Apple's MacBook news: The good, the bad and the meh (The 3:59, Ep. 583)
Apple's MacBook news: The good, the bad and the meh (The 3:59, Ep. 583)
4:45

Apple's MacBook news: The good, the bad and the meh (The 3:59, Ep. 583)

Laptops
[MUSIC] Welcome to The 3:59. I'm Walter Cheng. I'm Ben Fox Rubin. I'm Oscar Gonzalez. Apple unloaded some big Macbook news today. Oscar, you were on top of it. What's going on? So, they upgraded and killed some of their MacBooks. So the MacBook 12 inch, no longer there. The MacBook Air that was for 999 or entry level, no longer on Apple's website so they are gone. But what they did as part of their back school program, now the 1099 MacBook Air, Here it's been updated a little bit with its Retina display and available for 999, 1,000 bucks. For education, for college students only. Let's keep that- Yes. We're none of us qualified for this discount, so- Yes, not anymore. Right. So effectively, what they've done, I mean, yes, there's the college student discount which I don't think it's actually, that's sort of throwing a bone to folks. But basically They're giving something to you but they're taking away a lot right effectively increase the entry costs to buying a Mac right now. It went from the 9 9 9 9 9 MacBook Air to now is 10 99 new MacBook air with Retina right. Right. to be fair that nine ninety nine MacBook Air. Starting to look pretty old and pretty miserable. [LAUGH] Especially after they updated the MacBook Air. And as much as I really wanted to see them keep that price at 999 for the newest MacBook Air, you knew they weren't gonna do that. And I bought the new one anyway, so. Yeah I have one and I kinda regret it cuz the keyboard is not great. Speaking of which, Then the new MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro's do get the new third gen Mac keyboard. Which unfortunately the butterfly keyboard right? Still the butterfly keyboard, but there's supposed to be like a little bit of rubber underneath the keys. Gives it a little bit of a bounce, mostly protect from, Brain dust But that's what they did with the second generation one. The other thing that I think they did that was smart was killing off the 12 inch MacBook because that was a really strange addition into the lineup. Yeah especially after they already moved in the pro and the air What exactly was the value of the 12-inch Macbook at that point? Well, I mean, the 2018 Air definitely made the Macbook irrelevant, right? It was much faster, had the USB-C ports. It was a little bit slimmer. It was essentially almost the same size as that 12-inch Macbook, so yeah not a huge surprise that it's dead. Yeah. It's killed the iPhone SE too, so it's going back to your whole point about Getting rid of all the- Getting rid of the budget options. All the budget options, sorry. You're so, yeah. Sorry, if you're on a budget, Apple doesn't care about you that much, sorry. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Too bad. All right, so next up, research team set out to figure out which was the best voice assistant when it came to recognizing request for specific brands What did they find out? What was really interesting about this was that there have been a lot of studies already that have looked into different voices instance. This one really not only reinforced but showed how strong google assistant is when compared to the other voice assistants so it wasn't even close. Like if you're asking about different brands like Jet Blue or Chevy Starbucks just any sort of basic questions like what is Chevy or where do I buy Starbucks? Google Assistant in general was able to answer it was something like 90% of the questions, especially on your smartphone, whereas Alexa Siri and Bixby weren't even close, it was about a 50 percentage point difference. Well, if you really want to get Voice assistant that's gonna work for any number of questions. I've seen a lot of this reports and unfortunately a truth is that Google Assistant continues to outpace the competition by a pretty signficant margin. Now the burning question, if you are in a eco-home, like mine is, is it worth upgrading to? Google lineup of what systems Maybe, maybe I know, Alfred, if he was here, [LAUGH] Alfred did that for that very reason. He saw that the Google Assistant had actually been functioning better and he decided to switch the good news with Alexa. Is that it works much better with smart home capabilities, and it has a lot more if those smart home partnerships. So it's not like it's terrible, it's the worst in every possible category. But you've got to think like Google has been doing search for 20 years, and so it's going to continue re-emphasizing that strength over and over again. And if you're gonna ask your voice assistant all kinds of random questions What year. Wen was Abraham Lincoln born and all sorts of other stuff? Then yeah, you're probably gonna want a Google Assistant. All right. For more of those stories, check us out on CNET. I'm Roger Chang. I'm Ben Fox-Rubin. I'm Oscar Gonzalez. Thanks for listening.

