Apple has killed off the original MacBook

The refreshed MacBook Air.
The refreshed MacBook Air.
Image: Apple
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Apple announced updates to its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops today (June 9), lowering the starting price of the Air to $1,099 and adding more features into the entry-level MacBook Pro.

But what it didn’t expressly say in its release is that it has discontinued the 12-inch MacBook laptop it first unveiled in 2015. The computer was the first redesigned laptop that laid the design groundwork for all other recent Apple laptops, including the more recent MacBook Air and Pro laptops. These design changes have included slimmer bodies, contentious keyboard designs, and the removal of all ports apart from a USB-C port. The standard MacBook no longer shows up on Apple’s Mac website, and it seems that the lower price of the new MacBook Air is intended to replace the standard MacBook as the entry-level Mac laptop.

In 2015, Apple introduced the MacBook, a new computer that didn’t have a suffix like Air or Pro, and in late 2018, it revamped the MacBook Air, which many saw at the time as the death knell for the standard MacBook. It seems that today that has come to pass.

The company also quietly killed off the only MacBook Pro that didn’t feature the TouchBar, the small touchscreen that sits atop the keyboard and replaces a computer’s function keys. Critics call it as a nuisance that drains battery and doesn’t provide much additional utility.

The new laptops were released as part of a (rather early) back-to-school promotion by Apple, which will lower the price of the Air to $999 for any college student, and throw in a pair of Beats headphones. The MacBook Pro is also available for $1,199 for college students.

But be warned: Even these brand-new Mac laptops may have keyboard issues. Past models have seen keys get stuck, become unresponsive, or type the same letter multiple times in a row, just with regular use. The company even admitted it may need to repair new laptops released earlier this year, extending the repair service it’s offered on older Macs to the ones it released in May.

Apple is expected to release more redesigned laptops in the near future, which hopefully will avoid the keyboard problems that have plagued every Mac laptop since 2015.