Double Instead of Replace?

ShMac

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
45
4
I was looking at replacing my current 2014 MacBook Air which I am slightly overloading with one of the latest MacBook Pro 15s.

However, looking on Amazon, I see only 58% of reviews are 5-star and a full 12% are 1-star. Has Apple slipped so far or are people having buyer's remorse because of the price?

Since I'm not doing a ton of heavy processing particularly needing a quad core machine, an alternative for me might be to just get another MacBook Air and split my workflow between the two. And, if something does require a lot of processing, I won't be dead in the water, I can just let one computer sit and process and continue working on something else on the other one. I also see a lot fewer negative reviews of the Air, although there are just a lot fewer reviews in general. How is the Air these days? Is it better in quality relative to the Pro overall?

The thought of having a 15.4" screen again is appealing but not if the quality isn't up to the price.
 

Algus

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2014
222
83
Arizona
Ehh the new models cost more than the previous design did and not everyone is sold on eliminating all ports for USB-C yet. The new MacBooks are forward thinking computers IMO but every time Apple starts killing older ports off this happens.

I wouldn't buy an MBA. The one they are selling now is still essentially a 2015 Broadwell computer. You won't get that much of a performance boost over your current system.

If the MBA is still working for you and you just want something that will sit there and plunk through work for you while left idle, why not look at a desktop Mac? Both the 21.5 4k iMac and 27 5k iMac are going to give you a beefier machine then your Air.
 

ShMac

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
45
4
That is a nice thought, maybe I'll have a home in a place more to my liking, but my life and computer use are almost completely mobile at the moment. We live in a high speed Internet dead zone and I refuse to settle for satellite access. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to get out of the house everyday!

What you said about the MBA not being upgraded makes sense considering some reviews I've read. And the Apple doesn't light up on the new MBPs if I am not mistaken but the new MBAs look like they have the same transparent Apple for lighting, presumably because they have not upgraded the case much if at all.

This is very frustrating! I want to be able to just order an Apple laptop and know I'll be happy with it like most of the last two decades. My current MBA has been excellent overall. I gave a midgrade+ Lenovo a try and I didn't like it much. I don't want to pay another restocking fee either.

I don't care too much about ports at the moment as I only use an external drive for backups. I'm reading quite a variety of other complaints about the new MBP. Many complain about the keyboard. Others don't like the changes to the trackpad, just to name a couple of things that are very important to me personally.

I don't see a lot of good alternatives though. Maybe I should go look at a Zenbook or Spectre if I can find them in a store somewhere.
 

Algus

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2014
222
83
Arizona
In the Windows world I have a high opinion of the Zenbook and the Surface. The Surface line is finally Microsoft trying to build machines that can directly compete with Macs and are about as nice as you could find in the Windows world IMO. They have the right idea by marketing the tablet feature too. If that is something that interests you (vs using a Mac and an iPad or something) then the Surface is worth looking at.

The Zenbook I would compare favorably in build to the MacBook Pro. I liked the keyboard and many of them ship with better graphics options than Macs, so you can take advantage of Windows more favorable environment for gaming.

Surprisingly the best keyboard I've used in a laptop came from Dell! I own a Chromebook 13 and the keyboard is to die for. I actually think it's better than my Pro's keyboard. I believe they are using the same keyboard in their Latitude computers. The touch pad sucked compared to an Apple touch pad though.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,026
322
Keyboards are very personal and the only way to know is to try one. Also, I think people get used to keyboards more easily than they might imagine. I've typed millions of characters on keyboards ranging from rattly long-stroke keyboards (e.g. an old Hazeltine serial terminal) all the way to squishy short-stroke keyboards and with only a few exceptions I could tolerate all of them. (and the exceptions were more about layout than key feel.)

The MBAir's are OK if you need to save cash, and I suspect that many of the bad reviews are due to the screen. There's nothing wrong with it per se, but it looks old and tired next to a retina screen.

If you have a chance to actually handle a 15 inch rMBP in a store, or find someone who has one, I think that is the best way forward. I tend to be very wary of reviews in general, there are way too many paid shills, or trolls who get off on slamming a product which they may or may not have ever used seriously.
 

ShMac

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
45
4
In the Windows world I have a high opinion of the Zenbook and the Surface. The Surface line is finally Microsoft trying to build machines that can directly compete with Macs and are about as nice as you could find in the Windows world IMO. They have the right idea by marketing the tablet feature too.

The Zenbook I would compare favorably in build to the MacBook Pro. I liked the keyboard and many of them ship with better graphics options than Macs, so you can take advantage of Windows more favorable environment for gaming.

Surprisingly the best keyboard I've used in a laptop came from Dell! I own a Chromebook 13 and the keyboard is to die for. I actually think it's better than my Pro's keyboard. I believe they are using the same keyboard in their Latitude computers. The touch pad sucked compared to an Apple touch pad though.
I am ambivalent about the prospect of a tablet. I mostly surf, shop online, write in a word processor, make spreadsheets, and play music. Occasionally I will edit photos or something else. I guess the surface might give me options for different keyboards. How do they connect? Bluetooth? That might be a really good option to consider...I would miss my trackpad, so close and convenient to the keyboard, but I do already have a decent laser mouse.

I will definitely go check out a Zenbook somewhere. How was the trackpad on that?
It is funny you say that about Chromebook keyboards. One of my good friends from college that is very tech savvy already said that to me. He liked his Chromebook keyboard better than any contemporary PC he's had his hands on.

I am a bit leery of Dell's. They seem so feature rich and look great but the complaints about questionable quality, lemons, and poor customer service seem nearly endless!

If you have a chance to actually handle a 15 inch rMBP in a store, or find someone who has one, I think that is the best way forward. I tend to be very wary of reviews in general, there are way too many paid shills, or trolls who get off on slamming a product which they may or may not have ever used seriously.
That seems obvious now that you say it. I should just got to an Apple store and type on the new keyboards and use the new trackpads for myself! I know what you mean about reviews but I've had extremely good luck selecting products that way. Although, I tend to read *a lot* of reviews and way them against each other. Sometimes all of them for a big purchase like a laptop if not too many!
 

FNH15

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2011
290
205
I was looking at replacing my current 2014 MacBook Air which I am slightly overloading with one of the latest MacBook Pro 15s.

However, looking on Amazon, I see only 58% of reviews are 5-star and a full 12% are 1-star. Has Apple slipped so far or are people having buyer's remorse because of the price?

Since I'm not doing a ton of heavy processing particularly needing a quad core machine, an alternative for me might be to just get another MacBook Air and split my workflow between the two. And, if something does require a lot of processing, I won't be dead in the water, I can just let one computer sit and process and continue working on something else on the other one. I also see a lot fewer negative reviews of the Air, although there are just a lot fewer reviews in general. How is the Air these days? Is it better in quality relative to the Pro overall?

The thought of having a 15.4" screen again is appealing but not if the quality isn't up to the price.
I have a previous gen rMBP '15, and it's a very, very well built machine. My father uses a '16 15 MBP for work, and has no complaints with build quality or performance. If you don't need the quad core processing power of the '15, what about a i7 powered '13?
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,962
1,639
Australia, Perth
That is a nice thought, maybe I'll have a home in a place more to my liking, but my life and computer use are almost completely mobile at the moment. We live in a high speed Internet dead zone and I refuse to settle for satellite access. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to get out of the house everyday!

What you said about the MBA not being upgraded makes sense considering some reviews I've read. And the Apple doesn't light up on the new MBPs if I am not mistaken but the new MBAs look like they have the same transparent Apple for lighting, presumably because they have not upgraded the case much if at all.

This is very frustrating! I want to be able to just order an Apple laptop and know I'll be happy with it like most of the last two decades. My current MBA has been excellent overall. I gave a midgrade+ Lenovo a try and I didn't like it much. I don't want to pay another restocking fee either.

I don't care too much about ports at the moment as I only use an external drive for backups. I'm reading quite a variety of other complaints about the new MBP. Many complain about the keyboard. Others don't like the changes to the trackpad, just to name a couple of things that are very important to me personally.

I don't see a lot of good alternatives though. Maybe I should go look at a Zenbook or Spectre if I can find them in a store somewhere.
With Spectre HP your restricted to using only their own USB cables/charging cables... however passthru is possible.

Asus Zenbooks are good.
 

ShMac

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
45
4
I finally went to a Best Buy and played with almost every decent looking laptop. I still think the Apple is the best now. I can see why people are complaining about the keyboard and the trackpad but I was adapting to both rather quickly. I didn't find any problems with the touch bar either which many complain about. It seemed to work just fine for me. It wasn't Internet connected so I couldn't load up the browser with a zillion tabs so I settled for opening every application on the machine--over 20. It still seemed very fast--I was tabbing through applications like a champ and they were responding immediately when I tried to use them. It never seems to slow down once. My new MacBook Pro should be here in a couple of days, thanks all!
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,489
362
However, looking on Amazon, I see only 58% of reviews are 5-star and a full 12% are 1-star
If you look at the 1 star reviews, many are irrelevant:

OS issue - unable to maintain internet connection from sleep mode - user issue? - any other reports of this problem?
Well, we have been fool. Opened it to expect a laptop, but got clays
password locked by another user
fraudulently purchased and delivered

The Fakespot review analyzer for

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-MacBook-Retina-MPTT2LL-Version/product-reviews/B072JW8FCF/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_3?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=three_star&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumber=1#reviews-filter-bar

gives the reviews a C rating, giving a revised average score of 2.5. They rate the review quality as poor.

