How to create a macOS Ventura bootable USB installer

In this post I’ll show you step by step how to create a macOS Ventura bootable USB installer. In today’s versions of macOS, it’s not as important to have a USB installer disk on hand like it used to be several years back, but portable installers can still come in handy. As someone who generally maintains multiple Macs, I find USB installers especially handy for installing macOS in environments with slow internet speeds.

Things you’ll need:

Video tutorial: macOS Ventura boot disk

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Guide: how to create a macOS Ventura USB installer

Note: The contents of the USB drive will be completely erased. Please verify that the drive’s contents are backed up before proceeding.

Step 1: Connect your USB drive to your Mac.

Step 2: Download macOS Ventura from the Mac App Store.

Step 3: Open Applications → Utilities → Terminal.

Step 4: In the Terminal window type: sudo followed by a space.

Step 5: Open Finder → Applications, right click on Install macOS Ventura, and select Show Package Contents.

Step 6: Open Contents → Resources and drag createinstallmedia to the Terminal window. A space will automatically be placed at the end of the path location.

Step 7: In the same Terminal window type the following with a space inserted afterward:

-- volume 

Step 8: Open Finder and in the menu bar click Go → Go to Folder. Type /volumes and press Return on your keyboard.

Step 9: Drag the location of the USB drive to the Terminal window and press Return on your keyboard.

Step 10: You’ll now be asked to enter your Administrator password. Once you do, you’ll be asked to verify that you wish to erase the USB volume. Type ‘Y’ and press Return on your keyboard to continue.

Step 11: Createinstallmedia will now run. First it will erase the disk, then make the disk bootable, and finally, copy the needed contents to disk to complete the macOS Ventura USB installer. The process will take about 5-10 minutes.

Step 12: Once the process is completed, Terminal will report that install media is now available at “Volumes/Install macOS Ventura”. You can now close Terminal, open Finder, and eject the Install macOS Ventura USB drive.

Creating a bootable macOS Ventura USB installer via Terminal

Booting from the macOS Ventura USB installer

Note: These following steps pertain to Macs with Apple Silicon. If you’re using an Intel Mac, hold Option (⌥) instead of the power button in step 3.

Step 1: Power down your Mac

Step 2: Connect the macOS Ventura USB installer.

Step 3: Press and hold the power button on your Mac and continue holding. You should see the Apple logo and eventually a message that says: continue holding for startup options.

Step 4: After a few seconds, you will see a message that says Loading startup options, after which you can remove your finger from the power button.

Step 5: The startup selector will appear, and Install macOS Ventura should appear as one of the options. Select Install macOS Ventura and click Continue.

Step 6: In most cases the macOS Recovery interface with your users. Click your user, and you’ll be requested to enter your administrator password. Once the password is entered, click Continue.

Step 7: You’ll now have the option to set up the installation of macOS Ventura using your desired method.

The end result: macOS Ventura installer


As I stated at the outset, not everyone will find a macOS Ventura bootable USB installer useful in 2022, but it’s nice to have on hand when needed. I find that it comes in handy when needing to upgrade a machine to Ventura that’s in an area with slow network connectivity. For that reason, I’ll always keep one close by.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

Curve Flex review: a new adjustable MacBook stand from Twelve South

The Twelve South Curve Flex is a brand new stand for your MacBook that builds on the concept of the company’s original Curve stand. Whereas the original Curve provided a solid metal one-piece design, Curve Flex features two adjustable dual hinges that allow users to elevate their MacBook screen while simultaneously adjusting the angle of the keyboard.

I recently went hands-on with the Curve Flex, which launches today, and paired it with my silver M2 MacBook Air. If you’re a MacBook owner, Should you consider adding the Curve Flex to your desktop setup? Watch my hands-on video review for the details.

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Why Curve Flex?

Twelve South marketed the original Curve stand as a beautifully curved one-piece design with no extra parts or moving pieces. While such a design has its advantages, it also brings forth some limitations. For example, the original Curve provides a single keyboard angle and features a static 6.5 inches of height off of the desktop.

The Charleston, South Carolina-based company introduced the Curve Flex to afford users more flexibility to dial in the ideal display height and keyboard angle for their desktop setup. The Curve Flex features the height-adjustability of Twelve South’s HiRise for MacBook, while also letting users configure the best angle for typing on the MacBook’s keyboard.

The Curve Flex is ideal for those who wish to align their MacBooks next to an external display for a more ergonomic desktop workspace. Users can then user their MacBook to control input, or more ideally, pair a trackpad/mouse and keyboard for a more comfortable setup.

Curve Flex design and build quality

The original Curve, which Twelve South still sells, is comprised of a solid piece of aluminum in either matte black or matte white colors. Because of the one-piece design with no moving parts, its the more solid of the two when compared to the dual-hinge Curve Flex.

Despite the nature of the design, this adjustable stand feels very well built. Although it somewhat encroaches on the elegance of the original Curve design, Twelve South employed the use of a cross bar to assist with stability on the Curve Flex. And like its forebear, it features a non-slip surface on the bottom that ensures firm footing while on the desktop.

The Curve Flex is available in matte black or matte white colorways. I imagine most will opt for the matte black by default, but I went for the matte white. I think matte white looks nice on a white or natural wood desktop surface.

Strengths and weaknesses

This product’s main strength is in its name: Flex. Thanks to the hinge design, the unit can elevate your MacBook’s display anywhere between 2 and 22-inches and adjust the angle of the MacBook’s keyboard up to 45 degrees. Not only that, but the unit can fold flat when not in use, making it an ideal travel companion. Twelve South even includes a handy travel sleeve inside the box.

Unlike the Curve Flex, the original Curve featured no moving parts, so it provides a more surefooted desktop presence than the Uber-adjustable Flex. If stability and permanence are the most desirable qualities you’re looking for in a stand, then check out the original Curve instead.

Should you buy?

If you’re looking for an adjustable and travel-friendly stand for your MacBook, then the Curve Flex, available starting today for $79.99, is well worth considering.

I’m including this stand in my upcoming roundup of my favorite MacBook Air accessories. Be sure to Subscribe to Cellular on YouTube for more hands-on coverage with the M2 MacBook Air.

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How to install Windows 11 on M1/M2 Mac using VMware Fusion Tech Preview

In this hands-on video and step-by-step written walkthrough, I show you how to install Windows 11 via VMware Fusion on a Mac with Apple Silicon. With this tutorial, you’ll be able to run VMware Fusion on an M1 MacBook or M2 MacBook, or any other Mac that uses Apple Silicon, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Studio.

Interestingly enough, the VMware Fusion Technical Preview also works on Intel Macs, but you’ll of course need to download the x86_64 version of Windows in order to do that. For this tutorial, however, it’s all about running Windows 11 on Apple Silicon, and that’s exactly what this hands-on guide will show you how to do. Without any further ado, let’s get started.

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Important: Please keep in mind that this is a tech preview, and as such, there will undoubtedly be bugs. Additional caveats include no 3D hardware acceleration support, and no shared folders/drag and drop between host and guest. Unity mode is also unsupported, and auto-fit guest resolution and auto-scaling is not supported either. Of course, these items could change in the future as development progresses.

Download the Windows 11 Client ARM64 Insider Preview

In order to download the Windows 11 Client ARM64 Insider Preview, you’ll first need a Microsoft Account that’s a member of the Windows Insider program. You can register a Microsoft account for free and sign up for the Windows Insider program for free as well.

Step 1: Visit Microsoft’s Windows Insider registration page and click Sign in now.

Step 2: If you already have a Microsoft account, sign in with your account. If you do not yet have a Microsoft account, click Create one and create a new account.

Step 3: Click the Register tab and click the Register now button.

Step 4: Click the checkbox next to I accept the terms of this agreement and click Register now.

Step 5: Visit the Windows 11 on ARM Insider Preview page and select the Windows 11 Client from the drop down box. I recommend selecting the build from the Beta Channel. Click Confirm.

Step 6: Select the product language from the drop down box and click Confirm.

