Would you buy a new Macbook today?

essential

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 8, 2008
222
75
I don't currently have a Macbook, and I don't need it at the moment. As I said in another thread, I always loved the footprint of the 12" Macbook, but I was waiting on a true refresh (2 USB-Cs, HD Webcam, scissor keyboard) to purchase one. With the discontinuation I'm currently deciding if I should buy a new 2017 Macbook right now while there are some left in stock at a few places just to make sure I have one going forward.

We all know ARM Macbooks are coming at some point (rumors said 2020), and if there was some sort of leak pointing to this 12" Macbook design being used again in the near future for an ARM based Macbook, I'd def wait, but there are no guarantees that this form factor will ever be reused. The 13.3" Air might be the smallest Macbook in Apples lineup for the foreseeable future.

I can currently get either a:
m3/256gb/8gb/silver for $850
i5/512gb/8gb/space gray for $1,150

$300 more for the improved CPU and SSD don't mean much to me, for what I do I wouldn't notice the difference, but I prefer space gray. However, there are no m3/256 config's in space gray available. I'd pay more for 16gb RAM model, but none of the configurations offer more than 8gb.

Buy now or wait and hope this designed is used again in the next couple years when Apple starts selling ARM based Macbooks?
 

aajeevlin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2010
913
346
I feel like "want" and "need" is also something to think about. I recently bought and received the m3/256Gb one, still in the box and I'm getting close to my return date. I'm really on the fence here, as the key board issue and the recently announced discontinue of the Macbook product line all together. Also with the new Macbook Pro release (yes I know it's a totally different machine), I feel like I want to get my money worth by getting the new Macbook Pro 13 instead. Although I do like the look and the feel of the Macbook very very much.

I guess I would say, if you want it and you have the fund for it, then go for it. I personally have no problem getting the Macbook but I tend to over think and I usually only try to spend money if I really need something...
 

Alicia1

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2009
254
143
Gold Coast, Australia
I was also waiting for a refresh and couldn't believe it when I woke up and they were no longer available! That day I went to apple and managed to get a gold i5/512gb. Would have loved one with 16gb ram but apple don't seem to stock any of the higher spec models of the MacBook. Really don't know what apple were thinking as the MacBook is so light and portable.
 
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Marshall73

macrumors 68000
Apr 20, 2015
1,574
1,312
I would just pickup a new Air with 8th gen i5 and 16gb ram. It’s barely any larger than the 12 so it’s not surprising Apple dumped the 12.
 

Fozziebear40

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2008
248
101
Newton-le-Willows, England
I recently bought and received the m3/256Gb one, still in the box and I'm getting close to my return date.
I’m in the same boat. Impulse purchase at £799, not opened it yet, got a couple of weeks to return it. I’m trying to see whether my iPad can cover my needs with keyboard and mouse support in iOS 13. I‘m torn, used to using dual screens on my desktop work computer and the idea of pairing a MacBook with an iPad with sidecar for dual screen portable!
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,399
2,992
I would just pickup a new Air with 8th gen i5 and 16gb ram. It’s barely any larger than the 12 so it’s not surprising Apple dumped the 12.
38% is not “barely any larger.” The Air is nearly the same size and weight as the 13” base Pro.

And that “8th gen i5” is basically the same as the i7 in the 2017 MacBook. It’s the exact same architecture with the same Turbo Boost speed. Just a slightly higher base speed. I don’t know why reviews don’t point that out. Intel “generation” designations are meaningless now.
 

sky87

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2015
38
15
I currently have a 2018 13" MBP. It's great and all but I have been sorely tempted by the size and portability of the 12" MB, especially since I currently bring my MBP around with me a lot on public transport.

Was waiting for the 12" MB refresh (had been hoping especially for a quieter keyboard)... But since the events of last week I am now very close to deciding to buy a refurb 12" MB (probably i5/512GB/8GB/silver). For me it would be for fairly light usage though (web, note taking, PDFs, Office) so not bothered by the 8GB RAM. i5 only because it comes with the 512GB and if I've ever learnt anything from my past experience with Apple products, it's that I really enjoy the luxury of storage space...
 

kitt9000

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2012
116
20
I'm with you in this one...have a fairly maxed out 2017 13 pro and just got a deal on a space grey 12'' 512gb and 8gb ram model 2017. It came in yesterday and is working great as my uses are similar to yours. The portability is very nice. My wife has a gold model and I've been jealous of the lightness and smallness of the computer. I will be selling my pro. I agree that the 16gb will not make a difference for our uses. I say go for it!

I currently have a 2018 13" MBP. It's great and all but I have been sorely tempted by the size and portability of the 12" MB, especially since I currently bring my MBP around with me a lot on public transport.

Was waiting for the 12" MB refresh (had been hoping especially for a quieter keyboard)... But since the events of last week I am now very close to deciding to buy a refurb 12" MB (probably i5/512GB/8GB/silver). For me it would be for fairly light usage though (web, note taking, PDFs, Office) so not bothered by the 8GB RAM. i5 only because it comes with the 512GB and if I've ever learnt anything from my past experience with Apple products, it's that I really enjoy the luxury of storage space...
 

Boardiesboi

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2013
1,361
1,468
Sydney Australia
Recently sold my 2017 MBP which was way too overpowered for my use. Still can't decide between the following:
- 2017 12" MacBook, i5/8GB/512GB, second gen butterfly keyboard, no true tone, at AUD$1899 (on clearance and the lowest price I've seen them)
- 2019 13" MacBook Air, i5/8GB/256GB at AUD$1799, third gen butterfly keyboard with true tone display (local seller does 10% off Apple computers every month)

I also need to consider resale value (I usually replace my laptop every 2 years - Tax wise the deduction is nil after 2 years). I have a suspicion the 2019 MBA will sell better in 2 years time?
 

Neodym

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2002
1,930
513
For a fixed range of two years with planned resale - and if you are willing to make compromises in terms of noise and mobility - the MBA is probably the better choice for you. The 12" is more an ethusiast device and less targeted at sober calculators :)
 
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kitt9000

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2012
116
20
If you're interested in the 12'' macbook for the weight, then the Air may not cut it. Despite the name, IMO the only reason to go for the air is the cheaper price tag as compared to the pros. The Air to me feels the same size and essentially the same weight as the 13'' Pro (plus the wedge shape), where as the 12'' is notably lighter. I would go for either a 12'' macbook for portability or the new 2019 base pro for more power at the sacrifice of the weight. This may not take into account resale in the future, but what may meet your needs at the moment.

Recently sold my 2017 MBP which was way too overpowered for my use. Still can't decide between the following:
- 2017 12" MacBook, i5/8GB/512GB, second gen butterfly keyboard, no true tone, at AUD$1899 (on clearance and the lowest price I've seen them)
- 2019 13" MacBook Air, i5/8GB/256GB at AUD$1799, third gen butterfly keyboard with true tone display (local seller does 10% off Apple computers every month)

I also need to consider resale value (I usually replace my laptop every 2 years - Tax wise the deduction is nil after 2 years). I have a suspicion the 2019 MBA will sell better in 2 years time?
 
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Boardiesboi

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2013
1,361
1,468
Sydney Australia
For a fixed range of two years with planned resale - and if you are willing to make compromises in terms of noise and mobility - the MBA is probably the better choice for you. The 12" is more an ethusiast device and less targeted at sober calculators :)
If you're interested in the 12'' macbook for the weight, then the Air may not cut it. Despite the name, IMO the only reason to go for the air is the cheaper price tag as compared to the pros. The Air to me feels the same size and essentially the same weight as the 13'' Pro (plus the wedge shape), where as the 12'' is notably lighter. I would go for either a 12'' macbook for portability or the new 2019 base pro for more power at the sacrifice of the weight. This may not take into account resale in the future, but what may meet your needs at the moment.
Thanks for the inputs!

Will be getting the 2019 256GB MBA!
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
1,533
1,213
Barcelona
Basically, it's great at £799. Not at the RRP as it's a 4 year old design now with the 2nd gen keyboard. The one USB-C for everything may cause problems in terms of wear over the years too - it's something that i'm a little concerned about. I've been using the MacBooks for the last 4 years (2015, 2016 & 2017 model) BUT i'm moving to the 2020 MacBook Pro 13.3 - 14" when that is launched next year. The main reason is that the 12" screen is just starting to hurt my eyes compared to my old 13.3" MacBook (the screen feels A LOT smaller) AND I'm going for a 2TB option too.
Speaking from experience, at £1550 the MacBook is seriously overpriced but at the £999 it is now, it's a steal.
DO MAKE SURE that the 12" screen is right for you. I've got on great with it for 4 years but as I approach my mid 30s, I'm finding it a bit straining for my audio & video editing on my eyes for close up work.
 
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sicariis

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2013
34
4
I ordered a used maxed out 2017 model from Gazelle for $1050 during there 10% off sale this past week. Hoping to replace my maxed out 2015 air, most intense task will be streaming video. Looking forward to the improved screen, silent operation, as well as having more RAM, faster SSD, and lighter package and portability.

If the “Good” condition isn't up to my standards, then ill take advantage of their 30 day return policy.
 
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mrtomtom

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2019
3
0
Does any one know how well the 2017 models (with 8 or 16gb ram) can run a 4k monitor? I'm mostly web programming so the extra realestate would be really nice, but I love the portability of the 12" as I travel for work a bit.

Anyone have any experience?
 

sky87

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2015
38
15
I'm with you in this one...have a fairly maxed out 2017 13 pro and just got a deal on a space grey 12'' 512gb and 8gb ram model 2017. It came in yesterday and is working great as my uses are similar to yours. The portability is very nice. My wife has a gold model and I've been jealous of the lightness and smallness of the computer. I will be selling my pro. I agree that the 16gb will not make a difference for our uses. I say go for it!
Well, after thinking about it for a week I've just ordered a refurb 2017 12" MB i5/8GB/512GB. I'm still going to keep my 13" 2018 MBP though - it'll remain my main computer, but the 12" MB will be far nicer to tote around with me everyday.

I did consider getting an iPad Pro but the cost of one plus the smart keyboard is almost the cost of the refurb 12" MB! And I wanted a trackpad and mouse support and all which I've read doesn't seem to be quite up to scratch on the iPads yet even with iPad OS... Also in the past I've attempted to edit Word and Excel files on the iPad which only ended up in frustration.

Wondering a bit about getting used to the slightly smaller screen on the 12" MB, but I think Sidecar might help once MacOS Catalina is released!
 

kitt9000

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2012
116
20
great! I think you'll be very happy. Its funny, I actually had a 2015 12" which I sold before going for the Pro and regretted selling it since I did miss the portability and usability of the little system. The 2017 12'' is to me notably faster than the 2015, and never really slows down for my uses, mainly documents, browsing, media, email. Works similar to my pro. I also take it more places and throw it in my bag now where I used to leave the PRO behind. Keeping both is not a bad idea either...you can always sell one or gift one later if you find you're not using both in your daily workflow.

I also tried the iPad Pro 11' which iPad OS and mouse. And to be honest, it was more impressive than before, however you still have to work extra to do many tasks, and reach out and touching the screen slows you down quite a bit. I also frequently swipe through desktop apps, and I can do that without thinking on the Mac with the three finger gesture...to do that on the iPad is just a chore. iPad was great for media for me, i.e. net flix, Hulu. I hope with Catalina, they will bring Netflix, Hulu and their download functionality to the Mac.



Well, after thinking about it for a week I've just ordered a refurb 2017 12" MB i5/8GB/512GB. I'm still going to keep my 13" 2018 MBP though - it'll remain my main computer, but the 12" MB will be far nicer to tote around with me everyday.

I did consider getting an iPad Pro but the cost of one plus the smart keyboard is almost the cost of the refurb 12" MB! And I wanted a trackpad and mouse support and all which I've read doesn't seem to be quite up to scratch on the iPads yet even with iPad OS... Also in the past I've attempted to edit Word and Excel files on the iPad which only ended up in frustration.

Wondering a bit about getting used to the slightly smaller screen on the 12" MB, but I think Sidecar might help once MacOS Catalina is released!
 

HappyIntro

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2016
193
196
I'd say yes, buy now while you can. These are great machines and you may just find out that you prefer to use it for most of your computing needs, especially of course when you are on the go. One somewhat silly reason I value my MacBook is how little power it uses - I live in California, and we are being told to get ready for 48-hour power blackouts as precautions to decrease fire danger near power lines. Powering my MacBook with a backup battery will last a long time compared to beefier laptops or desktops. The utility per watt of the MacBook blows any other MacOS device out of the water! Have one on hand for your next power outage!
 

tomscott1988

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
617
482
UK
I love mine too, but at the price I would take the base MBP all day long, get so much more with it and I was in the apple store with mine the other day and compared there isnt a great deal of difference.

Ive also had lots of screen problems with mine. Its had 3 displays in 3 years, keyboard is too close to the display so the key marks are really bad and the hinge keeps giving up and the play is awful. Basically the hinge is plastic and wears out not like the macbook pro where you can tighten it up.

I also find the one USB c very limiting from a power point of view. It can power one device with a dongle if you plug in a HDD and a memory stick it will unmount. You have to use a pass through charger dongle which means if your out and about and need to move one file from one device to another you have to use a pass through or move it from the device to the laptop unmount the drive and plug in another.

I also find the port unreliable as its got older its got looser and the drives unmount all the time! So frustrating.

Mine is really only used in the house too so its not like im hammering it on the go all the time. Done 300 cycles and is a 2015... not really been happy with its longevity. If I had bought it without applecare I would be one pi$$ed off customer.

Funnily enough no issues with the keyboard.

I would give it a pass.
 
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