Used MacBook 12 '17 or MacBook Air '18?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by huffy15, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. huffy15 macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    Montreal, Canada

    I'm looking for a secondary laptop for coffeeshop and flights (I'm traveling a lot). I currently have a 15-inch MBP which is great but too big to carry around and use it in economy seats.

    I'm mostly going to use it for writing and coding. I definitely prefer the size and 256gb of the 12", but the macbook air sounds more up-to-date.

    Is the MBA that big compare to the MB ?
  2. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The MBA is the exact same footprint size of the 13" MacBook Pro and has 90% of the weight of the 13" MacBook Pro.

    The 12" MacBook is much, much lighter with a significantly smaller footprint.

    I find that economy class on most flights these days is very cramped. Premium economy on say Air Canada is noticeably better, but the 12" models just seems to be more comfortable to me on the plane, mainly due to the footprint and the height. The shorter the laptop (when the lid is open), the less chance it will hit the back of a tilted seat.

    According to reviews, the 12" MacBook also lasts longer than the Air, although the Air is decent for battery life. Also it should be noted that the Air has a 50.3 WHr battery while the 12" has a 41.4 battery so I would guess the 12" may be able to charge faster, although I'm not sure about that. (Both the Air and the 12" MacBook use a 30 Watt charger.) FWIW, I do note I can actually charge my 12" MacBook with a 12 Watt iPad charger, and it also can be charged with some USB outlets in the airport. I'm not sure if the same is true with the Air. I couldn't charge the MacBook from the USB ports on the plane though.

    The main drawback for the 12" MacBook is the single USB-C port, although in truth, it hasn't actually mattered that much to me, since I usually only use USB peripherals for up to 1 hour at a time. You can also get USB hubs that allow charging pass-through, but then you have to carry a dongle.
  3. huffy15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Great thx for your feedback! Really appreciated
  4. darkmatter343, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018

    darkmatter343 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2017
    I’m guessing because the airplane USB ports have low amp output. The Macbook probably needs 2.5+ amps on the USB port to charge, and airline USB ports are most likely only outputting 500ma-1a max, for use with phones. Technically you should be able to charge when plugged into any USB port but if it’s not outputting much it’ll take years to charge. On newer planes within the last year or so, or recently renovated planes, they might be upgrading the ports to provide more power. For reference, your standard iphone 7 power brick outputs 1A, and the Pixel 2 USB C brick outputs 3A, so you can imagine to power a Macbook you'd need some serious power output on that USB port.

    I could be wrong though so if anyone else wants to chime in about this.

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3 November 8, 2018