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A new Mac laptop for Dave  

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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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November 25, 2018 10:12 EST AM  

As many listeners know, I’m currently rocking the 2011 i7 MacBook Air ... and it’s time for that to change!

Simultaneously, it’s also time for my son to get an upgrade. Since the new Airs were announced I’ve been on the fence about which way we should go. Should I do a refurb MacBook Pro, or a new Air? (because the new Airs aren’t on the refurb store yet).

After much research and consideration, well, I still didn’t know. My son and I discussed it and it seems like the new MacBook Air, 16GB RAM is the way to go. I know 8GB would probably suffice, but I don’t want to risk it so... 16GB it is. Limited RAM is really my biggest issue with my current Air (only 4GB, the max I could get at the time), so I’m definitely staving off that problem for this next purchase.

figured I’d let everyone know, and also invite any commentary. Thoughts? Would you choose the same?


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Steven
(@steven)
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November 25, 2018 11:25 EST AM  

I would go refurbed 2015 MBP... somehow the airs just don't feel like they have the grunt.  I have a 2013 MBP and no thoughts of upgrading for at least a couple of years (I love that HDMI connection, no dongles needed!)

My kids (13 and 19) have airs, I would say MBP for the pro's every time...


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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November 25, 2018 3:35 EST PM  

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I definitely hear you. This has been my struggle, too.

For a dual-core machine sans hyperthreading, the new Air and MBP are about the same. But if you go i7 or quad-core, of course, the MBP is the only option. For me with the Air being an intentionally secondary (but important for travel) machine, I think it’ll be the right choice.

I think. 😉


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Dan Wieder
(@dwieder)
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November 26, 2018 10:43 EST AM  

I just received my 16GB MacBook Air. It replaces my 2016 MacBook. I went with the Macbook three years ago replacing an older MacBook Air. The main reason for going with the Macbook was the Retina display. However, over the past few years, the 12 inch screen was just a little small for me. I was waiting for a reasonably priced MacBook Pro, but I haven't seen it. I finally decided that the new MacBook Air was just the machine for me. The increase in screen size was just what I wanted.

So far, this machine is perfect. I've only been playing with it for a day, but so far it is everything that I wanted. I have 16GB in ram and I kept the 256GB SSD. I'm also able to get over $400 for my old MacBook with Apple as a give back.


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jefflambert670
(@jefflambert670)
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November 27, 2018 9:49 EST AM  

A friend of mine bought her first mac two weeks ago, she wanted something to edit her photos, did't want to pay much (she is used to buy 500-700 PC laptop). At first, I was like buy last year's macbook pro, with no touchbar, 16G RAM, 512GB SSD. The screen was a better one than the new Macbook Air, but no T2 chip, no touch ID, older keyboard model. So I went to the apple store and check them in "in real life". They are pretty similar, but I felt she would rather have the Air, but told her to go see them. She did prefer the Air. She couldn't go with refurb as she needed the French-Canadian keyboard, and the only thing Refurb have is the US keyboard. In your case, I don't think the screen will mather much (the pro's being a bit brighter and more punchy) but you will definitly LOVE the touch ID and you'll feel confortable with the Air since that's what you already had. It is smaller though, so that's a good thing. If you're looking for power though, go with a MBP, but take the NEW one, and load it up. It will not be in the same price range though, so this is the main reason to NOT go with the pro, your budget, which is pretty important since you need to buy two at the same time. Anyway, good luck choosing!


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datafornothinandbitsforfree
(@datafornothinandbitsforfree)
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November 28, 2018 5:19 EST PM  

My 2 cents.  Get a Macbook Pro with the "Fingerprint Reader".  It makes unlocking much easier (OK, if you have an Apple Watch that is even easier), but does the Apple Watch unlock 1Password on the Mac too?

For the most part, I could ignore the Touchbar, but for me, the killer addition is the Macbook Pro Fingerprint Reader.  I can quickly unlock my Mac, and when I need access to 1Password, I Command-\ then put my finger on the Fingerprint reader, and I have access to all my 1Password information (and considering I have a very long 1Password password, the Fingerprint Reader is wonderful).

Dave, if you have not had a Mac with a Fingerprint Reader, you should give it a try.

And just for the benefit of your readers/listeners, you should play with the Touchbar, even if you do not find it as useful after the newest wears off.


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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November 29, 2018 3:46 EST PM  

@datafornothingandbitsforfree — yeah, everyone with a MacBook Pro says the TouchBar itself is mostly worthless, save the Touch ID (fingerprint reader). The MacBook Air, of course, has just Touch ID, so I'm looking forward to that.


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datafornothinandbitsforfree
(@datafornothinandbitsforfree)
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November 29, 2018 5:09 EST PM  

The Fingerprint reader Rocks, especially with 1Password.

With respect to the Touchbar, unless you want to experience it (along with BetterTouchTool), so you can speak about it from 1st hand experience, either on MGG or in various MacObserver columns, then I think you could easily live without it.

Well until someone comes along with the "Killer Touchbar App" that is 😀 


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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November 30, 2018 8:58 EST AM  

Maybe I'll convince @johnfbraun to get a TouchBar-based MacBook Pro (which I'm guessing would likely happen anyway, since he'll want a more powerful Mac), then he can talk about it and convince me I'm missing something...or not. 🙂 


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datafornothinandbitsforfree
(@datafornothinandbitsforfree)
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November 30, 2018 10:51 EST AM  

Question?  Will you be using the Macbook Air strictly as a mobile agent, or will you be attaching USB-C devices (such as multiple monitors)?

Since the Air does not have a lot of USB-C ports (2) and one of them is needed for Power, I would be interested in what USB-C dock solutions you investigate over time (maybe via MacObserver or MGG).

At work, they recently started allowing employees to get a 2017 13" Macbook Pro with the function keys (no Fingerprint reader) and "JUST" 2 USB-C ports.

In our group, many of the developers use 2 monitors and an Ethernet connection.  We are still exploring what the best options are for a USB-C dongle mix (since the company will not pay for everything we dream about).

Also if you are thinking about multiple monitors, what about a pair of 4K monitors and then what the USB-C dock you decided to use.

Surprisingly the 3 docks that employees report support two 4K monitors are Toshiba, Lenovo, and StarTech USB-C Thunderbolt docks.

If you find others that work well, that would be nice to know.

OK, I think I've assigned enough work for you in the coming weeks 😀 


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Alchemic
(@alchemic)
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December 1, 2018 12:49 EST PM  

My 2 cents... I upgraded from mba 2013 (i7 8gb 512ssd) 4 months ago and decided to go with the 2015 MBP (i7 16gb 512gb ssd) and couldn't be happier.  I did this for 2 reasons.  when i upgrade this macbook in about 3 years usbc dongle city won't be the issue it is now.  2, I love the SD card slot as i like to use it as storage for trips without having to take another external hd with me.  ON amazon you can get a micro sd card reader that sits / mounts flush with the system.  I picked up a 256gb micro sd (95mb/s) and the card reader for about $75.  Giving me about 750gb of space.  plus the usb a ports are so so handy and i like the typing experience better as well.

I picked up a practically new on ebay still with applecare on it for about $1500.  couldn't be happier.

 


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Dave Hamilton
(@davehamilton)
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December 3, 2018 11:03 EST AM  

@datafornothinandbitsforfree indeed, I'll be researching, testing, and reporting about a lot of these docks (portable and stationary!).


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