MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air - Which is the better buy?

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 54
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    Apple appears set to heavily discount the 128GB models this holiday season.

    If you can take advantage, and don’t need more space, congratulations!

    Looks like Apple miscalculated and made to many.  Most people need 256GB minimum, and know it.

    A MacBook Pro with only 128GB... how stupid is that in 2019...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 42 of 54
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,195member
    rossb2 said:
    I think Apple are making too many laptops, with the air. They dropped the 12 inch. But the air that is left, I find it pointless. It is not light enough to really be an air. Plus it is only a 7 watt TDP processor, and only two cores. For those reasons alone I would go with the pro. I feel that Apple should be concentrating on economies of scale with the pro, and just selling that. Splitting your customers off on to the air seems wasteful at this point.
    MacBook Air is an excellent corporate laptop to be sold by ten thousands. That is economies of scale...

    That's true -- at least for some.
    But being a non-repairable, non-upgradeable machine it becomes a disposable consumable from the perspective of most IT departments.  Frankly I have never worked with one or for one that would go there.
    Enterprises don’t repair or upgrade. They trash and get new. Within a deal of ten thousands, repairs and upgrades are already covered by the deal. Corporate accounts work differently than individual accounts.
    As I said, that has not been my experience.   Quite the opposite really.  One of the manifests of most IT departments is to operate cost efficiently -- which is one of the reasons why they control the purchasing and distribution of equipment.   So, throwing away a $1,500 piece of equipment for a minor, easily fixed problem like a failed harddrive is incompatible with their mandate.

    In 25 years in the field I have never seen one act the way you describe.    I have no doubt that they are out there -- many are perhaps contractors supporting networks for mom 7 pop operations.   But no major IT department would waste money like that.
    I dunno where you worked, but I’ve worked enterprise for fortune 100s and companies like Shell, Capital One, Target, MarketWatch, and huge contractors like SAIC at the federal level. Nobody has IT guys tinkering around on hard drives. If there is an issue, a replacement machine with a fresh image is immediately dispatched. The busted one is dealt with via the support contract with the hardware vendor. 

    What you’re describing is simply not how IT works in the past two decades of my enterprise career. 
    macpluspluschiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,352member
    MplsP said:
    MplsP said:
    entropys said:
    It is a dilemma. I would want to buy MBPs for my daughters, but I am sure the younger one would probably want the gold MBA. Maybe the money and weight saved would go to a USB hub so when inevitably one of her friends want to give her something on a USB stick she can actually use it.


    on the touchbar issue: I think adoption would be easier if Apple actually went all in. Where is the magic keyboard with a Touch Bar? Will the Mac Pro, iMac pro and the iMac end up with the touchbar? because i suspect one reason there is still grief about it (apart from raising the cost of the notebook) is it isn’t universal enough for a critical mass of developers to bother taking advantage of it.
    Not USB hub, just a USB-A adapter, not bigger than a lipstick or an eye mascara. The hub may be purchased afterwards and be left at home for occasional use.
    And how many times have you reached in your pocket for that chapstick and found it gone, or in your other pair of pants, or on the bathroom counter... That's exactly giving 4 USB C ports and no USB A ports is such a moronic idea. It's not the cost. It's not the fact that you can't have a USB C-A adaptor with you, it's the fact that virtually no one needs 4 USB C ports, while the entire world is still using USB A.
    Anything else?... When Steve Jobs first introduced USB with the bondi iMac the entire world was not using it. And God forbid, man! he’d even ditched the floppy drive, OMG, OMF...
    *rolleyes*
    They also sold a USB 3.5 which the majority of people bought because they needed it. The difference is that was a desktop, so having a drive plugged into your desktop computer wasn't a big deal. The entire point of a laptop is convenience and portability. lugging extra equipment around isn't in that equation. 

    If you notice, I never said "get rid of USB C," Nor did I say "USB C is useless." What I said was virtually the entire world still uses USB A and while you can make USB C work, it makes convenient and there is no good reason not to include a single USB A port.

