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I regret buying a MacBook Pro in 2017 now that the MacBook Air is out



Macbook Pro
The 2017 MacBook Pro with
Touch Bar.

Hollis Johnson/Business

  • Apple’s new MacBook Air
    seems to be the perfect laptop for me.
  • The problem is that I spent thousands on a new Apple laptop
    last year.
  • I’m annoyed because my MacBook Pro has several issues that
    the new MacBook Air fixed. 

When I received my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in August of 2017,
I was pumped.

15 months later, I have mixed feelings about my major purchase —
and many of them are caused by Apple’s new MacBook Air with
Retina display, which is the laptop I wish I had bought. 

I thought I had made the purchase correctly. I researched the
specs, saved up, and waited until Apple refreshed its laptops
with the latest Intel chips, so I wouldn’t be buying old

Reader, it was expensive. I loaded it up with lots of bells and
whistles, including an upgraded processor, additional RAM, and
extra storage space. I had owned my last MacBook Air for over six
years, so I was ready to amortize the roughly $2,000 cost over a
long period of time. 

And now, just over a year later, I regret my purchase. It’s not
really a knock on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar — although there
are issues — it’s just that the new MacBook Air is the right
machine for what I need to do, and I’m frustrated that there was
no similar option when I needed a new Mac. 

Now, I’ve got an expensive laptop that I’m not completely
satisfied with that I expected to own through 2023, and my
wandering eye is looking towards Apple’s latest and

Read more: 
Hands-on with Apple’s new
redesigned MacBook Air: This could be the laptop that Apple fans
have been waiting for

MacBook Air 00072.JPG
The new MacBook Air.

A few issues 

It’s not that the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is a bad machine —
I’ve worked on it, traveled with it, and generally used it
heavily, as I expected when I purchased it. 

But I shouldn’t have to deal with daily annoyances on what is a
premium laptop. 

Let’s start with the Touch Bar.

I dislike it. I wish it weren’t on my laptop. I frequently
control iTunes through the function keys, and the touchscreen
simply doesn’t provide the same feedback as a button. I hit mute
all the time when I’m in meetings to make sure my music doesn’t
start playing and embarrass me. These are buttons I press perhaps
30 times a day or more.

It’s also really easy on the Touch Bar to accidentally activate a
key, whether it’s Siri (right above backspace!) or the screen
brightness. It also frustrated me that I have to look at the
Touch Bar to determine what I’m doing, because by default, it
changes from app to app. There’s a setting that basically turns
it into the old keys, but even then, it’s just a less effective
version of what I had on my laptop in 2011. 

The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar also has disappointing battery
life — about four hours, in my experience. It’s bad enough that
when working in the field and covering events like Apple’s iPhone
launch, I frequently need to plug-in before the day is done. My
2011 MacBook Air had better battery life. 

One place where that energy is going is heat: My MacBook Pro with
Touch Bar gets extremely hot. It’s too hot to use on my lap or in
bed. I’ve worried that it’s too hot to put directly on my dining
room table. 

Finally, my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has the “sticky
” problem that’s led to a slew of stories and even
class-action lawsuits. The “1” key sticks and sometimes types two
1’s when I only mean to press it once. The spacebar sometimes
doesn’t register. 

It’s a problem. Apple says it will fix the
sticky keys free-of-charge
, but that’s time and effort I’ll
need to spend.

MacBook Air keyboardiFixit

But the MacBook Air solves all these problems

Enter the new MacBook Air, which went on sale this past week. It
appears to be the device that I wanted last year, when I bought
my MacBook Pro.

For example, although it has Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner
— a nice feature — it doesn’t have the Touch Bar, bringing back
my beloved media controls and escape key.

In terms of battery life, Apple says the MacBook Air can get up
to 12 hours on a single charge. That might be optimistic, given
that Apple boasts 10 hours for the model I have that usually runs
out of battery in half the time, but it’s a step in the right

And it has an improved keyboard that should address the sticky
key issues I’ve experienced. Apple even highlighted it at its
launch event in Brooklyn. “The new MacBook Air has our
latest-generation keyboard with keys that offer four times the
stability over the previous generation, creating a modern
keyboard with a more precise and responsive typing experience,”
an Apple official said at the launch. 

A teardown from iFixit
shows that these keys have a plastic
piece inside the keys that should cut down on crumbs and other
debris getting inside the keys.

While the price — starting at $1199 — isn’t that far off from
what I paid for mine, especially after upgrading the storage and
RAM, it’s hard to not feel buyer’s remorse.

The MacBook Air does still have some shortcomings compares to the
Pro — it has a less powerful Intel chip, for example. But I don’t
really need massive processor power. 

MacBook AirKif

Of course, it’s not Apple’s fault that every year it comes out
with new computers that are better than the last year’s models.
That’s how the business works.

But I think a little bit of my annoyance is due to the fact that
all of these changes could’ve been made in 2017. People were
complaining about these issues with the MacBook Pro
back then
. Apple never said it was preparing a new computer
that addressed the issues — it never talks about upcoming

Which left me in a sticky situation in the summer of 2017. It
wasn’t the right time to buy Apple’s best 13-inch laptop, as it
turns out the next year’s model ended up being what I

While it’s great that Apple has fixed many consumer complaints
with its main laptop line, it highlights that computer purchases
are big items that people plan to use for years, unlike phones,
which have a two to three year lifespan. And people who end up
buying lemons are stuck with them for a long time. 

People who now buy the new MacBook Air seem happy, and are likely
to say they’re satisfied with their purchase. But by not having a
reliable release schedule and a roadmap for future updates,
there’s a chance that some people — like me — will end up in a
generation of customers who are stuck with a laptop they’re not
completely happy with. 

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