Posted on 07-17-2018 11:58 AM
Hey - we're looking to refresh a portion of our fleet, and for the first time in quite a few years, looking to buy new teacher laptops. Of course we're on a budget, so we're looking at either the 13" Macbook Air i5/8gb/256SSD, or the cheapest 13" Macbook Pro (same basic specs, except CPU of course). The Air is approximately $200 cheaper, and obviously older technology, but I've heard enough bad things about the newer MBPs that I'm really on the fence. Would be interested to know what people have been buying, and real-world pros and cons. Reliability, manageability and connectivity are probably my most important priorities, speed/performance and bells and whistles least important.
Posted on 07-17-2018 01:40 PM
I would definitely consider the MacBook Pro. We run the Airs too, similar environment from the sounds of things. It's enough horsepower for what most people do, but for $200 you get a much better display, an updated chassis (ports could be a problem I suppose), and a bit of a performance boost too.
Posted on 07-17-2018 01:42 PM
We generally go with the latest and greatest and most powerful. What I'm recommending to our purchasing team are these guys.
Posted on 07-17-2018 01:42 PM
I would go with the new MBPs. The basic MBP 13 inch is still a very good machine. Depending on how many you refresh, your rep at Apple should offer a slight discount.
Posted on 07-17-2018 02:10 PM
Personally like the look of the none touch bar 13" MBP.
The only real issue is all USB-C ports, which frankly is a total pain!
The issue with the Air is they are pretty poorly specced now, imagine what they are likely to feel like in a few years, the MBP on the other hand is pretty highly specced even in the base model.
Posted on 07-17-2018 02:40 PM
I ordered a 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro with 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage the moment I read the announcement from Apple. It should arrive this week. It shipped today.
Posted on 07-18-2018 03:06 AM
Depending on your environment also budget for USB-c hub/adaptors if you go the Pro route. The air still uses the magsafe 2 power and has USB ports on it. That's the biggest issue with our refresh was the change of the adaptor, with the usb-c cable, people seem to lose these and genuine apple replacements are expensive.
Posted on 07-19-2018 10:41 AM
Thanks for all the feedback! I guess I'm leaning toward the entry-level 13" MBP. I heard a lot of negatives about the new keyboards, and the fact everything is glued/soldered in, but that seems to be the way it's going to be from now on. I wish Apple would take a cue from the Chromebook world, where everything is modular and very easy to repair/replace. (Yes, I know, not really the same hardware).
The KB and connectivity limitations are the big issues, but our biggest connectivity item is HDMI to the classroom displays, and I did find they make USB-C to HDMI cables in reasonable lengths, so that should solve that. We may or may not provide port replicators or hubs, depending on our budget.
I hadn't originally looked at the plain jane Macbook, but I got to check one out yesterday, and if it weren't for that little (12") screen, they would probably be in the running too. Nice machine for the price, and crazy light.