MacBook Pro 2020

IpswichSox

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My daughter is starting college (hopefully) this fall, and I'm looking to replace her MacBook Air, circa 2012 or 2013. She's looking at a MacBook Pro instead of an Air because of the Touch Bar, which she's identified as something she would like (other friends of hers have it). But I think that's also an open question still. I'm a PC guy so I'm out of my depth with MacBooks. My question is the processor generation. On Apple's website, I can configure a Pro using an eighth-generation 1.4 GHz or 1.7 GHz. But reviews I've read, and deals posted on Macrumors, point to 10th-generation processors available. I think this refers to build-dates? I'm happy to save $150 or whatever on last year's model if it makes sense, but I'm also fine with buying a 2020 model if I'm helping to future-proof her laptop, ideally through school and beyond. Also I've read some reviews that a May 2020 refresh for the Pro fixed a lingering keyboard issue.

If you were in the market for a new Air or Pro, would you be targeting the latest version and builds, or are the differences so negligible that it's worth whatever the savings it is to get a previous version/generation? Thanks!
 

Domer

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It's been a long time since I shopped for Mac, but my understanding is that essentially no components are upgradable. My only recommendation would be not to buy the base model in order to ensure that it's relatively future proof.
 

cgori

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It's a different processor, with a different microarchitecture, on a different manufacturing process (8th gen is 14nm, Coffee Lake, 10th gen is 10nm, Ice Lake).
But it's hard to say if it will matter much without knowing the intended usage? Papers, presentations and web research? Coding/simulation?

I am not much of an Apple person, but I do believe with Apple you either should buy the entry-level (save money and expect to update in a few years) or the top-end (far more future-proofing, can last many years, 7-8 as you see with her current MacBook Air).
(You can quibble with Tom's Hardware but this review does seem to match that sentiment. And I think it talks about the keyboard change.)

I would not be swung so heavily by the Touch Bar, but that's just me.

I bought a Dell XPS13 (roughly an Air clone/imitation) and have been pretty happy. I wanted something light and functional, it's definitely that. I was quite surprised to see that an Air is 2.8lbs and a Pro is 3.1lbs now, I feel like that spread used to be wider.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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It's a different processor, with a different microarchitecture, on a different manufacturing process (8th gen is 14nm, Coffee Lake, 10th gen is 10nm, Ice Lake).
But it's hard to say if it will matter much without knowing the intended usage? Papers, presentations and web research? Coding/simulation?

I am not much of an Apple person, but I do believe with Apple you either should buy the entry-level (save money and expect to update in a few years) or the top-end (far more future-proofing, can last many years, 7-8 as you see with her current MacBook Air).
(You can quibble with Tom's Hardware but this review does seem to match that sentiment. And I think it talks about the keyboard change.)

I would not be swung so heavily by the Touch Bar, but that's just me.

I bought a Dell XPS13 (roughly an Air clone/imitation) and have been pretty happy. I wanted something light and functional, it's definitely that. I was quite surprised to see that an Air is 2.8lbs and a Pro is 3.1lbs now, I feel like that spread used to be wider.
I have a Macbook Pro that was around the first iteration of touchbar and the only thing I've ever used it for is the mute button that's on the default bar display to the far right of the touchbar. Occasionally by accident I activate Siri because it's next to mute. If there's a comparable model that saves you money you would be fine without it.
 

Joe Sixpack

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I don't think the CPU will make much difference vs last year's, but the new keyboard may be worth it since the older keyboards (butterfly) were very problematic with a high failure rate. They have gone back to the more reliable scissor switch keyboards in 2020.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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My daughter is starting college (hopefully) this fall, and I'm looking to replace her MacBook Air, circa 2012 or 2013. She's looking at a MacBook Pro instead of an Air because of the Touch Bar, which she's identified as something she would like (other friends of hers have it). But I think that's also an open question still. I'm a PC guy so I'm out of my depth with MacBooks. My question is the processor generation. On Apple's website, I can configure a Pro using an eighth-generation 1.4 GHz or 1.7 GHz. But reviews I've read, and deals posted on Macrumors, point to 10th-generation processors available. I think this refers to build-dates? I'm happy to save $150 or whatever on last year's model if it makes sense, but I'm also fine with buying a 2020 model if I'm helping to future-proof her laptop, ideally through school and beyond. Also I've read some reviews that a May 2020 refresh for the Pro fixed a lingering keyboard issue.

