Who's going to buy a new 2018 Air, and why?

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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My hesitation is whether Windows Parallels will work smooth and snappy on this machine. Have some software like Microsoft Publisher that has no Mac equivalent.

Tired of carrying an old Windows machine around just for the purpose of Publisher...

Or MBP only for Windows Parallels?
Interested to know as well as I am using Windows Parallels on my iMac.
I’m skeptical of parallels.

I would wait for benchmarks but my gut feel is that the non-TB Pro, while dated, will work harder for longer, and might be a better option.

Again, I’d wait for real specs and benchmarks.

It’s surprising we haven’t seen any deep reviews yet.
I managed to get Parallels working decently on a 12” MacBook 2 years ago (was on a lower spec 8 GB RAM variant) with software like SQL Server Management Studio, so running a VM on the new MBA for things like publisher should be fine.
 

jimmy_uk

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Oct 19, 2015
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UK
I'm tempted. For bed + some travel I use an iPad Pro 10.5. But after getting an XS Max I can't look at the ~200PPI screen on the iPad with pleasure anymore, and it is a struggle to get work done efficiently on iOS, as much as I've tried to make it work over the last year or so. I was looking earlier in the year at getting the 12" for bed stuff and travel, as lugging my 15" inch is somewhat cumbersome too (first world problems, I know). Tempted to sell my 10.5 and put towards a 13" Air, but I'll go into the store and play with them first.
227 pixels per inch on Air 2018 is not a big jump over ipad resolution. But I understand what your saying about iOS on the ipad, if only it had mouse support.
 
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Ma2k5

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227 pixels per inch on Air 2018 is not a big jump over ipad resolution. But I understand what your saying about iOS on the ipad, if only it had mouse support.
All this hyping about how powerful the iPad is, when it’s stuck with iOS apps...

Unless you really care about gaming, it’s hard to utilise that’s power - and even on the gaming front, it’s still nowhere compared to say PC, Xbox, PS4, Switch gaming even if it is more powerful than said consoles.

iPad really confuses me as a product. Okay they put photoshop on it now, but how many iPad users use photoshop or are graphic designers really?

If they are serious about making iPad a real PC, time to let it off the iOS leash now. It could have a promising future. Now, we just have a super powerful iPad used for YouTube, Safari, Netflix and Candy Crush etc for the majority of its users! Even those using it for educational purposes don’t need 1/4th of that power.
 

Darkashnet

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Jul 15, 2010
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227 pixels per inch on Air 2018 is not a big jump over ipad resolution. But I understand what your saying about iOS on the ipad, if only it had mouse support.
I tend to hold the iPad closer though, and I notice it now. My MacBook Pro is of course further away in normal use situations and it hasn't ruined that at all! iOS is the bottleneck, and I'm not holding out the hope that we'll get a better iOS 13 next September. It's too long to wait for maybe even nothing to happen, so for me its best to trade this iPad 10.5 in and get a MacBook Air.
 
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Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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All this hyping about how powerful the iPad is, when it’s stuck with iOS apps...

Unless you really care about gaming, it’s hard to utilise that’s power - and even on the gaming front, it’s still nowhere compared to say PC, Xbox, PS4, Switch gaming even if it is more powerful than said consoles.

iPad really confuses me as a product. Okay they put photoshop on it now, but how many iPad users use photoshop or are graphic designers really?

If they are serious about making iPad a real PC, time to let it off the iOS leash now. It could have a promising future. Now, we just have a super powerful iPad used for YouTube, Safari, Netflix and Candy Crush etc for the majority of its users! Even those using it for educational purposes don’t need 1/4th of that power.
I understand your point. There is a huge amount of unused and untapped power in the iPad Pro. However, isn't that the case with most computers and electronic devices? The vast majority of people do pretty routine stuff with their devices: mail, messages, directions, news, notes, calendars, iWork/Office, simple photo edits, maybe an occasional iMovie......and yes, consumption: Web Browsing, Netflix, Social Media, eBooks, etc..

It seems to me like you can do all of the above pretty easily with either an iPad or an MBA. So, it is a matter of personal preference and budget. You can buy a base iPad for $329 put it in a keyboard case and do this stuff......I have done it. It really isn't that difficult. Or, you can step it up and get more performance by purchasing an iPad pro. Or, you can go the laptop route and get a MacBook or MacBook Air.

If you do lots of typing and frequently need several windows open to reference numerous files, copy, and paste content, then you are better off with a laptop. If your documents tend to be simpler and you really like the idea of marking-up, annotating, sketching diagrams and taking handwritten notes, then you are probably better off with the iPad. An entry iPad Pro with accessories is about the same price as a new base MBA, so cost is really not a major factor.

