic upwards compatible and evolving in somewhat parallel steps. For the way I work with various singers, this is a blessing. I wish Ableton had anything like this…

    Now, that being said, it has happened to Apple before that the first version of a new product line would not have been anywhere near perfect. So, waiting for the next revision/evolution step of the “all-new” MB is probably a good idea for everyone who does not really need a new laptop right now. And no, it is not a netbook. It is an extremely portable laptop that compromises on certain features (hardware connectivity, CPU power) to give the user easiness of use and luxury features (Retina screen, colour schemes) in a visually attractive package. As you rightly so said, Peter, not meant for a “Pro” or “power” users’ daily work.

    • Yeah, they’re clearly keeping the Air around for now. The historical pattern has been, if they do phase out a machine it doesn’t get a refresh, and this just did. That’s why I think they’re envisioning three tiers. It still seems likely there’s a USB-C addition to the other models at some point; it’s just way, way too new now. But I’m watching even the tech press suddenly predicting USB-C will wipe out Thunderbolt and Lightning. It’s just surreal – we already knew USB-C was coming and there was already a strong argument for why it wouldn’t supplant either of those other formats.

      • “Thunderbolt and Lightning”? That was a great one, Peter! Now, put on that Queen record and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody! 🙂

  • Whether or not the “all-new” MacBook will eventually replace the Air line remains to be seen. Just look at how long they kept (and still keep) the non-Retina MacBook Pro available. I perfectly agree that adding new “features” does not necessarily mean that existing ones will be removed immediately.

    While Final Cut had a bumpy start (and apparently some users are still missing features that existed in the versions prior to X), we can definitely say that Logic Pro X is a significant step forward from earlier versions – and no “dumbing down” anywhere to be seen. In fact, I appreiate Apple’s efforts to keep GarageBand and Logic upwards compatible and evolving in somewhat parallel steps. For the way I work with various singers, this is a blessing. I wish Ableton had anything like this…

    Now, that being said, it has happened to Apple before that the first version of a new product line would not have been anywhere near perfect. So, waiting for the next revision/evolution step of the “all-new” MB is probably a good idea for everyone who does not really need a new laptop right now. And no, it is not a netbook. It is an extremely portable laptop that compromises on certain features (hardware connectivity, CPU power) to give the user easiness of use and luxury features (Retina screen, colour schemes) in a visually attractive package. As you rightly so said, Peter, not meant for a “Pro” or “power” users’ daily work.

    • Yeah, they’re clearly keeping the Air around for now. The historical pattern has been, if they do phase out a machine it doesn’t get a refresh, and this just did. That’s why I think they’re envisioning three tiers. It still seems likely there’s a USB-C addition to the other models at some point; it’s just way, way too new now. But I’m watching even the tech press suddenly predicting USB-C will wipe out Thunderbolt and Lightning. It’s just surreal – we already knew USB-C was coming and there was already a strong argument for why it wouldn’t supplant either of those other formats.

      • “Thunderbolt and Lightning”? That was a great one, Peter! Now, put on that Queen record and listen to Bohemian Rhapsody! 🙂

  • SubOneZeroOne

    apple suka

  • SubOneZeroOne

    apple suka

  • SubOneZeroOne

    apple suka

  • Nikolozi

    I can’t believe the how many people are upset over the new MacBook. To me this is great progress and should be celebrated. As a mobile musician or DJ I think this machine is great so many ways: it’s super lightweight, retina display, force trackpad etc. Pretty sure force trackpad will be very useful for music apps. I’m looking forward to see what the devs will do with that.

    I’ve used MacBook Air for music making since 2010, it could handle Logic Pro and Ableton Live just fine. That’s 5 years ago! The new MacBook will work just fine with your music apps. And a lot of producers/DJs just require one USB for connecting their audio interfaces to it. So for those cases MacBook will be fine.

    Now, if you do need a lot of USB ports and thunderbolts the other Apple laptops are still produced and sold. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    • Yes, I realize I’m suggesting *no one* wants that MacBook, and surely someone will. But it’s too soon to even consider the all-new MacBook before we get some picture of where the new USB accessories are going.

      Even as regards as USB, though, you might be wary of how OS X handles power management, because you’d be connecting even just one USB device (like a Traktor Z1, for instance) and then not the power adapter.

      • Nikolozi

        USB power delivery is a fair concern. I’m just assuming that it can at least power one USB audio interface without any issues and that the USB-C Multiport Adapter works well.

    • bob

      So this computer is equivalent to a ca. 2010 Macbook Air in terms of power?

      • Nikolozi

        I was just saying the Air specs back from 2010 were good enough for music making (Obviously, I always is maxed out the specs). My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models. Obviously not as fast as the Airs, but not dramatically slower either. We’ll see once the benchmark test results are out.

        • bob

          “My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models.”

          Keep in mind the MacBook has the Core M “tablet/mobile processor” instead of the i5. I get the impression this is more for checking e-mail and browsing. I’d love to be able to use it as a music computer though.

          • Nikolozi

            I’m aware it’s from a different CPU series, but I still think Core M 1.3GHz version should be comparable to i5’s performance. In fact L3 cache on Core M is 4MB and on i5 it’s only 3MB.

            But as I said in my previous comment only way to be sure is to wait for the benchmark results. And sure way to test it from music making perspective is to walk into an Apple store, launch Logic and load Logic’s Demo Project. That project consists of over 80 tracks. If the project plays back without any issues then you know it’s a winner.

  • Nikolozi

    I can’t believe the how many people are upset over the new MacBook. To me this is great progress and should be celebrated. As a mobile musician or DJ I think this machine is great so many ways: it’s super lightweight, retina display, force trackpad etc. Pretty sure force trackpad will be very useful for music apps. I’m looking forward to see what the devs will do with that.

    I’ve used MacBook Air for music making since 2010, it could handle Logic Pro and Ableton Live just fine. That’s 5 years ago! The new MacBook will work just fine with your music apps. And a lot of producers/DJs just require one USB for connecting their audio interfaces to it. So for those cases MacBook will be fine.

    Now, if you do need a lot of USB ports and thunderbolts the other Apple laptops are still produced and sold. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    • Yes, I realize I’m suggesting *no one* wants that MacBook, and surely someone will. But it’s too soon to even consider the all-new MacBook before we get some picture of where the new USB accessories are going.

      Even as regards as USB, though, you might be wary of how OS X handles power management, because you’d be connecting even just one USB device (like a Traktor Z1, for instance) and then not the power adapter.

      • Nikolozi

        USB power delivery is a fair concern. I’m just assuming that it can at least power one USB audio interface without any issues and that the USB-C Multiport Adapter works well.

    • bob

      So this computer is equivalent to a ca. 2010 Macbook Air in terms of power?

      • Nikolozi

        I was just saying the Air specs back from 2010 were good enough for music making (Obviously, I always is maxed out the specs). My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models. Obviously not as fast as the Airs, but not dramatically slower either. We’ll see once the benchmark test results are out.

        • bob

          “My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models.”

          Keep in mind the MacBook has the Core M “tablet/mobile processor” instead of the i5. I get the impression this is more for checking e-mail and browsing. I’d love to be able to use it as a music computer though.

          • Nikolozi

            I’m aware it’s from a different CPU series, but I still think Core M 1.3GHz version should be comparable to i5’s performance. In fact L3 cache on Core M is 4MB and on i5 it’s only 3MB.

            But as I said in my previous comment only way to be sure is to wait for the benchmark results. And sure way to test it from music making perspective is to walk into an Apple store, launch Logic and load Logic’s Demo Project. That project consists of over 80 tracks. If the project plays back without any issues then you know it’s a winner.

  • Nikolozi

    I can’t believe the how many people are upset over the new MacBook. To me this is great progress and should be celebrated. As a mobile musician or DJ I think this machine is great so many ways: it’s super lightweight, retina display, force trackpad etc. Pretty sure force trackpad will be very useful for music apps. I’m looking forward to see what the devs will do with that.

    I’ve used MacBook Air for music making since 2010, it could handle Logic Pro and Ableton Live just fine. That’s 5 years ago! The new MacBook will work just fine with your music apps. And a lot of producers/DJs just require one USB for connecting their audio interfaces to it. So for those cases MacBook will be fine.

    Now, if you do need a lot of USB ports and thunderbolts the other Apple laptops are still produced and sold. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    • Yes, I realize I’m suggesting *no one* wants that MacBook, and surely someone will. But it’s too soon to even consider the all-new MacBook before we get some picture of where the new USB accessories are going.

      Even as regards as USB, though, you might be wary of how OS X handles power management, because you’d be connecting even just one USB device (like a Traktor Z1, for instance) and then not the power adapter.

      • Nikolozi

        USB power delivery is a fair concern. I’m just assuming that it can at least power one USB audio interface without any issues and that the USB-C Multiport Adapter works well.

    • bob

      So this computer is equivalent to a ca. 2010 Macbook Air in terms of power?

      • Nikolozi

        I was just saying the Air specs back from 2010 were good enough for music making (Obviously, I always is maxed out the specs). My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models. Obviously not as fast as the Airs, but not dramatically slower either. We’ll see once the benchmark test results are out.

        • bob

          “My guess is that the new MacBook’s performance should be comparable to that of the current Air models.”

          Keep in mind the MacBook has the Core M “tablet/mobile processor” instead of the i5. I get the impression this is more for checking e-mail and browsing. I’d love to be able to use it as a music computer though.

          • Nikolozi

            I’m aware it’s from a different CPU series, but I still think Core M 1.3GHz version should be comparable to i5’s performance. In fact L3 cache on Core M is 4MB and on i5 it’s only 3MB.

            But as I said in my previous comment only way to be sure is to wait for the benchmark results. And sure way to test it from music making perspective is to walk into an Apple store, launch Logic and load Logic’s Demo Project. That project consists of over 80 tracks. If the project plays back without any issues then you know it’s a winner.

  • yoyodyne

    Personally I don’t give two craps what the latest Apple shite is, for the simple reason that whatever it is, I can’t afford it. I’m running Snow Leopard on a nearly decade old Mac Pro I fished from a dumpster. Neither it nor the latest $2k thing can do midi worth a damn.

    • Hey, I’m all for keeping that older gear running, absolutely. (Although… well, just about anything can do MIDI. That’s another reason, though, not to put any machines in dumpsters.)

      • yoyodyne

        Sorry, I was real cranky that morning!

  • yoyodyne

    Personally I don’t give two craps what the latest Apple shite is, for the simple reason that whatever it is, I can’t afford it. I’m running Snow Leopard on a nearly decade old Mac Pro I fished from a dumpster. Neither it nor the latest $2k thing can do midi worth a damn.

    • Hey, I’m all for keeping that older gear running, absolutely. (Although… well, just about anything can do MIDI. That’s another reason, though, not to put any machines in dumpsters.)

      • yoyodyne

        Sorry, I was real cranky that morning!

  • yoyodyne

    Personally I don’t give two craps what the latest Apple shite is, for the simple reason that whatever it is, I can’t afford it. I’m running Snow Leopard on a nearly decade old Mac Pro I fished from a dumpster. Neither it nor the latest $2k thing can do midi worth a damn.

    • Hey, I’m all for keeping that older gear running, absolutely. (Although… well, just about anything can do MIDI. That’s another reason, though, not to put any machines in dumpsters.)

      • yoyodyne

        Sorry, I was real cranky that morning!

  • Freeks

    My current chain of cables in my MBP:
    FW800->FW400->Focusrite Saffire->FW400->FW800->External FW800 HD’s.
    TB->DVI.

    I have to use FW800 drives at FW400 speed as the chain does not work other way around. It will take years until my gear will be fully compatible with everything. Now it’s mix of USB1, USB2, FW400, FW800, TB.

    No point of getting TB1 sound card as TB2 is released. TB3 is out before most sound cards adopt TB2. Never ending cycle…

  • Freeks

    My current chain of cables in my MBP:
    FW800->FW400->Focusrite Saffire->FW400->FW800->External FW800 HD’s.
    TB->DVI.

    I have to use FW800 drives at FW400 speed as the chain does not work other way around. It will take years until my gear will be fully compatible with everything. Now it’s mix of USB1, USB2, FW400, FW800, TB.

    No point of getting TB1 sound card as TB2 is released. TB3 is out before most sound cards adopt TB2. Never ending cycle…

  • Freeks

    My current chain of cables in my MBP:
    FW800->FW400->Focusrite Saffire->FW400->FW800->External FW800 HD’s.
    TB->DVI.

    I have to use FW800 drives at FW400 speed as the chain does not work other way around. It will take years until my gear will be fully compatible with everything. Now it’s mix of USB1, USB2, FW400, FW800, TB.

    No point of getting TB1 sound card as TB2 is released. TB3 is out before most sound cards adopt TB2. Never ending cycle…

  • STKSTK

    I agree with your article, Peter. I think with the new MacBook the MacBook Air is going to be phased out eventually.