Up Next

You're doing passwords wrong, stupid (The Daily Charge, 3/11/2020)
dcthumb03112020

Up Next

You're doing passwords wrong, stupid (The Daily Charge, 3/11/2020)

E3 canceled: Here is what we know so far
screen-shot-2020-03-11-at-1-56-14-pm.png

E3 canceled: Here is what we know so far

This bill to protect children may also put your privacy at risk (The Daily Charge, 3/10/2020)
dc03102020.png

This bill to protect children may also put your privacy at risk (The Daily Charge, 3/10/2020)

Are passwords dead? Let's talk about the future of authentication
dcthumb03092020

Are passwords dead? Let's talk about the future of authentication

We got our hands on a prototype phone with a rollable display
unnamed

We got our hands on a prototype phone with a rollable display

The Galaxy S20 is coming, but here are the best deals
dc03042020

The Galaxy S20 is coming, but here are the best deals

Decoding the Galaxy S20's different 5G combinations (The Daily Charge, 3/2/2020)
unnamed

Decoding the Galaxy S20's different 5G combinations (The Daily Charge, 3/2/2020)

AT&T TV is the DirecTV replacement no one asked for (The Daily Charge, 3/2/2020)
dcthumb03022020

AT&T TV is the DirecTV replacement no one asked for (The Daily Charge, 3/2/2020)

Bob Iger drove Disney to scoop up our childhood
dcbob02262020

Bob Iger drove Disney to scoop up our childhood

Disney's surprise CEO departure while Baby Yoda steals Toy Fair (The Daily Charge, 2/26/2020)
dc02262020

Disney's surprise CEO departure while Baby Yoda steals Toy Fair (The Daily Charge, 2/26/2020)

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus
240419-wtf-atlas-vs-optimus-v04

Boston Dynamics' New Electric Atlas vs. Tesla's Optimus

What is the Fediverse?
240418-fediverse-winged

What is the Fediverse?

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission
240418-site-omt-the-core-problem-of-apples-green-goals-v1.jpg

The Missing Piece to Apple's Eco-Friendly Mission

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e
240417-site-fiat-500e-ev-drive-program-thumbnail-v3

First Drive in the All-Electric 2024 Fiat 500e

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For
laptop-buying-guide-2024-00-02-36-12-still001

Laptop Buying Guide: What to Look For

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot
p1022506-00-00-01-20-still001

Boston Dynamics Retires Its HD Atlas Robot

Most Popular All most popular

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)
innovation

First Look at TSA's Self-Screening Tech (in VR!)

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost
240123-site-samsung-galaxy-s24-ultra-review-4

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: More AI at a Higher Cost

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen
circlesearchpic

'Circle to Search' Lets Users Google From Any Screen

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop
asus-preces-00-00-25-11-still003

Asus Put Two 14-inch OLEDs in a Laptop, Unleashes First OLED ROG Gaming Laptop

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions
samsung-galaxy-ring-clean

Samsung Galaxy Ring: First Impressions

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024
240111-site-best-of-ces-2024-1

Best of Show: The Coolest Gadgets of CES 2024

Latest Products All latest products

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling
cnet-audiq6

2025 Audi Q6, SQ6 E-Tron: Audi's Newest EV Is Its Most Compelling

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter
pic3

Hands-On with Ford's Free Tesla Charging Adapter

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar
240320-site-nuro-r3-first-look-v1

Nuro R3 is an Adorable Self-Driving Snack Bar

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day
240304-site-nothing-phone-2-first-look-v3

First Look: The $349 Nothing Phone 2A Aims to Brighten Your Day

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More
240229-site-best-of-show-at-mwc

Best of MWC 2024: Bendable Screens, AI Wearables and More

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display
240225-site-lenovo-translucent-laptop-concept-v3

This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

Latest How To All how to videos

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2
airpods-pro-2

Tips and Tricks for the AirPods Pro 2

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone
screenshot-2024-04-03-at-15-47-11.png

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Safely From Your Phone

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features
240311-site-windows-11-hidden-tips-and-tricks-v2

Windows 11 Tips and Hidden Features

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3
VisionOS 1.0.3

Vision Pro App Walkthrough -- VisionOS 1.0.3

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra
240216-site-galaxy-s24-ultra-tips-and-hidden-features-2

Tips and Tricks for the Galaxy S24 Ultra

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro
tiktok-on-vision-pro-clean

TikTok Is Now on the Apple Vision Pro