Should I switch from MacBook Pro to MacBook Air?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
I purchased the 13-inch MacBook Pro a week ago and am still in the return window. Computer has 256 storage, 16 gb RAM and 2.4 processor. I probably went overboard since all I use the computer for is word processing, web surfing and watching videos, but I wanted something that would last as long as my last Mac (a 2013 Air).

Well, I love the speed of the Pro and the machine generally works for me with two big issues:

1) It gets very hot to the touch at times (both the bottom of computer and the keyboard). Running Safari vs. Chrome helps, but I prefer Chrome and feel I should be able to use the browser I want in a $2,000 computer. I know from looking at CPU temperatures that it's not "overheating" in the literal sense, but it's sure not as comfortable as my 2013 Air. (I also went right back to Apple store and had them do the diagnostics and they said everything was running normal).

2) Really not a fan of the Touch Bar.

So my question is this: Would I solve the problems by just returning this and switching to an Air? Obviously the Touch Bar issue would be solved. But would the Air run cooler? (And does it matter much which configuration of Air I get -- ie would difference in RAM translate to a difference in heat?) Also, would the Air generally run as fast as the Pro for what I do (again, word processing and web surfing and watching movies)?

Finally, if folks say an Air is the way to go, would I need to go up to 16gb RAM on that? I'm beginning to think that's overkill, though perhaps necessary for future-proofing? But again, don't hesitate to tell me if I'll run into the same issues heat-wise with Air.


macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
I’m not sure if the heat is due to a flaw in the 13 or because you actually need the Pro (since what you’re running is demanding enough for the processor to scale up).

My base model 13 also heats up significantly and seemingly without reason (when performing light tasks).


macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2010
Some will not agree with me but don’t buy the 18/19 air. It’s too underpowered for that screen. Otherwise it’s pleasant. The next update should do a better job of powering the screen.
Your haswell air didn’t have that issue because it had an easier screen.


Dec 27, 2003
I had this choice, and went with a MBA with 256, 16gb, and the 1.6 i5.

I only notice a difference in processing power when I render video clips or export Garageband stuff, but that's a hobby for me that in no way justifies hundreds of more dollars. The laptop hasn't ever really been hot, though I've never really thought to test it.

I ALSO loathe the Touch Bar and do not know why.

This MBA has been great for me, it's something like my eighth Apple laptop in 16 years or so, and I've owned mostly Powerbooks and MBPs.
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