    It’s the same situation when they introduced the Air and kept the existing MacBook lineup for a while. The Air in those days was pretty radical too, disposing of many ports and an optical drive. That way it was a bet on the future forcing Apple to keep the original MB lineup for a while to have an option for cautious buyers.

    The same will happen now: The new MacBook is going to be the new standard option for consumers – like my dad and my dentist sister – that want a beautiful machine and don’t need ports ever, except for printing maybe.

    Another thought: Who are the professionals that Apple are targeting as Pros? It’s not corporate professionals that use office software. It’s creative professionals that use Final Cut and Logic. Those need the ports and connectivity so far. Another reason why I believe that the Pro lineup is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

    • That’s right, absolutely.

      Going back to that bondi iMac, it’s also easy to forget – that wasn’t a good machine for us, either. It brought a lot of engineering innovations we’d later see (USB), and damned near saved the company. But we kept on with more conventional towers for a long, long time.

      For instance, the complaint apart from floppy drives was SCSI. So pros kept on with machines (including laptops) that had serial and SCSI ports required by peripherals we were using at the time.

      I think in the end we’ll see some of the engineering work done on the all-new MacBook on the Pro line – we already get the new trackpads, for instance. But it’s likely peripherals we use for video and audio will retain Thunderbolt and that these less-mobile machines will remain be pricier, thicker, with more I/O. And while they’ll likely get USB-C, too, the extra ports and higher-spec innards will stick around because they are huge profit centers.

  • STKSTK

    I agree with your article, Peter. I think with the new MacBook the MacBook Air is going to be phased out eventually.

    It’s the same situation when they introduced the Air and kept the existing MacBook lineup for a while. The Air in those days was pretty radical too, disposing of many ports and an optical drive. That way it was a bet on the future forcing Apple to keep the original MB lineup for a while to have an option for cautious buyers.

    The same will happen now: The new MacBook is going to be the new standard option for consumers – like my dad and my dentist sister – that want a beautiful machine and don’t need ports ever, except for printing maybe.

    Another thought: Who are the professionals that Apple are targeting as Pros? It’s not corporate professionals that use office software. It’s creative professionals that use Final Cut and Logic. Those need the ports and connectivity so far. Another reason why I believe that the Pro lineup is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

    • That’s right, absolutely.

      Going back to that bondi iMac, it’s also easy to forget – that wasn’t a good machine for us, either. It brought a lot of engineering innovations we’d later see (USB), and damned near saved the company. But we kept on with more conventional towers for a long, long time.

      For instance, the complaint apart from floppy drives was SCSI. So pros kept on with machines (including laptops) that had serial and SCSI ports required by peripherals we were using at the time.

      I think in the end we’ll see some of the engineering work done on the all-new MacBook on the Pro line – we already get the new trackpads, for instance. But it’s likely peripherals we use for video and audio will retain Thunderbolt and that these less-mobile machines will remain be pricier, thicker, with more I/O. And while they’ll likely get USB-C, too, the extra ports and higher-spec innards will stick around because they are huge profit centers.

  • STKSTK

    I agree with your article, Peter. I think with the new MacBook the MacBook Air is going to be phased out eventually.

    It’s the same situation when they introduced the Air and kept the existing MacBook lineup for a while. The Air in those days was pretty radical too, disposing of many ports and an optical drive. That way it was a bet on the future forcing Apple to keep the original MB lineup for a while to have an option for cautious buyers.

    The same will happen now: The new MacBook is going to be the new standard option for consumers – like my dad and my dentist sister – that want a beautiful machine and don’t need ports ever, except for printing maybe.

    Another thought: Who are the professionals that Apple are targeting as Pros? It’s not corporate professionals that use office software. It’s creative professionals that use Final Cut and Logic. Those need the ports and connectivity so far. Another reason why I believe that the Pro lineup is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

    • That’s right, absolutely.

      Going back to that bondi iMac, it’s also easy to forget – that wasn’t a good machine for us, either. It brought a lot of engineering innovations we’d later see (USB), and damned near saved the company. But we kept on with more conventional towers for a long, long time.

      For instance, the complaint apart from floppy drives was SCSI. So pros kept on with machines (including laptops) that had serial and SCSI ports required by peripherals we were using at the time.

      I think in the end we’ll see some of the engineering work done on the all-new MacBook on the Pro line – we already get the new trackpads, for instance. But it’s likely peripherals we use for video and audio will retain Thunderbolt and that these less-mobile machines will remain be pricier, thicker, with more I/O. And while they’ll likely get USB-C, too, the extra ports and higher-spec innards will stick around because they are huge profit centers.

  • Miguel Marcos

    I feel less certainty than ever about what Apple might or might not do. Never would I have predicted, for example, that Apple would sell a totally frivolous 18k solid gold watch for $10k. This is so, so out of the scope of conventional Apple tradition of superb design and functionality at a price, not at an outrageous price. So, I wouldn’t rule anything out Mac, or iOS, or Watch!

  • Miguel Marcos

    I feel less certainty than ever about what Apple might or might not do. Never would I have predicted, for example, that Apple would sell a totally frivolous 18k solid gold watch for $10k. This is so, so out of the scope of conventional Apple tradition of superb design and functionality at a price, not at an outrageous price. So, I wouldn’t rule anything out Mac, or iOS, or Watch!

  • Miguel Marcos

    I feel less certainty than ever about what Apple might or might not do. Never would I have predicted, for example, that Apple would sell a totally frivolous 18k solid gold watch for $10k. This is so, so out of the scope of conventional Apple tradition of superb design and functionality at a price, not at an outrageous price. So, I wouldn’t rule anything out Mac, or iOS, or Watch!

  • Graham Thorne

    Its marketed throughout ALL of the ketnote as a netbook – a VERY portable, super light and fancy flashy, gold ‘show-off’ NETBOOK this is not a laptop and Apple do not hide this fact atall. I don’t see what the problem is. If you bought this to DJ, VJ or anything similar then you are an idiot or a rich show off. Simple as. If you want a Pro machine buy the MacBook Pro or buy a Windows machine – what’s the problem? lol

  • Graham Thorne

    Its marketed throughout ALL of the ketnote as a netbook – a VERY portable, super light and fancy flashy, gold ‘show-off’ NETBOOK this is not a laptop and Apple do not hide this fact atall. I don’t see what the problem is. If you bought this to DJ, VJ or anything similar then you are an idiot or a rich show off. Simple as. If you want a Pro machine buy the MacBook Pro or buy a Windows machine – what’s the problem? lol

  • Graham Thorne

    Its marketed throughout ALL of the ketnote as a netbook – a VERY portable, super light and fancy flashy, gold ‘show-off’ NETBOOK this is not a laptop and Apple do not hide this fact atall. I don’t see what the problem is. If you bought this to DJ, VJ or anything similar then you are an idiot or a rich show off. Simple as. If you want a Pro machine buy the MacBook Pro or buy a Windows machine – what’s the problem? lol

  • Ashley Scott

    lol: All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again

  • Ashley Scott

    lol: All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again

  • Ashley Scott

    lol: All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again

  • Will

    Great post Peter. In typically terse fashion, Mr. Gruber managed to express the same notion in very few words:

    > There are definitely many people who are ready for this today. But it’s really a statement about the future. Ports are going the way of optical discs and hard drives. But there’s a reason this isn’t replacing any of the existing MacBook Airs today.

    Source: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/03/09/stern-macbook

  • Will

    Great post Peter. In typically terse fashion, Mr. Gruber managed to express the same notion in very few words:

    > There are definitely many people who are ready for this today. But it’s really a statement about the future. Ports are going the way of optical discs and hard drives. But there’s a reason this isn’t replacing any of the existing MacBook Airs today.

    Source: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/03/09/stern-macbook

  • Will

    Great post Peter. In typically terse fashion, Mr. Gruber managed to express the same notion in very few words:

    > There are definitely many people who are ready for this today. But it’s really a statement about the future. Ports are going the way of optical discs and hard drives. But there’s a reason this isn’t replacing any of the existing MacBook Airs today.

    Source: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/03/09/stern-macbook

  • drnemmo

    I’m gonna get me a pc.

  • drnemmo

    I’m gonna get me a pc.

  • drnemmo

    I’m gonna get me a pc.

  • Georg H.

    “They have a flagship pro video product (Final Cut Pro X)”

    You are trolling us, aren’t you?

  • Georg H.

    “They have a flagship pro video product (Final Cut Pro X)”

    You are trolling us, aren’t you?

  • Georg H.

    “They have a flagship pro video product (Final Cut Pro X)”

    You are trolling us, aren’t you?