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355 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 262194 9-Jan-2020 15:13
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We're looking at updating our 2012 MacBook Pro with a new model, but I'm not sure what the difference between the Pro or the Air is

 

I spoke to a shop assistant in PB Tech and she just said the Pro is better if you want to do video editing and stuff (which I don't) and the Air is fine for general home use (e-mails / web surfing...etc...)

 

The Air is much slimmer / skinnier than the Pro but looking at the specs on the price tag thingy next to each one they were pretty much the same....

 

only thing I noticed was on the air there seemed to be only 2 slots / ports on the left hand side and only 1 on the right hand side

 

This is a concern, because currently on our 2012 Pro we have 6 ports / slots on the LH side and we use most of them - power, Wi Fi  / Ethernet, cable adapter for external monitor, 2 x USB and 1 spare which I don't know what it does (we don't use this one)

 

if there are not enough ports / slots on a MacBook Air how is this going to work??

 

Any advice would be appreciated

 

 


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  # 2389097 9-Jan-2020 15:19
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The MacBook Air has 2x USB-C ports.  The MacBook Pro has 4x USB-C ports.  Either way if you have older USB devices you're going to need a dongle adapter or some sort of hub to use them.  So ports isn't really the issue, types of ports is.  

 

The main difference is that the MacBook Pro has dedicated graphics and the Air has integrated graphics.  Also screen size - Pro comes in a 16" variant.  If you just want a 13" device and don't care about graphics processing power, go with the Air and get yourself a little USB-C hub that expands the ports.  That's really your only choice with a MacBook these days since they only have USB-C ports.

 

This is an example of the Apple ones: https://www.apple.com/nz/shop/product/MUF82ZA/A/usb-c-digital-av-multiport-adapter

 

And this is something more useful (i.e. with more port options): https://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/computers-tablets/accessories/cables-chargers-and-adapters/alogic-ultra-usb-c-dock-uni/prod175007.html 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2389098 9-Jan-2020 15:21
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The Apple website has a good comparison chart:

 

 

 

https://www.apple.com/nz/mac/compare/

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2389106 9-Jan-2020 15:30
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I would recommend holding off buying any new apple MacBook products until they release the lower models with the updated keyboard design.





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  # 2389116 9-Jan-2020 15:53
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The current gen MacBook Air has the improved butterfly keyboard design.  Not the new new keyboard, but certainly a marked improvement over the earlier butterfly design.  My wife had the MacBook with old butterfly - was super loud frustrating to use.  She's got the current gen MacBook Air now with new butterfly and it's much quieter and more responsive.  So I really don't think it's much of an issue, certainly not one worth holding out for an iterative device release that isn't guaranteed to happen anytime soon.  


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2389123 9-Jan-2020 16:15
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The new new keyboard has a design improvement over the old new keyboard, which was subject to an unacceptably high number of faults and a service repair program https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks

 

The new MacBook Pro has a 16” screen and the better keyboard. It is a beast. Can’t get the 15” Pro any more, except left-over stock.

 

If it is browsing, Office etc, lightweight stuff, then the Air IMHO is the way to go. The Air was refreshed relatively recently but it doesn’t have the new new keyboard, And is subject to the service repair programme I mentioned.

 

If I were you, I’d get a new one from Apple, either which way.





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  # 2389125 9-Jan-2020 16:19
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It's not just an improvement, it's a completely different mechanism.  Either way, it's not a serious enough issue to warrant waiting for an unknown amount of time for a not guaranteed change to be made to a device (Air) that has traditionally gone years without changes (e.g. Retina display only just happened).  Especially when there is the comfort of having a repair programme on the off chance you do run into issues with the Air keyboard.  


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  # 2389133 9-Jan-2020 16:36
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If you're not familiar with the difference between an Air and a Pro then you definitely don't need a Pro.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2390449 11-Jan-2020 21:29
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If you want to do graphics intensive work, buy a Pro.

If you just want to do general computing tasks etc then the Air will probably suffice.





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  # 2390467 12-Jan-2020 01:35
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gehenna:

The current gen MacBook Air has the improved butterfly keyboard design.  Not the new new keyboard, but certainly a marked improvement over the earlier butterfly design.  My wife had the MacBook with old butterfly - was super loud frustrating to use.  She's got the current gen MacBook Air now with new butterfly and it's much quieter and more responsive.  So I really don't think it's much of an issue, certainly not one worth holding out for an iterative device release that isn't guaranteed to happen anytime soon.  



I’ve got the current gen and can confirm the keyboard is rubbish.

I’ve had it in twice for repair in under a year. Apple stated they’re willing to refund my money based on the CGA since they sold me a faulty product (as per the keyboard replacement program). I’m likely going to do this - seriously, this is the worst keyboard I have used.

I strongly recommend based on my experience holding out for the new models without butterfly keyboards. I’ve also found the MacBook Air to be somewhat underpowered for the price you pay.

In my honest opinion unless if you’re deep in the Apple ecosystem take a look at a comparable laptop on the windows side - Dell actually has some very good laptops for the same sort of money and Windows isn’t half bad anymore. I cannot, in good faith recommend purchasing a current generation MacBook.




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  # 2390481 12-Jan-2020 09:11
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I think a few people have missed the point of the OP. If they are comparing an Air to a Pro, it’s certainly not the new 16” version. More likely to be the entry 13” version.

Think of the Air as an iPad with a keyboard and a proper laptop operating system. It’s perfectly fine for 99% of home use. Web browsing, emails, a little YouTube, Netflix or on demand viewing in the bedroom and basic MS office or equivalent use. If you need more than that then get the Pro, if not the Air will serve you well.



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Ultimate Geek


  # 2390495 12-Jan-2020 10:24
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Thanks for the replies

I’m pretty sure the MacBook Pro we have is 16” screen because the MacBook Air I saw last week had a smaller screen
We connect ours to our old compaq monitor anyway so as long as we are able to do that with the air that’s ok

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  # 2390554 12-Jan-2020 11:08
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16" is a new model and form factor that only just came out a few months ago.  Yours is 15"

 

You can connect a MacBook Air to any external display using an adaptor such as the ones I linked earlier in the thread.


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