    It's interesting - whenever I suggest including a single USB A port on a MBP, people jump to the "USB C is the future! You're just a luddite and against progress" argument. Essentially, from what I can tell, they don't have a counter argument, so they try to change the initial argument to one the can better counter. If you can counter my argument without changing it, go ahead. Otherwise think about why you can't.
    ...At that time the entire world was using RS232 and PS/2 ports. None of them was included in the bondi iMac. In Apple platforms such an argument as the entire world uses <insert something> is not recognized, so... do not roll your eyes.
    The iPod was originally FireWire, then moved to USB because the rest of the world was not using FireWire. Despite the myth, Apple are sensitive to reality.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 44 of 54
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,098member
    Apple appears set to heavily discount the 128GB models this holiday season.

    If you can take advantage, and don’t need more space, congratulations!

    Looks like Apple miscalculated and made to many.  Most people need 256GB minimum, and know it.

    A MacBook Pro with only 128GB... how stupid is that in 2019...
    Very clever, in fact. 128 GB is quite adequate for a corporate laptop and most individuals. No corporation would allow its employees to carry hundreds of GB of corporate data. 128 GB can even accommodate a BootCamp partition.

    With 2 TB @ 9.99/month iCloud Drive with family sharing is much cheaper than $200 SSD 256 upgrade.
    edited July 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 54
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,098member

    crowley said:
    MplsP said:
    MplsP said:
    entropys said:
    It is a dilemma. I would want to buy MBPs for my daughters, but I am sure the younger one would probably want the gold MBA. Maybe the money and weight saved would go to a USB hub so when inevitably one of her friends want to give her something on a USB stick she can actually use it.


    on the touchbar issue: I think adoption would be easier if Apple actually went all in. Where is the magic keyboard with a Touch Bar? Will the Mac Pro, iMac pro and the iMac end up with the touchbar? because i suspect one reason there is still grief about it (apart from raising the cost of the notebook) is it isn’t universal enough for a critical mass of developers to bother taking advantage of it.
    Not USB hub, just a USB-A adapter, not bigger than a lipstick or an eye mascara. The hub may be purchased afterwards and be left at home for occasional use.
    And how many times have you reached in your pocket for that chapstick and found it gone, or in your other pair of pants, or on the bathroom counter... That's exactly giving 4 USB C ports and no USB A ports is such a moronic idea. It's not the cost. It's not the fact that you can't have a USB C-A adaptor with you, it's the fact that virtually no one needs 4 USB C ports, while the entire world is still using USB A.
    Anything else?... When Steve Jobs first introduced USB with the bondi iMac the entire world was not using it. And God forbid, man! he’d even ditched the floppy drive, OMG, OMF...
    *rolleyes*
    They also sold a USB 3.5 which the majority of people bought because they needed it. The difference is that was a desktop, so having a drive plugged into your desktop computer wasn't a big deal. The entire point of a laptop is convenience and portability. lugging extra equipment around isn't in that equation. 

    If you notice, I never said "get rid of USB C," Nor did I say "USB C is useless." What I said was virtually the entire world still uses USB A and while you can make USB C work, it makes convenient and there is no good reason not to include a single USB A port.

    It's interesting - whenever I suggest including a single USB A port on a MBP, people jump to the "USB C is the future! You're just a luddite and against progress" argument. Essentially, from what I can tell, they don't have a counter argument, so they try to change the initial argument to one the can better counter. If you can counter my argument without changing it, go ahead. Otherwise think about why you can't.
    ...At that time the entire world was using RS232 and PS/2 ports. None of them was included in the bondi iMac. In Apple platforms such an argument as the entire world uses <insert something> is not recognized, so... do not roll your eyes.
    The iPod was originally FireWire, then moved to USB because the rest of the world was not using FireWire. Despite the myth, Apple are sensitive to reality.
    What is the signal to noise ratio in that statement ? Apple is not only sensitive to reality but it also reshapes the reality, so what?

    Regarding FireWire/USB on the iPod, FireWire continued for several years, full USB (sync+charge) only begun with iPod 4th Gen at 2004 and FireWire was totally abandoned at 2008 with iPod Nano 4th generation. And that, not because finally they understood “the reality” after so many years, but because FireWire invented by Apple at 1995 was aging, Thunderbolt would be announced at 2009.

    https://everymac.com/systems/apple/ipod/ipod-faq/ipods-charge-and-sync-firewire-usb2.html (disregard the Touch, it is wrong).
    edited July 2019 chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 54
    croprcropr Posts: 1,078member
    MplsP said:
    crowley said:
    I bought the Air. Don’t want no stupid Touch Bar.
    dougd said:
    I would pick the Air for one reason....no stinking Touch Bar
    What a surprise. Have either of you ever even used it? It’s a helluva lot more useful than a Launchpad button and other junk that was up there. 
    I've used it for 2 years now. Meh. As others have commented, even Apple really hasn't embraced the Touch Bar. It's a gimmick that they play around with.

