Which MacBook to drive Studio Display?



Hello everyone,

Looking for advice on upgrading my home office setup! The purchase is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023… but try to do your research and plan your budget now.

My current setup is an MBA 2020 (i5) driving a Studio Display monitor. It serves my needs well as I work in the home office and take the laptop with me to meetings and such. Very convenient. The ASD was a recent addition a few months ago and have loved it so far. Expensive, I know, but good looking, and definitely meets my needs with the screen real estate and built-in webcam and solid speakers – both features I really appreciate in my addition of the external display.

Although I’m relatively happy with my current setup, I’m looking to upgrade the MBA as the household needs a new home computer as my old 2010 MBP is finally on its final leg. So the MBA will be downgraded from commercial use to home use and it will more than meet the performance requirements for that, and I will upgrade for the biz.

My question: which MB to buy? Consider M1 MBA, M2 MBA, MBP 14” or…?… as candidates. The 13 inch MBP is not on the list as I don’t want that touch bar.

2 points to consider:

* My machine usage isn’t necessarily super heavy processing, but it’s pretty well versed: browsing, email and calendars, virtual meetings, spreadsheets and docs, web design, photo editing, lighter video editing , GarageBand for the guitar stuff, and of course driving the ASD.

* My one knock on my current setup: several times my MBA’s fan has turned on when I’m running ASD and multitasking, especially GarageBand or Google Meet/FaceTime plus spreadsheets, navigation or other apps on the side. MBA specs are 1.1GHz QC, 8GB, 512GB. Not sure if running those apps and driving ASD pushes it…? Anyway, it’s hot, so the new machine I want to be able to handle all that without a problem!

Is an M2 MBA the right fit, or for my use should I consider the 14″ MBP? Or should I snag an older M1 MBA…? What level specs should I look for…basic or upgrades, and in which areas?

Suppose I box afford all of these options, but budget is always an issue and I don’t want to buy the worst machine if I don’t really need it.

Very curious to hear opinions, and appreciates any advice!

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