Home / Technology / Keep or Kill: Does the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPod Touch Have a Future?

Keep or Kill: Does the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPod Touch Have a Future?

Last Thursday, Apple killed its entire network product line . The company announced that it will discontinue the AirPort Express AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule . You can still buy the remainder (if you do not mind Frozen-era Networking Tech), and they will still work. Do not expect Apple boss Tim Cook to bring a shiny new next-generation Apple router to the June WWDC Keynote – or another time in the future, unless that Company feels it somehow really reinvent network space.

While some bemoaned his demise, the death of the AirPort line absolutely did not surprise anyone. Since Apple has not updated its networking products since 201

3, Apple has effectively beckoned the would-be consumers looking for newer, better-looking products from manufacturers that actually move around with innovations such as mesh networking – Eero Netgear and even Google just to name a few.

The death of the AirPort line is in stark contrast to the fate of Mac Pro . Apple's high-end computer has also been left untouched for the past decade. It was actually declared dead by the Mac's creative community – until the company unveiled in 2017 that it would be resurrected in the future completely redesigned from scratch. Not only that, but Apple would also develop new standalone displays – and thus cancel its exit from the monitor business when he had killed the Thunderbolt ad in 2016 .

But what about these AirPort and Mac Pro peers – the other Apple products that have been floating for years? They are not officially dead, but they feel impossible to recommend because "Apple needs to refresh them soon, right?" Will they get an unexpected death sentence, a la Mac Pro? Will they march to the gallows like the AirPort line? Or will they continue to take a pervasive product purgatory that lags without updates?

iPod Touch


The 2015 version of the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone SE without the capabilities of the phone

Nate Ralph / CNET

Last updated: With the exception of refreshed memory upgrades in July 2017, the hardware is identical to the one released in July 2015 .

The Case for Killing: Apple shot down the last scrollwheel iPods in July 2017 and left the Touch as the only iPod in the company lineup. But with its tiny 4-inch screen and the aging A8 processor, it's too weak. And the 4-inch display feels downright microscopic, compared to a world where the screens of most iPhones start at 4.7 inches and most Android phones start at 5.

The Case for Storage: At $ 200 for 32 GB This is still your cheapest onramp to an iOS device: $ 150 cheaper than the similarly sized iPhone SE, and quite pocket-sized, in the Unlike the iPad, which costs $ 130 more. If a larger 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen is off the table for that price, give this puppy iPhone 7 -era specifications, at least: an A10 processor and a 12-megapixel -Camera.

Read the CNET review: iPod Touch 2015

iPad mini 4


The 7.9-inch Mini 4 on the right, compared to a 9.7-inch iPad on the left.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Last update: The current hardware was introduced in September 2015, but as of March 2017, it will be sold only in a 128GB model .

The Case to Kill Them: The fourth version of the 7.9-inch Mini occupies a strange place in the iPad series. The only iPad that is not compatible with the Pencil Pen is smaller and slower than the new 329 9.7-inch Apple Tablet but it's also more expensive, thanks to the fact that Apple only has a single 128 GB version offers artificially price-inflated $ 399. And interest in mini-tablets has declined as smartphone screens spread into Phablet territory: We can see a 6.5-inch iPhone in September if you can believe the rumors.

The case for keeping it: A refreshed 32GB Mini with an A10 chip would be a killer entry-level product for, say, $ 249 – especially if Apple declines the iPod Touch described above. This price is not much less than the $ 269 that Apple offered the Mini 2 until last year.

Read the CNET review: iPad Mini 4

Mac Mini


The Mac Mini (far right) looks more recent than its predecessor PC competitors such as HP Mini (left), Acer Revo (top center) and Intel Compute Stick (bottom center) downright massive)

Sarah Tew

Last updated: The current version of the smallest, least expensive Mac was introduced in October 2014 – and has remained unchanged since then.

The Case for Killing: Despite a devoted After that, this 499 desktop computer has been smearing for almost 4 years with an old fourth generation Intel Core i5. Apple's statements about the fate of the Mini have since been non-binding at best . You get the feeling that the company would probably prefer to buy only an iPad and keyboard / case combo at this price – or instead get on a MacBook.

The Case for Retention: At least the Mini requires a current generation Intel processor that is more than just a run – though the still popular MacBook Air (19459005) see below) only a fifth-generation Intel CPU has something new. Nevertheless, it would be cool to see how Apple draws an Apple and makes a complete redesign. It could either be upscale, with a Cupertino inclusion on the Hades Canyon or it might be even smaller than ever: Imagine a Mac desktop that is not much bigger than a Apple TV Box was for example. This is the direction that other PC competitors have gone in recent years, as shown in the photo above.

Read the CNET review: Mac Mini 2014

MacBook Air [19659035] apple-macbook-air-2017-28 ” height=”0″ width=”970″/>

The MacBook Air (center) lacks the thinner bezels and retina screens of the MacBook Pro (left) and 12-inch MacBook (right)

Sarah Tew / CNET

Last updated: The Air received the smallest CPU upgrade in June 2017, but the "Upgrade" was a fifth-generation Intel processor from 2015. Its basic design is from the version that Steve Jobs pulled from a Manila case at its launch in 2008, almost unchanged. But this is not a blow: many consider it nearly perfect for – the culmination of laptop design

The case for killing: There are two Mac laptops that have been developed To Peel Off Air Lovers: The 12-inch MacBook is said to be the perfect coffee shop computer while entry-level MacBook Pro puts more power on the table brings. Both are lighter and have Retina screens, which leave the aging of the air in the dust.

The case to keep it: The above options have three major problems: they are both more expensive than the $ 999 Air (although sales were more common ), they require Dongles and Adapters to use any old school USB peripherals, and complaints about their fancy butterfly keyboards continue to rise. What Apple needs is a new entry-level laptop that follows the air design and reliability legacy, putting its specifications to the test. A 13 inch version of the MacBook would do the trick well – as long as it brings a Retina screen, at least a USB A port and a receding keyboard that can not be cut down by a speck of dust.

The Latest Rumors: Published reports indicate that some sort of Air replacement is about to start, and we may see it on the 4th of June. But keeping the price tag of $ 999 is a must, if it's intended to be a true successor to the Air.

Read the CNET review: MacBook Air 2017

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