Apple launches new MacBook Air and Mac Mini (and iPad Pro!)

hardware
mac

#1

Both the Air and Mini look really nice!!

Anyone getting one? :101:


#2

So you wait and wait for a decent Mac Mini, MBA and IPad Pro and then just like a bus, three come at once :rofl:

That was probably one of their best live events/launches I’ve seen in a long while, and topped off nicely by having Lana Del Ray sing at the end :orange_heart:

Niggles: They are all pricey when you change from the default configs, and no mention of Mac Pro.


#3

Agreed, that was Apple at it’s best for a good while! Solid updates and a better “story” around computers for creatives than they’ve managed recently.

As they were announcing the updated Air I was thinking “that’ll make AstonJ happy…that too…”

There’s now less reason to buy a MacBook Pro for a lot of people, as the Air has got good specs. I do wonder why they didn’t retire the 12" MacBook though, or call the new Air the new MacBook… It’s kind of out on a limb, being both more expensive and now a lot less powerful than the Air, and they’ve still got the awkward setup of having the Air as the second smallest laptop in their lineup. I would have thought the opportunity to go back to just MacBook -> MacBook Pro would have been to good to pass up.

I’m also a little “meh” on price, but I expected that. I knew a Mini would be pricey if they gave it decent specs, and I knew that the new iPad Pro would be seriously expensive. I didn’t expect their new keyboard for the new iPad Pro to be £199 though! If I replaced my current one I’d be looking at ~ £1500 for similar storage, and only likely to see about £500 back for my current one.

For comparison, both my old 17" MacBook Pro and 11" MacBook Air cost around £100 per year. This iPad would cost about £500 per year! Maybe you’re right about the Air > iPad after all!


#4

Looking more closely at their prices now - what a rip off!

Mac Mini 2018

  • 3.0GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)

£2,179.00 :icon_eek:

That’s more than what I bought a Mac Pro for about 8 years ago - there’s nothing revolutionary in the Mini’s specs - just the typical CPU/Ram/Storage upgrade you’d expect at that level.

Same with my 2012 MBA - I think I had paid £1,000 for the model with +1 level on Ram (so 8GB) and +1 level on HD (so 256GB), doing that now and it’s practically double the cost :101:

The profiteering side of Apple is what I hate about it most. Although one mitigating factor is Brexit - the pound just isn’t as strong as it used to be, so many things have crept up in price because of it.


#5

Seriously thinking about racing down to get a current-gen Air with MagSafe before they’re gone!

At least they didn’t stick a touchbar on the new one. Does anyone know if the bigger trackpad on the Air is the same as on the current Pro?


#6

Haha gotta love MagSafe! Having said that, I think you’ll like the convenience of the TB3/USB-C - you just need to connect one cable (to your monitor), and it will charge your Mac while also connect peripherals connected to the monitor, such as HDs, card readers, etc. Also Retina display is worth the upgrade imo - that’s one of the things I don’t like on my MBA, the non-retina display.


#7

Nope, I thought about getting the Mac Mini until I priced one out. I’ll build a Ryzen 2700x system with more cores/threads/memory (etc) for cheaper.


#8

@AstonJ Apple have always had a fairly interesting interpretation of the USD:GBP exchange rate. Their products aren’t great, but their apps are awful. A 1:1 exchange rate was pretty normal for apps between US and UK stores.

Something I’m sorely tempted by too!


#9

No, thank you. I had the use of a current MBP for a few weeks and absolutely hated the USB-C power cable. I don’t use an external monitor, it was awkward to keep it plugged in while using the laptop as a laptop, and I couldn’t just set it down and walk away without making sure it was situated where the dogs couldn’t drag it off. Ugh.

Abandoning MagSafe is one of the worst Apple decisions ever.


#10

Apple has lost their way. Their Mac lineup is absolutely terrible. These are only my opinions.

  • There’s the Mac Pro, an underpowered, unupgradeable, extremely expensive trash can with no future.
  • Mac Minis are outrageously priced for the cheapo hardware they contain.
  • MacBook Air finally has a high DPI screen, but apparently has the awful keyboard now from the MBP lineup. Only 2 USB-C ports and nothing else, but at least a 3.5mm plug.
  • MacBook is airier than the air, but that is not reflected in the price. Needs a dongle for anything.
  • MacBook Pro is ruined. Only USB-C even though mini HDMI and SD reader would have fit fine. This means no more MagSafe and dongles for everything. The touch bar is not only useless, but user hostile. The USB-C is not ready for prime time use, docks and dongles crash and work intermittently. The WiFi on a 2016 model is the worst I have experienced, constant ping timeouts and problems. The keyboard is not nice to type on and they break a lot (as evidenced by its new version that has the dust shield). The battery has been made smaller, so battery life has not improved. The trackpad is too massive (I have constant misclicks from my palms while typing). Price for top of the line model was raised by around 400 € for no real advantage.
  • No experience of the iMacs, but they can’t save the lineup all by themself.

In conclusion, the Mac lineup is too damn expensive. It used to be so that Mac laptops were more expensive than commodity PC laptops but that they on par with similarly good PC versions. But they are getting more and more expensive for hardware that has not improved similarly, or in some cases has gotten worse (and less repairable / upgradeable). At the same time macOS has stagnated and the most significant upgrade in the latest version was a dark UI.

I have a 2014 MBP at home. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best laptop that I’ve ever used. I’m dreading the day when it finally dies, as that is the day I will get a PC laptop and switch to a Linux system. That is, unless Apple gets back on track, which seems more and more unlikely by the day.


#11

It seems the new Mac Mini allows us again to do the RAM upgrade ourself and safe some bucks. I think I would go with the 8 GB option and upgrade the RAM myself.


#12

Agreed. My youngest kid loves to trip on my cable every 5 minutes. MagSafe is one of the best features of my MacBook Pro. I am confused why Apple ditched MagSafe with their new models.


#13

I have been a MacBook Pro user for a long time, and I am sad to see all these issues come up. It is like Apple is trying to find the magical one-interface solution, first it was FireWire, then ThunderBolt, now USB-C. It is okay to have multiple interfaces … I have had no problems with WiFi, nor any broken keyboards. But yes I agree the Touch Bar is a useless toy.


#14

The keyboard and usb interfaces don’t seem to be the only problems with the newer pieces of hardware coming from Apple. From generation to generation, their products became less repairable and upgradeable.

More and more parts are glued into the case and soldered onto the logic board and there are quite a few horror stories circulating when it comes to the hardware problem solutions and costs involved with a visit to the genius bars.

While browsing the internet for the current state of reliable pc/laptop hardware regularly, the items published by e.g. Rossman Repair Group, iFixit or Linus have been quite enlightening for me. (It would be great if those hardware issues would turn out to be some kind of bad dream or joke though :wink: )


#15

I’m seriously considering selling my MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016 model) and buying one of those new iPad Pro’s, now that it has an edge-to-edge display.

Since I’ve already got two excellent Lenovo laptops (one running Linux and the other Windows) for work, courtesy of my employer, I might not need a personal laptop anymore.

Any machine learning work I’m doing is in the cloud anyways.


#16

Me too. I’ve only used the Touch Bar for two things: highlighting stuff in PDFs via Preview and locking my screen. I actually regret buying the Touch Bar version; the regular F-keys are more useful.


#17

What about a Hackintosh? :003:

1:1 is a pure insult - I wish there was a viable altertnative - I would switch just to teach them a lesson! :lol:

I can definitely see why MagSafe would be nicer in your case :slight_smile:

I wonder how many people dock their MBPs tho? The greater that number the more compelling the case for the switch. I thought I would have hated it too, but since I dock, I ended up loving it.

Agree with most of what you’ve said :lol:

I don’t mind the portability, or quest to miniaturise things myself - so long as it’s not to the detriment of others things (too much?) like power or price. I actually didn’t mind the new MBP keyboards too.

They definitely need to reflect tho - it’s not cool profiteering from your customers as much as they do. There has to be a principle higher than that of making money - those lacking that, are, imo, on the wrong side of history.

Ah thanks - I totally forgot about that! On a quick glance I think you could save £50 on 16GB and about £200 on 32GB (if you bought them separately after ordering the 8GB model).

I thought it worked well on the MBP I had for a while (went back to Air because the MBP was just too big).

I don’t mind that too much so long as they are generally reliable. Touch wood my MBA has been going strong since 2012 :lol: (it’s the 11" version so I couldn’t get a replacement now even if I wanted - well, the new 13" ones announced today are the closest).

They do look nice, and I have to admit when they were going on about how ‘powerful’ it is, and that you can connect it to a 5K monitor, a little part of me was getting excited that they’d say that when docked to a monitor it could run OS X! Now THAT would be awesome (and what I see the future might hold - but we need a company less focused on profiteering first!).


#18

The news were alright but these are mostly iterative updates and nothing that will make you lose your mind. I only got slightly excited about the Mac Mini but damn that’s way too expensive!

I’m interested if the MacBook Pros with better GPUs (that are about to be announced very soon) will have variants without the touch bar. That can tempt me.

Thinking of it, the iPad part was the best. They improved a lot and I love the new pen you can almost use as a mouse (you can tap and swipe on it) and it can charge wirelessly while magnetically attached to the iPad. That’s pretty convenient.

I love my MBP 2015 though and I still haven’t seen a good reason to buy any other MBP for several years now.

And the maxed out iMac Pro (~$13,500) still visits me in my tech wet dreams. I think it’s the only desktop Mac worth having.


#19

Even though it’s not repairable/modular, and you can build a similar spec PC for a whole lot less, I think you’re right, just on the basis that it’s so powerful that you can guarantee years of use out of it without a noticeable slowdown.

That’s the logic that has me hoping for a stupidly powerful Mac Pro. If it’s modular to boot then I’ll be quite happy…and poor.


#20

Announced today. Cough… Shame I need macOS for XCode! :sweat_smile: