Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

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KT785
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Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

I've had incredible luck and longevity with my Macs. My first MacBook Pro was a circa 2006 Gen 1 Intel Mac that I used for 7 years through both undergrad and law school; I subsequently gave it to my grandfather who continued to use it for years until we got him an iPad. That Mac was replaced with my current MacBook Pro (Spring 2013) which I've used ever since. However it's getting long in the tooth, some apps (e.g. 1Password) are getting kinda buggy and there are no OS updates anymore save for periodic security patches.

Accordingly, it's time for an upgrade and I'm trying to determine best course of action. Given I've had success with two reasonably spec'd MacBook Pros, my inclination is to get one of the new M3s that just came out but my use-case for a Pro may be silly.

I'm not a power user by any means, it's just my personal laptop for basic functionality. However, my assumption is that I've been able to get such length of useable life out of my computers because I've gone with the Pro series. Ultimately, would it make sense to just stick with another MacBook Pro and hope to keep it going for the next 10-ish years? Price isn't the driving factor if the lifespan would be longer, I'm really trying to determine if there's any real benefit of the Air vs. the Pro outside of cost (for clarity, this computer will sit on my desk most of the time).

For clarity, I'm inclined to get the mid-level 14" MacBook Pro (M3 Pro with 18GB for RAM). Again, I don't need the higher specs now, but would be getting them from a future-proofing perspective. Alternatively, I know plenty of folks who have and love their M1/M2 MacBook Airs so that could be a consideration.

I obviously haven't shopped for a new Mac for a decade, so looking for any advice from folks with more recent experience.

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by bluebolt »

What are you using it for? If you went to law school I'm guessing it's not coding or video editing, but you never know.

I would go with the 13 or 15 inch Air over the Pro, especially if you will be taking it places. The performance and battery life are great and you won't notice a difference vs the Pro for what you're using it for.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by inittowinit »

The MacBook Air M2 is so good there’s really no need to go beyond it unless you have a known need for the additional computing power. I have the M2 Air with 16gb of RAM and 500gb storage and it is a dream. I usually have MS Office with multiple documents open, chrome with 50+ tabs and several other programs running simultaneously with no lag or issues. I will even play a moderately demanding video game with all that running and it’s fine. The battery lasts an extremely long time and recharges fast. Really can’t recommend it enough. I have the 13 inch but if I could I would’ve gotten the 15, the extra screen real estate seems worth it.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by lgs88 »

My most recent Air — the last with the Intel processor — only made it three years before it started getting kludgy, even shutting itself down uncommanded now and again.

I upgraded to the M2 Pro and have been favorably impressed thus far. You seem to keep laptops a long time; I’d be inclined to spend a little more up front to increase the probability that it’ll last as long as you want it to.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by robphoto »

Someone mentioned the 15" Air; I think that would be great to have that big screen.

If you can get to an Apple Store or Best Buy where they've got them in stock, you should go and look at and handle them; sometimes the physical object will determine what you like. See how much data you've got on your current laptop; the minimum SSD of 256GB is probably less than your current machine has. If you've got a full 500GB drive, you should get at least that on the new machine.

If you're carrying it around all day, I'd probably get the 13"; if mostly at a desk or you want the big screen, 15".

Either Air or Pro is powerful enough for your work.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

Thanks for the responses thus far—for clarity, I won’t be carrying it around, my laptop is almost always on the desk in my home office (I have a corporate issued Windows laptop for work that commutes with me). So weight and size are not overriding factors in the decision.

I think my bottom line inquiry is whether I’d be getting appreciably more expected lifespan out of a Pro vs an Air?

Also, in either case, assume it makes sense to spring for the increased RAM over the 8GB stock they equip both base models with?

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by illumination »

You're not going to notice the difference between an M2 and an M3 chip unless you do things like video editing.

I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.

The best MacBook now is likely not going to be anywhere as fast as a base model 5 years from now. Plus you're getting a fresh battery and likely better ram and hard drive specs, better screen, etc with the "newer" future Mac. I just bought a thumb drive to take care of larger file storage as that is one thing I absolutely hate about Macs, they almost make you go up the food chain to get a bigger hard drive. I think the Ram size with the new chip architecture is just not really as important anymore unless you are doing really demanding things.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by bondsr4me »

MBA 15" VS MBP 14"....which screen is clearer/sharper resolution, better color?
I'm not trying to hijack this thread...this info may be of help to OP.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by ncbill »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 12:43 pm Thanks for the responses thus far—for clarity, I won’t be carrying it around, my laptop is almost always on the desk in my home office (I have a corporate issued Windows laptop for work that commutes with me). So weight and size are not overriding factors in the decision.

I think my bottom line inquiry is whether I’d be getting appreciably more expected lifespan out of a Pro vs an Air?

Also, in either case, assume it makes sense to spring for the increased RAM over the 8GB stock they equip both base models with?

KT785
Earlier this year I went with the 14" M1 MBP refurb to replace a 2012 13" MBP for ~$1,650 after-tax.

You have no need for the M2 or M3 chip.

I've seen the configuration I have (16GB RAM/1TB SSD) under $1,500 as a refurb.

Remember with the MBP you can add a SD card in a flush-mount adapter...I added 1TB add'l storage that way.

Though if my MBP lived on a desk most of the time I'd probably have bought a 16" instead.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by anagram »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:23 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785
You won't be able to keep it 10 years as Apple won't be providing security and OS updates for that long. Five years is a good time to plan for.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by anagram »

ncbill wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 2:25 pm
KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 12:43 pm Thanks for the responses thus far—for clarity, I won’t be carrying it around, my laptop is almost always on the desk in my home office (I have a corporate issued Windows laptop for work that commutes with me). So weight and size are not overriding factors in the decision.

I think my bottom line inquiry is whether I’d be getting appreciably more expected lifespan out of a Pro vs an Air?

Also, in either case, assume it makes sense to spring for the increased RAM over the 8GB stock they equip both base models with?

KT785
Earlier this year I went with the 14" M1 MBP refurb to replace a 2012 13" MBP for ~$1,650 after-tax.

You have no need for the M2 or M3 chip.

I've seen the configuration I have (16GB RAM/1TB SSD) under $1,500 as a refurb.

Remember with the MBP you can add a SD card in a flush-mount adapter...I added 1TB add'l storage that way.

Though if my MBP lived on a desk most of the time I'd probably have bought a 16" instead.
Remember that SD cards are not a reliable storage medium.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by bluebolt »

anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:27 pm
KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:23 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785
You won't be able to keep it 10 years as Apple won't be providing security and OS updates for that long. Five years is a good time to plan for.
Maybe not 10 years, but probably more than 5. My 2014 MBP had a security update in September.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by illumination »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:23 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785

That's sort of my point, I think your future proof strategy should be reconsidered and instead just use the cost savings to apply towards upgrading sooner. Your 10 year old Mac handles what you do fine, anything new will be massive overkill.

Right now, you can buy a new entry level MacBook Air M2 for $949 at Best Buy. The entry level MacBook Pro M3 is $1999? So 2 laptops over 10 years for about the same price as 1 better laptop built to last 10 years. If I don't really need the specs of the better model, I'd rather have 2 laptops over 10 years. At years 7-10, your computer will have really poor battery life and likely have problems with OS upgrades and security certificates/updates.

Obviously if your determined to keep your next MacBook 10 years, I would say move up the food chain and buy the more expensive one. Get more RAM, larger hard drive etc because the demands will be much greater as it gets that old.

FWIW, I used to keep my macs a long time also. For most people, it works fine, I just prefer to upgrade more often than trying to get by longer with a "flagship".
Last edited by illumination on Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by anagram »

bluebolt wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:33 pm
anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:27 pm
KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:23 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785
You won't be able to keep it 10 years as Apple won't be providing security and OS updates for that long. Five years is a good time to plan for.
Maybe not 10 years, but probably more than 5. My 2014 MBP had a security update in September.
Can you run Sonoma?
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by anagram »

illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:51 pm
KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:23 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 1:06 pm I think you're better off getting a base "new" model Mac and just upgrading more often with those savings than getting a higher spec'd one. So instead of getting a new one every 5 years, you get a new one every 3 years and the math works out pretty close.
I don't plan on buying a new computer every 3 or 5 years. If my last two Macs are any indication, I'd plan on buying a new one with the intent of keeping it for the next 10-ish years.