So I'd take a good look at the reviews and determine which "negative" features are real, and which of these would be significant for you.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2010
1,988
539
My wife just upgraded her 2012 MBA with a current model. Her other option (work) was a new 15-inch MBP. She is happy with her system, so went ahead with the MBA. My daughter replaced her 2013 MBA with a 2016 tbMBP 13-inch. She adapted within minutes to the keyboard. Doesn't really use the tb. Loves the battery life, luggability (student), and screen. It was more expensive than MBA, but we expect it to last for awhile. She did have a defective key, which required replacement of the top case. If you go this route, get Apple Care.
 

halluxsinister

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2017
172
183
Earth
I was looking at replacing my current 2014 MacBook Air which I am slightly overloading with one of the latest MacBook Pro 15s.

However, looking on Amazon, I see only 58% of reviews are 5-star and a full 12% are 1-star. Has Apple slipped so far or are people having buyer's remorse because of the price?

Since I'm not doing a ton of heavy processing particularly needing a quad core machine, an alternative for me might be to just get another MacBook Air and split my workflow between the two. And, if something does require a lot of processing, I won't be dead in the water, I can just let one computer sit and process and continue working on something else on the other one. I also see a lot fewer negative reviews of the Air, although there are just a lot fewer reviews in general. How is the Air these days? Is it better in quality relative to the Pro overall?

The thought of having a 15.4" screen again is appealing but not if the quality isn't up to the price.
As someone who HAD a 2013 MBA, and recently bought a 21.5" iMac, a piece of advice:

DON'T. GET. ANYTHING. WITH. A. SPINNING. HDD.

You have to figure out what specs you need, i.e., 21.5" or shell out for 27", if you have extra bucks laying around and you must have a slightly larger screen. Memory... are you really going to fill a terabyte so fast that you need a 3TB drive? (They have 1 and 3 now, right? Or am I confusing two different things?). You might want 16GB but only really need 8...

But after years using a computer with an SSD, that periodic pause for the machine to stop and have to spin the disk up, look something up on it, THEN get back to you... it's MADDENING. I would NOT buy this computer again, if I had the ability, and watching a tear-down video, I recommend AGAINST trying to replace ANY INTERNAL PART by yourself, unless you're a pro. (Remember that old joke about overhauling a gasoline engine through the tailpipe? Yeah, it looks like that a little bit.)

It's Apple in the modern era: make for ABSOLUTELY SURE your prospective new computer has all the specs you want because a modern iMac is only slightly easier to upgrade internal parts on than an iPad!

In fact, unless you HAVE to buy Apple for your extra machine, I can't recommend buying anything from Apple. They've kind of become the new Microsoft, and until they clean up their act, I think I myself have bought my last Apple product. (I'd get a good system, with the specs you want, and put LinuxMint (GNU/Linux) on it. Don't know how to use GNU/Linux or LinuxMint in particular?

Learn. It's worth the investment; also, Linux is not so different, in terms of interface, from Windows or macOs-X (or whatever) and can be easily customized, and is designed to function very similarly to a Unix operating system, which Apple iMacOSx also is, (Unix) underneath all the pretty.

In any case, good luck!
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
524
207
I finally went to a Best Buy and played with almost every decent looking laptop. I still think the Apple is the best now. I can see why people are complaining about the keyboard and the trackpad but I was adapting to both rather quickly. I didn't find any problems with the touch bar either which many complain about. It seemed to work just fine for me. It wasn't Internet connected so I couldn't load up the browser with a zillion tabs so I settled for opening every application on the machine--over 20. It still seemed very fast--I was tabbing through applications like a champ and they were responding immediately when I tried to use them. It never seems to slow down once. My new MacBook Pro should be here in a couple of days, thanks all!
Congratulations! Hands-on is always the best approach to making a decision. I'm sure you will enjoy your new MBP. It's a great machine!
 

ShMac

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 3, 2007
45
4
I even took a risk and bought one for sale on Ebay and saved and additional $125 over Best Buy, PC Richard & Son, etc. It arrived in 2 days, was still shrink-wrapped from Apple, and seems to have zero defects. Lucky me for once!

Apple might be slipping ever so slightly but it still seems like the best game in town for my money! It is not like I didn't give Lenovo an honest try...I kept their P51s for over 2 weeks.

The Apple OS interface is still superior in noticeable ways and the hardware seems to still be a cut above as well. I haven't fully put it through its paces yet but so far this thing has not hiccuped once, it doesn't seem to slow down or be unresponsive at all, the sound quality and loudness is superb for such a thin and light machine, and the finish of the case is clean and beautiful like all of my Apples of the past.

The only thing missing that I think other people might really need/want could be a touchscreen. Graphics artists, people who like to draw, or maybe people who use specialized interfaces might really want or need touch. But, I don't really have a need or use for it personally. Touch isn't particularly useful for writing, spreadsheets, reading articles, shopping online, listening to music, pulling up maps...the things I use it for most.