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By Jason Snell for Macworld
One of the words I use a lot when reviewing Apple products is opinionated. I firmly believe that great art or design can’t happen without a point of view—and the more you depart from a focused point of view, the more likely a creation will be compromised, workmanlike… good, maybe, but not great.
When it’s at its best, Apple strives for greatness. It doesn’t always get there—and every now and then you get the sense it’s not actually trying to get there—but when things are hitting on all cylinders, Apple releases products that are backed by a strong point of view about what will delight and serve its customers.
The MacBook, for example, is a product based on a focused vision: That a single port and a slower class of processor are worthy trade-offs for an incredibly thin and light computer with a Retina display. You don’t have to agree with Apple’s take—in the case of the MacBook, the company’s practically daring you to disagree—but you can’t deny that it’s an amazing execution of a particular set of priorities.
I’ve been thinking about Apple’s approach to products this week because I read Steven Levy’s excellent inside look at the new Apple Park campus for Wired. It’s worth a read—I highly recommend it, if you haven’t dug in yet.
Levy’s been covering Apple longer than just about anyone, and in great detail. In his story about Apple Park, he suggests that the facility itself is an Apple product—in fact, the last product to truly be conceived of by Steve Jobs. (It’s why the story’s headline, “One More Thing”, is so bittersweet.)