Ditching the MacBook Pro for a MacBook Air


A while back I upgraded my computer to a new MacBook Pro, and ran into a ton of issues with it. My post on the topic apparently found its way to Apple’s engineering team, and I ended up working with them for a few months to get to the bottom of some of the software bugs I was experiencing. It was a wild experience.

The situation has definitely improved over the last year and a half, but I still wasn’t a huge fan of the machine. I continue to find the TouchBar annoying, and the battery life I got was never impressive. So when the new MacBook Air was announced, my interest was piqued. As it happens, Ian‘s hand-me-down MacBook Pro was wilting and the screen got all messed up somehow, so I decided to get a MacBook Air and pass my MacBook Pro to my favorite (and only) employee.

It’s still early days, but I’ll say that the new MacBook Air is the best machine I’ve ever owned. I’ll break down some of the pros and cons of the machine.

Pros

  • The bevel is back, baby. – one of the best things about this machine is the nice slope that doesn’t hurt my wrists while typing. This was one of the biggest things I noticed when I switched from my original MacBook Air to a MacBook Pro, and I’m happy to return to a comfortable typing environment.
  • Waaaay better battery life – With my MacBook Pro, I would be lucky to get 4 hours out of a charge. I flew last night, and after about three hours of usage my battery was still sitting pretty at about 80% battery. This makes me very happy as the stress of being plugged in always seemed to loom in the back of my mind.
  • Good riddance, TouchBar – I’m so glad to go back to physical keys for the function keys , and especially the escape key. I’m also super glad the TouchID is still there, as that’s a pretty amazing feature for unlocking my device and password manager.
  • Improved keyboard – There’s no doubt typing on this thing is better than the first-generation butterfly keyboard of the MacBook Pro. It feels sturdy. It’s quieter. I like it.
  • Thinner – I was freaking out at the airport because I felt like my backpack was too light. This thing is light, and my back is thankful for that.

Cons

  • No MagSafe – As with the other machine, the MagSafe charger is gone and USB-C port is in its place. Over the last year and a half I’ve tried a few third-party magnetic chargers, but they all ended up failing on me. I can only hope that my bulldog and infant daughter don’t ruin my machine.
  • Decreased ports – Going from my old machine with plenty of ports to the MBP’s 4 ports was definitely a step down. Now I’m going a step further away from an ideal scenario. Thankfully, I invested in a fancy docking station for my home setup, so I can plug in one cable and have everything wired up. But the lack of ports will still be an issue on the road, and carrying around a sack of dongles (true story) definitely isn’t ideal.
  • Decreased firepower? – The MacBook Air isn’t as powerful as the MBP, but I’m hoping my work as a web developer doesn’t necessitate such heavy firepower. We’ll see how this plays out with my work, but so far I haven’t noticed any performance issues with my workflow.

So yeah! I’m really happy with my decision to switch, and I hope my love affair with this machine continues as I spend more time working on it.