    In a few cases it's useful, sometimes it just gets in my way. I often find myself overreaching a bit for the top-row keys, and end up touching the Touch Bar,, making it do something I don't want. Most often I end up activating Siri instead of hitting delete.

    The big drawback for the Touch Bar is the fact that you have to look away from the screen to use it. If you are used to touch typing, that's a deal-breaker. no physical escape key kind of sucks, too. Again, this is strictly because of the lack of tactile feedback from a key. Of course, the tactile feedback from the butterfly keyboard sucks, so going to the Touch Bar isn't a big leap.

    So yeah, if I had my choice, I'd get a 15" MPB with no Touch Bar. (As long as I'm wishing, ditch 2 of the USB C ports for a more useful USB-A port and a MagSafe charging port.)
    For me the lack of a physical escape key is the major issue.  I don't understand why Apple does not make the Touch Bar slightly shorter and add a real escape key next to it.  This would really be helpful for a lot of people.  Whether one likes the Touch Bar or not, the escape key is vital in many applications.  So my preference is a high performant MBP with a real escape key
  • Reply 47 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    rossb2 said:
    I think Apple are making too many laptops, with the air. They dropped the 12 inch. But the air that is left, I find it pointless. It is not light enough to really be an air. Plus it is only a 7 watt TDP processor, and only two cores. For those reasons alone I would go with the pro. I feel that Apple should be concentrating on economies of scale with the pro, and just selling that. Splitting your customers off on to the air seems wasteful at this point.
    MacBook Air is an excellent corporate laptop to be sold by ten thousands. That is economies of scale...

    That's true -- at least for some.
    But being a non-repairable, non-upgradeable machine it becomes a disposable consumable from the perspective of most IT departments.  Frankly I have never worked with one or for one that would go there.
    Enterprises don’t repair or upgrade. They trash and get new. Within a deal of ten thousands, repairs and upgrades are already covered by the deal. Corporate accounts work differently than individual accounts.
    As I said, that has not been my experience.   Quite the opposite really.  One of the manifests of most IT departments is to operate cost efficiently -- which is one of the reasons why they control the purchasing and distribution of equipment.   So, throwing away a $1,500 piece of equipment for a minor, easily fixed problem like a failed harddrive is incompatible with their mandate.

    In 25 years in the field I have never seen one act the way you describe.    I have no doubt that they are out there -- many are perhaps contractors supporting networks for mom 7 pop operations.   But no major IT department would waste money like that.
    You can do better than that ;-) No one throws away anything. If you have sold thousands of devices to a corporate account of course you can replace a failed one with a new one and that’s already part of the deal. They don’t need to make a “user-repairable” thing. What about individuals’ needs? Well, individuals are already not capable of repairing such highly integrated products and T2 chip is not sold on Amazon. They will go to an authorized Apple service and the thing will be repaired or replaced depending on Apple’s internal policies, at cost if the thing is out-of-warranty. No need to mention AppleCare. Almost all jurisdictions impose they service the product and they maintain enough stock of spare parts until the product becomes obsolete by law.
    It sounds like you advocate throwing your machines away after the warranty.
    I don't do that and I never worked for or with any enterprise that did that.

    While many individuals are afraid to open a laptop, enterprise IT are not.   And, even for the individuals, there are a number of shops they can go to --- including the Apple Store.
    Actually, one of my last experiences before retiring was a failed HP laptop.  After a series of diagnostics and discussions, HP just mailed me a new drive and I mailed the failed one back to them -- and that was under warranty.   Had it not been under warranty I would have had to buy new drive -- but I would not have scrapped a good machine out of laziness.

    So, sorry, I am not buying your claim that no one ever repairs or upgrades a laptop.
    edited July 2019 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 48 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    linkman said:
    rossb2 said:
    I think Apple are making too many laptops, with the air. They dropped the 12 inch. But the air that is left, I find it pointless. It is not light enough to really be an air. Plus it is only a 7 watt TDP processor, and only two cores. For those reasons alone I would go with the pro. I feel that Apple should be concentrating on economies of scale with the pro, and just selling that. Splitting your customers off on to the air seems wasteful at this point.
    MacBook Air is an excellent corporate laptop to be sold by ten thousands. That is economies of scale...

    That's true -- at least for some.
    But being a non-repairable, non-upgradeable machine it becomes a disposable consumable from the perspective of most IT departments.  Frankly I have never worked with one or for one that would go there.
    Enterprises don’t repair or upgrade. They trash and get new. Within a deal of ten thousands, repairs and upgrades are already covered by the deal. Corporate accounts work differently than individual accounts.
    As I said, that has not been my experience.   Quite the opposite really.  One of the manifests of most IT departments is to operate cost efficiently -- which is one of the reasons why they control the purchasing and distribution of equipment.   So, throwing away a $1,500 piece of equipment for a minor, easily fixed problem like a failed harddrive is incompatible with their mandate.

    In 25 years in the field I have never seen one act the way you describe.    I have no doubt that they are out there -- many are perhaps contractors supporting networks for mom 7 pop operations.   But no major IT department would waste money like that.
    My company's (100000+ employees) IT department policy is to repair anything covered by warranty and trash it if there's a failure out of warranty. We always buy an extended warranty which usually puts it at 3-5 years of coverage. Any upgrades (including laptop battery replacements) are paid for by the business department. We also schedule replacements of desktops/laptops around the end of their warranty period. There are a few exceptions (like mine where I have a desktop as my primary PC and a laptop as a secondary -- the laptop's warranty expired 1.5 years ago).

    My personal take on the corporate policy is that they replace personal computers too soon. The performance and reliability improvements don't warrant such a short cycle. Most of the bottlenecks of performance for business use are I/O related and server-side. Any increases in equipment failures are mitigated by having readily available spares/loaners, all important data on servers or backed up, and quick recovery time by standardized imaging.
    I agree.   Especially these days where the power of these machines has exceeded the needs of most users for emailing and minor spreadsheets. 
    And another facet:   20 years ago a decent IT technician could command top dollar - $75-$100K.  Today you can get a college grad for half or even a third that -- so it makes more sense to put them to work saving an expensive machine rather than saving the labor costs and scrapping the machine.

    But then, maybe that's why so much industry has moved to China.   Having recently pulled themselves out of poverty they still understand the value of money.
  • Reply 49 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    MplsP said:
    crowley said:
    I bought the Air. Don’t want no stupid Touch Bar.
    dougd said:
    I would pick the Air for one reason....no stinking Touch Bar
    What a surprise. Have either of you ever even used it? It’s a helluva lot more useful than a Launchpad button and other junk that was up there. 
    I've used it for 2 years now. Meh. As others have commented, even Apple really hasn't embraced the Touch Bar. It's a gimmick that they play around with.

    In a few cases it's useful, sometimes it just gets in my way. I often find myself overreaching a bit for the top-row keys, and end up touching the Touch Bar,, making it do something I don't want. Most often I end up activating Siri instead of hitting delete.

    The big drawback for the Touch Bar is the fact that you have to look away from the screen to use it. If you are used to touch typing, that's a deal-breaker. no physical escape key kind of sucks, too. Again, this is strictly because of the lack of tactile feedback from a key. Of course, the tactile feedback from the butterfly keyboard sucks, so going to the Touch Bar isn't a big leap.

    So yeah, if I had my choice, I'd get a 15" MPB with no Touch Bar. (As long as I'm wishing, ditch 2 of the USB C ports for a more useful USB-A port and a MagSafe charging port.)
    Apple doesn't do gimmicks.
    But, in this case, they felt they had to respond to the touch screen laptops of other vendors.  Apple (correctly I think) determined that touch screen laptops sucked.   But, at the same time,  they were constricted from the freedom and power that a touch screen offered by being responsive to the application being run (much like the changing menu bars on today's Macs).   So, they responded with the Touch Bar.

    We can debate its value (or lack of).   But I think calling it a "gimmick" is wrong. 
    edited July 2019
  • Reply 50 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    MplsP said:
    entropys said:
    It is a dilemma. I would want to buy MBPs for my daughters, but I am sure the younger one would probably want the gold MBA. Maybe the money and weight saved would go to a USB hub so when inevitably one of her friends want to give her something on a USB stick she can actually use it.


    on the touchbar issue: I think adoption would be easier if Apple actually went all in. Where is the magic keyboard with a Touch Bar? Will the Mac Pro, iMac pro and the iMac end up with the touchbar? because i suspect one reason there is still grief about it (apart from raising the cost of the notebook) is it isn’t universal enough for a critical mass of developers to bother taking advantage of it.
    Not USB hub, just a USB-A adapter, not bigger than a lipstick or an eye mascara. The hub may be purchased afterwards and be left at home for occasional use.
    And how many times have you reached in your pocket for that chapstick and found it gone, or in your other pair of pants, or on the bathroom counter... That's exactly giving 4 USB C ports and no USB A ports is such a moronic idea. It's not the cost. It's not the fact that you can't have a USB C-A adaptor with you, it's the fact that virtually no one needs 4 USB C ports, while the entire world is still using USB A.
    I agree.
    But I think the solution may be for Apple to simply come out with a more full function, less minimalist workstation to compliment the Thin, Light, Minimalist machines that they currently sell.   Just like Chevrolet sells both Stingrays and Silverados, there is no reason why Apple could not provide a similar, more expansive product line -- particularly where 90% of what is inside are simply off-the-shelf, easily sourced components.
  • Reply 51 of 54
    neilmneilm Posts: 956member
    If you don't like the TB you don't have to interact much with it. It's just not that big a deal either way.

    However because the TB is part of Apple's Secure Enclave, we're unlikely to see it offered on external keyboards any time soon. To make that happen a secure encrypted communication channel between the KB and Mac would need to be developed. While that's technically possible to do, it would be complicated and expensive, and might also affect the ability to use a regular KB instead.
  • Reply 52 of 54
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    rossb2 said:
    I think Apple are making too many laptops, with the air. They dropped the 12 inch. But the air that is left, I find it pointless. It is not light enough to really be an air. Plus it is only a 7 watt TDP processor, and only two cores. For those reasons alone I would go with the pro. I feel that Apple should be concentrating on economies of scale with the pro, and just selling that. Splitting your customers off on to the air seems wasteful at this point.
    MacBook Air is an excellent corporate laptop to be sold by ten thousands. That is economies of scale...

    That's true -- at least for some.
    But being a non-repairable, non-upgradeable machine it becomes a disposable consumable from the perspective of most IT departments.  Frankly I have never worked with one or for one that would go there.
    Enterprises don’t repair or upgrade. They trash and get new. Within a deal of ten thousands, repairs and upgrades are already covered by the deal. Corporate accounts work differently than individual accounts.
    As I said, that has not been my experience.   Quite the opposite really.  One of the manifests of most IT departments is to operate cost efficiently -- which is one of the reasons why they control the purchasing and distribution of equipment.   So, throwing away a $1,500 piece of equipment for a minor, easily fixed problem like a failed harddrive is incompatible with their mandate.

    In 25 years in the field I have never seen one act the way you describe.    I have no doubt that they are out there -- many are perhaps contractors supporting networks for mom 7 pop operations.   But no major IT department would waste money like that.
    I dunno where you worked, but I’ve worked enterprise for fortune 100s and companies like Shell, Capital One, Target, MarketWatch, and huge contractors like SAIC at the federal level. Nobody has IT guys tinkering around on hard drives. If there is an issue, a replacement machine with a fresh image is immediately dispatched. The busted one is dealt with via the support contract with the hardware vendor. 

    What you’re describing is simply not how IT works in the past two decades of my enterprise career. 
    Oh?   So you didn't actually have an IT department.   OK
  • Reply 53 of 54
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    The wedge-shaped design of the MacBook Air is ergonomically far superior to the Pro design
  • Reply 54 of 54
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    neilm said:
    If you don't like the TB you don't have to interact much with it. It's just not that big a deal either way.

    However because the TB is part of Apple's Secure Enclave, we're unlikely to see it offered on external keyboards any time soon. To make that happen a secure encrypted communication channel between the KB and Mac would need to be developed. While that's technically possible to do, it would be complicated and expensive, and might also affect the ability to use a regular KB instead.
    You mean something like Bluetooth?
    watto_cobra
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