“The elephant in the room at last week’s Apple event was Intel. Apple introduced two products based on Intel chips — the new MacBook Air and new Mac Mini — but barely mentioned the company’s name,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “The word ‘Intel’ appeared on a single slide during VP of hardware engineering Laura Legros’s presentation of the new MacBook Air… The CPUs in the new Mini were simply described as 4-core and 6-core ‘8th generation’ processors.”
“Apple is not going to throw Intel under the bus — they’re taking an ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all‘ approach, as they should,” Gruber writes. “Apple’s frustration with Intel as a partner is palpable at this point. Look no further than the other product introduced at the same event, the new iPad Pro. Apple spent an entire segment talking about the A12X chip in the iPad Pro and the performance it delivers. They spent almost no time talking about the performance of the CPU or GPU in the new MacBook Air. Performance is actually pretty good for the price and for the intended audience of the MacBook Air — but only when compared against other Intel-based notebooks. When compared against the iPad Pro, it doesn’t look good at all.”
“What we’re seeing here is a double whammy. On the one side, Apple’s custom silicon team is firing on all cylinders, delivering new A-series chips year after year with ever-more-incredible performance and efficiency. On the other side, Intel has missed deadlines, and what they have shipped often isn’t impressive,” Gruber writes. “Look at the iPad’s A12X compared to the iPhone’s A12 and you can see how much attention Apple is paying to the iPad’s system architecture. There’s no reason they won’t pay as much or more attention to the Mac’s custom silicon when they switch from Intel to their own chip designs. It should be downright glorious. But that’s the future. In the present, we’ve got this new MacBook Air, and it’s pretty damn sweet.”
Read Gruber’s full MacBook Air review here.
MacDailyNews Take: Intel’s high point passed some time ago. For Intel, it’s all downhill from here.
As for the new MacBook Air, we agree with John, “The form factor is just about perfect.”