Computers & Electronics

2017 MAcBook pro vs 2018 MacBooks air

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2018 8:46 am
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2014
25 posts
9 upvotes
Toronto, ON

2017 MAcBook pro vs 2018 MacBooks air

Hi all, looking to get new Mac laptop for wifey.

There are mid-2017 13 inch MacBook pros on refurbished apple site for about same as a new 2018 MacBook Air. Which is a better buy condisdering they are so close in price?

2017 MacBook Pro 13.3-inch
2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Retina display - For $1,459.00 (Was $1,729.00 Save $270.00)
Originally released June 2017
13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560x1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch
8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
128GB PCIe-based onboard SSD1
720p FaceTime HD Camera
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640

Vs.

NEW 2018 MacBook Air
Touch ID 1.6GHz Dual-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
128 GB Storage
1.6GHz dual-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
Retina display
8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
128GB SSD storage1
Intel UHD Graphics 617
Touch ID
Force Touch trackpad
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
$1,499.00
14 replies
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15775 posts
3166 upvotes
Toronto
The MacBook Air is the worst of both worlds. MacBook performance with a worse screen than the MacBook Pro and even the MacBook, but with a MacBook Pro footprint and only weighs 9% less than the MacBook Pro.

Get the refurb 13" Pro. Better and brighter screen with wide colour gamut support, and about the same size as the MacBook Air, but for less money than the Air.

What does she plan on using it for though? Is a 128 GB SSD really enough? If she really wants portability though and doesn't have hardcore CPU requirements, then the 12" MacBook is also an option. That's what I went with: 12 MacBook Core m3 / 256 GB / 16 GB RAM.
Newbie
User avatar
Apr 25, 2018
21 posts
4 upvotes
Go with the Pro version. When the MacBook Air first came out, it was industry changing. In these days, the model isn't considered that light when there's a ton of light laptops to choose from. In other words, the MacBook Air losses it's main feature, the lightness.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15775 posts
3166 upvotes
Toronto
elisaniels wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 8:55 am
Go with the Pro version. When the MacBook Air first came out, it was industry changing. In these days, the model isn't considered that light when there's a ton of light laptops to choose from. In other words, the MacBook Air losses it's main feature, the lightness.
Yeah, the Air is only 9% lighter than the Pro, but is a whopping 36% heavier than the 12” MacBook.

BTW, much has been said about the Air’s inferior screen. Like the 12” MB, it is lacking wide colour gamut but it is even dimmer than the 12”. I’m now also reading that the FaceTime camera on the Air, despite its paper specs, also sucks like the FaceTime camera on the 12” MB.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 28, 2006
5657 posts
425 upvotes
Kanata
In the same boat, but I am worried about 128gb not enough, so thinking about paying a bit more for the 13 Touch Bar 2018 instead, it’s doubleing performance of the other two
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2014
25 posts
9 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Thanks all for the insight.

So if I choose a refurb MacBook Pro, it would be a mid-2017 with 7th gen intel chip and 2nd gen butterfly keyboard. Given that, still a better buy then the new air?
If I go up to the Touch Bar version, it’s a diff of $450 and I would also get faster processor and 256gb SSD.

My wife mainly does word processing, emails, PDFs etc
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
13048 posts
2562 upvotes
London
Isn’t the main problem with the 2017 MacBook Pro the crappy keyboard? I thought the recent recall just replaces the defective keyboard with a new one with the same design defect (vs the 2018 keyboard where the design problem is fixed)
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2014
25 posts
9 upvotes
Toronto, ON
They’d replace 2017 MBP keyboards with new ones that don’t have the dust issue?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
13048 posts
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London
Stravic wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2018 3:50 pm
They’d replace 2017 MBP keyboards with new ones that don’t have the dust issue?
It appears that the 2018 keyboards that fixed the design bug aren’t backwards compatible with 2016-17 MacBook pros.

I haven’t seen anything definite that the replacement keyboards used in the recall are different than the buggy ones.

There are posted youtube videos that claim it’s the same keyboard, however they don’t seem too credible. They didn’t produce any real evidence via tear down other than stating the replacement keyboard failed again after a few days testing
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2008
4287 posts
440 upvotes
Air doesn't have very good performance. According to Consumer Reports, performance is below even the 12" MacBook. It's also not much lighter/portable than than the MBP, so there's really no compelling reason to get it, IMO, at least not for the same or similar price
I am a Koodo customer
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15775 posts
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HP_John wrote:
Dec 4th, 2018 9:12 pm
Air doesn't have very good performance. According to Consumer Reports, performance is below even the 12" MacBook. It's also not much lighter/portable than than the MBP, so there's really no compelling reason to get it, IMO, at least not for the same or similar price
Yeah, while the 2018 MacBook Air is a bit faster than my 2017 12” Core m3 MacBook, it is sometimes slower than the 2017 12” Core i7 MacBook, at least with bursty workloads. Not very impressive. The silver lining though is that it has a fan and thus can maintain that performance. OTOH, that silver lining means it will also have fan noise with heavy continuous workloads. The 12” MacBooks will throttle, but at least they will remain silent since they don’t have fans.

How much performance will the 12” MacBooks lose? Well, with my m3 after 10 continuous runs of Cinebench, the score dropped from 265 to 246, a drop of only 7%.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2014
25 posts
9 upvotes
Toronto, ON
The thread consensus is clear that MBP is better buy than the MBair.

That being said, is a 2018 MBP worth a $400 difference compared to the 2017 if basing on keyboard issue alone? I wouldn't necessarily need the power upgrade (dual vs quad core) albeit i assume the upgrade would mean it is more future-proof
Sr. Member
Nov 7, 2012
809 posts
308 upvotes
TORONTO
I was in the same boat last week during Black Friday/cyber Monday. I’ve been holding off on getting a new laptop due the insane prices. My 09 mbp is still running. Just a little slow.

That being said, I was dead set on a 2018 Air. Then I read some reviews and compared prices.


The 2017 mbp is still more powerful than the new Airs. Price wise you can get a brand new 2017 MBP non Touch Bar with 256gb for the price of a new Air with the same amount of storage.

As for the keyboard, I don’t mind it. I’m sure if I have issues with it I can get it replaced by Apple.

I’ve had my new 13” for about a week now and I’m loving it. Don’t feel like I’m missing out without the Touch Bar. Albeit having Touch ID would be nice.

I wish I could have specd out my pro with 16gb of RAM but then the price would be over 2K. I’m only willing to spend under 2K when I was shopping.

Also, you’ll have to get dongles or a hub for the mbp. USB c is nice. But 100% of my peripherals are USB 3.0. So keep that in mind.

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