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The dual Apple dilemma

With a plethora of Apple gadgets causing major confusion, let’s have a look at what’s worth buying

brunch Updated: Nov 10, 2018 23:26 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
Apple,Apple gadgets,Three new iPhones
The new MacBook Air, in silver, grey and gold, is sure to leave you spoilt for choice

Apple has been a busy little company lately. Three new iPhones, new MacBook Pro laptops, new iPads, and the HomePod speaker – it’s been a bit of a fruity onslaught. Apple then decided to add to it with some more certified goodness. A brand new MacBook Air, brand new iPad Pros and a brand new Mac Mini. I’m going to confine myself to two of the new products as those have led to the biggest head scratching ever.

Should I buy the new MacBook Air 2018 or the MacBook Pro or the MacBook or the new iPad Pro with a Smart Cover?

As I have lots of ground to cover, I’m going to keep this simple and brutal. If you’re looking for a laptop, then buy a laptop. Don’t faff around with hybrids and tablets that convert to something like a laptop or have these dainty covers that also work as keyboards. It’s not going to give you a laptop experience. As millions have discovered worldwide – there are certain things you can only do on a good, wholesome laptop. Thus the new iPads as a laptop are out.

The new MacBook Air is incredible. The first MacBook Air blew everyone’s mind. Steve Jobs pulled it out of an envelope and history was made. Thin, svelte, extremely portable, all-metal body, great screen, incredible keyboard, stunning battery life. That was in 2008. A decade ago! The Air survived and even today sells in great numbers. Still has one of the better ergonomics, great battery life but the world’s suckiest screen. It took Apple 10 years to get the new Air out. And they did a great job with it. Even thinner, made from 100 per cent recycled aluminium, three colours, stunning 13-inch display, Touch ID, blazing processor, the same keyboard as on the Mac Pro, huge Force Touch trackpad, SSD drive, wide stereo sound, T2 Security Chip and the same battery life as its predecessor. Thus it should be pretty much game over for all the others, right? Wrong.

The MacBook Air is slightly cheaper than the MacBook Pro

The original MacBook Air was selling for around 50K with deals. This one is a whopping Rs 1,14,900 for the starter model. That makes this a very curiously-positioned product. It is slightly more expensive than the MacBook, just slightly cheaper than the MacBook Pro. So, which one should you buy?

The MacBook is a slightly crippled device and thus this is between the Air and the Pro. And surprisingly the 13-inch Pro without the Touchbar is almost as portable as the Air. For just a little bit more money you get a lot more performance. If only the Air had been priced around 70K or so, it would have been the perfect recommendations. Right now it’s mainly for Air fans and those who value a few millimetres of thinness over performance.

Should I buy the new iPhone XR or the iPhone XS or the iPhone XS Max or an older iPhone?

With the arrival of the ‘budget’ (I use that term very loosely), XR – things have really changed on the iPhone horizon. So, which one should you be looking at buying.

Let’s take a closer look at the XR as it has just arrived and many don’t know what it’s really about. It’s a great-looking phone, absolutely gorgeous pop out six colours, LED screen, one camera at the back, no fingerprint scanner and a pretty apple-ish battery life. Doesn’t really sound like a contender. Well, then you’d be wrong.

The XR comes in six pop out hues

The XR is pretty much the same as the XS Max other than the single camera and the LCD screen. The lack of a dual camera is hardly felt since the A12 bionic chipset enables a software-based portrait mode that does everything the XS can. Pictures are great. It can even shoot 4K video. And the LED screen is the best on an iPhone yet. And it also has the Dual SIM with an eSIM feature.

The XR is pretty much the same as the XS Max other than the single camera and the LCD screen

So, here’s how you can work this out. If you’ve got the money (and you need a lot of it), the XS Max top of the line is a no brainer first choice. But a very close second at almost half the price is the iPhone XR. It gives you everything that the XS series has, has a bigger screen than the smaller XS and is actually better looking. Older iPhones only for those that don’t want a notch screen, else the XR on an EMI works out to a way better investment.

That then is the Apple dual dilemmas solved for you. But don’t start breathing yet. The Samsung Galaxy S10 is just around the corner. That will start of a whole new round of questions and confusion. Don’t you just love the world of gadgets?

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Techilicious appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, November 11, 2018

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First Published: Nov 10, 2018 21:07 IST