Behold, the new Mac book! And before you say it, no: It still isn’t for pros — there’s no dedicated graphics processor, and no cavity to slot in an SD card, either. In fact, there isn’t a single hole you can pick out to plug in cables and accessories.
Because this genuine Apple creation isn’t a laptop. It’s a tangible tribute to Steve Jobs in the guise of a pretentiously arty catalog. The white brick, er, book is titled Designed by Apple in California, and, true to form, it is available in two sizes: a smaller, more compact version goes for $200, while a bigger hardcover volume will set you back further. $300, to be precise. The extra moolah covers all the features you might want.
Wait — what’s that? Oh, okay. Forget about that last bit.
It turns out, they’re virtually the same book, their size notwithstanding. Neither comes with a stylus, but the book does have a nice photo of an iPad Pro Pencil if you ever feel like staring blankly at one. But even if styluses (or stylii?) don’t appeal to you, there are plenty still to be ogled at.
Designed by Apple includes 450 photographs of products from the Steve Jobs era and beyond, past and present wares looking bored and disinterested in front of Andrew Zuckerman’s lens, possibly with their insides exposed. Great for nostalgia’s sake, but also an awkward reminder of that MacBook you left at the airport and that time you took your iPhone for a swim. Unknowingly, of course.
According to the press statement, the book is printed “on specially milled, custom-dyed paper with gilded matte silver edges, using eight color separations and low-ghost ink.” In the book’s foreword, Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, writes:
While this is a design book, it is not about the design team, the creative process, or product development. It is an objective representation of our work that, ironically, describes who we are. It describes how we work, our values, our preoccupations, and our goals. We have always hoped to be defined by what we do rather than by what we say.
Now it’s starting to sound more like an Apple product, don’t you think? It costs a good deal of money, too. For $300, you could buy a used iPhone or a brand-new iPad mini, and either of them are infinitely better than any visual reminder of where Apple is now after decades of thinking differently. And how much Apple, even more so than before, loves Apple.
Ive describes the book as a “gentle gathering of many of the products the team has designed over the years.” We prefer to describe it as useless opulence hard-bound in linen.