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Review New MacBook Air 2018 vs. MacBook Pro : Performance gap wider than the price difference


hey everybody it’s LAN sideband we’re taking a look today at the new MacBook Air this is replacing probably Apple’s most popular laptop and it’s also more expensive now and we’re going to be doing a full review of this but also looking at the MacBook Pro 13 especially the one like I have my hands here that doesn’t have the touch bar because this one only costs $100 more but delivers better performance I’m going to talk about the differences between these two in this review because I think a lot of people in the market for a Mac will be wondering what the difference is given the price difference isn’t all that much so we’ll explore that and I’ll also have some recommendations for folks who might be in the market for a computer and think maybe this one is too expensive so lots to talk about let’s get to it now I do want to let you know as I always do in the interest of full disclosure that this MacBook Air was actually purchased by my father for his own usage and when I found out he bought one I took it for a few days to do my evaluation on it the MacBook Pro here is one that I bought from my wife about two years ago so nobody is paying for this review no free product was provided for this review all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own and no one is reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before

it was uploaded so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware these start at 1199 about $1200 on Apple’s website that is an increase from where the MacBook Air used to start at so it’s definitely taken a price jump here oddly they still offer the old design for around the original entry point of around $1000 so you can still get the old one but the new one looks a lot better and has a nicer display speaking of it’s got a 13.3 inch display 2560 by 1600 resolution that runs at 227 points per inch it is super sharp it is super bright it looks every bit as good as the display you’ll find on the MacBook Pro and that’s one of the things that Apple’s done very well over the years is put really nice displays on all of their computers I think they’re among the brightest in the industry if not be brightest so if you want a nice and bright display you’ll definitely get it here with one of these Macs they really have been impressing me over the years with that eight gigabytes of RAM to start also 128 gigabytes of storage to start at $1200 price tag and then things really escalate from there if you want more RAM or more storage you’re going to have to pay upfront for that and pay a hefty premium as well because you cannot upgrade these computers they are completely locked down so Ram and storage are fixed from when you buy it and that is it so if you need more storage at the get-go you’re going to have to buy it at the get-go you can also of course plug in external storage if you want and if you’re doing a lot of photos and videos and whatnot you’ll probably want to subscribe to Apple storage plan to offload some of those things so that you don’t run out of space too quickly it’s definitely going to be limited with the 128 gigabytes that are included there now the big difference though

between the MacBook Air and the pro is the processor that is inside now if you go on Apple’s website it’ll indicate that it’s a dual core i5 processor if you look at the macbook pro specs it looks like it also has a dual core i5 processor but the chips are very different between the pro and the air the airship is a mobile processor the i5 8 to10 why it gives you better battery life but that comes at the expense of higher-end performance that you might need if you’re video editing or doing some really high-end photo work and that kind of thing if you are just browsing the web and doing word processing it should feel fine as you’ll see in a few minutes but if you’re used to a faster machine this one might feel a little less snappy as a result because it is running with a less powerful processor even though they’re called the same thing they are very different and I think it’s important to note that going in so that lack of performance though again will get you better battery life in our testing we were seeing about 11 hours give or take doing basic tasks like web browsing and email and that sort of thing that’s about two hours better than what you would get on the MacBook Pro doing those same tasks so this is a more efficient computer but again you’re giving up some performance in exchange for that so again keep all of that in mind and it’s very confusing how Intel and Apple have decided to label these processors I don’t think it gives the consumer the full picture now the weight of the MacBook Air is a little less than the pro this is 2.7 5 pounds or 1.25 kilograms the MacBook Pro by comparison comes in at 3.0 2 pounds or 1.3 7 kilograms so not a huge weight difference here between the pro

