Which Mac to get?

TomOSeven

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 4, 2017
325
347
Hi all,

I'm a web developer for work, where we use Windows, and I have a Windows gaming laptop at home that fills my performance needs.

For the longest time I wanted to get a Mac as a secondary, mobile computer and now things have gotten more urgent because I want to start making my Android apps (made in React Native) iOS-ready.

However, I find the current Macbook lineup a bit underwhelming:

Macbook Air: dim screen, bad speakers (from what I've heard), no ports, error prone keyboard.
Macbook Pro 13 nTB: no ports, even more error prone keyboard, no ports again, dual core CPU
Macbook Pro 13 TB: quad core, but worse battery life and no function keys, no ports
Macbook Pro 15" 2018: very expensive, no ports, only 256 GB base, which is ridiculous at that price point

Now I'm considering a Macbook Air 2018, 256 GB, or a Macbook Pro 15, 2015, base specs.

My Windows laptop is a bit of a chubster, so I don't want to travel with it, and the Air would fit that admirably. But the price / performance proposition just seems awful. Core m processor, screen from 2015, 128 GB SSD base, all for over 1k €? That seems insane.

I do love the USB charging, though, because it means my phone and laptop can use the same charger. But maybe I'm better off with a 2015 MBP 13? Which likely has better performance, the same panel, and costs around half?

Or I just kiss that Mac-dream goodbye...
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
505
284
Somewhere
Well, none of the 2018 models have quite the same problems with the keyboard that the 2017 models do although that risk is there for any of them. The speakers on the Air aren't really different from the nTB MacBook Pro from what I can tell. You don't seem to actually want a Mac from what you've posted.

As for performance. The 13" Air, in CPU tasks, is roughly as fast as the nTB 13" Pro. The screen isn't really any worse than anything else in that segment right now. 300 nits is plenty if not excessive. You can't use any of these outdoors very well anyway. The Air is really the only one that will happily go above 10 hours in battery life if you baby it.

The 13" TouchBar is objectively faster than the 2017 15" in terms of CPU performance. The battery got bumped up several Wh and makes it not really any worse under normal use than the nTB - it will sit 8 to 9 hours in my experience. This is probably my favorite MacBook available because between the quad core, speakers, screen, and everything else it's about the best value. You can play some games on it, do computationally heavy work, but also watch Netflix without leaving bed on Saturdays.

I love my 15" but I'm not terribly bothered by the Touch Bar despite its uselessness, and the only port I need is USB-C because that's what my flash drive and SD card reader use. However the 15", at normal prices, is really hard to stomach. Costco had a sale for $300 off bringing it down to $1999 and $2399 respectively. If you can find a price like that I'd recommend it. Despite its relatively small size for a 15" it's still not terribly portable. It won't fit on an airplane tray table all that well, but at least it's thin and light.
 

TomOSeven

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 4, 2017
325
347
You don't seem to actually want a Mac from what you've posted.
The thing is, I loved the original Macbook Air (I think I had the 2012 version) and the Macbook Pro 15 model. I still adore OSX, too.

It's just that the new features (touch bar, butterfly keyboard, USBC only) are downgrades in many ways.

I suppose for a computer that sits in the backpack most of the time, the Air would be the best.
But then I think about how borderline usable my T480s' matte 350 nits screen is outside and a 300 nits glossy screen throws a wrench in that gear.
 

bosozoku

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2018
84
44
Tokyo
Try to find refurbished MBP 2015 13-15 inch - very reliable and still quite fast machines! No keyboard issues, F keys are there, and it is not much thicker and heavier than 2016mpb!
 

TomOSeven

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 4, 2017
325
347
That's what I landed on, bought a refurbished MBP 15 2015 for 1200 €.

Still an insane price for such an old computer, but I really want the 15" screen for work.
 

bosozoku

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2018
84
44
Tokyo
That's what I landed on, bought a refurbished MBP 15 2015 for 1200 €.

Still an insane price for such an old computer, but I really want the 15" screen for work.
bought mine also refurbished new at store in Tokyo for 800 US which is a steal! Also I did not know that they were including a microfiber cloth back in the days!