One of the most common reader questions we get is something along these lines: "I'm thinking of buying a Brand X laptop. Should I buy it now, or is some big update right around the corner?" A typical variation is: "I want to buy a MacBook, but I hear a rumor that new models are coming soon. Should I wait?"
Recently, many of these questions have been about 13-inch laptops, the only screen size important enough to essentially stand alone as its own category. The reason is pure practicality. A 13-inch laptop (a category some call thin-and-light, but we simply call 13-inch) sits smack in the middle between mainstream laptops that are designed to sit on your desk all day and ultraportable laptops that are meant for on-the-go use.
Put another way, a 13-inch laptop is the largest size we'd consider carrying around several days per week, and also the smallest size we'd be able to use for a full day of desktop computing. That's likely one of the reasons the 13-inch Apple MacBook became so popular: it was a laptop that could serve double duty at home and on the go.
To answer the second reader question first, there have been some rumors lately of new MacBooks, and some kind of springtime design update or refresh of internal components isn't out of the question (the basic look of the aluminum MacBook has remained essentially unchanged for a few years). That said, the "new MacBooks are coming" narrative is a bit evergreen. One could get away with writing some variation on that story just by throwing a dart at a wall calendar. We're never that far away from a refresh or update of some kind. … Read more