The 2016 MacBook sitting off to the side still has some value as I gleefully starting using my MacBook Air M2 that I got for a decent price that includes 16GB of RAM and 512 GB of space. And with a fully working keyboard, and, wow, faster chip, I feel I'm more able to do the projects that I want to do and feel like I have the right tool to do them with.
When I started on this short journey to find a replacement for my aging MacBook, I fully did not expect to get the MacBook Air. Apple did release this laptop back in the summer of 2022. Typically, when I get a new laptop, I pretty much wait just after the latest release. So this was quite unusual for me.
For the old me, the latest would be the MacBook Pro with M3. And I spec'd the heck out of the MacBook Pro. I went from just the base $1999 with the M3 Pro all the way up to the M3 Max with 48Gb of RAM. And I was close to pulling the trigger on the base model many times. I would be getting a better and bigger screen. Not to mention the M3 Pro chip as well as 18GB of RAM.
Perhaps it's my age but I also opt for portability. And the M2 chip is no slouch. Plus some of the work that I'll be doing can be handled by the cloud. So, I decided on the M2. I think I saved an additional $250 off the retail price.
I am sure the if I would have gotten the MacBook Pro base model, I would be pretty happy with it but I'm also glad that I saved about $800 when you add in the additional taxes. And I have rounded up that $800 to $1000 and invested so when I need to upgrade in a few years, it may well be enough to pay for another laptop in a few years. I do not plan on holding on this MBA for 7-8 years. The 12" MacBook was a special situation because its form factor was so unique and portable.
For now, the M2 is handling things quite nicely - everything is faster. Compiling, rendering, the Internet, and, yes, gaming as well. It's a full package. As my needs grow in the next year or two, I am confident the M2 chip will meet my needs.
I want to get into the cloud aspect of computing as I explore how I can do a lot of work and letting the processing take place elsewhere because it is a very unique situation for someone new looking to explore this process.
One last thought before I end here - I also considered the $749 Black Friday deal for the MacBook Air M1. It was great on the first day it came out and it has aged well given the price drops. I heard on a podcast where the hosts were discussing it. They suggest that Apple is likely to keep the MacBook Air with M1 around while dropping the M2 and replacing it with the M3 in the MacBook Air while possibly dropping the price. It would be a great deal for users if they could end up getting the MacBook Air at $700 or lower.