One last point, and it is purely my opinion. I think the trend is toward tablets and touch devices.....at least in Apple's ecosystem. There is just more development occurring in iOS and iPad than MacOS and MacBook. This is because: 1. iOS and iPad are less mature, so they have further to go, and 2. Mobile devices make up the lion's share of Apple's profits...so they are incentivized to invest in this space.
 

Aegelward

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Jul 31, 2005
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UK
If they delivered the new Air at $999 it would have been a sure buy for me, even with the flawed keyboard. The lack of a SD card is a real killer too, then again, the Pros lost it. But i keep my current MBA's on-the-go music library on an SD card.

Right now... the Surface Pro 6 looks fantastic, the XPS 13 ticks all my boxes of what i want out of a laptop. But unlike most people here, while i like OS X, i'm not entrenched in the operating system, i have Windows and Linux systems. Mostly leaning towards the XPS 13 thanks to the easily replaceable battery and up-gradable SSD.
 

brewno

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2007
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Montreal, Canada
I'm going from a non-retina MacBook Pro (mid 2012) with i7 (dual core): https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/283
To The 8gb ram MacBook Air https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/10603743

A bit of an upgrate in terms of processing power, and a huge update in terms of screen quality.
My main machine is an i7 7th gen so I don't really need to process anything, it's going to be my to-go netflix/email/travel photo editor.

I'm so happy it's going to be A LOT lighter!!!! I can't wait to use it.
 

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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I understand your point. There is a huge amount of unused and untapped power in the iPad Pro. However, isn't that the case with most computers and electronic devices? The vast majority of people do pretty routine stuff with their devices: mail, messages, directions, news, notes, calendars, iWork/Office, simple photo edits, maybe an occasional iMovie......and yes, consumption: Web Browsing, Netflix, Social Media, eBooks, etc..

It seems to me like you can do all of the above pretty easily with either an iPad or an MBA. So, it is a matter of personal preference and budget. You can buy a base iPad for $329 put it in a keyboard case and do this stuff......I have done it. It really isn't that difficult. Or, you can step it up and get more performance by purchasing an iPad pro. Or, you can go the laptop route and get a MacBook or MacBook Air.

If you do lots of typing and frequently need several windows open to reference numerous files, copy, and paste content, then you are better off with a laptop. If your documents tend to be simpler and you really like the idea of marking-up, annotating, sketching diagrams and taking handwritten notes, then you are probably better off with the iPad. An entry iPad Pro with accessories is about the same price as a new base MBA, so cost is really not a major factor.

One last point, and it is purely my opinion. I think the trend is toward tablets and touch devices.....at least in Apple's ecosystem. There is just more development occurring in iOS and iPad than MacOS and MacBook. This is because: 1. iOS and iPad are less mature, so they have further to go, and 2. Mobile devices make up the lion's share of Apple's profits...so they are incentivized to invest in this space.
On a PC, I can multitask many basic apps which is a nice bonus and having stronger than basic hardware helps. A review was out today on the Air where one of the reviewers noticed that once he had a few too many tabs open on chrome and had another 2 programs open, he could see the system slow a bit compared to his Pro.

However on iOS, the way multitasking is isn’t proper for the majority of apps (some stock apps do it alright) - I mean opening up true multi tasking and not just instant based dual screen app functionality would help immensely with it being a platform to do real work and utilise it’s power. If you want to work on 4/5 apps at the same time, although individually basic, you will find a lot of app restarts/reloads when switching between which is just inherent in iOS in my experience. But it doesn’t have to be this way and there is really no reason someone should have to use a laptop instead given the specs on the iPad.
 
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dirtclod

macrumors member
Dec 26, 2011
34
0
I may get one. My current Air is about 5 years old and soldiers on, so I'm in no rush. But the battery life on the current one is weak and I wouldn't mind an updated version.

When I bought mine I ordered it with most of the upgrades possible except not the maximum memory. But I did get more than standard and more RAM as well. Very happy with my Air so I don't really see a reason to get anything else. I travel a lot and it's light and very portable.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
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I may get one. My current Air is about 5 years old and soldiers on, so I'm in no rush. But the battery life on the current one is weak and I wouldn't mind an updated version.

When I bought mine I ordered it with most of the upgrades possible except not the maximum memory. But I did get more than standard and more RAM as well. Very happy with my Air so I don't really see a reason to get anything else. I travel a lot and it's light and very portable.
Replacing the battery might be an option.
 

Jimmy James

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2008
4,606
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Magicland
I'm going from a non-retina MacBook Pro (mid 2012) with i7 (dual core): https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/283
To The 8gb ram MacBook Air https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/10603743

A bit of an upgrate in terms of processing power, and a huge update in terms of screen quality.
My main machine is an i7 7th gen so I don't really need to process anything, it's going to be my to-go netflix/email/travel photo editor.

I'm so happy it's going to be A LOT lighter!!!! I can't wait to use it.
I’ll be coming from a 2008 core2duo. Imagine my delight when I get something modern.
 

Viper-FFM

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2018
75
52
Germany
Probably has been answered but can't find it.

Are Apple Stores selling MacBook Airs just in the base configuration or can I expect them to have a 16GB RAM, 512 SSD available to pick up by tomorrow?
 

AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
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1,908
Really when you get anything modern it will be amazing.
Kudos for hangimg onto that for so long!
TBH, back in my student days, in 2009 I had a Pentium E5200 overclocked to 3.5 GHz and an (overclocked) 8800GT and it was the bee's knees - could beat the Core 2 Quads of the day. I'm sure it would still perform very OK-ish today and run most games, and be pretty quick on an SSD. Depending on usage there might be no difference at all!

Honestly it's surprising how our general personal usage of computers hasn't changed a lot in the past years (note that I'm not referring to professional usage, Parallels, video editing etc.)
 

Mildredop

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2013
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I've bought one because it's the Mac I've been waiting years for. For me, what's on offer is pretty much perfect.

Several years ago I started a thread on here asking why iPhones had better features than Macs - the fingerprint sensor being a big one. I was berated and told there's no need for one on a Mac.

I like:
- The form factor (I miss my Air since replacing it with a 13" MBP in 2014).
- Charging via USB-C (I know I'm alone here, but I HATE magsafe. Drives me nuts).
- The fingerprint sensor without the need to buy a touchbar model. I would have zero use for the touchbar and would miss the function keys.
- The hi-res screen and reduced bezels. The Air looked dated the day it was released.
- USB-C - everything I own uses USB-C. My MacBook Pro is the only thing that doesn't, so it'll bring my Mac in-line with everything else (although I assume I won't be able to charge the Air with my phone charger and vice-versa?).
- Battery life. If the estimates are correct...

I will miss:
- The old keyboard, but Apple seem intent on pushing it, so if I want to buy a Mac, I have no choice but to put up with the new keyboard.
- The SD card slot. Although I didn't use it much, so it's not the end of the world.

And I just wish there was a 2TB option for a reasonable price. But it's not the end of the world.

A lot of people seem hung-up on the price. It's cheaper than an iPhone! Something that most people would replace after a couple of years. Apple products are expensive, but when it comes to Macs, I think they're excellent value.

I can't wait to get my 1.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD MacBook Air so I can ditch the MacBook Pro.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
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I've bought one because it's the Mac I've been waiting years for. For me, what's on offer is pretty much perfect.

Several years ago I started a thread on here asking why iPhones had better features than Macs - the fingerprint sensor being a big one. I was berated and told there's no need for one on a Mac.

I like:
- The form factor (I miss my Air since replacing it with a 13" MBP in 2014).
- Charging via USB-C (I know I'm alone here, but I HATE magsafe. Drives me nuts).
- The fingerprint sensor without the need to buy a touchbar model. I would have zero use for the touchbar and would miss the function keys.
- The hi-res screen and reduced bezels. The Air looked dated the day it was released.
- USB-C - everything I own uses USB-C. My MacBook Pro is the only thing that doesn't, so it'll bring my Mac in-line with everything else (although I assume I won't be able to charge the Air with my phone charger and vice-versa?).
- Battery life. If the estimates are correct...

I will miss:
- The old keyboard, but Apple seem intent on pushing it, so if I want to buy a Mac, I have no choice but to put up with the new keyboard.
- The SD card slot. Although I didn't use it much, so it's not the end of the world.

And I just wish there was a 2TB option for a reasonable price. But it's not the end of the world.

A lot of people seem hung-up on the price. It's cheaper than an iPhone! Something that most people would replace after a couple of years. Apple products are expensive, but when it comes to Macs, I think they're excellent value.

I can't wait to get my 1.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD MacBook Air so I can ditch the MacBook Pro.
You hate MagSafe? Why?
 

RegularGuy09

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2015
102
42
For a lot of people the problem seems to be the performance...particularly compared to the 13inch Pro which costs $100 more.

Apple should just offer a CPU upgrade to a customized 7W i7 for the Air, since its performance is similar to the 13 Pro. And it should offer a better integrated GPU. And kill the 13 nTB Pro.

Other things like keyboard, screen, price etc can be changed with time.
 

Mildredop

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2013
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You hate MagSafe? Why?
I get the argument that if you catch the cable it'll pop out rather than pull your laptop over, but personally, I'm careful to not have the cable draped across where people walk.

But on a daily basis, the magsafe pops off when I don't mean it to. Like when I pick up my Mac off the floor - the slightest thing causes the cable to pop off and fall to the floor.

Many times I've plugged it in to charge and returned later to find it's popped off and hasn't charged.

And I can't sit cross-legged with my Mac on my lap as the magsafe just pops off.

Plus, of course, the charger is no use for anything else. At least with USB-C I'll be able to use non-Apple chargers.

Good riddance!
 

lambertjohn

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Original poster
Jun 17, 2012
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I'm split between the new MBA, or just paying more and getting the quad core MBP. I'm going to wait for detailed reviews to come out and benchmarks, and the ifixit before I make a decision. I'm sure the MBA would be a big improvement from my current computer but I don't want to buy it if I'm going to be wanting to upgrade again in a couple years. Hell, maybe I'll just wait for the 2020 MBA with the A13X Bionic :D
You can always get a refurb 2018 13" quad-core MBP and save even more money. There's a bunch of them on Apple's refurb website right now and their prices make them a bit more competitive with the new Airs. My new Air comes in today, and if it ends up being a letdown, I'm going to just order a 2018 13" refurb direct from Apple and be done with it.
 
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toffa813

macrumors regular
May 10, 2007
137
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ATX
You can always get a refurb 2018 13" quad-core MBP and save even more money. There's a bunch of them on Apple's refurb website right now and their prices make them a bit more competitive with the new Airs. My new Air comes in today, and if it ends up being a letdown, I'm going to just order a 2018 13" refurb direct from Apple and be done with it.
Hmm, I was looking at the 2017 nTB because those are the only ones available with 16GB currently, but yeah the 2018 refurbs are very intriguing. A 2018 MBP 8/256 is $130 ($1530) more than the same MBA configuration, but you get a much better processor, better screen, touch bar (however gimmicky) and more ports, at the cost of a bit of weight and battery life. I certainly don't need those things for my usage, but it would feel more worth the price tag. I am long overdue for an upgrade and was really looking forward to the new MBA but I just don't feel it justifies the price at all.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,391
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Sydney, Australia
All this hyping about how powerful the iPad is, when it’s stuck with iOS apps...

Unless you really care about gaming, it’s hard to utilise that’s power - and even on the gaming front, it’s still nowhere compared to say PC, Xbox, PS4, Switch gaming even if it is more powerful than said consoles.

iPad really confuses me as a product. Okay they put photoshop on it now, but how many iPad users use photoshop or are graphic designers really?

If they are serious about making iPad a real PC, time to let it off the iOS leash now. It could have a promising future. Now, we just have a super powerful iPad used for YouTube, Safari, Netflix and Candy Crush etc for the majority of its users! Even those using it for educational purposes don’t need 1/4th of that power.
Furthermore that's the issue with all iOS devices. iOS needs to grow up and become more capable to take advantage of the silicon Apple is creating.
 

triangletechie

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2017
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NC
I grabbed the 256 SG at Best Buy today. The retina screen looks fine to me and has plenty of brightness. This is also my first encounter with the gen 3 keyboard. Compared to the gen 2, it does feel a little better to type on. No stuck keys on day 1 but realize it could happen later. But at least out of the box everything is working as it should. The speakers also sound very good.

I do 0 design work using Macs so my use is all streaming/surfing/office. The Air fits might needs. The MBP is obviously a huge upgrade, but for what I do, I'd be wasting all the extra power. It still sucks it's a $200 bump to 256 but other than that, the Air seems to check all the boxes. I can stomach $1399 on a new laptop a lot more than $1799.
 

Wags

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Mar 5, 2006
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Hmm, I was looking at the 2017 nTB because those are the only ones available with 16GB currently, but yeah the 2018 refurbs are very intriguing. A 2018 MBP 8/256 is $130 ($1530) more than the same MBA configuration, but you get a much better processor, better screen, touch bar (however gimmicky) and more ports, at the cost of a bit of weight and battery life. I certainly don't need those things for my usage, but it would feel more worth the price tag. I am long overdue for an upgrade and was really looking forward to the new MBA but I just don't feel it justifies the price at all.
Previously BB had ntb $200 off every other week. Now nothing. Lots retailers actually. Looks like they are thinking people might want those more now. Will have to see how long this lasts.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
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I grabbed the 256 SG at Best Buy today. The retina screen looks fine to me and has plenty of brightness. This is also my first encounter with the gen 3 keyboard. Compared to the gen 2, it does feel a little better to type on. No stuck keys on day 1 but realize it could happen later. But at least out of the box everything is working as it should. The speakers also sound very good.

I do 0 design work using Macs so my use is all streaming/surfing/office. The Air fits might needs. The MBP is obviously a huge upgrade, but for what I do, I'd be wasting all the extra power. It still sucks it's a $200 bump to 256 but other than that, the Air seems to check all the boxes. I can stomach $1399 on a new laptop a lot more than $1799.
An Apple refurb Pro costs less than the Air when similarly configured. Same warranty.

Also, $1799 is for the quad-core model. The base dual-core model is $1299 with 128 GB SSD, and it's $1499 for the 256. However, for the refurb, it's only $1269, which is $130 less than the Air.