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Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air

bullett007

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2016
10
3
Ive spent ages trying to decide whether to get a new 2020 Air (i5/16Gb/512) or a 10th gen MBP (i5, similar spec). The MBP is obviously a bit more money. My current mac is a 2013 retina MBP (dual core, 16GB, 512) And for lighter use I have an 11” iPad Pro & smart keyboard.

Ive gone back and forwards on it numerous times. This thread is useful , as have the others.
My thoughts are as follows :

  • The Air will thermal throttle & rev up the fans at times and I will feel I made a bad call. I think Apple made some really poor thermal design choices with the Air, even if its ok most of the time.
  • The fact that Apple dims the Air screen in MacOS deliberately (yet 542nits measured in Windows via Bootcamp) actually sickens me.
  • The Touch Bar doesn’t bother me. The MBP is probably slightly overkill for my needs (media consumption, web, coding and development). It’s also very expensive, but on the other hand would probably last me a good 6 - 7 years. Much better thermal design too.
  • I wont consider the 8th gen MBP. Not paying all that money for old tech.
  • I even looked at the New Dell XPS 13 as it looks gorgeous (no bezel screen, better processors), but found too many instances of thermal & reliability issues.
So after countless hours I’m thinking of just keeping my 2013 MBP a bit longer, and putting the money saved towards either an iPhone 12 upgrade or watch 6 upgrade later this year or upgrading my iPad to this years 12.9“ version with that new fancy (ridiculously priced) keyboard.

Or if the world really does go down the toilet due to the virus, buy NOTHING!


Like you I had the same 2013 spec MBP, I pulled the trigger in 2018 and went with the MBA w/ 16GB ram, it meets my needs easily for everything that I used to do on the 2013 MBP, knowing this (and if your use is anything like mine was/is light web dev/occasional video edit/lots of tabs in Safari) I would tell you to wait. There is too much change going on at the minute, the 14" rumoured for next year, an ARM MacBook rumoured also, the 16" is surely getting a 10th gen chip refresh in the not too distant future that will bring the 9th gen models down in price. A 12.9" 2018 iPad is probably a great shout to be honest unless you care about an extra GPU core and LiDAR camera.

In fact once you buy iPad Pro, you might not even be bothered about a MBP purchase for a few more years, depends on your use.
 
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ericwn

macrumors 603
Apr 24, 2016
5,999
3,904
Apple are so doing their own profit thing now, I don't care about them, worse, I don't care about their products, announcements, or even the commentary provided by this website. I'm sad for what was, and could have been.

But then you come to this website, read the article and decide to post. Are you sure you don’t care?
 

aleni

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
2,439
739
Argh. Enough with the tired memes! We’ve been seeing comparisons where the low-end computer is only “best for web browsing and making spreadsheets“ for at least 20 years now.

For the most part, the increase in processor power over time has dramatically outstripped software’s increasing demands for that power. The new, low-end Air can likely run circles around most higher-end laptops from the first half of this decade.

I realize an Apple-centric forum is probably the wrong place to say this, but - people need to become more cynical regarding marketing claims.

agreed man! The air is much more capable than creating spreadsheets. It’s a good laptop for junior designer, I’m sure even Sagi Haviv can comfortably make logo design on that little beast and earning hundreds of thousands dollars by just using the macbook air!
 

BagODonits

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2018
7
5
Like you I had the same 2013 spec MBP, I pulled the trigger in 2018 and went with the MBA w/ 16GB ram, it meets my needs easily for everything that I used to do on the 2013 MBP, knowing this (and if your use is anything like mine was/is light web dev/occasional video edit/lots of tabs in Safari) I would tell you to wait. There is too much change going on at the minute, the 14" rumoured for next year, an ARM MacBook rumoured also, the 16" is surely getting a 10th gen chip refresh in the not too distant future that will bring the 9th gen models down in price. A 12.9" 2018 iPad is probably a great shout to be honest unless you care about an extra GPU core and LiDAR camera.

In fact once you buy iPad Pro, you might not even be bothered about a MBP purchase for a few more years, depends on your use.
Also like you my wife has the 2013 MBP. It ran fine but the speakers were dead and many keys worn off and the battery on its last legs so we were in the market. I too fretted about the cooling especially after I ordered the i5 version. I am happy to say that my wife loves it. It is smaller, lighter, cheaper, almost twice as fast, and better battery life. Belive it or not She is most excited by the rose gold! She does heavy streaming video and Zoom use (Zoom backgrounds needs a quad core). I will admit the fan comes on in situations where it does not on the MBP. It is so quiet I have to make an effort to hear it. I quizzed my wife and she has never noticed it yet.
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
13,549
11,992
Singapore
Argh. Enough with the tired memes! We’ve been seeing comparisons where the low-end computer is only “best for web browsing and making spreadsheets“ for at least 20 years now.

For the most part, the increase in processor power over time has dramatically outstripped software’s increasing demands for that power. The new, low-end Air can likely run circles around most higher-end laptops from the first half of this decade.

I realize an Apple-centric forum is probably the wrong place to say this, but - people need to become more cynical regarding marketing claims.
I agree. If a 2015 Macbook running FCP can edit 4k footage, I think it's safe to say that current models are over-serving the market as the average user does not need the power that the latest hardware provides. Plus as the build quality keeps on getting better, there is even less of a reason to upgrade. I am sure that for the buyers that are looking to purchase the MacBook Air are just looking to surf the web, check email, use Microsoft Office/iWork and Photos. They want to have a computer that complements their iPhone purchase so they can have it work well with iCloud and iMessage as well. For those tasks, this MacBook Air will do a great job.
 

mcdasa

macrumors newbie
May 9, 2020
2
0
I use mine constantly and find it quite useful. I did, however spend some time to customise it.

yes, some did it like you did. but it is sure that it is not easy to get used to it.

i think apple needs to work for this point which is to lower the barrier to entry of “get used to use touch bar”
 

BagODonits

macrumors newbie
Dec 21, 2018
7
5
Today you can get the base MBP for $200 off at Best Buy. This puts it at the same price as the MBA with the $100 i5 upgrade. Advantage goes to which?

Depends
MBA advantage thinner, lighter, better battery life, rose gold
MBP advantage sustained performance, ports, screen

the Touch Bar can be a plus or a minus depending on your perspective.
 
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