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2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 06:11PM
Was about to buy one of these for a college graduation present, but then I was told that the MacBook Airs have an inferior chip that won't allow a person to use Zoom with video backgrounds. Something about them having Y chips instead of U chips. I think this might be true since I used my MacBook Pro (early 2015) to see if Zoom would work and it did with still image backgrounds but would not work with a video background. Seems the processor in the 2015 MacBook was something called a Broadwell chip and isn't powerful enough to work with Zoom with or without a green screen.

However, since that was a 2015 machine and these would be 2020 machines. Does it matter? With both machines being the same price, I only see a few differences and am not sure if they are important differences or not. Not just for Zoom to work, but in general overall to make one or the other more viable and able to get at least 5-years of use out of it.

The Air has a 1.1GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor.
The Pro has a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor

Seems odd that the Pro has only an 8th generation Intel i5 whereas the Air has a 10th generation Intel i5. I don't think most folks could tell the difference between a 1.1GHz and a 1.4GHz processor but would expect the Pro to be the one with the newest generation processor.

The Air also has a larger hard drive than the Pro (512GB vs, 256GB).

Touchbars seems meaningless. So, that is a wash. Then I guess it comes down to the video card. Air has something called "Intel Iris Plus Graphics" and the Pro has something called "Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645"

MacBook Air
1.1GHz Quad-Core Core i5 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
512GB Storage
Touch ID
Retina display with True Tone
1.1GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
512GB SSD storage¹
Magic Keyboard
Touch ID
Force Touch trackpad
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
$1,221.00

MacBook Pro 13"
1.4GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
256GB Storage
Touch Bar and Touch ID
1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
256GB SSD storage¹
13-inch Retina display with True Tone
Magic Keyboard
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
$1,221.00



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2020 06:12PM by rapayn1.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 23, 2020 06:24PM
Only interested in the base-models? You're not interested in getting the good 1.2GHz Air or the good 2.0GHz or 2.3GHz (10th generation) MBP models?

The main issue with the Air is that it doesn't cool as efficiently as the Pro, so the CPU quickly gets throttled down when it heats during intensive tasks like rendering/playing video. Given a choice between base-models of each, I'd be inclined to go for the Pro.

...But don't go with less than 512GB storage. That's mean.



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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 06:38PM
Sarcany,

Thanks for the quick reply. This isn't for my own child's graduation. So, i wasn't trying to get carried away with a gift. The base model was $999 (less with an education or government discount). So, this is a step up from base. I also figured the smaller drive didn't matter too much since she could always buy a portable USB drive as big as 4TBs for under $100 to expand her storage. I'll give it some more thought, but it looks like the MacBook Pro is the better machine. If so, I may also throw one of these in too:

[www.amazon.com]
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 23, 2020 07:16PM
MacBook Pro
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 23, 2020 07:36PM
either. Honestly dont think you could tell the difference.

Zoom, or any video chat, is a resource hog. TONs of laptops... mac and PC, struggle with zoom.

As long as you are specifying quad core chips, its prob your best bet to have better video -- honestly, I wouldnt overthink it.

The 13" MBP does come with gen 10 chips... just gotta pay more.

$1221 is the best price Ive seen for either, if that helps.

We may keep our macs for 5 years... college grads dont. But thats OK... cause they can buy their own next time.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 07:47PM
JDC,

Thank you. She said the company she will be working for prefers they use Zoom for work from home situations. FaceTime seems to work well and doesn't seem to be a resource hog, but not everyone has Macs. So, FaceTime is not a work option for her to be able to do large group collaborative chats. Looks like anything older than a Gen 6 Intel chips should work. The infamous they are saying that both have sucky web cameras built-in. :-) The 720p looks fine to me when i look at it, but most say to buy an external webcam and forget about using the integrated one in the Air or the Pro.

I sadly have kept many of my Macs for way more than 5 years. Heck, I still have my Lombard Powerbook 333MHz. Two Cubes. A Performa 6400HD an even an Apple Newton MessagePad to name just a few. :-)
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 07:48PM
Carm,

Thanks. Maybe I should have made this a poll. The MacBook Pro seems to be winning.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 23, 2020 08:27PM
FWIW regarding zoom, use it on a Early 2015 MacBook Air /Intel HD graphics 8 GB RAM no issues on High Sierra.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 23, 2020 08:47PM
If it was a MBP with the exta USB C ports and 10th gen, Id vote for that. Otherwise IMHO its just a 2018/19 MBP with new keyboard.

