2018 Macbook Air or 2017 Macbook Pro (referb)

2018 Macbook Air or 2017 Macbook Pro (13") (referb)


  • Total voters
    35

JTPRO

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 20, 2007
116
18
Irvine, CA
Trying to decide which laptop to purchase for a 15 y/o high school student. They will be using it for school and for music creation. Thank you for helping!
 

Steelhead1957

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2018
3
7
Tampa
Not even close if you can swing it! I love my 2018 MBA 512/16GB ram. Long time MacBook Pro /iMac user and found the new Air hits the sweet spot and will most likely serve you in many ways for many years. My wife has the 256/8 2018 ands it is just as nice to use.
 

KB23

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2017
38
24
Toronto, Canada
I would say to avoid the MacBook Pro 2017 nTB like the plague. The 2nd gen keyboard is awful and the problem gets even worse (with sticking) when it starts over heating. If anything go for the 2018 MacBook Air. I'm not saying that the 3rd gen completely fixed the problem, but it is much better than the 2nd gen keyboard.
 
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Macintoshrumors

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2016
500
405
I would say to avoid the MacBook Pro 2018 nTB like the plague. The 2nd gen keyboard is awful and the problem gets even worse (with sticking) when it starts over heating. If anything go for the 2018 MacBook Pro. I'm not saying that the 3rd gen completely fixed the problem, but it is much better than the 2nd gen keyboard.
The nTb wasn’t updated in 2018
 

revmacian

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2018
781
701
USA
Trying to decide which laptop to purchase for a 15 y/o high school student. They will be using it for school and for music creation. Thank you for helping!
I was in this same boat recently. I've done loads of research and chose the 2017 non-Touchbar MacBook Pro. My reasoning is:

- I don't think I could manage going through the BridgeOS crashes caused by the T2 chip (2018 MBA, 2018 Mac mini, current iMac, 2018 MBP with TB are all suffering this issue). This problem has been going on for a year now since the iMac and it can produce random reboots. I can't take the chance on losing my work.

- Yes, the 2017 MBP can suffer broken keys but I can always use an external keyboard and Apple already has a replacement program in place for this machine. I have watched numerous videos and know several people who bought the 2017 MBP non-Touchbar when it was released and haven't experienced any keyboard problems.

- The 2017 MBP non-Touchbar has a better display and a more powerful CPU. I was able to grab a refurbished 2017 MBP non-Touchbar for less ($1,397.00 after tax) than a 2018 MBA ($1,399.00 before tax) - same amount of RAM and SSD. Refurbs have the upper casing replaced (battery and keyboard) and there is no real guarantee that the keys will die.
 
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HappyInCalgary

macrumors newbie
Mar 7, 2013
11
5
Calgary, Alberta
I would put my vote in for the 2018 Macbook Air. I also researched which laptop to buy: the Air or the 2017 non-Touchbar Pro.

The keyboard is way better in terms of feel. And I have had the Air for over a month and have not had a BridgeOS crash at all so there's that.

And given that I use the Air more for writing than anything else, a good keyboard was my primary concern.

In Canada, the refurbished Pro costs not much less than the new Air. So cost was not an issue for me. Anyways, I feel the new Air for my uses is a better machine.
 
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spforever

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2015
4
3
I would put my vote in for the 2018 Macbook Air. I also researched which laptop to buy: the Air or the 2017 non-Touchbar Pro.

The keyboard is way better in terms of feel. And I have had the Air for over a month and have not had a BridgeOS crash at all so there's that.

And given that I use the Air more for writing than anything else, a good keyboard was my primary concern.

In Canada, the refurbished Pro costs not much less than the new Air. So cost was not an issue for me. Anyways, I feel the new Air for my uses is a better machine.
After a while of comparison I make also the decision for the new Macbook Air 2018. Finally the significantly better keyboard was also the reason for me to take the MBA 2018.

Up to now I don't regret the purchase. The brightness of the display is totally sufficient for my needs.
 
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Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,678
1,147
England
I prefer the 2018 Air. It is lighter and feels less bulky due to the tapered design, and has the updated keyboard. Of course the MB is significantly lighter still but I really prefer the extra screen real estate over the 12 inch.
 
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lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
420
151
Ohio
If you have a Microcenter nearby, you can get a 2018 MBA 256/8GB model for $1,199. At $1,199, in my opinion, it is the best MacBook variant Apple sells. Lightweight, beautiful display, fast, dual Thunderbolt 3, has the latest features (3rd gen keyboard, Touch ID, T2 chip, 8th gen processor, etc.). The only flaw it has is a 300 nit screen. To me, it isn't really a flaw, I don't care that it doesn't get brighter because I never use my laptops at full brightness. I've yet to encounter any crashing issues, have had the 2018 MBA since the first week of December.

At its normal price however, the 2018 MBA is a bit of toss up. A refurbished 2017 nTB is still a great option. It has a brighter screen, an overall more powerful processor (due to a higher base clock and boost clock), and a better iGPU. To play Devil's Advocate, it does have inferior battery life (due to the higher clocked processor and brighter screen), has a 2nd gen keyboard, doesn't have TouchID, lacks the T2 chip, and IMO is less comfortable to type on (Air has a wedge design, its much more comfortable to type on).

Either or... I would suggest you save and pay more than go with the last gen MBA. The last gen MBA should have been upgraded/retired 3-4 years ago. It's in the same place the last gen Mac Mini was, no one should even consider buying it in 2018.
 
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Neverbepeace

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2009
765
218
New York
Here is a question....for basic use, some light video editing...hooking it up to an external 4K monitor...which would be a better option?

MacBook Air 2018 base model at $899
MacBook Pro 2017 base ntb model at $890

Weird $9 dollar difference but whatever. I can't help but think the pro is a way better buy at this price point over the air? Thoughts?
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,795
7,405
Austin, TX
Here is a question....for basic use, some light video editing...hooking it up to an external 4K monitor...which would be a better option?

MacBook Air 2018 base model at $899
MacBook Pro 2017 base ntb model at $890

Weird $9 dollar difference but whatever. I can't help but think the pro is a way better buy at this price point over the air? Thoughts?
This should be cut and dry: you should go with the 2017 Pro.

Here's the problem: The keyboard in the MBA is updated for dust related issues. YMMV