Which MacBook?

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,885
My wife is looking to replace her 2016 MacBook (core i7, 8GB, 512gb) with a newer one as the battery is starting to go, and it's starting to feel a bit sluggish in some apps.

I wouldn't say she's a power user, but she 1) keeps a huge number of browser tabs e.g. 30 open, 3) uses some 3D home/renovation design tools, and 2) does what I would call "basic" financial modeling in Excel e.g. vlookups, circular referencing, a few macros in VBA.

Would a base M1 13.3 8gb MacBook suffice, or should she be looking at the MacBook M1 Pro 14 with 16gb? She normally replaces her laptops for 4-5 years.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,534
My wife is looking to replace her 2016 MacBook (core i7, 8GB, 512gb) with a newer one as the battery is starting to go, and it's starting to feel a bit sluggish in some apps.

I wouldn't say she's a power user, but she 1) keeps a huge number of browser tabs e.g. 30 open, 3) uses some 3D home/renovation design tools, and 2) does what I would call "basic" financial modeling in Excel e.g. vlookups, circular referencing, a few macros in VBA.

Would a base M1 13.3 8gb MacBook suffice, or should she be looking at the MacBook M1 Pro 14 with 16gb? She normally replaces her laptops for 4-5 years.
I suspect she'd be fine with a MacBook Air, but she might want to custom-configure one with 16GB of RAM given the sheer number of tabs. A base 14-inch MacBook Pro isn't necessarily overkill, but it would virtually guarantee zero complaints for the life of the system.
 

BlueLineSwinger

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
1,090
Pretty much agree. A 16 GB Air, or maybe the 14" Pro for the extra display real estate and better webcam if you can justify the price and weight (I don't see the better CPU being much of a factor for the usage described).

I'd avoid the 13" Pro. It's basically the same as the Air, just with active cooling (doubt that's a factor for you) and a slightly better display (a tad brighter, maybe slightly better colors). Plus it has that damn touchbar. Not worth the price premium over the Air.

FWIW, Appleinsider is pretty good at tracking prices on various configs from numerous sellers, and will usually pop up a news blurb if someone has a good bundle (e.g., AppleCare) going. The Apple refurb store also can have some good deals, if you're willing to go that route.
 
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