All macs (and again, many PCs) have sucky web cams. Until recently, just wasnt a selling point, so no need to splurge. $5 says next models of everything have 1080 P cams, but cant do anything about that now.

Its not "sad" to keep macs for long time =). My daily driver is a 2014. And family uses 2012, 2009 and 2007 imacs + 2012 MBPs.

But tech is just progressing too fast. iPhone Se/11/Pro/iPP chips have been faster than MBA for some time...

[barefeats.com]

[barefeats.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2020 08:48PM
Several of the Mac rumors and news sites have published comparisons. For example:
[appleinsider.com]
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 09:33PM
Drew,

WOW!! Excellent. That article was perfect, it made it clear that the choice for her is the MacBook Pro. Thanks for sharing that link.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2020 09:46PM
I was seriously considering upgrading to a new Macbook Pro, so started watching some of those sites. I've decided to wait, maybe, for an upgrade next year with 14" screen, though that's still just a rumor.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 09:54PM
Carm,

Very interesting. I just went back and tried it again with my MacBook and even with a green screen, it can only do a still background image. No moving image or video in the background at all. I was ready to assume that it was a Windows only feature and not something we can do on Macintoshes (or at least not on MacBooks). I was reluctant to install it and try it on my main machine (a late 2015 Retina 5K, 27-inch iMac 4GHz Intel Core i7 with 32GB of 1867 MHz DDR3 RAM) because I heard there were some security concerns with the app.

Anyway, here is what the system information for my old MacBook Pro says:

MacOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.6
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro12,1
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 2.9 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB
Boot ROM Version: 190.0.0.0.0
SMC Version (system): 2.28f7

FaceTime works fine on it, but Zoom does not do everything that they say you can do with Zoom. If an older MacBook would work then I could buy a steeply discounted MacBook Pro (2019 model or 2018 model). They are $699 and $799 now. She can't go wrong. A gift is a gift. When I graduated, I got cake and ice cream and a few dollars (a few $20's) in a white envelope and a lot of pats on the back and smiles. I would have loved to have gotten a Macintosh computer in 1984. A brand spanking new Mac then was $2,500 with a Motorola 68000 microprocessor, and it came with MacPaint and MacWrite. Of course the 2020 MacBook Air or Pro runs circles around that machine and cost a LOT less. LOL!!!
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 23, 2020 10:58PM
I think the MBA is likely a far better machine due to the extra storage. The SSD is used for virtual memory once you hit more ram needs, and you want more than 25% free space on the boot drive.

I think the M.B.A. is far more portable due to the wedge shape. Easier to hold one-handed etc.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 23, 2020 10:59PM
Assuming all the other specs (other than the CPU) are identical when comparing the top MBA to the top 13" MBP, the MBP has 4 USB-C ports and just enough better cooling that it can do real work continuously without throttling down to just above barely useless. The downside is it is about $800 more. The integrated GPU in the 10th gen. CPU is supposed to be 60% faster than the 8th gen. CPU, but I have not seen any specific tests to show that.

Any 8th generation (or later) MacBook should be able to encode/decode multiple video streams. That is not the case with 6th gen. and earlier models.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2020 11:02PM
I don't consider the Air to be more portable than the Macbook. Size and weight are identical, except for the wedge shape of the Air. If anything, that wedge means less space for cooling. If it was lighter and the dimensions smaller, then I would consider it to be more portable.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 11:08PM
Sekker,

Both should easily fit inside of a backpack. If she didn't want a portable, I feel, for the money, she'd be better off having me buy her an iMac. :-)
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 23, 2020 11:11PM
Filliam H. Muffman,

Yes, that extra $800 is a REAL downside. :-) I am looking at the happy middle. Not the entry level one, but not the top of the line one either. If I avoid the i3 and stick with an i5 or i7 and multiple cores, then anything newer than a 6th generation Intel chip should be able to do all basic computer chores and easily handle Zoom or Skype video streaming or corporate conferences.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2020 11:35PM
I've seen notices of price reductions for these new models at various sellers, though haven't paid too much attention. Don't know whether Air or Pro seems to be getting the bigger price cuts. But that might be a factor to consider.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 24, 2020 12:45AM
Quote
rapayn1
Drew,

WOW!! Excellent. That article was perfect, it made it clear that the choice for her is the MacBook Pro. Thanks for sharing that link.

Really? This is what I read:

The outlier here is the lower-end MacBook Pro with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which lags behind in terms of CPU and graphics. We'd recommend skipping it for the MacBook Air unless you absolutely need an OLED Touch Bar, Wide Color support or another 100 nits of brightness.

Seems to me the MBA is the better choice...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: jh
Date: May 24, 2020 01:08AM
This YouTube Video Might Help In Your Decision

2020 MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air: Which budget Mac is right for you?

Seems to know what he is talking about.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: May 24, 2020 08:42AM
i have a '13 13" MBA running HS. I've had no issues with Zoom or other meeting apps.
But if I were buying today, I'd definitely go for the MBP.
Heat, as Sarcany points to. Weights are a lot closer now that the opto is gone. Probably get a 4 port as compared to a 2 as I use ext screens.
Plus, definitely chick magnet.



!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 24, 2020 09:05AM
JDC,

Yes, in some ways the MacBook Air is better. However, as I said in the opening sentence:

"... but then I was told that the MacBook Airs have an inferior chip that won't allow a person to use Zoom with video backgrounds. Something about them having Y chips instead of U chips."

I did not understand that at first and what it meant, but the article Drew posted, made it a little clearer.

[appleinsider.com]

"Keep in mind, however, that the MacBook Air has lower-wattage Y-series chips, which are optimized for productivity tasks and energy efficiency. The low-end MacBook Pros are equipped with faster U-series Intel processors."

This Zoom support article:

[support.zoom.us]

seems to suggest that a machine with a Y series chip might not be able to use Zoom and the ability to run Zoom is one of the things she said she would need to be able to do with her employer. Her small new apartment with very little furniture is probably something she would rather not have co-workers seeing until she gets more established. So, the background trick would seem to allow her to mask a place with little furniture (she will have just moved in) and/or a messy apartment if there are moving boxes all around.

macOS
Image only without a physical green screen

Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, 4.6.0 (13614.1202) or higher
4th generation i7 quad-core or higher processor
6th generation i5 dual-core or higher processor
Note: 6th generation i5 dual-core processor, requires MacOS 10.14 or higher
Image only with a physical green screen

Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 3.5.53922.0613 or higher
Dual Core 2Ghz or Higher (i5/i7 or AMD equivalent) processor
Video without a physical green screen

Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
macOS 10.9 or later
Supported processors (720p video)
Intel i5, i7, i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
Intel i7, i9, Xeon - 2 cores, gen 4 or higher
Intel i5 - 2 cores, gen 6 or higher, and macOS 10.14 or higher
Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except atom and y series
Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher
Supported processors (1080p video)
Intel i5
4 cores or higher, gen 5 or higher; or
2 cores with gen 7 or higher and 2.0Ghz frequency or higher
Intel i7 - 4 cores or higher, gen 2 or higher
Intel i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except atom and y series
Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher
Video with a physical green screen

Zoom Desktop Client for Mac, version 4.6.4 (17383.0119) or higher
macOS 10.9 or later
Supported processors (720p video)
Intel i5, i7, i9 - 2 cores, gen 6 or higher, except atom and y series
Intel i5, i7, i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except atom and y series
Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher
Supported processors (1080p video)
Intel i5 - gen 5 or higher, quad-core or higher
Intel i7 - gen 2 or higher, quad-core or higher
Intel i9, Xeon - 4 cores or higher
Other Intel processors - 6 cores or higher, except atom and y series
Non-Intel processors - 8 cores or higher

I do not believe she needs or cares for a Touch Bar. :-) Then there is the heating issue and fan noise that I was not aware of. So, in those areas it seems the Air loses out to the Pro.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 24, 2020 09:10AM
Fritz,

