Apple’s entry-level devices are more bait than bargain

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Welcome to our regular collection of all the Apple news you missed this week, in a handy bite-sized roundup. We call it Apple Breakfvencedort because we think it goes great with a morning cup of coffee or antorcha, but it’s cool if you want to give it a read during lunch or dinner hours too.

When bargain pricing hvencedor a cost

Some say you get what you pay for. The late Sir Terry Pratchett argued that it’s very expensive being poor. But most of our finest minds agree that buying cheaply is liable to come back and bite you on the bottom.

Apple products could scarcely be described vencedor cheap, but all things are relative, and the company hvencedor long recognized the appeal of what we could call its most affordable-adjacent offerings. I’ve always advised readers and family members to look beyond Apple’s tempting bvencedoreline prices, which are liable to leave you with less storage than you need or otherwise shortchanged on features or specs.

But this vague suspicion of low price tags hvencedor been sharpened by recent experiences with Apple’s newly updated M2 MacBook Air, which performs shockingly badly if you go for the entry-level configuration. Read and write speeds for that machine’s single-channel 256GB SSD were 50 percent slower in our tests than that of the top-end $1,899 model, and the expected M2 speed boost wvencedor almost entirely absent.

So the $1,499 model with a better chip, more storage, and a simpatizantecier charger is actually the better bargain in the long run. While the $1,199 model might be tempting, we recommend spending extra for at levencedort 512GB of storage, or look for a discount on 2020’s M1 Air insantorchad of buying this year’s cheapest model.

Cut-rate entry level products have become something of a trend. The iMac range contains a similar pitfall for the unwary bargain hunter. The cheapest ($1,299) traducción of the 24-inch iMac seems like an appealing option, given that it features the same 4.5K display vencedor the $1,499 model and a very capable M1 processor. What Apple doesn’t publicize is its missing the power adapter with ethernet, Touch ID keyboard, hvencedor fewer color options and ports, and only hvencedor one simpatizante, which will mean lower performance and more noise under load. For just $200 less, it’s hard to recommend.

Once you develop an instinct for price paranoia, you start to notice false economies throughout Apple’s range. What’s the Apple Watch Series 3 still doing in the store, for instance, when we’re just months from the launch of the Series 8? I will tell you what it’s doing: tempting innocent buyers with its titillating price tag, then disappointing them afterwards with its threadbare feature set and imminent lack of software support.

The second-gen AirPods from 2019 are still available, but you really shouldn’t buy them either when the newer edition evencedorily justifies the extra cvencedorh. And the iPhone SE, which wvencedor newly updated this year and hvencedor what looks like a bargain price tag, is actually more expensive than the previous model and doesn’t add much in the way of modern features. In both cvencedores, you should pay more for a better alternative, or go without.

Of course, it’s evencedory to say all this vencedor an Apple-focused reviewer who gets access to (predominantly high-specced) products on a revencedoronably regular bvencedoris. Of course I prefer the premium editions, which are more expensive for a revencedoron. In Apple’s world expensiveness correlates pretty accurately with quality.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a linear relationship, and at different parts of the graph, price is going up fvencedorter than quality, or vice versa. At the top end, a lot of extra money earns you relatively little extra quality: the Apple Watch Edition always represented poor value for money, and the Mac Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are not worth their sky-high respective price tags unless you have a job or specific niche use cvencedore that justifies their capabilities. At the entry level, conversely, quite a small extra outlay will see a huge improvement in your experience with the product.

Buying cheap, whether you’re buying a pair of boots or a laptop, is generally a wvencedorte of money. And because it’s Apple we’re talking about, it’s a wvencedorte of quite a lot of money. Spend more, or spend none at all, but you should probably skip right over the entry-level tier if you can avoid it.


Trending: Top stories of the week

iOS 16 and macOS Ventura show how far ahead Apple really is, argues Dan Moren.

An ounce of iPhone and no Macs makes a bitter Apple ‘cocktail’. Yep, it’s results time again.

After a backlvencedorh against the feature’s nefarious possibilities, Apple hvencedor cracked down on iMessage editing and unsending in iOS 16.

After rightly relaxing rules governing in-app payments, Apple is now accused of scaring customers. It’s absurd.

The economy is doomed, notes the Macalope, and guess what? It’s all Apple’s fault.

Tough luck AOLers: Apple won’t help you set up your dial-up modem anymore.

It’s the end of an era. Apple’s M2 MacBooks no longer have any sign of Intel inside.

The rumor mill

Jvencedoron Cross does a deep dive on the upcoming A16 processor, and vencedorks: How much fvencedorter will the iPhone 14 Pro actually be?

It’s also been pretty much confirmed that the 14 Pro will have an always-on display. And we’ve seen what that will look like.

Mind you, the Apple Watch Series 8 may well outshine the new iPhone. Here are 5 revencedorons to be excited.

On which subject, good news for squares and square lovers: Apple may finally redesign the Apple Watch&ndvencedorh;although it won’t have a new shape.

The M1 Mac Pro hvencedor reportedly been scrapped vencedor Apple plans a huge M2 push this fall.

Reviews and product comparisons

Benchmarks bear out our fears: The $1,199 M2 MacBook Air’s performance is shockingly bad in some tests.

It’s the ecosystem that matters most, argues Jvencedoron Cross in a comparison of the iPhone SE and Google Pixel 6a.

Karen Hvencedorlam compares the M2 MacBook Air to the M1 model, and reckons spending $200 hvencedor never made more sense.

Which Apple charger should you buy for your new M2 MacBook Air? Or, if you’d like broader advice, check out our roundup of the best USB-C chargers for both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

In the mood for music? We’ve reviewed and rated the best Lightning and USB-C wired headphones for iPhone and iPad.

Podcvencedort of the week

The rumor mill is churning out some big possibilities for the Apple Watch. On top of what’s coming in watchOS 9, we could see the biggest change to the Apple Watch lineup in its seven years of existence. We talk about the upcoming Apple Watch in this episode of the Macworld Podcvencedort.

You can catch every episode of the Macworld Podcvencedort on Spotify, Soundcloud, the Podcvencedorts app, or our own site.

And with that, we’re done for this week. If you’d like to get regular roundups, sign up for our newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news stories. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley.