$1800 to spend -- 2018 MacBook Air or 2018 Pro (for non-professional use)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jason2811, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    I can get a 2018 MacBook Air with 16GB RAM and 512GB for $1800. I can also get a REFURB 2018 MacBook Pro Touchbar (released in July with the new keyboard) with 512GB and 8GB RAM for the same price through Apple. I plan to keep whatever laptop I get for about 4 years.

    The thing is I don’t need all the extra power. I use safari/chrome with a lot of tabs, Spotify, word processing, light Photoshop and Lightroom, and light gaming.

    So all things considered portability probably matters more than raw power. How much heavier/larger is the Pro? Will it be noticeable?

    How annoying is the TouchBar? I will likely disable it so it just shows the regular function keys. My concern is Apple will discontinue it in future models next year and then it’ll be this obsolete piece of tech stuck on my laptop.

    Also how much will RAM matter over the years for what I’m doing? It will either be 16GB on the Air or 8GB on the Air. Will 8GB be useable in 4 years? Will I even need more than 8GB for my usage?

  2. bambooshots macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2013
    A lot of tabs?

    I'll just say this: I keep a lot of Chrome tabs open.

    I've been seriously considering replacing my 2016 MacBook with another that has 16GB ram.
  3. Cosmo M3 macrumors regular

    Cosmo M3

    Sep 4, 2010
    I hate the touchbar to be honest. Maybe get the nTB 13 inch MBP with extra RAM? That being said, I prefer the keyboard and Touch ID over my 2017 nTB MBP 13 inch.
  4. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    We still don't know all the specifics for the 2018 MBA, but if it's the 2018 MBA with 16GB vs the 2018 Pro with 8GB, I'd take the Pro. I think the extra cores will have more impact than the extra 8GB.

    Still a bit early though, we don't know all the details about the Air, and we haven't heard from those early users who go through the initial teething problems. I like the Air, but given the choice it seems to be an easy one to me.
  5. Takizawa macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2015
    I agree. Go with the pro. The screen is better, period. That goes for brightness and for having truer white coloring regardless of the surrounding lighting. I went to the Apple store yesterday and compared the models. I liked (and really wanted to like) the 2018 MBA, but the screen was meh.. Definitely a step up from the original macbook air, but that is a given.
  6. Kimcha macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2012
    Consider the 2017 refurb ntb-MBP:
    • + Slightly better CPU performance than the MBA
    • + Much better GPU performance than the MBA
    • + 500 vs 300 nit display
    • + P3 color display vs sRGB
    • + $190 cheaper ($1609 vs $1799 for 16GB with 512GB hdd)
    • - No Touch ID
    • - Slightly thicker and heavier
    • - 2nd gen Butterfly Keyboard - Without recent improvements
    • + 2nd gen Butterfly Keyboard - Has a guaranteed replacement program whereas the 3rd still doesn't 100% fix the issue and may never get a repair program
  7. BFskinnerPunk macrumors newbie


    Jul 7, 2007
    Just came back from the Apple store....had the macbook, the air, and pro all next to each other. Stacked them on top of each other...held them...felt the weight of them.
    The Macbook Pro actually seems nearly the exact same size....feels almost identical in weight (subjectively).
    With that, I might just go with a pro.
    If the Air felt insanely light and was physically smaller in a notable way, I could see considering it. I do like that lack of touch bar....but nothing else.
  8. jesChexin macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2018
    I feel the same as you. I was all on team MBA (I have a 2011 11” MBA that I need to replace soon), but in-store the new MBA seemed almost the same weight and thickness as the Pro. The screen on the Pro was clearly better (although you might not notice in everyday life when not comparing the models side by side). The new iPad, however, was stunning (but I need a real OS for work). I’m totally confused about what to do now regarding a purchase!
  9. CLS727 macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2018
    I have both.

    I hate using my iPad to do work. My emails involve a lot of dragging/dropping screen shots. Doing that in iOS is way to cumbersome. MacBook Air is perfect for that.

    And I hate using my MacBook Air for media/web on the couch and on airplanes, keyboard is in the way.... iPad is perfect for that.

    So to your question.... it depends on what you're going to use it for.

    And I'm the perfect example of why Apple will never put full macOS with a bluetooth mouse on an iPad..... it's just a totally different experience.
  10. Lartymarf macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2007
    Went to the store and compared the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro 13 and, like a few in this thread, I felt the MBA was nearly identical in weight and size to the MacBook Pro 13. (Not in specs, but in person and in hand.) I have a 2012 MBA 13 and a 2016 MacBook.

    Personally, if I had to start over again, I'd choose the MacBook for portability or the MacBook Pro 13 if I wanted portability but needed the extra horsepower for video editing etc. Wouldn't choose the MBA. But, after playing with the MBA and understanding the pricing, I can see the MBA would suit the needs of those wanting a slightly larger screen than the MacBook but not needing the extra power to save some money from going to the MacBook Pro.
  11. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    The 13" MacBook Air is factually much closer in weight to the 13" MacBook Pro than it is to the 12" MacBook. You should be looking at the 12"MacBook if you want the lightest laptop. At 13" the MBP is bascially the same as the Air(Specs indicate this)

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10 November 8, 2018