Opinion: A Defense of the MacBook Air
Look at the competitionIf you want a laptop, and you want it to be a mac, you could go with an older one from last year or you could choose a macBook retina, macBook air, or macBook pro. Of these, the retina is the slowest, the pro is the most expensive, and the air is respectable from the specifications standpoint and available at the cheapest. Consider these points: Hardware ports Do you use any of these items with your computer?
- USB flash drives
- ethernet adapters
- screens (for presentations to others or for large screens for those who can see them)
- storage cards, such as those from media players, phones, cameras, etc.
- external keyboards or mice
- braille displays
- external CD or DVD drives, as there isn't an internal one
- external hard drives for backup
- Microphones other than the basic one in your laptop already
- Midi keyboards or interfaces for music composition
- Your smartphone cable (to charge from or sync with the computer)
A small computer, the air can do thatIf you are looking for a laptop, you probably want to carry it around. The 13-inch air and both pros are very light and can easily fit into backpacks or computer cases, but there's a smaller air around. While the 13-inch pro weighs 1.58 kg and the 13-inch air weighs 1.35 kg, the 11-inch air weighs only 1.08 kg. Of course, the macBook retina weighs even less, 0.92 kg, but it is actually quite slow and has just one port, so I don't think it's such a great option. Since most people reading this won't be looking at their screen anyway, the smaller one doesn't matter, and the 11-inch airs still have their ports, which the newer models have dropped. It also has a lower price, so that's always nice.
Money, money, money, money, money, money!It's well-known that apple has a rather significant markup on their computers. The macBook lines cost at least $1300 and the new pros cost at least $1500. That's a lot of money to spend on computers that are relatively underpowered. The macBook air costs significantly less, and that's if you get them straight from apple and not with the periodic amazon or other online discounts (and we're talking new machines here). I typically use the philosophy that I'll be using this for a long time, so it would be best to just spring for the highest I can pay, and this has some good reasoning. Still, if you buy a computer that is pretty good, you can save some money for things you'll do with it later, such as new peripherals or your next iPhone, given that they don't last quite as long. Unlike with windows machines, macs tend to remain fast when running new versions of the operating system, as the hardware and software are designed together and retaining customers on one means they will stay on the other. When you're ready to upgrade, which I believe could wait for at least four years, your old laptop will still have resale value.
The screen--I don't think it's an issue to you guysThe major difference between the air and its more expensive brothers is its screen. The retina screens (apple's term for high resolution) offer crisper images and more pixels. The air's screen isn't bad; it's just normal while the others are quite good. Since this is a community of people who mostly don't use the screen, however, there is little need to pay for the higher-quality screens. If you are low-vision, as I understand it, the more important factor is screen size, and the air and smaller pro have exactly the same size. There isn't a 15-inch air, so if that's the important part then you don't have a choice.
ConclusionYou don't have to get an air. I don't have one, as I use a lot of complicated tools. All my family members with laptops have airs, however, so I have experience working with them. If you want a new computer now, don't count the air out. It allows you to save some cash while still having a nicely powerful laptop. It's true that apple seems ready to stop making airs, but that doesn't mean they'll stop working. If you want a new machine now, the latest air is essentially as modern as the latest pro, and it might serve you better.
I agree with this post. The Air is still a fantastic computer if you want a functional Mac at a relatively cheap price. I don't need all the bells and whistles of the MacBook Pro, so the Air suits my needs just fine. If Apple plans to kill off the Air and all the cheaper machines, I may have to look elsewhere for a computer unless the prices on these new machines come down. Then again, I'll probably get to keep my current Air for the next 6 or 7 years unless something catastrophic happens to the hardware.
I do believe the air should be considered by some people because of it's price. However, I think it's important to remember that last years mac book pro is only about three hundred dollars more expensive, and you are getting a lot for that extra three hundred dollars. I just bought the 2016 Mac book pro, and I'm really liking it, but it's a fact that all of Apple's new Macs are too expensive.
As far as dongles go, I understand they are an issue for some, and I am not going to question that, but for me they have never been an issue. I bought four usb type c to type a dongles for twelve bucks, and now I'm totally set. Of course it would have been a different matter if I needed other styles of ports, but everything I use is usb.
Consider the air, but don't forget last years pro, most people seem to not even realize that Apple is still sailing it. In my experience the most important upgrade is an SSD. I was running a 2011 Mac book pro with a mechanical drive, before I got my new machine, and that old Mac was a nightmare. If your computer still has a spinning drive, get any SSD equipped computer and you will probably be happy.
Although I'm not quite a power user yet at least according to some standards, I love my MacBook Air. I got it as a Christmas present from my parents in 2013, and it has served me well indeed. There are still things I'm learning on here, but it's an awesome machine. Having said that though, I would at some point like to try out the new keyboards and some other Apple accessories. But both my SuperDrive and my external hard drive are fully compatible with my Mac.
I tend to agree on this. The air is good for some. I like the pro personally. I'm probably gonna get the 15 inch 2016 pro with as much maxed out on it as I can, due to the fact that everything is soldered in place and there's no way to remove it! And, I'll pick up USB C to USB A adapters, no bigy. It honestly depends on what you can afford. If you can splurge a little on a new pro, go ahead and get it. The air is still pretty respectable in performance.
I'm wondering why you are getting the maximum specs available. I don't know what you are planning to do with your computer, but extra ram does no good if you don't have programs that fill it, and you could be spending a lot of money on a faster processor that still waits around most of the time. Admittedly, you could have plans that require those specs, but even if you do, I would suggest that most people do not.
I would certaintly not discount the mac book air. I just purchased one back in August. I maxed mine out in the store. I purchased the quad core i7 model with 8gigs of memory and a 512gig SSD. This computer does everything I need. I even have Windows10 boot camped on it. I really do like it because it is light, portable and has great battery life. So when I travel I only need to take it with me.