Why would anybody buy a MacBook Air?

KPOM

macrumors P6
Original poster
Oct 23, 2010
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torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,509
2,519
Sydney, Australia
I just purchased a 2018 Air and I would have to agree with you the base MBP is the sweet spot for most people unless you need the extra power of the higher spec models. Unfortunately I purchased my Air 2 weeks before the new base pro was released however I hate the touch bar so it's not so bad.
 

jgorman

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2019
185
101
For video playback of some formats, modern Intel processors handle the decoding in hardware. So, there is very little CPU load. The screen is the major battery drain when the video plays.

When they test battery life during productivity work or web browsing, I suspect the MacBook Air with its 7W CPU will have more battery life than a MacBook Pro with a 15W CPU.
 
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Clockworkz

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2018
86
52
Las Vegas
I didn't need a laptop to do heavy lifting, I bought my 18 Air for screwing around with and for light school work and when work is boring and I have a few hours to kill. For heavy lifting I have my PC which is an order of magnitude faster/powerful.
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
662
329
Ocean State
Not everyone needs to have the processing power of the PRO or desire the heavier laptop. I have both the PRO and AIR and prefer using my AIR when traveling as it easily handles anything I throw at it regarding tasking. What I enjoy most is how light the AIR is and also the extended battery life. Since I am using NVMe M.2 storage the Air is even faster, in fact it is faster than my PRO with read speeds close to 1500 MB/s and write speeds of 1400MB/s. I don't consider this bad performance for a 2015 AIR.
 
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Peter_M

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2018
145
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It is the same speed as the 2017 12” MacBook, has a slower SSD, dimmer screen, and gets almost the exact same battery life as the new quad-core base MacBook Pro that is basically the same size and weight. And it costs almost as much as that much more powerful MacBook Pro.

https://www.cnet.com/news/apples-new-macbook-pro-and-air-both-score-high-marks-in-battery-tests/
Well put. It would make more sense killing off the Air line, and keep the 12' MacBook model instead. Having said that, the keyboard on all Apple laptops really need to improve. The Huawei MateBook keyboard is a perfect compromise IMO, since it's still allows for a thin laptop, but has more travel and tactile response. If that means the MacBook has to be a bit thicker, so be it. The MacBook was such a light and portable laptop, except for the awful keyboard.

To be honest, I'm on my last Apple laptop now, I'm tired of the crappy keyboards Apple uses. Unless Apple get their act together, my next laptop will be a Huawai MateBook, which has much thinner bezels/larger screen and superior keyboard.
 

Gary Z

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2012
21
19
I didn't need a laptop to do heavy lifting, I bought my 18 Air for screwing around with and for light school work and when work is boring and I have a few hours to kill. For heavy lifting I have my PC which is an order of magnitude faster/powerful.

"Order of magnitude" faster would be 10x faster. Is it really?
 

Zen_Arcade

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2019
267
305
Just looking at refurbished Airs/Pros through the military/veteran store.

A 2018 Air with 16/512 is $1223; the 2018 16/512 2.3 GHz Pro is $1646. So there is a significant (33% or 25% difference depending on which one you start with) price differential. And if someone's budget is ~$1k, stretching a couple of hundred dollars is MUCH easier than stretching another $646. Granted, the Pro brings more to the table - better graphics, quad-core vs dual-core, etc., but that doesn't matter if you can't stretch to it.
 

playtech1

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2014
154
101
Because the form factor is so similar to the Pro, the Air only makes sense if it drops further in price. I really think the base model Air needs to be at a $999 / £999 entry point into the Mac ecosystem (as its predecessor was), with the storage at 256GB. At that point it becomes tempting.

I wish that Apple had moved an upgraded 12 inch MacBook into the Air role. It could have been a cheap and highly portable entry into the Mac ecosystem and offered something very different to the 13 inch pro. Because the Air's size and weight is basically the same as the MBP, it is now just a 'lite' version of it and does not have its own clear niche.
 
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EssModelsRule

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2017
276
194
For me the Air’s wedge shape is a huge plus over the Pro. It’s just more comfortable to use. I believe the trackpad is slightly smaller too, perhaps right-sized in comparison to the Pro’s rather large one that can more easily register unintended palm contact.

All that said, I’m still rocking a 2016 nTB MBP until 10th gen chips make it to the Air.
 

tim0409

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2010
170
110
I've owned a series of 12" MacBooks and decided to go for a 2017 MBP but it just felt big/heavy in comparison (obviously!) so I kept hold of my 12"; I recently bought a 2018 MBA and it just feels much nicer to use than the MBP in terms of design/weight, and more akin to my old 12". I appreciate that the argument for a MBA is more difficult now the MBP has been updated, but as I don't need the extra CPU power I'm happy with the form factor of the MBA.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
12,019
9,169
Austin, TX
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ATC

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2008
1,147
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Canada
I have a 2018 13MBP and just got my wife a 2019 MBA. In all honesty I enjoy using my wife's new MBA more than my MPB. It's just nicer to handle, e.g. on the couch. And so far I haven't noticed any difference in overall speed or screen quality/brightness between the two machines, at least for the kind of work we do on ours. I think people sometimes chase specs more than the, often intangible, user experience IMHO.
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
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Because the form factor is so similar to the Pro, the Air only makes sense if it drops further in price. I really think the base model Air needs to be at a $999 / £999 entry point into the Mac ecosystem (as its predecessor was), with the storage at 256GB. At that point it becomes tempting.

I wish that Apple had moved an upgraded 12 inch MacBook into the Air role. It could have been a cheap and highly portable entry into the Mac ecosystem and offered something very different to the 13 inch pro. Because the Air's size and weight is basically the same as the MBP, it is now just a 'lite' version of it and does not have its own clear niche.
Microcenter has 2018 airs for $800
 

Clockworkz

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2018
86
52
Las Vegas
"Order of magnitude" faster would be 10x faster. Is it really?
I have no idea how much faster it is but when you're comparing a MBA to a built PC it's definitely not equal. And also you should learn when people are speaking hyperbolically lol
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
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Ive seen a few battery rundown tests on YouTube with the MBP outlasting the 2018 Air by a significant margin. I own the 2018 Air and it generally lasts me 5-6 hours of web browsing, its decent but nothing special.
Damn. I work 12 hour shifts and am generally on my Air for half of that and it usually only goes down to about 40% ish
 
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