Get the Air, Pro or wait?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by noSpeed, May 27, 2019.

  1. noSpeed macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Hi all,

    Thinking of getting a new macbook, as mine is quite old. Not doing anything too fancy like video editing, but would like to try playing Call of Duty on the laptop.

    Apart from watching videos, that's probably the most processor intensive thing I'd be doing. My primary concerns are:

    Weight and size because I travel a lot

    Future proofing it (5-10 yrs) for my current needs

    Availability of ports

    I've been leaning towards the macbook pro because it has 4 ports, instead of the 2 on the Air. A lot of people think the 2019 pro is just a filler before the 2020 refresh is released. What do you guys recommend? Go with a 13 inch Pro or an Air now, or wait another year an hope for a refresh?
  2. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Is windows an option? For COD and videos you can get any number of cheap windows laptops to tide you over until Apple makes a "fixed" MBP.

    Also, forget about future proofing. That just causes you to spend more money today, to buy the same performance that will be 1/2 the price in the future.
  3. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I'd recommend getting a larger SSD and gaming on Bootcamp if that's what you plan to use it for. Mac ports just aren't quite there - I occasionally play CSGO, and performance in Windows is just a lot better.

    I'd also echo the previous poster and not worry too much about future proofing - it's really hard to know what is going to happen in the future, and you may be paying for upgrades you will never use. It's usually more economical to save money on upgrades today and just upgrade slightly earlier.
  4. PaladinGuy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2014
    I’d hold off. That’s just my personal stance though. I had a 2018 MacBook Air, but I sold it and switched to a windows PC for now. I just got tired of the keyboard issues and didn’t feel confident it would hold up as well as my past Macs.

    I hope to rejoin the Mac fold with my next computer, assuming they rectify those issues. I know some people like the feel of the new keyboards, but they just don’t seem reliable enough. Plus, I don’t want to ever have to drop nearly $400 to fix a broken keyboard after warranty.
  5. Leo90 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2014
    For gaming go for a Windows with a nice discrete graphics card. Trust me! I used to game on macOS, but since I got my MSI gaming laptop I’ve realised Mac was not designed for gaming at all! I like to use macOS for office work and Windows for gaming and heavy duty projects.
  6. clarencek macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2008
    I’m in a similar boat. I need to move on from my MacBook. I need more storage.
    I don’t think there will be a 2020 pro refresh given how fricking slow apple is moving these days.
    I think I’m going to go with the pro. Better screen, faster and only slightly larger and heavier than the air.
  7. Grey Area macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    WWDC is just one week away, I would at least wait until then. Maybe there won't be any new notebooks (like the rumored 16"-MBP), but at least there might be some hints as to what the future will bring, given that you are looking into future-proofing.
  8. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    If gaming is your primary purpose, a Windows computer would probably be better suited.
    Also, unless you are fully interested in this ‘possible redesign’, don’t worry about future proofing. They will always be something new and exciting around the corner. You should just buy what you want now.
  9. noSpeed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thanks for all the comments. The gaming bit is really just an afterthought. If I get it, I may play it a few times a month. Windows isn't an option.

    Basically looking for a machine that fits this bill

    Play videos and music (no editing)
    Everyday online tasks
    Occasionally use Microsoft Office etc
    Occasionally play games
    Lightweight for travel

    My first thought is the 13" pro because it's a bit better than the Air overall, but more expensive. But only 2 USB-C ports is a bit annoying.

    I suppose my questions are, is the pro overkill, or would I be just as happy with a higher end Air, and is the lack of ports a big deal day to day?
  10. sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    The Air is really ideal for your needs. The MBP is a bit heavier and will perform better. I personally think it's worth it, but the Touch Bar may annoy you. As for the ports, yes, the extra ports are nicer, but it's really not as big a deal unless you're going to connect many peripherals to it.

    Neither is "future-proof" and won't be much good in 10 years. They'll perform "all right" in 4 years, but 5 years is stretching it a bit. If you don't think your usage will change much, then the MBP will give you just a bit more power. Spread over 5 years, the extra cost is worth it. (Assuming you can live with the lack of the hardware function keys and the escape key, which are useful in games.)
  11. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Your requirements fit the MacBook Air perfectly.

    The port-situation, which only gets slightly better if you spend a significant amount of extra money, is probably not as bad as you think. Can you tell me what peripherals you might use, all at the same time? Personally, I use a USB (type A) dock at home when my computer is connected to my monitor, thus eliminating the need for more ports. When traveling, most of my devices are wireless and port-usage is incidental.

    As far as the comparison with a MacBook Pro goes, are you talking about the two-port non-Touch Bar 13" model? This one is a year older than Air, don't forget. The Air is lighter and has TouchID which I personally like. The benchmarks are quite similar (4000/7400 Air, 4300/9100 Pro), I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in day-to-day usage. The four-port model is more of a money story if anything.

    Don't let one video game or the term "future-proofing" decide too much here, the video game isn't worth the extra investment and the future is very much unknown. Apple typically supports Macs up to 8 years after sales stopped, the hardware performance should be fine too.

    Keyboard issues... Let's just say the replacement program can be seen as a guarantee that the keyboard will be fixed for free if anything should happen. Mind you, not everyone encounters these problems and the revised materials found in the new version make their way to your Air if the keyboard should ever be replaced.
  12. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    ...For the first four years. If Apple have solved the problems that's great, but if the 2019 keyboard is also problematic then that's less great. It's unlikely that the 2019 keyboard is worse than the 2017 of course.

    Also in favour of the Air - HEVC hardware decoding.
  13. PaladinGuy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2014
    I’d be cautious. I specifically bought a MBA retina instead of a MBP because it had the third generation keyboard. I thought it’d be more reliable. My keyboard broke in about 5 months, and I had to get it replaced. Then the computer bricked after the repair.
  14. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    I suspect your approach is common. Apple’s laptop growth is probably seriously hampered. This is a gaping hole in the ecosystem that could be losing them widespread sales in both hardware and services.
  15. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    But the keyboard warranties are four years now. Thinking you'll be moving to a newer computer by then.
  16. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    But who would buy a 3 year old ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, or perhaps ‘19 (depending how that works out). MBPRos have typically retained value surprisingly well (IMHO). I wonder how that will shake out?
  17. noSpeed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thanks guys. I'd be interested in the 2019 Pro model. I'm not completely sold on the touchbar thing, but it's the only one with touch id, which I think is nice. Maybe I'll go to the apple store to see how much I like the touch bar.

    In terms of peripherals, I usually use an external HDD and a wireless mouse on the road, so that only leaves one extra port for charging, which i suppose is fine. At home though, I often need to use 2 external HDDs together, so that leaves no ports free for charging.

    The Air is slightly lighter, but it's probably hard to tell the difference when it's in my luggage, so that probably won't be a huge factor.

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16 May 27, 2019