Step 7: Click the Download Now button to initiate the Windows 11 Client ARM64 Insider Preview download. (Click Allow if you see a Safari pop-up to allow downloads).

Depending on your Internet connection, the Windows 11 ARM64 preview could take some time to download, as it’s around 10GB in size. Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_ARM64.VHDX.

The VHDX extension stands for Virtual Hard Disk v2. VHDX is a disk image format that’s capable of storing the contents of a hard disk drive. VMware Fusion cannot natively read VHDX files so it will need to be converted to a Virtual Machine Disk, or VMDK. The good news is that converting a VHDX to VMDK can be done easily (and for free) using QEMU.

Thus, the next step is to install Homebrew on your Mac, which will then allow you to easily install QEMU.

Install Homebrew

If you’ve already installed Homebrew on your Mac, you can skip this step.

Step 1: Open Terminal.

Step 2: Paste the following command in Terminal and press Return on your keyboard:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Whenever prompted, press Return on your keyboard. You will also be prompted to enter your administrator password. Once you do, press Return on your keyboard.

Step 3: Enter the following commands to add Homebrew to your PATH:

echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"' >> /Users/jeff/.zprofile

eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"

Install QEMU using Homebrew

Open Terminal and type/paste the following command and press the Return key.

brew install qemu

The QEMU installation may take a while depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

Convert Windows 11 VHDX to VMDK

Now we’ll use QEMU to convert the Windows 11 VHDX container to a VMDK container.

Open Terminal and type/paste the following (make sure ‘vmdk’ is in lower case):

qemu-img convert -O vmdk

Ensure that a single space is inserted after vmdk, and drag the Windows 11 VHDX container from the Downloads folder into the Terminal. The result should look similar to the following, but obviously your user name will most likely be different:

qemu-img convert -O vmdk /Users/jeff/Downloads/Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_ARM64_en-us_22598.VHDX

Ensure that a single space is inserted after VHDX, and type/paste the following:


The final command should look similar to the following:

qemu-img convert -O vmdk /Users/jeff/Downloads/Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_ARM64_en-us_22598.VHDX ~/Desktop/Windows11.vmdk

Press Return on your Keyboard. Once you do, you may see a pop-up stating that “VMware Fusion Tech Preview” would like to access files in your Desktop folder. Click OK to allow access.

QEMU will begin converting the VHDK container to VMDK, creating a separate file. The new file will be roughly the same size as the original VHDK, so you’ll want to ensure that you have enough space on your Mac to accommodate it. Conversion will take a few minutes. Once completed, you should see a new Windows11.vmdk file on your desktop.

Download and Install VMware Fusion Technology Preview

Before downloading the VMware Fusion Technology Preview, you’ll need to login with a VMware Customer Connect account.

Step 1: Visit VMware Customer Connect and click Login in the upper right-hand corner. If you do not have a VMware account yet, click Register in the upper right-hand corner to register.

Step 2: Once logged in, visit the product downloads area to download the latest VMware Fusion Technology Preview. If the download doesn’t start automatically, click the Download Now button next to the universal.dmg file. (Click Allow if you see a Safari pop-up requesting to allow downloads).

Step 3: Double click the VMware-Fusion.dmg to mount the image, then double-click the VMware Fusion Tech Preview icon.

Step 4: Click the Open button on the pop-up that appears, enter your macOS administrator password, and click OK.

Step 5: Click Agree on the VMware Technology Preview License Agreement.

Step 6: On the license key screen, the license key for VMware Fusion Preview should already be populated with a valid license. Click Continue and then click Done to complete the installation.

Step 7: Click OK on the VMware Fusion Tech Preview System Events permission pop-up.

Step 8: Click Not Now on the Accessibility pop-up. You can always change this later via Security & Privacy Preferences if you desire.

Once the install and configuration is completed, you will be presented with the Select the Installation Method window. If you don’t see this window, you can always open it by clicking FileOpen in the menu bar.

Install Windows 11 ARM Preview with VMware Fusion

Step 1: On the Installation Method window click Create a custom virtual machine and click Continue.

Step 2: Under Choose Operating System select Microsoft Windows > Windows 11 64-bit Arm and click Continue.

