Anybody using a Macbook Air for video and/or audio work?

throAU

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The screen...the screen on the Air isn't the same quality as the Pro? You're shitting me. I thought we were done with that shit. Is the screen on the Air a lower quality than my 2019 iMac? I'll also looked into used/refurbished Macbook Pros but as somebody who doesn't frequently replace computers I've always been a believer in trying to get a current model which theoretically should mean it will last longer.

The screen on the air is regular level "great" in the context of competitor laptop displays.

The 14" and 16" pro screen is fucking amazing. The fact that they managed to get a display of this spec in a machine for this money with this performance is nothing short of incredible in my opinion. If you go look at one in the Apple Store be sure to ask someone to compare some HDR content on it because that's when it literally comes alive. Its a great display under normal circumstances but HDR content really shows what it is capable of.


It ruined me for non-HDR displays basically. I didn't "get" the fuss over HDR content until I got my 14" MacBook Pro. Forced me to upgrade my home theatre setup as well :D
 
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Yoused

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The 14" and 16" pro screen is fucking amazing. The fact that they managed to get a display of this spec in a machine for this money with this performance is nothing short of incredible in my opinion.

A quick glance would suggest to me that the MBP screen (>13") is even a better choice than the Studio Display. (Curiously, my version of MacTracker has an apparent typo that says the Studio Display is 6.6" thick.)
 

throAU

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A quick glance would suggest to me that the MBP screen (>13") is even a better choice than the Studio Display. (Curiously, my version of MacTracker has an apparent typo that says the Studio Display is 6.6" thick.)

Pretty sure it's way better than the Studio Display,

It's on par with the Pro Display XDR, just smaller. It uses the same technology. Same brightness (500 SDR, 1000 nits sustained, 1600 peak HDR), 120hz.

Where I live, a Pro Display XDR is $8499 AU without the nano texture glass. My 14" MacBook Pro (or a 16") was much less than half that and includes the rest of a MacBook Pro. Sure, it's nowhere near as large but if you just need something to view HDR content on, it's good for personal use.


try something like this on a pro display (14" MacBook, Pro Display XDR, etc.) back to back with a non-HDR panel:






edit:
Again, not to say the MBA displays aren't good. They're pretty great. As someone said above, Apple doesn't make crap displays any more; the baseline is very good. But... the 14-16" Pros are another step beyond...

We are as above "well past this shit" - the baseline displays are retina with good SDR colour reproduction and brightness. We're certainly not talking about the bad old days of low resolution, TN panels and crappy colour reproduction.

My original point was mostly just to be very careful about up-speccing an Air too much, because once you start adding RAM and SSD to it, Apple's pricing pushes you very close to a baseline higher tier machine, and the Pros are much better value at that point. More/faster cores, better display, better speakers, faster wifi (more antennas), more ports, more external displays, etc.
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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Pretty sure it's way better than the Studio Display,

It's on par with the Pro Display XDR, just smaller. It uses the same technology. Same brightness (500 SDR, 1000 nits sustained, 1600 peak HDR), 120hz.

Where I live, a Pro Display XDR is $8499 AU without the nano texture glass. My 14" MacBook Pro (or a 16") was much less than half that and includes the rest of a MacBook Pro. Sure, it's nowhere near as large but if you just need something to view HDR content on, it's good for personal use.


try something like this on a pro display (14" MacBook, Pro Display XDR, etc.) back to back with a non-HDR panel:






edit:
Again, not to say the MBA displays aren't good. They're pretty great. As someone said above, Apple doesn't make crap displays any more; the baseline is very good. But... the 14-16" Pros are another step beyond...

We are as above "well past this shit" - the baseline displays are retina with good SDR colour reproduction and brightness. We're certainly not talking about the bad old days of low resolution, TN panels and crappy colour reproduction.

My original point was mostly just to be very careful about up-speccing an Air too much, because once you start adding RAM and SSD to it, Apple's pricing pushes you very close to a baseline higher tier machine, and the Pros are much better value at that point. More/faster cores, better display, better speakers, faster wifi (more antennas), more ports, more external displays, etc.



I got a 5k 27” iMac back in 2015, the OG “You can’t unsee that and everything else is garbage”. I then got a 2019 27” iMac and didn’t notice any difference, but I also don’t microanalyzer those things. I doubt a 2023 MBA screen would be noticeable drop in quality from that. Am I wrong?

On some things if it isn’t a priority I don’t really see the point in going out of your way to look for something better, like people who buy a TV they are more than happy with but then for some reason spend the following months continuing to research TVs or monitor the price on what they just bought. But then again, we live in a world where people buy houses based on the ability to potentially flip it instead of spending a lifetime in it.

The 13" MBA with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB drive seems to be the cost sweet spot. As you mentioned, and other articles I've read have said, beyond that you start getting into Pro price territory. But based on what I've read on my likely usage it's really not worth it to start going into Pro territory and prices. It would be if I was using it as my main rig but then I would really be upping the speccs and cost.
 

throAU

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I got a 5k 27” iMac back in 2015, the OG “You can’t unsee that and everything else is garbage”. I then got a 2019 27” iMac and didn’t notice any difference, but I also don’t microanalyzer those things. I doubt a 2023 MBA screen would be noticeable drop in quality from that. Am I wrong?
I don't think you'll notice a downgrade (quality; obviously you would in terms of SIZE) going to a current MacBook Air. Or even an air going back to 2020 (which I also own, last of the pre Apple Silicon models).

Like I said they're great displays, but the XDR display is much better in terms of blacks being properly black, and high dynamic range content really popping. When viewing HDR content, the highlights will go much, much brighter - up to 1600 nits, vs. 500.

If you use your Mac for watching movies, treat yourself. Its legit the best quality display in my house, beating out my HDR TV.

If you don't or HDR is not on your radar, then fair enough. But do be aware that as you add memory and storage to the air it does start to encroach on baseline 14" pro pricing which as above has the better display, better speakers, better wifi, more ports, more external displays, etc.
 
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