Does your Air have a Broadwell chip or Skylake? Seems like that may be my problem with a late 2015 Pro that is using the Broadwell chip. Same as how the 2020 Air has a 10th generation Intel chip and the Pro has the 8th generation. I have tried twice now to make the video background with Zoom work and it will not even give the option. It can only do a still image background So, I think your '13 Air was more powerful than my '15 Pro. Or at least as far as video capability went. I truly do not know.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: May 24, 2020 09:26AM
Get the MBP already!!
Instruct her to dedicate 5ft of wall for conference background duties.
That’ll go a long way in becoming a well adjusted professional.
Maybe invite her here, and point her towards pRON’s excellent advice on the subject.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 24, 2020 10:14AM
Apple and Intel have confused the "Y" versus "U" issue even further. The 2020 MBA models don't have a CPU with either designation. They are from Intel's failed 10nm manufacturing process that has only worked for mobile processors. This isn't necessarily bad, but the base clock speed of even the newest MBA processors is only 1.1 GHz.

MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.8 13" (2017*) 1.8 GHz Core i5 (I5-5350U)
MacBook Air "Core i7" 2.2 13" (2017*) 2.2 GHz Core i7 (I7-5650U)
MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.6 13" (Late 2018) 1.6 GHz Core i5 (I5-8210Y)
MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.6 13" (True Tone, 2019) 1.6 GHz Core i5 (I5-8210Y)
MacBook Air "Core i3" 1.1 13" (Scissor, 2020) 1.1 GHz Core i3 (I3-1000NG4)
MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.1 13" (Scissor, 2020) 1.1 GHz Core i5 (I5-1030NG7)
MacBook Air "Core i7" 1.2 13" (Scissor, 2020) 1.2 GHz Core i7 (I7-1060NG7)

Even if you go back to a 2017 13" MBP, it has a 7th gen. dual core i5 with a base clock of 2.3 GHz.
everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook-pro-core-i5-2.3-13-mid-2017-retina-display-no-touch-bar-specs.html



In tha 360. MRF User Map



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2020 10:15AM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 24, 2020 11:01AM
Filliam H. Muffman,

Fascinating. Just when I think it can't get more confusing it does. Yet, I feel like I can't go wrong with anything made in 2017 or later for her purposes. Her parents aren't working at the moment. So, anything will help her out. This is also good information for me, since I may soon need to be in the market for a newer laptop as my 2015 isn't going to be any newer going into 2021. LOL!!!
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 24, 2020 11:04AM
Rich In Distress,

:-) Not sure I saw pRON's advice on this subject, but I think for the money, I will either get the 2020 mid-range Pro over the Air. Appreciate all that have chimed in. This has been helpful.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: May 24, 2020 11:21AM
MacTracker says the MBA6,2 is a Haswell 4650U.



!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 24, 2020 11:22AM
Ive used both form factors. The M.B.A. IS more portable. The weight distribution makes it far easier to hold one-handed. This is not subtle. If you haven’t used one, please wait to comment.
And I will reiterate that with 8 GB RAM, you need your SSD clear for use as a virtual memory source. If you fill that up above 180GB on the 250 GB pro model, you are losing any potential speed difference. Indeed, 500 vs 250!GB is much more than twice the free space since the OS and apps take up space either way, and then you need files etc.

Either way, both machines are nice iterations. Get your dongles and enjoy!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2020 11:24AM by sekker.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 24, 2020 11:33AM
Quote
rapayn1
Drew,
WOW!! Excellent. That article was perfect, it made it clear that the choice for her is the MacBook Pro. Thanks for sharing that link.

I was mostly commenting on this statement... cause thats *not* what article concluded. Or it was *very* clear that the 2 models you were looking at, they recommended the i5 MBA over the base MBP.

How about this... dont Zoom with a video background... problem solved.

And trust me, no one wants to see your silly video background while zooming anyway ;)



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 2020 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro ... Which Is the Better Value?
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: May 24, 2020 11:43AM
JDC,

LOL!! I hear you. I am not a Zoomer, but I understand that what I think is important at my age (54) differs from that of a 22-year old. If someone wants something and I am getting them a gift, I should try to get as close to getting them something that they want and can use for the purposes. Yet, I don't want to break the bank either. Again, not my child, but the child of a friend who is hurting financially due to the the Coronavirus and not working. But yeah, if you are working and having a teleconference/videoconference, I am not sure why one needs to have a virtual video background or a still image background. Just sit up against a plain white wall and be done with it. I digresss though. :-)
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