Step 3: Keep UEFI selected on the Firmware Type window and click Continue.

Step 4: On the Encryption Window, keep the default option — Only the files needed to support a TPM are encrypted — and click Auto Generate Password. Ensure that Remember Password and store it in Mac’s Keychain is selected and click Continue.

??? More details on TPM and writing down password ??

Step 5: On the Choose a Virtual Disk window, click the radio button next to Use an existing virtual disk and then click Choose virtual disk…

Navigate the pop-up Finder window to the desktop and select the Windows11.vmdk file created in the prior steps.

You may choose the default option Make a separate copy of the virtual disk. This will copy the contents of the Windows11.vmdk container to a new location in ~/Virtual Machines.

This option will take up more space, but will allow other virtual machines to use the original virtual hard disk. If you only plan on using a single virtual instance and wish to save space, you can select Share this virtual disk with the virtual machine that created it.

Personally, I usually stick to the default option, but the choice is yours. Once you’ve selected the desired option, click Choose, followed by Continue.

Step 6: On the Finish window, you’ll have the opportunity to customize settings. Click the Customize Settings button if you wish to configure how much memory is allocated to the virtual machine along with the number of CPU cores, etc. If you’re fine with the default settings presented, click Finish.

Whether or not you click Customize Settings or Continue, you’ll next be prompted to save the virtual machine to your Mac. The default location is ~/Virtual Machines and I recommend keeping the default setting. Click Save to confirm.

If you opted to make a separate copy of the virtual disk, VMware will copy the virtual hard disk to the new location, and then automatically boot into Windows setup.

If you see a permission dialogue requesting Screen Recording access, you may click Deny. You can always provide permissions later via the Security & Privacy section of System Preferences if needed.

Windows setup

Because the necessary VMXNet3 virtual network driver isn’t included with Windows Home or Pro for Windows on ARM, you’ll need to bypass the network enrollment during Windows setup.

Step 1: On your Mac’s keyboard, press Shift+F10. If you have your keyboard set up as default, and you’re using a MacBook or Magic Keyboard, you’ll need to press Fn+Shift+F10 instead. This will invoke the Windows Command Prompt.

Step 2: Enter the following on the Command Prompt:


Press Return on your keyboard. This command lets you bypass network enrollment, but first it will restart Windows Setup.

Step 3: Select your country/region and click Yes.

Step 4: Choose your desired input method and click Yes.

Step 5: On the second keyboard layout page, click Skip.

Step 6: On the network page, click I don’t have Internet and click continue with limited setup.

Step 7: Click Accept on the License Agreement page.

Step 8: Enter your name and click Next.

Step 9: Enter a password (optional) and click Next.

Step 10: Disable all of the privacy settings and click Accept.

Windows will continue with the final configuration steps, and eventually the Windows desktop will appear.

Installing VMware Tools

Prior to installing VMware Tools, you will be unable to configure your network connection or adjust display resolution settings. In other words, instilling VMware Tools is a must.

Step 1: Click the Windows Start menu and type PowerShell in the search box. Click Run as Administrator, and click Yes on the User Access Control prompt. (If you don’t see Run as Administrator, right click on PowerShell and select Run as Administrator).

Step 2: Type the following inside the PowerShell prompt:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Press Return on your keyboard to execute the command, and then type ‘Y’ and press Return to confirm the change to the execution policy. Type Exit and press Return to close the PowerShell.

Step 3: In the menu bar click Virtual MachineReinstall VMware Tools and click the Install button on the prompt that appears.

Step 4: Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the DVD drive, and ensure that VMware Tools setup is mounted. You should see a Setup.ps1 PowerShell script in the root of the DVD drive.

Step 5: Right click on the Setup PowerShell Script and click Run with PowerShell. Click Yes on the User Account Control pop-up.

VMware Tools will now install, along with the necessary VMXNet3 network drivers and SVGA display driver. After a short countdown, the PowerShell window will automatically close.

Network functionality should now be operational, and you will also be able to configure display settings via Start → Settings → Display. There should be no need to restart in order to enable this functionality.


