Do I need a Macbook or Air?

twobelowpar

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 7, 2013
106
19
I'm in the market for a Macbook of some kind. We've always had (cheap but crappy) PC's that basically die after a few years. I want something that is quality that will last. Our other devices are Apple (TV, iPad, iPhones) so I know it will integrate well, but we've never actually had a Mac. It will be used for very basic functions: web browsing, some word processing, streaming, etc. We take a lot of pictures with our iPhones but any actual editing is light to none. I have 500gb of iCloud storage. The only real advantage I can see with the MB is the retina display, which I really want! But I'm not sure if it's worth the extra cost over the Air. Both look pretty portable, but we don't travel a ton anyway. So are there other pros the MB can bring besides retina display? Is it significantly better to warrant the extra cost? Any tips are appreciated!
 

madat42

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2011
197
20
If the extra cost isn't an issue then yes, it's worth the cost and you should go for it. Tips? With what you'd use it for, the base model (m3/256gb) fits the bill.

If you expect to continue using your iPad primarily then the MBA makes sense. I settled on the 12 inch MB as a replacement for my iPad and old MBA.
 

Rocko99991

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2017
947
1,167
My advice it to buy both, use them for a week or so and return the unit you don't don't prefer.
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
987
121
Sweden
I advice you to go to a store and test the screen with different screen resolutions so you are comfortable with it's size. The MacBook is 12" and the MacBook Air/PRO is 13". The air has always been a good computer but today it's not a good buy for what you get. Also check out the lowest MacBook PRO.
 

twobelowpar

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 7, 2013
106
19
Thanks for the suggestions. Would the Pro be overkill for what we need though?
 

Rocko99991

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2017
947
1,167
Thanks for the suggestions. Would the Pro be overkill for what we need though?
No such thing as overkill in the laptop world. What there is, is over your budget. If you don't have an issue using dongles, you like the newer style keyboard, check out the Macbook. If you need the ports the Air offers, don't like dongles and don't mind the screen, a Apple refurbished Air can save you some money. $979 for 256gb on Apples site now. They look brand new and have the same warranty as new.
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,439
1,081
Yes try them first if you can. But the Air is now a 7year old design. And when it sits next to a Mb you really see the last generation design.

For your use case I would buy a discounted MB 2016 at Bestbuy or refurbished from Apple
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2010
424
148
If you do a lot of web browsing, emailing, and writing, be aware that the MacBook Air's screen shimmers when you scroll -- the text doesn't refresh adequately, so there's a noticeable dimming, off and on, off an on.

In contrast, the MacBook (and the Pro) with their retina displays work like iPads-- smooth, smooth displays!

Also, the extremely large bezels become a real distraction once you notice them!

Still, there are the ports, money to be saved, and the older keyboard type (although we likened it to typing on a brick when we first got the Air).

Note: We've been facing a similar purchasing decision and are strongly leaning towards the MBP and pretty strongly against the Air!
 

twobelowpar

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 7, 2013
106
19
Are there any Retina MBP models that are less money than a 2017 MB? Money definitely is a factor but I've likely ruled out getting an Air.
 

Precursor

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2015
926
871
Istanbul
I'm in the market for a Macbook of some kind. We've always had (cheap but crappy) PC's that basically die after a few years. I want something that is quality that will last. Our other devices are Apple (TV, iPad, iPhones) so I know it will integrate well, but we've never actually had a Mac. It will be used for very basic functions: web browsing, some word processing, streaming, etc. We take a lot of pictures with our iPhones but any actual editing is light to none. I have 500gb of iCloud storage. The only real advantage I can see with the MB is the retina display, which I really want! But I'm not sure if it's worth the extra cost over the Air. Both look pretty portable, but we don't travel a ton anyway. So are there other pros the MB can bring besides retina display? Is it significantly better to warrant the extra cost? Any tips are appreciated!
You can do all these on an iPad Pro. With the usage you mentioned, I'd recommend a 12.9" iPP which will be cheaper and easier to use.
 
Jun 28, 2017
82
76
The 2017 M3 MacBook Retina sounds absolutely perfect for your needs. This years entry level model is super speedy. For me, it's my favourite Mac design of all time. I seriously can't fault the MacBook in anyway. I do a lot of 1080p 60FPS video editing in Final Cut Pro X and it's a beauty.
For me, best computer ever!!! Beautifully built, so compact - cute even and very chic. Certainly the days of geeky computers are over with this little Prince!
 

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