Herb is thinking of getting a new MacBook Air. His 9-year-old Mac laptop needs a new battery. Leo says you can get a new battery for that old Mac for a few hundred dollars, but the new M1 MacBooks are simply fantastic, with more than all-day battery life and incredible performance.
Vince wants to get his daughter a laptop for college. He'd like to keep it under $400. Leo says a lot of it depends on what his daughter is going to study. Leo likes a Macbook Air, but it's between $900-1100. But he can get college pricing. Still, it's a solid student computer. There is a good Chromebook - the Acer Spin. But chances are, she's going to want something more capable. Also, take a look at the windows version ... the Acer Aspire.
Evan recently bought a 1TB iPad Pro with 16GB of RAM. But now, he's having some buyer's remorse. Leo understands, considering it doesn't come with a keyboard, and if he bought the new M1 Macbook Air, he'd get a keyboard and spend $1,000 less. A MacBook Pro can as well. The real problem is that iOS isn't taking advantage of all that high performance, making Leo wonder if Apple is up to something in the future. But at the end of the day, it comes down to whether you prefer macOS or iOS. And in a week, Apple will probably announce a new high-end MacBook Pro.
Al has a 2015 MacBook Pro and he's looking to upgrade to a new model. Is the MacBook Air a good model? Leo says that Al will be very happy with it. It's got the M1 processor, a max of 16GB of RAM, and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. And it's not that different from the MacBook Pro, other than a fan. He will also get a TB in storage and an extra GPU core. So if he can afford it, max it out. So now is a good time to buy, but keep in mind that June is WWDC and Leo is expecting new MacBook Pros to be announced, including a 16" model.
Gary bought a refurbished laptop, and it stopped working after the 90-day warranty. So he's having to get a new one. Leo says that the new MacBook Air is probably Gary's best option: very reliable, or get a Chromebook.
Jim's daughter is going to be studying STEM in college. What laptop should he buy? Leo says that in general, it won't make a difference. But she may want to call the college and talk to the STEM department and ask to see if they are focused on one platform over another. Especially if they are using specific software in class. But generally, it shouldn't matter. A MacBook Air is a good option though. On the Windows side, Leo says that the Lenovo Thinkpad is a great option.
Spenser has an old white MacBook that he uses to tether to his Nikon cameras and take pictures of his astronomy. There's a solar eclipse coming in 2024, and he wants to know if he can use it even though it's over 10 years old now. Leo says it may be better to see if there's a new version of the software used on a newer Mac. Unfortunately, the old version of the software won't work on modern macs because Apple stopped supporting 32-bit applications. So you'd need a newer version of the software.
Jack bought a Macbook for school for his daughter, but it came with the terrible butterfly keyboard. Now she won't use it. Should he trust that Apple has fixed that problem? Leo says Apple has finally admitted the keyboard is a bad design and will fix it, even out of warranty. But they'll also take them as a trade-in for a new computer. Leo recommends getting the Macbook M1 MacBook Air. They are super fast and come with a completely redesigned keyboard. No more butterflies.
Ann got a new, non-M1, MacBook Air last September. But now there's a whirling noise when she does things for about a minute. Leo says it could be overheating and the MacAir is kicking on the fan faster in order to cool it down. But it shouldn't be too loud. So if it's loud, Leo recommends bringing it into the Apple Store and have them look at it while it's still under warranty.
Anthony's son is a junior in high school and he wants to get him a MacBook Pro for college. Should he wait until the Apple Silicon models come out? Leo says that Apple is planning a staged rollout and he doesn't think the MacBook Pros will be out until 2021. But an even better choice for a college student is the MacBook Air. Leo says Anthony has plenty of time and it may be worth waiting until next year to get them. But even if he decides to get an Intel-based Mac now, they will still be supported.