Spoke too soon about not having RAM issues on my M2 MacBook Air. It is great for most work, but was having issues when working with virtual machines, multiple browsers/tabs, and graphics apps all at once. I had been considering getting a second computer for a long time because if something goes wrong and my computer is in the shop, I can’t work. I was thinking about getting a Mac Mini Pro, but a trip to the Apple store made me fall in love with the 16″ MacBook Pro, mostly due to the big beautiful screen. I use an external monitor sometimes, but do my main work on the laptop screen. I didn’t buy it because of the cost, but started checking the Apple refurbished store regularly. Eventually, there was a base model 16″ M2 Max (32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) in stock, and I ordered it.
I have been using this machine for a month while working on a couple of large projects and, so far, 32GB RAM and/or the super M2 Max processor seems to be the sweet spot for what I need to do. I probably didn’t need the M2 Max, but there was no M2 Pro in stock and the cost of the refurbished M2 Max was less than a new M2 Pro.
If I didn’t have the 13″ Air, I don’t think I would have gotten the 16″ Pro. It is fine for moving around the house and would be fine for a car trip to work somewhere else, but I wouldn’t want to travel with it or carry it around. I still love the Air and it is the perfect size for traveling.
Having 2 computers definitely gives me some peace of mind, and since I store most of my files in iCloud, I can use them both interchangeably without any friction. I am tempted to play Baldur’s Gate 3 on it when the mac version is released on Steam. Usually I am a console gamer (PS5), but it would be fun to have at least one AAA game to play on a mac and the M2 Max should be able play it at max settings.
Hoping these computers will last longer than the leased computers and I won’t have to buy another one for a long time. At least when I do, I can sell these or trade them in instead of having to return them at the end of the lease. I am very lucky to be able to have them and would definitely recommend the M1 or M2 Air to anyone who has basic computer needs, and the any of the M1/M2 Pros, except the 13″ one, to anyone who needs more power.
Update: Spoke too soon again about not having RAM issues. Still having them when working with virtual machines. Next computer will have at least 64GB if at all financially possible. Considered swapping it for an M3 Max with 48GB, but trade-in value for this machine is only 2/3 of what I paid and I don’t use virtual machines all the time. For everything else, this computer is still awesome and/or overkill for my needs.