If you were in the market for a new Air or Pro, would you be targeting the latest version and builds, or are the differences so negligible that it's worth whatever the savings it is to get a previous version/generation? Thanks!
So I was a lifetime DOS/Windows user (both software and hardware ends) who begrudgingly had to add Mac into my usage. In the past 8 years I have shifted more primarily into Mac for my own personal use, but given the trends of Apple hardware more recently, I don't know if that will be the case in a few years or whenever my current rigs crap out, I haven't been too pleased to see where they are taking their Macbook hardware line, essentially turning computers into disposables, emphasizing slimness and form factor over practicality. We'll see if they turn things around. The fixed keyboard is a very small step in the right direction. Some thoughts:

I would prioritize things most related to the user experience. That means keyboard, and screen size (I would say resolution but that isn't much an issue anymore), and battery life. I would absolutely avoid any of the Macbook iterations that don't have the "new" (meaning the old scissor-switch pre-2015) keyboards. If you see anything about a "butterfly" keyboard, avoid it. So that means (1) you should eliminate all models except the 16" and the most recent 13" 2020 versions in order to get a keyboard that will work properly and be fairly comfortably to use (though I still prefer the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad keyboards, nothing else comes close). Then determine what screen size you want. A lot of folks consider the 13" model the normal one, especially for college students, and it is more portable, but (2) I would absolutely consider the 16" one. There are rumors that the 13" models will turn into 14" models in the next update coming this year, probably around September. That brings us to the processor. For most people in real time, the different in processor speed is not going to be felt much between 8th-10th generation. But there may be a difference in battery life, as the new generations tend to be more efficient, prolonging the battery. But battery life is already quite good at this time...today's difference between 6 and 8 hours is far less noticeable than the difference 1 and 3 hours of yesteryear. So (3) the processor might be a place to save a bit of money. When it comes to hardware, I think the place you would want to spend is on RAM and storage. I might be old fashioned here, but even with all these cloud storage options, I still rely on local storage. So (4) I would go with at least a 1 TB option. When it comes to RAM, it is commonly suggested that 8 GB RAM sufficient today, but (5) I would go with 16 GB. Software is so bloated today and getting worse, so 8 GB will soon (if not already) be inadequate.

I know this is probably not an option for you, but IMO the ideal machine for regular every day use today is the 15" Macbook Pro Retina from mid 2015 (earlier retina models had some design issues, but this one is bulletproof), this is the one that still has the USB 3.0 ports and card slot and Magsafe power cord (I have absolutely no use for USB-C at this point in my day to day work and don't expect that I will any time soon). Not exactly future proof, but it is the most practical machine I have. Its SSD storage can be upgraded and its battery can be replaced by the user. No need for adapters or dongles (unless you want to use Ethernet), and I have never felt its speed or battery life were inadequate. No touchbar, but I find it to be gimmicky. At first I thought it was cool and would be very useful, but after using a computer with it over an extended period I found it more annoying than anything. It think it appeals to folks who are more used to iphone/ipads than computers.
 
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nvalvo

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My two cents — I'm also going to be buying new Mac notebooks soon, both for my wife and for me. We both teach at various colleges, and have been holding off for keyboard-related reasons.

Now that they've taken the entire line back to the new/old keyboards, there are no wrong answers. (TL;DR: they redesigned their old, excellent laptop keyboard, and it became extremely unreliable — they tweaked it, and tweaked it, and have now gone back to a design very similar to the old keyboard, which is now in all of their models. Dumb.)

As for the touch bar: it is a pretty-looking thing that they haven't done a ton with, mostly because it hasn't been meaningfully opened up to non-Apple developers. That is likely to change at some point, but I don't see it really impacting a student notebook in any way that's all that useful. Along the same lines, the MacBook Pro 13 has a better processor, but not really meaningfully better until the $1700 model. And the tradeoff for processor speed, as always, is power draw: the Pro is a slightly heavier machine with a larger battery that nonetheless gets a touch less battery life than the MacBook Air. Apple's battery life claims are pretty realistic.

