Evans Hankey, Vice President of Design at Applesul Redesigned MacBook Air

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Since its introduction by Steve Jobs in 2008, the MacBook Air has proved an emphatic exception to this ethos. It’s thin, it’s grey, it’s lightweight, it’s shaped like a wedge and – to borrow a phrase from Britain’s most famous rule-abiding citizen – them’s the breaks. Such was the industry-shaking impact this ultra-portable computer made when it was first pulled out of a brown paper envelope onstage. “It has always been a product where it’s a bit provocative,” says Evans Hankey, Apple’s vice president of industrial design.

The MacBook Air has a brand-new appearance 14 years after Steve Jobs’ infamous presentation. Evans Hankey, Apple’s VP of Industrial Look, and other members of the group responsible for the dramatic, joyful, and brand-new design of the Air are interviewed by GQ. The new MacBook Air, which is only 11.3 mm thin, comes in four exquisite finishes: silver, starlight, space grey, and midnight. The new MacBook Air, which is only 11.3 mm thin, comes in four exquisite finishes: silver, starlight, space grey, and midnight. It’s forbidden to alter some product designs, according to some… Apple naturally avoids engaging in this kind of pearl-clutching. The majority of its products were created as a result of the way they brutally destroyed its predecessors.

Highlights

  • Even though the Air was designed in tandem with last year’s new MacBook Pros, there’s a reason why this sacred cow was slain last – it’s Apple’s best-selling laptop. Given the company sold an estimated 28.96 million Macs in 2021, up 28 per cent year-on-year, that is no mean feat at all. As such, this is a re-do that had to be done right at the first time of asking, and that meant really dialling back into the Air’s core ethos. “I think the Air requires a lot of courage, because it’s like, ‘What are you going to keep?’” says Hankey.

  • Since ditching Intel’s chips for the dramatically improved power and efficiency of its own M series equivalents in late 2020, every major Apple-made laptop and desktop has been redesigned from the ground up. The most surprising part of all? From those poppy new iMacs to an oh-so-suave slate of MacBook Pros and this year’s beast of a Mac Studio, the results have been widely acclaimed as near-on flawless. “The new MacBook Pros are incredible,” said famously meticulous tech bible The Verge, while Wired called the iMac “pure, colourful bliss”.

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