Although this tutorial may seem like a lot of steps, it’s a fairly easy procedure to navigate through once you have the needed Windows 11 image and the VMware Fusion Technical Preview downloaded.

Jeff Benjamin holding an M2 MacBook Air with Windows 11 on ARM on screen running via VMware Fusion Technical Preview.

For general computing with apps with no Mac alternative, VMware Fusion Technical Preview has been a solid experience so far, and will only get better.

If you appreciated this tutorial, you can help out by subscribing to my YouTube channel, and liking the video. Stay tuned, because I have many more Mac-centric tutorials and walkthroughs in the pipeline.

Hands-on: M2 MacBook Pro

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Why does it exist?

This is a particularly interesting question in relation to the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro, because this computer is nearly identical to the 2020 model with the exception of Apple’s new M2 system on a chip. In my eyes, this new MacBook Pro exists for a few key reasons:

  • Apple sells a lot of 13-inch MacBook Pro machines
  • The previous 13-inch MacBook Pro is approaching two years old in November, and was due for a refresh
  • This is Apple’s entry-level “Pro” MacBook, and at $1299, its base configuration is $700 cheaper than the base model 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip
  • R&D and manufacturing costs are minimized since this design has been used before

There’s no complex explanation here — Apple sells a lot of 13-inch MacBook Pro computers, so it was updated with Apple’s new M2 chip in order to keep selling more.

Who is it for?

I look at the MacBook Pro similarly to how I look at fleet vehicles. They are able to do the job, but don’t bring a lot of added bells and whistles to the table. The M2 MacBook Pro does the job, featuring a new “engine” with higher performance than its predecessor, but it’s not at all exciting, and saves all of the fancy stuff — XDR display, MagSafe, SD Card slot, extra Thunderbolt port — for its bigger siblings.

If you need a new MacBook, then the 2022 MacBook Pro is among the cheapest that you can buy brand new. It also comes with M2 Apple Silicon that should last plenty of generations of software updates going into the future.

“If you need a new MacBook, then the 2022 MacBook Pro is among the cheapest that you can buy brand new”


The chassis on this MacBook Pro — both inside and outside — is indistinguishable from its predecessor. It features the same I/O, including two Thunderbolt USB4 ports located on the left side of the machine, and the same 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side.

The screen is also identical to the previous model. It features the same 13.3-inch IPS display with 2560-by-1600 native resolution, along with other familiar specs: 500 nits of brightness, wide color support, and True Tone for accurate white balance in ambient light.

The 2022 MacBook Pro also ensures that the controversial Touch Bar remains available on a brand new Apple laptop for at least one more generation. The Touch Bar, which has received a lukewarm response since its debut back in 2016, has been eliminated on all of Apple’s laptops with updated designs starting with last year’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro releases.

With all of that being said, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is still a beautifully-designed laptop, and in most cases puts PC designs to shame. Just because it isn’t the latest and greatest design doesn’t automatically make it bad. 2020’s MacBook Pro blew everyone’s mind with how good it was, and that was mostly owed to Apple Silicon. For the most part, the same rings true with the M2-powered MacBook Pro.

Key strengths

The most important 2022 MacBook Pro feature is easily the Apple M2 Chip, which makes its worldwide debut in this machine. The M2 is the follow-up to the venerable M1 chip, the first such in-house-designed chip for Macs, and an utter game-changer performance-wise when compared to Intel chips.

The M2 builds on the M1 in several key ways. The M2 uses the same 5nm process, but features a noteworthy increase in transistors going from 16 million on the M1 to 20 million on the M2. The M2 features an 8-core CPU paired with a 10-Core GPU — two additional GPU cores than its predecessor.

The 16-core Neural Engine is now more capable than before. The upgraded Neural Engine can now perform 15.8 trillion operations per second which is a sizable step above the 11 trillion ops on the two-year-ago model.

Finally, the M2 features faster memory, with 100GB/s memory bandwidth versus roughly 70GB/s with M1. And buyers can configure up to 40% more unified memory than before, with users presented with an 8, 16, and new 24 GB build-to-order option. Although a far cry from the 64GB option on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, when coupled with the additional bandwidth, having 8GB of extra memory headroom will make a difference for video workflows, 3D rendering, virtualization, etc. when compared to M1.

