Buying a new MacBook used to be really easy and simple. If you want the thin one, buy the Air. If you're heavily loaded with a lot of work, go for the Pro.
Buying a Mac is getting tricky
But as of the moment, Apple has made things quite tricky since the good old days. Right now, to buy a MacBook at the very end of 2016 is also to accept some significant compromise. While the computers might just work, comparison-shopping between the latest three core models is unbelievably frustrating, a difficult process that's littered with aesthetic and functional tradeoffs that simply shouldn't even be the case.
There's the thin and powerful $999 MacBook Air, the small, weak, but beautiful $1,299 MacBook, and the "professional" $1,499 MacBook Pro, as well as it's bulkier and stronger $1,299 variant. The said compromises are pretty clear: Paying less doesn't always mean a weaker machine, but it would mean a lower quality screen and a slightly bigger thing to carry around.
Reason for the Dilemma
For what it's worth, the options are strange yet it is for a pretty simple reason: MONEY.
With the new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro inserted into the lineup, the Macbook Air has completely lost its place in terms of portability. This is according to Apple analyst Neil Cybart. He also said that the only reason the MacBook Air still remains within the lineup is to allow Apple to sell a sub-$1,000 MacBook.
The Choices are pretty hard
Apple hasn't always made these choices easy in the past, but this may be the darkest they've ever been. You could opt towards buying a $999 MacBook, which is the cheapest option, but you'd be receiving bulk, a polycarbonate body that feels inexpensive, along with a keyboard that doesn't feature a backlit.
You can spend a bit more for the $1,199 Pro to get a cleaner aluminum computer, a backlit keyboard, and some additional ports. Since very thin computers were a rarity during the time, perhaps you'd comfortably spend $1,499 for the Air, and know exactly why you did.