My view on this is that processor speed is not the bottleneck for anything an undergraduate student is likely to be doing, unless she's a software engineer or something, although the rise of remote learning means that's less true than it used to be. But weight and battery are *very* important for a student, especially if she is carrying it to class sessions — there aren't generally a ton of power outlets in classrooms and lecture halls. I know my wife is very sensitive to the weight of her computers. You get a computer and a few books in a bag and it gets pretty heavy to comfortably carry around all day. It's possible, even likely, that your daughter is physically stronger than my wife, however.

For my money, I'd spring for the Macbook Air and upgrade the size of the SSD — and make sure to get that 10% education discount!
 

bsj

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i have a 2013 macbook pro. It has been getting a bit long in the tooth so I looked at a replacement. Everyone told me the mac prices have come down. Maybe they have but only if you want a tiny screen. I could do a pro or an air but i need bigger than a 13 inch screen. But I'm not looking to spend 2300 out the gate for a 16 inch screen. I'll stick with this one. It still has another couple year I suspect, and possibly more.

Sigh.
 

Domer

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i have a 2013 macbook pro. It has been getting a bit long in the tooth so I looked at a replacement. Everyone told me the mac prices have come down. Maybe they have but only if you want a tiny screen. I could do a pro or an air but i need bigger than a 13 inch screen. But I'm not looking to spend 2300 out the gate for a 16 inch screen. I'll stick with this one. It still has another couple year I suspect, and possibly more.

Sigh.
I'm in the same boat as you. I purchased a late 2013 13" MacBook Pro, but I don't see myself trading it in any time soon. I know the screen size is pretty awful, but how often are you using it on-the-go? I finally got myself a decent home monitor setup and now I rarely use it with the clamshell open.

I did opt for the larger SSD, more RAM, and faster processor than the base model back when I purchased it. It's been more than capable of handling everything I've thrown at it.
 

Rudi Fingers

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My daughter is starting college (hopefully) this fall, and I'm looking to replace her MacBook Air, circa 2012 or 2013. She's looking at a MacBook Pro instead of an Air because of the Touch Bar, which she's identified as something she would like (other friends of hers have it). But I think that's also an open question still. I'm a PC guy so I'm out of my depth with MacBooks. My question is the processor generation. On Apple's website, I can configure a Pro using an eighth-generation 1.4 GHz or 1.7 GHz. But reviews I've read, and deals posted on Macrumors, point to 10th-generation processors available. I think this refers to build-dates? I'm happy to save $150 or whatever on last year's model if it makes sense, but I'm also fine with buying a 2020 model if I'm helping to future-proof her laptop, ideally through school and beyond. Also I've read some reviews that a May 2020 refresh for the Pro fixed a lingering keyboard issue.

If you were in the market for a new Air or Pro, would you be targeting the latest version and builds, or are the differences so negligible that it's worth whatever the savings it is to get a previous version/generation? Thanks!
As a user of a 2019 MacBook Pro with touchbar - the touchbar isn't very helpful, but it's occasionally useful. The model I'm recommending has it anyway.

As you pointed out, If you are going Pro, make sure to go for a 2020 version because the keyboard is much more reliable. The $1299 (less any student discounts) base model (with the 8th gen processor) makes sense unless the answer to "what is her major?" is "video production" or "quantum physics".

In my opinion (and I own a 15"), the 13" size is much better for college students in terms of weight, backpack-ability, and overall portability.

In most years, my recommendation (that I followed when buying a machine for my kids entering college) is to buy Apple Refurbished directly from the Apple Store - they look immaculate, truly feel "new", and are sold in brand new packaging. For MacBook Pros, though, this isn't the year to do so - go for the improved keyboard. My 2019 keyboard has had no issue, but I personally know 4 people who have needed keyboard replacements... and in COVID-era 2020, her computer will be constantly in use, and it will be harder to get repairs done, so one wants the most reliable machine possible.
 

bsj

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I'm in the same boat as you. I purchased a late 2013 13" MacBook Pro, but I don't see myself trading it in any time soon. I know the screen size is pretty awful, but how often are you using it on-the-go? I finally got myself a decent home monitor setup and now I rarely use it with the clamshell open.

I did opt for the larger SSD, more RAM, and faster processor than the base model back when I purchased it. It's been more than capable of handling everything I've thrown at it.
Yeah, work paid for this so it was pretty top of the line (I feel like in the mid 3k's)...not sure the specs but they were on the higher end, part of why its still operating at a fairly high clip. I use it exclusively as a laptop. I have a dinosaur of a mac as my home desktop (circa 2007 iMac) which similarly is still humming along, although is DEFINITELY on the slow side, and a couple years ago stopped getting iOs updates. But I'd say 80-90% of my home computing is done on the Macbook.

I was just stunned that there was not a single 16" or higher option below $2,300. too much to spend for a 2nd macbook when this one works pretty well so far
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Check with the university to see if you can purchase through them. My son did this after his sophomore year when he changed from an Apple to a PC. The university provided (at no additional cost) extended warranties, on site repairs, guaranteed loaners and bundled each computer with free software including Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud and any additional academic software required for his courses. His alma mater (Wake Forest) has two web pages here and here that describe their current program for incoming freshmen.
 

SoxFanInPdx

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I just updated my old and tired Macbook Pro, late 2011 model. I ended up getting a Macbook Pro 13in about 6 months ago. I spec'd it out to 2.4GHz processor, 16GB memory with 512GB SSD. It's perfect for all I do. Photo/video editing and music production. That may be overkill in your case, but since you can't swap components in these ones, I wanted to future proof it as much as possible.
 

IpswichSox

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Thanks for everyone's feedback -- I really appreciate it. My takeaways are, if buying the Pro, to definitely go with the 2020 model to get the new/old keyboard, and processor speed is less important to future-proofing than RAM (my daughter's major is business, so the processor is unlikely to ever be over-taxed).

But It actually seems like the Air is a better option than the Pro. The Air can be configured with the new keyboard; can't get quite as fast a processor but the difference is likely to be imperceptible -- and can still get an i7; can still load up on 16 GB of RAM; the Air is lighter; and the Air has slightly better battery life.

Aside from a couple of what appear to be minor display differences, the biggest difference is no Touch Bar. But judging by comments here, that's not really much of a loss.

So if it were totally up to Dad, the Air would seem to be a better (and slightly cheaper) option than a Pro.

Thanks for the tip on checking with her university (Emory) on extended warranties and other benefits. I'll do that.

Thanks again for everyone's feedback.
 
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Gdiguy

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Yeah, for the vast majority of non-gaming or serious work (video editing/etc) uses, an Air + an extra monitor would be much more useful than going to a Pro
 

Smokey Joe

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We have exactly the same situation (Daughter going to college) and were researching a Mac for her this past weekend. The results came to... Do not get the 2020 pro, the 10th generation processors in the Air actually make it perform better then the pro right now. So get the Air and bump up the processor from dual core to quad core. You're spending 300$ less and getting a better machine. Storage doesn't matter because she will spend all her time working in Google classroom and will have storage through her account there, storage through her university account and and storage in the cloud with Apple. Unless she is doing comp sci, video editing, or particle physics, the RAM doesn't matter. 8 is just fine. If you want to upgrade anything else it would be the RAM.

Good Luck.
 

donutogre

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I have lots of thoughts on this, as someone who works for a tech site and is an Apple nerd, but seems like things are pretty well covered here. Just one thing to point out -- Apple offers pretty decent student discounts, so make sure you take advantage of that. Could say $100-$200 just by proving she's going to college, I think.

I wouldn't overthink the fact that the entry model MacBook Pro uses 8th generation processors vs. the 10th-generation in the Air. Intel confusingly has two different processor classes, and the Air are lower-powered so that they work in a slimmer enclosure with less fan usage.

That said, I think if you take the $999 base Air and spend $100 to bump up to a quad-core processor and $200 to bump up to 16GB of RAM will get you a laptop that should last through college without an issue unless she gets into hardcore video editing or other things that are extremely hardware-reliant.
 

Saints Rest

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My newest machine is a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. When it came out, I pooh-poohed it. But I've discovered I love it. The finger-ID for passwords is worth it alone. But I also like how it's app-specific, switching the offerings to be contextually appropriate. It's a minor feature, but I really love it.
 

ShaneTrot

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I have two college students and they both have Macbook Airs. My older kid has the 2017 non-retina model, my younger guy has the 2019 retina model. It is shocking how much smaller the 2019 is when compared to the 2017. They have had no complaints and believe me they complain if something is amiss. It's a great little computer.
 

nvalvo

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I don't think this should change anything for IpswichSox and daughter, but rumors are that Apple is about to announce a medium-term switch from Intel processors to in-house ARM based processors (like those they use in iPhones and iPads).

That's news.
 

canderson

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I don't think this should change anything for IpswichSox and daughter, but rumors are that Apple is about to announce a medium-term switch from Intel processors to in-house ARM based processors (like those they use in iPhones and iPads).

That's news.
Goodbye virtual machines or remote desktops.
 

crow216

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I have the 2017 Pro w/ the touchbar. IMO, touchbar is fairly gimmicky and not much more useful than hard keys would be. However, it has it moments where it's really nice. I'd say the biggest downfall of the laptop and maybe the only one is that the battery could be a lot better. I get 4 good hours and maybe if my brightness is turned down and I'm not on youtube I'll get 6-8. The thing is almost always plugged in. So, if your daughter plans to take it to class all day, she's going to need to keep a charger around.
 

bsj

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Sorry for the thread hijack but- Is it possible to replace the battery in a macbook pro? My aforementioned 2013 runs really well but the battery has gone from lasting 2-3 days with heavy use to probably 3-4 hours....
 

Joe Sixpack

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Sorry for the thread hijack but- Is it possible to replace the battery in a macbook pro? My aforementioned 2013 runs really well but the battery has gone from lasting 2-3 days with heavy use to probably 3-4 hours....
Apple will replace it for $129. Given how much of a pain it is to take it apart for a self replacement, I'd recommend just having them do it.
 

nvalvo

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I may go that route. My research over the past hour seems to indicate its a tremendous PITA
I've done it, it's doable, but if you're not comfortable and don't already have the tools (like a half-dozen esoteric screwdrivers), just have them do it. Like $90 of that $129 is the battery; and you'd have to buy that anyways.

Goodbye virtual machines or remote desktops.
Yeah, it seems like a move with a ton of interesting downstream consequences, some good and some bad.

The fact that Apple can now make a $400 cellphone that has better performance specs in some metrics than a $3000 laptop suggests that Intel's performance/watt roadmap isn't all that competitive with ARM.

But the costs in compatibility are real.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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So what's the high level story with the keyboards? My dad has a MacBook from a couple years ago (maybe 2017-18) and I hate the keyboard. It's a mushy unresponsive thing and feels awful to type on with any speed. Nothing like the keyboard I had in my 2000s era MacBook. Did they start using a better/different keyboard this year?
 

IpswichSox

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So what's the high level story with the keyboards? My dad has a MacBook from a couple years ago (maybe 2017-18) and I hate the keyboard. It's a mushy unresponsive thing and feels awful to type on with any speed. Nothing like the keyboard I had in my 2000s era MacBook. Did they start using a better/different keyboard this year?
Pretty devastating Wall Street Journal take down here from last year on the butterfly keyboard.

Similar MacRumors story here.
 

cgori

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The fact that Apple can now make a $400 cellphone that has better performance specs in some metrics than a $3000 laptop suggests that Intel's performance/watt roadmap isn't all that competitive with ARM.
I'm not sure I would draw exactly that conclusion in that way, though it's almost certainly true that perf/W favors ARM. The "metric" of geekbench isn't ideal cross-platform (there are some comments about how page size on iOS influences the result in unrealistic ways, that static vs dynamically linked libs affect it as well, and then some less-well-understood-by-me comments about how it produces skewed results on ARM64 vs x86). The prevailing wisdom was that overall-perf should favor x86, but the margins there do seem to be getting thin. Compare say the gcc subchart from here to the results here for example - even SPECint2006 is probably more useful than geekbench.

I guess it really does show how close to optimal the single-core implementations have gotten across architectures, though.
 

nvalvo

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I'm not sure I would draw exactly that conclusion in that way, though it's almost certainly true that perf/W favors ARM. The "metric" of geekbench isn't ideal cross-platform (there are some comments about how page size on iOS influences the result in unrealistic ways, that static vs dynamically linked libs affect it as well, and then some less-well-understood-by-me comments about how it produces skewed results on ARM64 vs x86). The prevailing wisdom was that overall-perf should favor x86, but the margins there do seem to be getting thin. Compare say the gcc subchart from here to the results here for example - even SPECint2006 is probably more useful than geekbench.

I guess it really does show how close to optimal the single-core implementations have gotten across architectures, though.
I will defer to you because it sounds like you know way more about this stuff than me LOL. It makes sense that it's not exactly apples to apples, as it were, as no one can run iOS on a non-Apple processor (or at least, not since the iPhone 3G or whenever) to tease out the impact of hardware and software.

Technical matters aside, perhaps Ockham's razor suggests that Tim Cook and friends would prefer not to give a sizable chunk of the margin on each computer to Intel if they don't feel they have to.
 

cgori

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I will defer to you because it sounds like you know way more about this stuff than me LOL. It makes sense that it's not exactly apples to apples, as it were, as no one can run iOS on a non-Apple processor (or at least, not since the iPhone 3G or whenever) to tease out the impact of hardware and software.

Technical matters aside, perhaps Ockham's razor suggests that Tim Cook and friends would prefer not to give a sizable chunk of the margin on each computer to Intel if they don't feel they have to.
Yea, this is sort of my area of knowledge :) - benchmarks for CPUs are a particularly odd thing and trying to distill something down to a single number usually distorts the reality (sometimes in multiple ways). The more academic research definitely points to a operations-per-watt advantage for ARM, that much is 100% true (and it makes sense, the architecture is much newer than x86 and more focused on power savings).

To your other point - I would say, not just the margins (which is nothing to sneeze at for sure), but the roadmap/scheduling part is maybe just as important. By bringing the CPU back in-house, Apple completely controls their own destiny/schedule for when they can release new laptop/desktop models, which I think they value a lot. Whereas if Intel slips or doesn't meet the perf target, Apple has no recourse.
 

uncannymanny

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Instead of starting a new thread I’ll just ask this here (my thoughts on the OP are covered well across previous posts).

We had a fire destroy everything we owned 51 weeks ago. Her old decrepit MacBook and my fairly recent 13” pro among the losses. We’ve been without personal laptops for all of that time. I have a max spec’d 15” Touch Bar from my employer. She has a piece of shit HP from work since quarantine started, but didn’t really need much other than her phone in that time.

I don’t need help choosing a laptop if I decide to go that route. What I would like advice on is: should I buy an iPad Pro?

We haven’t “needed” personal computers, and without the fire we’d have never known it was possible. That said, I don’t love using my work laptop for just browsing the internet and whatever other menial shit I do outside of work tasks with it.

The flip side is that I suspect the lifecycle viability of an iPad, as improved as they are since I sold the last one I owned, is far less than the real machine. But they’re also a lot cheaper and the form factor is nicer for the purpose.

Has anyone faced this choice and what road did you take?
 

Gehenna

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I apologize if this has been covered, but please make sure you do not buy a keyboard with the butterfly mechanism. It is absolute shit. I had to have my 2018 MacBook Pro serviced multiple times and ultimately replaced. I completely regret the purchase. I believe they've changed it to a new keyboard mechanism now - but I have not tried it and you just want to make sure you do not get stuck with this piece of shit I am typing on.
 

MeddlePAL

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I have one of the MBP's with the butterfly keyboard circa 2019 and it sucks. I was issued this thing for work and I try to avoid using it as much as possible.

Word of warning with the touch bar: they're fragile. I dropped something on mine and it's toast. Fortunately, I never used it so... no big loss.
 

canderson

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Instead of starting a new thread I’ll just ask this here (my thoughts on the OP are covered well across previous posts).

We had a fire destroy everything we owned 51 weeks ago. Her old decrepit MacBook and my fairly recent 13” pro among the losses. We’ve been without personal laptops for all of that time. I have a max spec’d 15” Touch Bar from my employer. She has a piece of shit HP from work since quarantine started, but didn’t really need much other than her phone in that time.

I don’t need help choosing a laptop if I decide to go that route. What I would like advice on is: should I buy an iPad Pro?

We haven’t “needed” personal computers, and without the fire we’d have never known it was possible. That said, I don’t love using my work laptop for just browsing the internet and whatever other menial shit I do outside of work tasks with it.

The flip side is that I suspect the lifecycle viability of an iPad, as improved as they are since I sold the last one I owned, is far less than the real machine. But they’re also a lot cheaper and the form factor is nicer for the purpose.

Has anyone faced this choice and what road did you take?
I got the new 2020 iPad Pro delivered yesterday. It’s a beast.

If you are only doing simple tasks and have an Apple ecosystem there is no reason imo for anything wise. Get the magic keyboard and a wireless mouse and you’re set for years.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
17,087
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I apologize if this has been covered, but please make sure you do not buy a keyboard with the butterfly mechanism. It is absolute shit. I had to have my 2018 MacBook Pro serviced multiple times and ultimately replaced. I completely regret the purchase. I believe they've changed it to a new keyboard mechanism now - but I have not tried it and you just want to make sure you do not get stuck with this piece of shit I am typing on.
I have one of the MBP's with the butterfly keyboard circa 2019 and it sucks. I was issued this thing for work and I try to avoid using it as much as possible.

Word of warning with the touch bar: they're fragile. I dropped something on mine and it's toast. Fortunately, I never used it so... no big loss.
Just to be clear for everyone: it is (thankfully) no longer possible to buy a new machine from Apple with the cursed Butterfly Keyboard. They are back to the old mechanism, but because they are unwilling to acknowledge that their design department could have screwed something up, they are presenting what is in essence a return to the old tried-and-true key mechanism after a three-year wrong turn as a *new* keyboard, which they call the "Magic Keyboard."

All of their keyboards should be good going forward.
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
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I got the new 2020 iPad Pro delivered yesterday. It’s a beast.

If you are only doing simple tasks and have an Apple ecosystem there is no reason imo for anything wise. Get the magic keyboard and a wireless mouse and you’re set for years.
Awesome thanks for the input. I had a 2nd or 3rd gen iPad and used it infrequently. It was such an unnecessary luxury (and I am certainly not frugal by any stretch) that I sold it. The specs on the new Pro are exceptional though and I think it fits our needs.
 

Euclis20

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Aug 3, 2004
3,113
Imaginationland
I got the new 2020 iPad Pro delivered yesterday. It’s a beast.

If you are only doing simple tasks and have an Apple ecosystem there is no reason imo for anything wise. Get the magic keyboard and a wireless mouse and you’re set for years.
I want to believe this is the case for me (I work from home and have a windows laptop I use for work), but 95% of my personal computing use is done either in a bed, on a couch, or leaning back in a comfy chair (i.e. very rarely at a desk or on a solid surface). I've been using a Macbook pro since 2011 and my wife has an iPad Pro, purchased last year, with the magic keyboard and pencil. The solid keyboard that comes with a Macbook is miles better than the magic keyboard when you're using it on a soft surface or on your lap. I've had plenty of time to practice and get use to the Pro and associated keyboard, and if I'm ever in a position where I need that keyboard anywhere other than a solid flat surface (all the time), it's rough. I'm typing this post in bed my Macbook pro, and it's just easier.

Related: I just ordered a new Macbook Air, base model with an upgraded processor. This costs the same as the base model Ipad Pro with the magic keyboard, which has half as much storage and a smaller screen. I've been rooting for the Pro over a new Macbook, it just doesn't work for me if I want to do any typing away from a table or desk.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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I want to believe this is the case for me (I work from home and have a windows laptop I use for work), but 95% of my personal computing use is done either in a bed, on a couch, or leaning back in a comfy chair (i.e. very rarely at a desk or on a solid surface). I've been using a Macbook pro since 2011 and my wife has an iPad Pro, purchased last year, with the magic keyboard and pencil. The solid keyboard that comes with a Macbook is miles better than the magic keyboard when you're using it on a soft surface or on your lap. I've had plenty of time to practice and get use to the Pro and associated keyboard, and if I'm ever in a position where I need that keyboard anywhere other than a solid flat surface (all the time), it's rough. I'm typing this post in bed my Macbook pro, and it's just easier.

Related: I just ordered a new Macbook Air, base model with an upgraded processor. This costs the same as the base model Ipad Pro with the magic keyboard, which has half as much storage and a smaller screen. I've been rooting for the Pro over a new Macbook, it just doesn't work for me if I want to do any typing away from a table or desk.
Your experience matches mine exactly. I have tried to use the iPad equipped with the magic keyboard for routine things, and I just can't get used to it, even if I am on a level surface. Even when it comes to work stuff, I often find it often turns to be more of a hassle than a convenience if I want to run a presentation or show a clip from the iPad.

If you can order via education discount, Apple is now giving away free AirPods with MacBook Air and Ipad Air purchases.
 

Seven Costanza

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Just from a nomenclature point of view, Apple sells the Magic Keyboard (the wireless keyboard that comes with an iMac for example) AND the Magic Keyboard (not to be confused with the Smart Keyboard). o_O

W/R/T the iPad Pro conversation, I assume many of you are talking about the Smart Keyboard, not the brand new iPad Magic Keyboard?

I'm a huge fan of the iPad in general, but at the high end with all the accessories- if it's a choice between a fully kitted out iPad Pro OR a MacBook Air, I'd choose the MacBook every time.

Heck, buy the MacBook Air and with the leftover money you'd save from the full iPad Pro experience just buy a refurbished base model iPad for iPad things.
 

Euclis20

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If you can order via education discount, Apple is now giving away free AirPods with MacBook Air and Ipad Air purchases.
I may have been able to pull that off, but I ordered through Costco. No regrets:

-Delivery date is tomorrow through Costco, it was early July for Apple
-$50 cheaper
-$30 better trade-in on my current Macbook
-Costco warranty isn't as good as Applecare (2 years vs 3 years, accidental damage not covered) but the price is right ($0 vs $250)
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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I may have been able to pull that off, but I ordered through Costco. No regrets:

-Delivery date is tomorrow through Costco, it was early July for Apple
-$50 cheaper
-$30 better trade-in on my current Macbook
-Costco warranty isn't as good as Applecare (2 years vs 3 years, accidental damage not covered) but the price is right ($0 vs $250)
Agreed. You did well. I've been gravitating toward Costco for purchases lately. As manufacturers and retailers have gotten so ridiculously strict with their warranties and return policies of late, Costco provides significant satisfaction and peace of mind.
 

canderson

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I've done it, it's doable, but if you're not comfortable and don't already have the tools (like a half-dozen esoteric screwdrivers), just have them do it. Like $90 of that $129 is the battery; and you'd have to buy that anyways.



Yeah, it seems like a move with a ton of interesting downstream consequences, some good and some bad.

The fact that Apple can now make a $400 cellphone that has better performance specs in some metrics than a $3000 laptop suggests that Intel's performance/watt roadmap isn't all that competitive with ARM.

But the costs in compatibility are real.
Well Rosetta 2 might solve this problem.
 

heavyde050

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Is it still worth purchasing a 2020 MacBook Pro or Air after the announcement today about Apple moving to its own chips? Or should I wait until 2021?
 

HriniakPosterChild

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How long you expect to use it before you replace it?

Apple announced its first Intel Macs in 2005. The first version of OS X to drop support for PowerPC Macs was Lion, in 2011.

I'm typing this on a 2016 MacBook Pro that I bought used a couple of years ago. I'm in no hurry to replace it.
 

canderson

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Jul 16, 2005
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Is it still worth purchasing a 2020 MacBook Pro or Air after the announcement today about Apple moving to its own chips? Or should I wait until 2021?
I'm a believer that you buy a computer when you need a computer, you can't wait out technology. You'll keep it for 5+ years likely and it'll be supported for most of that time.

If you can wait, I'd probably wait just to see what they release with the ARM Air. But if you are struggling with your current setup, I'd buy now.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm a believer that you buy a computer when you need a computer, you can't wait out technology. You'll keep it for 5+ years likely and it'll be supported for most of that time.

If you can wait, I'd probably wait just to see what they release with the ARM Air. But if you are struggling with your current setup, I'd buy now.
This is where i'm at. I used to get a new computer like clockwork every few years. I'm using a 2014 MacBook Pro now and don't really need a new one. I may get the upgrade from work, but it's amazing how long technology lasts at this point.