Key weaknesses

One of the biggest weaknesses of the 13-inch MacBook Pro only affects the base model with 256GB of SSD storage. As revealed by Max Tech, Apple is using a single 256GB NAND module in its base model MacBook Pro instead of two 128GB NAND modules in parallel like it did in the M1-powered base machine. This change results in slower SSD speeds than the previous 13-inch base model MacBook Pro.

On one hand that is a problem, because the MacBook Pro should be at least as fast as its predecessor across the board. In terms of SSD speed for the base $1299 configuration with 256GB of storage, that is not the case.

Of course, one could make the argument that those who are concerned with the speed of the SSD wouldn’t be opting for the base configuration anyway, and I agree with this to an extent. The audience for this baseline MacBook Pro is generally not the same audience that cares about SSD performance beyond the fact that it be fast enough to do basic tasks competently, such as launching apps.

However, as others have said, I think this means that Apple should have simply set the new baseline at 512GB if doing otherwise yields performance that is demonstrably slower than its predecessor.

The other big weakness is that, because this machine isn’t powered by the higher end Pro and/or Max variants of the M2 chip, there’s not enough bandwidth to support more more than two Thunderbolt ports, which are located solely on the left-side of the machine. As someone who frequently interfaces with Thunderbolt and USB-C peripherals, this is a big downside for me, but your experience may vary.


At $1299 for the base model, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is easily the most affordable brand new MacBook Pro that you can purchase today. The higher-end 14-inch model starts at $1999, a $700 increase over the baseline 13-inch version. Hence, in terms of value when compared to the 14-inch model, there is a substantial amount of money to be saved.

If you’re coming from an Intel MacBook, then the M2 MacBook Pro will, like its predecessor, blow you away. The performance and battery life runs circles around MacBook Pro models with Intel chips. For those making the move from Intel hardware, you will be downright thrilled with the upgrade.

However, when compared to the previous M1 MacBook Pro, value is limited. For starters, you get a slower SSD in the base model, and outside of the M2 performance increases and build-to-order memory upgrade, it’s more or less the exact same machine design-wise and feature wise. With these things in mind, I’d say that the 2022 MacBook Pro provides a wide range of value propositions for perspective buyers.


The 2022 MacBook Pro is about as vanilla as it gets when it comes to Apple laptops. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the M2 chip that powers the machine is extremely capable, and will be a huge upgrade for those coming from Intel-powered MacBooks.

But if you already have 2020’s MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with the M1 chip, the upgrade is considerably less compelling. If I were looking to upgrade to the latest Apple Silicon, I’d instead wait for the M2-powered MacBook Air refresh that’s scheduled to come available later this month.

Despite being rated for two hours less battery life than the MacBook Pro, I think the upcoming MacBook Air is hands-down the better computer for the majority of users at this price tier. With the 2022 MacBook Air, you get all of the following advantages over the MacBook Pro:

  • Brand new thinner design (0.44 inch vs 0.61 inches)
  • Slightly larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Much thinner bezels
  • Lighter chassis (2.7 pounds vs 3.0 pounds)
  • Silent, fanless design
  • New exciting color options (Starlight and Midnight)
  • MagSafe 3 support
  • 1080p FaceTime HD Camera
  • Full-size function keys
  • No Touch Bar (for those that hate it)
  • $100 cheaper for base model

Advantages of the MacBook Pro:

  • No notch
  • Active cooling for less throttling
  • 67W USB-C Power Adapter vs 30W
  • Battery life (20 vs 18)
  • Touch Bar (for those that like it)
  • Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
  • Studio-quality three-mic array

In my opinion, none of those advantages add up to make the MacBook Pro a better machine than the MacBook Air, but if you really value the Touch Bar, or you value battery life over anything else, then those are areas you might possibly consider when making a decision. Personally, despite having not yet tested the MacBook Air, I think the decision is a no-brainer: skip the MacBook Pro, get the MacBook Air.

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