And cost savings (at least comparing base 15" MBA with base 14" MBP) appears to only be about $300.

KT785

That's sort of my point, I think your future proof strategy should be reconsidered and instead just use the cost savings to apply towards upgrading sooner. Your 10 year old Mac handles what you do fine, anything new will be massive overkill.

Right now, you can buy a new entry level MacBook Air M2 for $949 at Best Buy. The entry level MacBook Pro M3 is $1999? So 2 laptops over 10 years for about the same price as 1 better laptop built to last 10 years. If I don't really need the specs of the better model, I'd rather have 2 laptops over 10 years. At years 7-10, your computer will have really poor battery life and likely have problems with OS upgrades and security certificates/updates.

Obviously if your determined to keep your next MacBook 10 years, I would say move up the food chain and buy the more expensive one. Get more RAM, larger hard drive etc because the demands will be much greater as it gets that old.

FWIW, I used to keep my macs a long time also. For most people, it works fine, I just prefer to upgrade more often than trying to get by longer with a "flagship".
I agree and this is my strategy as well. In 10 years there will be quite a few new sw and hw developments as well. Good point about the battery. It will NOT last 10 years.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:51 pm The entry level MacBook Pro M3 is $1999?
Entry level MBP is $1,599.00 (less than that if bought at Costco, less even still if bought with education discount).

Admittedly, the mid-level MBP that I'd looked at (with upgraded specs) costs $1,999.00 before any discounts; if I bought a MBA, I'm still likely looking at a minimum for $1,499 ($1,249 at Best Buy) since 13" is too small and I need more than 256GB SSD.

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:59 pm Good point about the battery. It will NOT last 10 years.
Suspect this is a YMMV situation (and for most you're likely right). But my 10 year old MBP doesn't have the same battery life as it did new, but I still get a couple hours out of it on the occasion it's off the power adapter.

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by anagram »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:16 pm
anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:59 pm Good point about the battery. It will NOT last 10 years.
Suspect this is a YMMV situation (and for most you're likely right). But my 10 year old MBP doesn't have the same battery life as it did new, but I still get a couple hours out of it on the occasion it's off the power adapter.

KT785
Okay but a couple of hours is different from 22 hours.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by bluebolt »

anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:57 pm
bluebolt wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:33 pm Maybe not 10 years, but probably more than 5. My 2014 MBP had a security update in September.
Can you run Sonoma?
No. But not that big a deal. Last OS update was Big Sur 3 years ago, but like I mentioned, it's been receiving updates and patches through a couple of months ago. For sure, it's at the end of its useful life, but that useful life was almost 9 1/2 years.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by srt7 »

MacBook Air line of laptops are made for your use-cases. Instead of spending more on the Pro get the highest end processor, storage etc. on the Air.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

srt7 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:34 pm MacBook Air line of laptops are made for your use-cases. Instead of spending more on the Pro get the highest end processor, storage etc. on the Air.
A high spec’d MBA isn’t much of a price difference compared to an MBP—my other concern is, if I opt for an MBA, should I just wait a bit for the M3 chips in that line?

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by twh »

If you machine isn't going to be carted around often, I'd opt for the 16" MacBook Pro. Whatever you get, don't get less than 16GB RAM and if you aren't on a budget get 32GB. I wouldn't get less than 1TB storage either. Those specs will let that computer last as long ad Apple is going to support the OS on that machine and probably beyond. In an Air, you can order up to 24GB RAM.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by fogalog »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:16 pm
anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:59 pm Good point about the battery. It will NOT last 10 years.
Suspect this is a YMMV situation (and for most you're likely right). But my 10 year old MBP doesn't have the same battery life as it did new, but I still get a couple hours out of it on the occasion it's off the power adapter.

KT785
I was regularly using a 2012 MBP with 8GB / 1TB SSD until a few months ago. It worked well as my casual browsing laptop.

I recently replaced it was a M2 Macbook Air / 24GB / 1TB... and that laptop is now my favourite. It has an excellent screen and keyboard and the battery life is crazy good.

I also have a 14" Macbook Pro / 32GB / 2TB that is my work computer. I *much* prefer working on the Air. Screens are almost identical but Air keyboard better (imho), it is much lighter and battery lasts much longer.

Whatever you get, I would recommend you get at least 16GB memory, preferably 24GB. Apple's memory management is really excellent but software tend towards bloating these days.

The best deals can be found on macrumors. Personally, I almost exclusively but from Apple's own refurb site. Great discounts and identical warranty.

Good luck!
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by MrDrinkingWater »

bluebolt wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:32 pm
anagram wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:57 pm
bluebolt wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:33 pm Maybe not 10 years, but probably more than 5. My 2014 MBP had a security update in September.
Can you run Sonoma?
No. But not that big a deal. Last OS update was Big Sur 3 years ago, but like I mentioned, it's been receiving updates and patches through a couple of months ago. For sure, it's at the end of its useful life, but that useful life was almost 9 1/2 years.
The OP's MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) is likely running on MacOS Catalina 10.15. There's another thread where some really talented people are discussing how to patch older Macs to use the later MacOS products (Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, or Sonoma), but the OP wants to upgrade his hardware, not try to run a different newer macOS.

I would recommend that the OP should get any new model that has a 15-inch screen.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by Sandtrap »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 11:40 am I've had incredible luck and longevity with my Macs. My first MacBook Pro was a circa 2006 Gen 1 Intel Mac that I used for 7 years through both undergrad and law school; I subsequently gave it to my grandfather who continued to use it for years until we got him an iPad. That Mac was replaced with my current MacBook Pro (Spring 2013) which I've used ever since. However it's getting long in the tooth, some apps (e.g. 1Password) are getting kinda buggy and there are no OS updates anymore save for periodic security patches.

Accordingly, it's time for an upgrade and I'm trying to determine best course of action. Given I've had success with two reasonably spec'd MacBook Pros, my inclination is to get one of the new M3s that just came out but my use-case for a Pro may be silly.

I'm not a power user by any means, it's just my personal laptop for basic functionality. However, my assumption is that I've been able to get such length of useable life out of my computers because I've gone with the Pro series. Ultimately, would it make sense to just stick with another MacBook Pro and hope to keep it going for the next 10-ish years? Price isn't the driving factor if the lifespan would be longer,[ I'm really trying to determine if there's any real benefit of the Air vs. the Pro outside of cost (for clarity, this computer will sit on my desk most of the time).

For clarity, I'm inclined to get the mid-level 14" MacBook Pro (M3 Pro with 18GB for RAM). Again, I don't need the higher specs now, but would be getting them from a future-proofing perspective. Alternatively, I know plenty of folks who have and love their M1/M2 MacBook Airs so that could be a consideration.

I obviously haven't shopped for a new Mac for a decade, so looking for any advice from folks with more recent experience.

KT785
I have 3 MacBook Pro's, all bought "loaded" at the time. The oldest is very old (rubber keyboard).
For me....(not for everyone)...I would buy the newest "loaded" MacBook Pro.
I have the MacBook Air...loaded...and there is not a huge difference between it an the MacBook Pro in price, but the features are much better. And, it's not much smaller or lighter than a MacBook Pro, except for marketing..."air".

For desktop use: consider:
Available Amazon:
Laptop stand:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08JD ... UTF8&psc=1
MacCally Keyboard (wired is better)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NHJ6P14/re ... ZHG_0?th=1
MaCally Mouse (wired is better)
https://www.amazon.com/Macally-Silent-W ... to_dp&th=1
Use a port extender if needed. Works fine for adding printers, etc.
https://www.amazon.com/Macally-Silent-W ... to_dp&th=1

Just one suggestion.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by onourway »

While I agree the MacBook Air would be plenty powerful for your use case, if you're not carrying it around much and will keep it a long time, the Pro is a great choice. The Pro does have a fair bit better screen with mini-LED, better pixel density (sharper), brighter (for HDR content), and 120Hz (smooth scrolling and video).

My 14" MacBook Pro is by far the best computer I've ever owned, and it's not even close.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KarenC »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 12:43 pm […]

Also, in either case, assume it makes sense to spring for the increased RAM over the 8GB stock they equip both base models with?
Yes. [Edit: Removed a rant that might have diverted the conversation from the topic of this thread.]
Last edited by KarenC on Sat Nov 11, 2023 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by YeahBuddy »

Go with the Air unless you do a lot of heavy pro video editing. Also, Macs are great in this regard. We still own our pro from 2012.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by Fairfox »

Different approach to consider, in case it might suit the OP: Mac Mini, separate monitor, and perhaps an iPad if simple access to computing around the house/travel is necessary. The Mac Minis are great computers, very cost effective, and allow a much more ergonomic setup with a big monitor, at an overall cost comparable to a laptop. While the OP wants to keep the computer a long time, such a setup also allows lower cost upgrades over time because the monitor can stick around and only the computer swapped out.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by bagle »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 11:40 am this computer will sit on my desk most of the time).

KT785
If you rarely need to carry the Mac around, I'd consider a Mac Mini on the desktop connected to a larger (e.g. 27 inch) 4K monitor and a more ergonomic mouse and keyboard (e.g., Logitech). Perhaps you've got an iPad that will suffice when you need something portable.

Edit: I see Fairfox above just beat me to the punch.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by michaelingp »

Right now the Air makes more sense in terms of capability for the bucks. Even the geniuses at the Apple store advised my daughter to replace her Pro with an Air.
vfinx
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by vfinx »

I have a fully kitted out MacBook Pro 16 (maxed out RAM, M2 processor) for work, and I bought the cheapest refurb MacBook Air M1 that was available at the time for personal use.

And the Air is what I would recommend. These machines are now so overpowered for regular usage. I cannot tell the difference between my Pro and Air unless I’m doing specific sustained workloads my job requires. But for all other tasks (email, web browsing, media consumption, etc) it feels the same. I even do some basic video editing with iMovie on my Air and while I won’t pretend to have benchmarked it against the Pro, the Air feels perfectly “fine”.

The performance improvements have far outpaced the use cases. It’s getting a bit silly.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by BionicBillWalsh »

I just traded a loaded 2019 15 inch Macbook Pro with an Intel processor for the new 16 inch Macbook Pro with M3 Pro chip. The new machine is fantastic. Everything is quicker. The computer feels much more substantial (in a good way) as well. I don’t really travel with mine, except around the house so the portability aspect isn't a factor for me.

Between 10% discount and pretty decent trade in value for the old laptop, the upgrade was well worth it to me.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by CyclingDuo »

KT785 wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:06 pm
illumination wrote: Fri Nov 10, 2023 4:51 pm The entry level MacBook Pro M3 is $1999?
Entry level MBP is $1,599.00 (less than that if bought at Costco, less even still if bought with education discount).

Admittedly, the mid-level MBP that I'd looked at (with upgraded specs) costs $1,999.00 before any discounts; if I bought a MBA, I'm still likely looking at a minimum for $1,499 ($1,249 at Best Buy) since 13" is too small and I need more than 256GB SSD.

KT785
I think you are right on track looking at the base M3 slightly upgraded Pro over the Air for what you describe. :beer

The larger SSD, HDMI port, cdxc camera card slot, Pro Motion screen, faster charger, etc. - is all worth the extra few hundred dollars.

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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by mrb09 »

I’ve actually moved to an iPad Air for my personal system (I also have a work laptop and Windows PC for games and photo editing). I have it docked as I’m typing this, with an external keyboard and mouse, and an external monitor I share with my other systems. It has the M1 chip, so it is fairly snappy for browser access, which is what I mostly use it for. I also have the Magic Keyboard, so I go back and forth between docked, Magic Keyboard, and pure tablet.

