Apple drops price on updated MacBook Air, ditches non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro

True Tone display, faster internals, and a lower price tag

Apple MacBook Air 2019
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has quietly refreshed its entire notebook line-up – something we weren't expecting until the autumn alongside the launch of macOS Catalina and the rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro model

With the latest overhaul to its laptop offering, Apple has fitted an improved Retina display to the MacBook Air, which was redesigned from the ground-up last October, and kitted-out the 13-inch MacBook Pro with faster internals.

The refreshed MacBook Air also gets the same True Tone display technology seen in the MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This technology changes the warmth of the screen to match the ambient light around you, so that whites aren't too harsh. It's a subtle effect, but a welcome one.

Despite adding True Tone to the new models, Apple has dropped the price of its entry-level MacBook Air, which now starts from £1,099 – or £999 for students shopping via the Education Store. 

With the updated Apple MacBook Air missing out on the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors (either the 1.4GHz Core i5, or optional 1.7GHz Core i7), there is now a clear advantage to paying a little more for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Not only does the latter sport faster internals, but it also has the Touch Bar by default.

Apple MacBook Air 2019

(Image credit: Apple)

The Touch Bar, which is a thin OLED touchscreen that runs across the top of the keyboard where you'd typically find the function and media playback keys (not to mention the tried-and-tested ESC key) which displays different buttons based on which application is open on-screen. These software keys are context-aware too, so can change based on what you're doing inside an application.

Until now, Apple has sold variants of the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar for a lower cost and, presumably, for those who prefer to have a traditional keyboard set-up. However, this does mean that every model sports a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the T2 security chip, which stores sensitive data – like your print data.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019

Apple has dropped the MacBook Pro variant without a Touch Bar from its line-up

(Image credit: Apple)

For those who like the convenience of logging in and authenticating apps and payments with Touch ID, but prefer a physical keyboard – the MacBook Air has both, although you'll have to settle for a little less grunt under the bonnet.

There's no price cut for the MacBook Pro, with prices still starting from £1,299 for the entry-level model with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 128GB of SSD storage. Prices rise to £2,799 for the maxed-out 15-inch model with a 2.3GHz 8-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz and 512GB of SSD storage.

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Aaron Brown

As a former Staff Writer for T3, Aaron writes about almost anything shiny and techie. When he’s not barking orders at Alexa-powered microwaves or gawping at 5G speed tests, Aaron covers everything from smartphones, tablets and laptops, to speakers, TVs and smart home gadgets. Prior to joining T3, Aaron worked at the Daily Express and and MailOnline.