Macbook Pro 2015 (i7) 13" vs Macbook Air 2020 (i5)

Hi All,

I’m on the fence as to whether to purchase the Macbook Air 2020 (i5) coming from the Macbook Pro 2015 (i7) 13", and therefore I’ve spent the past hour or so collecting as much data as possible to help make a better decision.

I thought I’d share it here in case anyone would be interested.

This is what you’d stand to gain from upgrading:

  • True Tone
  • +86 nits of brightness (300 vs 386)
  • Faster CPU (+33% single core performance, +60% multi-core performance as per Geekbench)
  • Faster GPU (+440% gpu performance - see here)
  • Faster RAM (1866Mhz LPDDR3 vs. 3733Mhz LPDDR4X)
  • Better support for high resolution monitors (4-6k)
  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 which support charging
  • Touch ID
  • T2 chip
  • Bluetooth 5
  • Better speakers
  • Lighter
  • Smaller
  • +1 hr battery life on wireless web browsing
  • Up to 2TB (2015 max was 1TB)
  • MacOS support for many years
  • Supports Sidecar
  • Looks sleeker (imo)

This is what you’d stand to lose:

  • Loss of USB-A ports, Magsafe, HDMI ports and SDXC slot
  • Money out your bank account for Laptop (and dongle(s) - if required).
  • Macbook Pro 2020 14" is right around the corner if you want the new design and/or power.

The 2015 Pro had the scissor switch keyboard which has now been upgraded to the magic keyboard in the 2020 Air. I cannot with confidence state whether this a loss or gain and so have not categorised this feature as either.

There have been some videos out there that have shown that the Air runs hot all the time and loud. This is only true when using Pro apps which are not must user’s workflow. If you use pro apps buy a Pro or Mac, if your everyone else then an Air - see here

Avoid that buttery fly keyboard. Mine has broken three times. I have the 2016 MacBook Escape. Apple told me the next time the keyboard fails, the cost will be mine to bear.

I’m waiting for the rumored MacBook Pro 14" in May.

I look anymore first to match the processor to my computational needs. I doubt that I will ever downgrade to an i5. I would take less HARD DRIVE and a slower clock rate as trade offs when price demands. I can off-line much of my storage needs to external drives, but I cannot off-line my impatience with a lack of needed computational power in any way.

So, what considerations do you have from that side? Anything that stops you dead or even causes you concern about getting an i5 when you have an i7? Anything that warns you to wait rather than jumping now?

(I meant to say HARD DRIVE rather than RAM and have edited as such)


My rule of thumb is to keep what I’ve got as long as it does what I need. Your post doesn’t address if your current MacBook Pro does what you need. IMHO the older scissor switch keyboard was better than the new scissor switch (“magic”) keyboard and the loss of those ports is a real irritant. (I just recently went from a 15" 2011 MBP to a 16" 2019 MBP because the former couldn’t be upgraded beyond High Sierra).

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The Macbook Air 2020 has the new magic keyboard, not the butterfly one.

I’m going to go with the Macbook Pro 14". The Macbook Air 2020 is a large improvement over my current laptop but seeing as the 14" is just around the corner it makes sense to just wait a month or so, I am not desperate.

The i5 in the MBA 2020 is vastly superior in speed to MBP 13" 2015 and so I am not fussed about going for the i7.

I’ve decided on getting the new MBP 14" that’s coming this year instead.

Yeah, perhaps I should have been more specific as to what I needed.

All the upgrades are just nice to have of course, but what concerns me are all the episodes of lag I get when hooking up my MBP 2015 to my external 3440x1440 ultrawide.

I’m not hankering for an upgrade as my machine runs pretty well considering it’s 5 years old.

As I’ve just said in other posts, I think a better choice will be the 14" that’s coming out this year.

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were deciding between MBP 15 (butterfly) and MBA 2020 (scissor). Already my left CMD ⌘ key is starting to get squishy. :frowning: