MBP 16" or Air?

macminv

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 29, 2019
5
0
I'm looking for some advice on getting a new Mac as it's been several years and I'm torn between these two. Hoping for some guidance and also whether or not there are more things I should be taking into consideration.

My late-2013 MBP is nearing her end I think. Replaced the SSD with a Sabrent last year but honestly I'm tired of fiddling around with it, I've been having severe battery issues + crashes and occasional blinky folder (SSD not found) and have had to open it up and reseat the drive a few times. Possibly a faulty Sintech adapter but at this point I feel I've gotten twice as many years out of the machine than I expected so I'm ready for something new.

I'm trying to decide between the 8 core MBP and a souped-up Air. Either way I need 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM.

While I mostly use my computer for internet + watching TV/movies, I also do some video editing, and I do dev for work. I spend about 10-15 hours a day on a computer (though usually my work machine which is a base model Air) so having something nice is worth it to me.

Here are the factors I'm taking into consideration, in order of descending importance.

Screen Size

When my current MBP was out of service for a few weeks, I started to get used to living with the screen size of the Air. However it was quite annoying when I was on the go and trying to do dev work. When I'm at home, I have a 24" cinema display with hookup that works for USB-C so that's less of an issue for work stuff, but I don't use that for watching movies in bed!

Weight

I'm not on the go THAT much but I don't like lugging around my MBP currently. I often have books and/or I'm also doing grocery shopping via transit, so my backpack can get quite heavy. However, if needed I could take my work Air if all I need is something to do small tasks on.

Keyboard / Touch Bar

A couple of years back I actually bought a new MBP that I ended up returning for a variety of reasons. I really really didn't like the touch bar. Will I get used to it?

I like the keyboard on my Air. Not sure how I will like the keyboard on the 16".

USB-C Hookups

Only two on the Air kinda sucks. I tend to plug stuff in a lot. I do have a hub though (but it's also my cinema display hub so I don't want to have to keep disassembling that...the connections are a bit tight). I don't like the idea of having to have a bunch of extra dongles.

Speakers

I listen to music a lot, and as mentioned I watch TV/movies on my laptop. More than half the time I use headphones though as I don't want to disturb my neighbours.

Price

Less of a factor to be honest. My computer is something I use a ton and really value, so spreading the $1k price difference over several years isn't a big deal. Still a consideration though.


Any thoughts and experiences would be GREATLY appreciated! I'm also not in a huge rush - current machine is working, but I'd rather get something in place sooner than later so I can keep the old one as a backup.
 

Camarillo Brillo

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2019
284
234
If you need to be mobile, id say go with the air or maybe 13” mbp. I feel like the 16” is too big to lug around, feels susceptible to damage from bumps and it runs a bit hot for actual lap top use.
I’m still using a ‘13 air which works great, haven’t tried the new ones. It’s the perfect portable laptop. Super sturdy. Feels like I could drop it from 6 feet and it would probably be fine. My 16” mostly stays on my desk on a laptop stand to keep it cool.
 

sub150

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2018
196
312
There has to be a 13/14" MBP coming out in the next few months. I'm generally happy with my 2014 MBA but obviously it's getting old. I'd love a "basic" 14" MBP with 2 TB/2 USB-C ports and no TB. The current MBA is really weak. It's not even worth upgrading from a 2014 for.
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2016
629
630
So Calif
I use both and have to say that the Air is better for portability, lightweight and still can run with tasks you want. Air is what I use daily at work going from site to site...

The 16" MBP is great but it's too big for travel so it sits on a desk with a 27" TB display for desktop use.
 

macminv

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 29, 2019
5
0
There has to be a 13/14" MBP coming out in the next few months. I'm generally happy with my 2014 MBA but obviously it's getting old. I'd love a "basic" 14" MBP with 2 TB/2 USB-C ports and no TB. The current MBA is really weak. It's not even worth upgrading from a 2014 for.
I'm definitely considering waiting for a 14". Might be the perfect compromise.
- - Post merged: - -

I use both and have to say that the Air is better for portability, lightweight and still can run with tasks you want. Air is what I use daily at work going from site to site...