I went from a 2018 Mac Mini, and the IPad is faster than that for what I’m using it for — if you’re coming from a 2013 MacBook Pro, anything with an M1 chip or higher is going to be much faster.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by KT785 »

pbc561 wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 10:16 am I recently made the switch back to a MacBook after spending years with Windows, and I faced a similar dilemma. Given your history and how you value longevity, going for the M3 MacBook Pro seems like a wise choice, especially with the mid-level 14" model.
Serendipitous that I noticed someone resurrected my thread from November; I still haven't purchased a new computer my 11 year old MBP still meets my needs. Given the new M3 MacBook Airs that just came out, I'm leaning in that direction as (has been noted above in this thread) I'm not a "power user.

That said, the price delta between a 16GB 15in. MBA and a mid-level 14in. MBP isn't that great if it provides me with a little more longevity as has been evidenced by my, still well performing, early-2013 MBP.

KT785
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by 02nz »

The Pro is massively overpowered for your needs, and you'd be way overpaying for the "future-proofing" when you consider that a well-spec'd (16GB RAM / 512GB SSD) M2 MacBook Air is around $1300, or $700 less. You're better off buying a $1300 computer every 6 years than a $2000 one every 10 years. The M2 is more than powerful enough and will be plenty even in 5 years; I wouldn't pay the premium for the M3.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by Badinvestor »

A question for you Mac mavens:

if I buy an M2 machine, will OS updates end sooner than if I buy an M3 machine?

02nz writes:
You're better off buying a $1300 computer every 6 years than a $2000 one every 10 years.
Not sure why. Consider the possibility that you intend to buy software for the computer where the license for the software has to be bought anew each time you change machine.
Last edited by Badinvestor on Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by chinchin »

If you own a Pro for that long, you should be cleaning the fans. Otherwise go MBA because it is fanless. I would spring for the M3 MBA if I was planning on having it for 10 years. IMO.
not financial advice
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by chinchin »

Badinvestor wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:42 am A question for you Mac mavens:

if I buy an M2 machine, will OS updates end sooner than if I buy an M3 machine?
Yes
not financial advice
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by illumination »

I'm a longtime MacBook user, my advice is go cheap and just upgrade more often. Usually the battery life becomes the issue anyway after several years. You're not going to really see a difference with the faster chips until you do things like video editing.

The only issue is, Apple is purposely stingy with memory because they want to sell you their cloud services, so just make sure you have enough or get an external Solid State drive. But it's very frustrating that you have to spend a lot of money to get like a 1TB hard drive.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by vfinx »

Badinvestor wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:42 am 02nz writes:
You're better off buying a $1300 computer every 6 years than a $2000 one every 10 years.
Not sure why. Consider the possibility that you intend to buy software for the computer where the license for the software has to be bought anew each time you change machine.
What is an example of software that has such a licensing scheme? I would imagine that even software that tries to pin to a device, has a workflow for broken/stolen machines.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Macbook air M1 at WalMart $699. Fanless, faster SSD than M2. Save the $700 from M3 Air and invest in four shares of AAPL. after ten years, repeat the same process again. Done.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by Badinvestor »

vfinx wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 12:25 pm
Badinvestor wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:42 amConsider the possibility that you intend to buy software for the computer where the license for the software has to be bought anew each time you change machine.
What is an example of software that has such a licensing scheme? I would imagine that even software that tries to pin to a device, has a workflow for broken/stolen machines.
Last I checked, the versions of Microsoft Office which don't require annual payments will license you only for installation on one machine. For example, the following says "One-time purchase for 1 PC or Mac" and, looking further down in the page, "one-time purchase for 1 person":

https://www.newegg.com/microsoft-office ... 6832350858
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by vfinx »

Badinvestor wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 1:09 pm
vfinx wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 12:25 pm
Badinvestor wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:42 amConsider the possibility that you intend to buy software for the computer where the license for the software has to be bought anew each time you change machine.
What is an example of software that has such a licensing scheme? I would imagine that even software that tries to pin to a device, has a workflow for broken/stolen machines.
Last I checked, the versions of Microsoft Office which don't require annual payments will license you only for installation on one machine. For example, the following says "One-time purchase for 1 PC or Mac" and, looking further down in the page, "one-time purchase for 1 person":

https://www.newegg.com/microsoft-office ... 6832350858
I believe you can deactivate the license from the old device and that will allow you to install it on the new one (source). I don't buy such software anymore as everything seems to be a cloud based license now, but I used to do this with Windows and Office a long time ago.
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by vbdoug »

I have a mid 2014 15 inch MacBook Pro that is still working and working well. It rarely leaves the house. It is still being supported by Apple but I cannot upgrade beyond Big Sur. Costco had a great deal on the 16 inch MacBook Pro M2 about a month ago but it went fast. Anything that I've seen from Walmart comes from third-party sellers and I would run away from that. Although it is scary to purchase anything by Apple on eBay, there are some resellers that offer open box 16 inch MacBooks at substantially lower prices. For example, eBay seller quickshipelectronics has sold thousands of MacBook Pros and they have a feedback of 99.6%. If I do purchase from them I will immediately take the MacBook Pro to Apple and have them check it out. If it's not perfect I will return it. Good luck!
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by exodusing »

Thoughts on the M3 MacBook Air by a leading tech reviewer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN-WH7C4K0Q For normal users, it doesn't sound as if the extra power from the M3 compared to the M2 or even the M1 is worthwhile. Apple's charges for going from 8 to 16gb memory or 256 to 512gb storage are ridiculous (he's far from the only one to point that out).
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by mgk2010 »

KT785 wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 10:29 am Serendipitous that I noticed someone resurrected my thread from November; I still haven't purchased a new computer my 11 year old MBP still meets my needs. Given the new M3 MacBook Airs that just came out, I'm leaning in that direction as (has been noted above in this thread) I'm not a "power user.

That said, the price delta between a 16GB 15in. MBA and a mid-level 14in. MBP isn't that great if it provides me with a little more longevity as has been evidenced by my, still well performing, early-2013 MBP.

KT785
I am in the same boat as you. Mid 2012 - 15inch MBP with upgraded 16gb ram and 1tb ssd hard drive. This MBP is rock solid (and feels like a heavy rock too :-)), and serves as my 2nd computer for all my media. I do occassional home videos using Davinci Resolve and it works well. It keeps getting security patches from apple, but is stuck at Catalina OS. The key board mis behaves so i use an external blue tooth keyboard with it.

I keep on thinking i should upgrade for new features, but cannot find a strong enough justification for it. This thread will prompt me to look at the newer options in the next few mos. Thanks !
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Re: Replacing 10 year old MacBook Pro: M3 MacBook Pro or M2 MacBook Air

Post by ItDepends »

mgk2010 wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 4:57 pm
KT785 wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2024 10:29 am Serendipitous that I noticed someone resurrected my thread from November; I still haven't purchased a new computer my 11 year old MBP still meets my needs. Given the new M3 MacBook Airs that just came out, I'm leaning in that direction as (has been noted above in this thread) I'm not a "power user.

That said, the price delta between a 16GB 15in. MBA and a mid-level 14in. MBP isn't that great if it provides me with a little more longevity as has been evidenced by my, still well performing, early-2013 MBP.

KT785
I am in the same boat as you. Mid 2012 - 15inch MBP with upgraded 16gb ram and 1tb ssd hard drive. This MBP is rock solid (and feels like a heavy rock too :-)), and serves as my 2nd computer for all my media. I do occassional home videos using Davinci Resolve and it works well. It keeps getting security patches from apple, but is stuck at Catalina OS. The key board mis behaves so i use an external blue tooth keyboard with it.

I keep on thinking i should upgrade for new features, but cannot find a strong enough justification for it. This thread will prompt me to look at the newer options in the next few mos. Thanks !

I have a late 2012 iMac and it runs Ventura fine - maybe some things a bit slow. It would likely run Sonoma similarly, but haven't gotten around to it yet. It IS NOT officially supported, but you still get all of the features, security patches and the like. You can run it from a USB drive until you are comfortable that it will work for you, then transfer to your boot partition. See the various sites that describe using OpenCore Legacy Patcher.
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