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It’s time to admit that MacBook design is outdated

The classic MacBook design is something that was once the sign of greatness but in recent years has become a stale attribute in need of change.

macbook design needs to change

The MacBook has been considered among the best laptops in the world since its debut in 2006. After the humble launch, which was preceded by the now forgotten iBook and PowerBook products, the MacBook has – in my opinion – failed to deliver any excitement when it comes to the physical design of their flagship products.

I’m not looking at how thin the MacBook Air has become or how powerful the MacBook Pro is, I’m talking quite literally about how a MacBook looks. When the recent expansion of colors was seen as a huge leap forward in the design process, this is the precise moment I knew that Apple was skating by and would continue to do so until their core fan base stops buying the products.


Well, funnily enough, MacBook sales are effectively in a historic rough patch right now and even the recent reveal of the 15-inch MacBook Air seems unlikely to turn around their fortunes. I’m not saying that changing the physical appearance of MacBooks will fix this problem, but the stale nature of their design must be compounding the problem in some way.

Consistency might be key for some, but there is arguably no other laptop brand out there being as rigid with their product design other than perhaps Razer, who have also settled on a specific branding choice and stuck by it for years. Newer products like the Surface Laptop 5 and Galaxy Book 3 are also setting themselves on a similar path although how far they go remains to be seen. There’s no doubt, however, that the rigid but clean design history of the MacBook inspires others still to this day.

Doing something new, exciting, and even risky is what took Apple to the top but ever since they got there, the ambition has been solely focused on internal design.








When you look towards another of Apple’s flagship products, the iPhone, their design process has moved along with the times and typically something new is done every few years. Even though major design changes aren’t frequent, they still tend to add new colors on a more regular basis which offers something extra for those looking to upgrade.

The argument that MacBooks are a product built to last thus there being no need to constantly encourage people to upgrade their existing laptop is also mute. Apple knows it has a core audience who will look to upgrade far more regularly that normal but they are only ever given minor technological advances to get excited about and recently it’s been stirring within the community that the M2 chip hasn’t delivered in the way that Apple had hoped.

This is why design is important. The touch bar was a fleeting spark of hope that left us all too soon. New colors was a pathetic make up in the MacBook Air M2’s lack over innovation and it appears that the MacBook is more of a status symbol now than it ever has been because everyone knows a MacBook when they see it and that means more the Apple than anything else.

Will they prove me wrong with the M3 series of MacBooks due next year? I highly doubt it, but stand poised to eat my words should we get something truly spectacular on the design front when they reveal their plans.