The 16" MBP is great but it's too big for travel so it sits on a desk with a 27" TB display for desktop use.
Yeah....still undecided. I mean if needed I can take the work Air on the go (company I work for is pretty chill). It's just that it doesn't have everything set up on it that I use regularly.
 

ascender

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2005
3,210
1,146
The 16" is unwieldy (rather than heavy) for me if I'm traveling in economy and end up with a very small space to use a laptop on a train/plane. That's when I'd be using an Air or probably even just an iPad.

The tradeoff though is that screen - its just so nice to use compared to any other Apple laptop. The 13" is a great balance of portability v power, but 9 times out of 10, I'd rather be using the 16" for that screen.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,457
3,472
Florida Resident
I always get the smallest laptop and have a desktop. Use cloud storage and remote into my desktop when I need it. In the past, when I got the larger MacBook Pro, it was too big and add risk of damaging a very expensive laptop. I would just leave it and just use a MacBook Air that I had as a backup. Having said that, the MBP 16" is a nice Mac that can do anything if you can only have one Mac.
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2016
629
630
So Calif
I'm definitely considering waiting for a 14". Might be the perfect compromise.
......
Yeah....still undecided. I mean if needed I can take the work Air on the go (company I work for is pretty chill). It's just that it doesn't have everything set up on it that I use regularly.
Good idea to see what the next 13" MBP will look like - hopefully the little brother to the 16" MBP - I can see that supposed 14" to be a perfect fit for a mobile and power user...

When I fly or travel on my time, I take my trusty ultra-thin & lightweight 12" Macbook retina that is smaller than the Air, has a lighter weight 29W USB C charger and I can watch all my off line movies and still be connected.
Just a shame Apple decided to discontinue the 12" rMB....
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,448
USA
Just wish Apple would come out with a Macbook Air 16" or even a 17".
Given the target demographic for the MBA, I fail to see how a 16" MBA would be logical.
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The current MBA is really weak. It's not even worth upgrading from a 2014 for.
Weak? Don't let the specs fool you, I edit videos (iMove) and design graphics (Affinity Designer, GIMP) on my 2019 base model MBA and it doesn't miss a beat.
 

3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
131
57
I have the '19 Air (work computer). The keyboard is butterfly. Try before you buy.

It's a fine machine for word processing, web browsing, etc. However, it's a WEAK chip, so I would not do anything processor intensive at all. Screen is great, though--and super light.
 

Hexley

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2009
1,006
99
Given the target demographic for the MBA, I fail to see how a 16" MBA would be logical.
- - Post merged: - -


Weak? Don't let the specs fool you, I edit videos (iMove) and design graphics (Affinity Designer, GIMP) on my 2019 base model MBA and it doesn't miss a beat.
See lg gram 17
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
As others have said, maybe you should be looking at the 13" MBP. If you want more power for the dev and video work that you're doing, but don't want the extra weight, that might be a great compromise. It's only a little bit heavier than an Air and it has 4 TB ports.

You could also just get a refurbished 15" MBP. It'll be lighter than your current 15". It's only a 1/2 lb lighter, but I find its thinner profile a little easier to handle when I'm using it. I carry mine around all over the place. I personally do not find it too heavy to lug around, but I'm used to toting around lots of gear as I do some work as a photographer.

The internals of the 16" are such a nice bump up that I don't know if the 15" laptops are such great values even at refurbished prices, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you just might spot clearance sales from the likes of B&H Photo on 15" MBPs that would be a nicely discounted find.
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,745
1,448
USA
See lg gram 17
So, buy an LG Gram 17.. problem solved. Do you understand demographics? I wouldn't want to lug a 16" laptop around to all of my classes, I don't care how much it weighs.. 16" is too much for school.
 
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