and the air they look and feel very similar to although they tapered the front of the macbook air a bit to maybe make it stand out or have it represent what the air used to look like the MacBook Pro is pretty much square here throughout like the pro it’s got Thunderbolt 3 ports on it too on the air there on the left side of the computer these are multifunction ports so you can plug in USB type-c devices Thunderbolt 3 devices you can deliver power to this through these ports and get video out I believe you can drive 2 displays with this you can get docking stations that give you a single cable to provide power video out and a bunch of additional ports so you can plug in regular USB devices if you want we’ve covered those kinds of devices in the past here on the channel so very versatile ports but you only get two of these on the MacBook Air on the other side of the air is a headphone jack it’s kind of becoming an endangered species on Apple products but at least on their computers so far those headphone jacks have remained the keyboard though is still just as bad as it was before this is the butterfly keyboard I’ve had a lot of problems with these I have two Mac’s with the butterfly keyboard that I own both of them have problems my wife has been having some issues with hers as well now in fairness my keyboards are from two years ago before they made some improvements so I’m going to be sending all of my Mac’s in one at a time for repair there is an active repair program right now what they’ve done to make the keyboard better is add-in a membrane that they say will keep dust and other things out of the key mechanism so hopefully that does fix the issue but only time will tell on that so just be prepared for that you might end up with some key problems down the road because it is essentially the same keyboard just with some changes to it the trackpad here is probably one of the best track pads in the industry Apple’s got this trackpad that doesn’t actually have a physical button but it feels like there’s a button because there’s haptic feedback

when you push your finger down it’s really cool and it’s fun to show it to people and say hey do you think there’s a button here or not so you can click anywhere on the pad and get that feedback it is a very sensitive trackpad but it’s also smart enough to know when you really intended to push it versus just having your wrist resting against the device here so they continue to push out some really good track pads there and all together I think a pretty nicely put together laptop from Apple it’s not fanless there is a little fan that runs but because this chip is a little more efficient it doesn’t get all that hot and you don’t hear the fan all that much either it’s a relatively quiet fan that rarely kicks on only when you’re really stressing the computer out so let’s take a look now at some performance we’ve got a 1080p video running at 60 frames per second from my YouTube channel and we are seeing some drop frames that’s not something we typically see with a Windows computer at this price point but we’re definitely seeing it here on the air you might not notice it but it’s definitely something that stood out for us in testing other web browsing seems to be just fine we went to the nasa.gov home page which has got a lot of multimedia elements that rendered up very very quickly and is pretty snappy and responsive and on the browser bench org speedometer test we got a score of 128 on the 1.0 version of that test on the 2.0 we got 74 point 5 and I want to direct your attention to the yoga 730 from Lenovo that you’ll see on the chart there we looked at that one a few months ago that’s got an eighth generation quad

core i5 chip that’s in most mid-range laptops now this is the non energy-efficient chip essentially that one came in at 164 point one which is a decent sized bump over what we’re seeing here on the MacBook Air so it’s certainly a little slower on paper you may not notice it all that much while you’re actually using the computer but you’ll see here that there are faster chips out there on less expensive Windows computers right now and we also loaded up some other applications like pages that you can see here running right now pages of course is Apple’s word processing and page layout application it felt pretty responsive and not all that different than what you might see on a low-end macbook pro so that felt ok so again I think doing web browsing and that kind of stuff is going to be fine it’s when you move into other things that you’ll certainly notice a larger difference so we ran the Bruce X Final Cut Pro benchmark and what it consists of is rendering this two-second 5k video that has a ton of different layers on it and this really taxes some of these computers when rendering that out to a file you can see what it looks like here in Final Cut Pro so on the MacBook Air that two-second video took 171 point five seconds over two minutes to render two seconds of video that same video on a macbook pro 13 from two years ago rendered out at sixty nine point five seconds just over a minute so you can see here just with the older i5 chip we’re doing a lot better because that chip is better optimized for that kind of work now if you’re doing iMovie and some things that really aren’t all that taxing it’s not going to be a huge difference but I do think you’ll see faster render times for uploading to Facebook and YouTube for example using a MacBook Pro versus a MacBook Air so if you’re looking at video editing I think your

choice here is to spend the extra hundred bucks to go to something a little faster now these MacBooks are not known for their gaming prowess but we decided to run a few games on it anyhow to get a feel for that so you’re seeing rocket League running right now this is the Mac version of rocket League we were getting about 20 to 35 frames per second at its lowest resolution in setting 720p and we were seeing a lot of slowdown and lag as more things happen to pop up on screen the Windows version might be a little more consistent there but I would not expect frame rates any better than 30 or 35 frames per second here on this hardware we also ran half-life 2 which is an older game about 12 years old our framerate counter didn’t work on that particular game but it felt playable and I was expecting it to feel that way on this hardware we’ve seen it run just fine on older hardware that one also was running at 720p we and also something a little more fun shovel knight’ that one got us a solid 60 frames per second so you can run more casual games here I think without too many issues but it’s really not a gaming machine none of the triple-a windows titles will run well on this and I would recommend this really being more of a productivity tool than a gaming tool but you can play a few things on there if you do have a lot of games purchased on Steam in the windows side the world those steam purchases will work on the Mac if there’s a Mac version available for free you don’t have to buy it again so if you do have some games before you go to the Mac App Store install steam and see what you got already and you could probably run those on there but typically the Mac games don’t run as well even if you did have a discrete graphics processor like you might have on the MacBook Pro 15 so again not great for gaming but you can load up a few casual things and run a few games every once in a while now normally

at this stage of a review we look at some gaming benchmarks that I run in Windows and I could not get this Mac to boot up windows there is some new security hardware onboard that makes it more difficult even disabling that security Hardware did not get Windows to boot I couldn’t get bootcamp to work which is usually the way you can boot up windows on a Mac so I think there might be something going on that has to get patched because I’d tried everything couldn’t get it going so I did run though a different benchmark called Geekbench and let’s take a look at that right now and you can see here the MacBook Air scored three thousand nine hundred and fifty-one on the CPU single core test seven thousand seven hundred and eighty six on the multi-core test the GPU test came in around 21,000 154 they called that the compute test now Geekbench on their website also had scores from a current macbook pro 13 that costs only $100 more than this computer does the single core test came in at four thousand three hundred and eighteen the multi-core at nine thousand 72 and the GPU performance is also greater at thirty thousand four fifty two so that’s a pretty decent sized performance gap here on paper we also saw that performance gap on the final cut test we ran a little bit earlier and later this year there’s no doubt that Apple will put the newer Intel chips into that MacBook Pro which will add two more cores and will also probably deliver

better graphics performance so that gap is only going to get larger and if that price difference is only a hundred dollars I do think you’re getting a lot more with the MacBook Pro if you are indeed in the market for a Mac so again keep all this in mind as you’re shopping because the difference between these two computers in prices and all that much but there’s certainly a big performance difference so if you’re in the market for a Mac laptop and you know that’s what you want I think the MacBook Pro here is the better by of the two it’s $100 more for the entry point on the pro but you’re going to get a much faster computer as a result and there isn’t much of a size and weight difference here they’re pretty much the same size laptop the displays are very similar they did make some you know cheats here with the case to kind of taper things off and make it look a little thinner but for the most part it’s going to feel the same as you’re walking around with it but again you’ll have better performance out of the pro battery life isn’t as good on the pro but it’s still pretty great for this kind of machine and I think you’re much better off spending the extra hundred bucks and getting the performance if this thing was thinner and lighter I’d have a very different opinion I am very fond of the MacBook 12-inch they probably

should call this a macbook air now – this is a great little computer that is very thin and light with great battery life and really is a fun device to travel with in fact in most cases I take this versus my iPad because it’s so much more usable for me it’s a full-fledged Mac here that’s like two pounds and it’s a very nice portable computer the 13-inch one here doesn’t live up to the heritage of the MacBook Air name and I was expecting something different than what Apple put out here so again if you got the extra hundred bucks go with the pro if you’re not sure you want a Mac I would go out and look at some of the i5 powered laptops that are running Windows because those come in at a considerably lower price tag most of those now are running with the eighth generation Intel chips which have quad core processors now which will be even faster than even the current generation MacBook Pro and again you can get a much greater bang for the buck on Windows if you are not in need of a Mac to get your work done so keep all those things in mind I’m really fond of that yoga 7:30 I looked at recently I think it’s a very good machine for the money and there are others out there from Dell and HP as well that are worthy of consideration until next time this is LAN and Simon thanks for watching this channel was brought to you by the lime TV supporters including gold-level supporters Chris Allegretto the four guys with quarters podcast Tom Albrecht Gerard Newberg in Kellyanne Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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