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iPad2013
Aug 1, 2013, 12:30 PM
Contemplating a 2013 MacBook Air 13".

How long does these thing run smoothly?
Can I expect it to be a perfect daily driver, say 3-5 years from now?



Tarrou8
Aug 1, 2013, 12:57 PM
Predicting the future is occasionally an inexact science.

Jefe's MacAir
Aug 1, 2013, 12:57 PM
Contemplating a 2013 MacBook Air 13".

How long does these thing run smoothly?
Can I expect it to be a perfect daily driver, say 3-5 years from now?

Yes.

stockcerts
Aug 1, 2013, 01:17 PM
Contemplating a 2013 MacBook Air 13".

How long does these thing run smoothly?
Can I expect it to be a perfect daily driver, say 3-5 years from now?

I've had mine two weeks now and it's holding up just fine. ;)

silvershamrock
Aug 1, 2013, 01:28 PM
My 2012 MBA is still running like a freshly-unboxed computer, under heavy daily use for the past year. My battery has lost about 45min worth of maximum capacity, but that's about the only sign of aging. Everything else about this computer is in great shape.

Its speed and overall performance are excellent. The only reason I can think of for replacing this computer is the additional 5hr of battery life on the newer models....

(Of course a lot depends on what you plan to use it for. The MBA is a Ferrari, not an SUV. It might not last as long if you were using it to render a lot of video, for example. But for internet, word processing, spreadsheets, and other everyday things, I've found it perfect.)

tom vilsack
Aug 1, 2013, 01:31 PM
Not a air...but my 2008 macbook runs as good as the day it was bought...just treat it well and it should last years!

AXs
Aug 1, 2013, 02:56 PM
you're not going to get more durable machines than macs.

The build is made to last. Plus, you have up to 3 years of warranty. That means in 2 and a half years they might just give you a brand new machine because of an unfixable problem.

But that aside, the software is wonders too. You're not going to be jacked with trojans and other spywares like in Windows... so your machine wont frustrate you and you wont have to keep formatting :D

Mr. Zarniwoop
Aug 3, 2013, 08:20 AM
My wife uses my old 2008 MacBook Air for daily use, largely Safari and Mail, with Aperture and light Microsoft Office. Somewhere along the way we upgraded the stock 80GB HDD to a 128GB SSD but otherwise it's still fine. She has her eye on moving to a new 11" for the form factor, not because of need, although clearly the performance would be significantly improved.

I still use a 2010 MacBook Air every day for heavy Chrome and Microsoft Office. It's reasonable although clearly slower than colleagues who just got 2013 models. Their better CPU and 8GB of RAM lets them run circles around me with VMware Fusion Windows VMs, something I won't even bother with.

I imagine if you take care of it, 3-5 years is fine and you'll just make similar observations. "Friends with 2016 models with 16GB of RAM run circles around me with the latest virtual environment apps that integrate wearable data." I'd imagine the main thing coming that might make you switch sooner is a fundamental design change that you need, from simple bumps like USB 3.1, an LTE modem or a next-gen CPU, to outright new concepts like touch displays, fingerprint sensors, or a new form-factor entirely that makes the Air seem as heavy as a Pro.

Fifteen20s
Aug 3, 2013, 08:27 AM
I Purchased my base 13in MBA as a hold over until the new rMBP is released. I do have an iMac for horsepower, was looking for a iPad replacement, something that ran OSX instead of iOSX.

I am greatly impressed with this machine, it is much more then i expected. Out of curiosity I used it exclusively for a week to get a solid user experience. It took everything I threw at it. Unless the new 13 rMBP has something that wow's me, Im going to keep this MBA.

Koodauw
Aug 3, 2013, 08:41 AM
I have a 2011 that feels just like new. You can probably go 2 years with noticing any difference to the new models, and the machine will definitely be useable years beyond that.

entropi
Aug 3, 2013, 08:57 AM
our mba 11"(4GB RAM & 128 GB SSD) from late 2010 works perfectly!

Scepticalscribe
Aug 3, 2013, 10:31 AM
I was using my 2010 MBA daily - as my main and only computer - until a few weeks ago, when I upgraded (by buying a new MBA) and my brother inherited my older MBA. It is still working perfectly, and it - quite literally - travelled the world with me, working in places which are best described as underdeveloped former conflict zones.

I upgraded not because of any problem with the MBA - there was none - but because I always purchase Applecare and Applecare expires after three years, hence that is the cycle that prompts a new purchase.

Actually, I can say to you that it was easily the best computer I have ever owned; rugged, reliable, blazingly fast (that SSD drive is a marvel, I'll never use anything else), exceedingly portable (something which matters for me as I travel a lot) and, until Apple developed the retina technology, it has the best screen available in any laptop.

2IS
Aug 3, 2013, 12:28 PM
My 2010 with Mountain Lion still runs fabulously, and the 2010's were under powered when brand new lol. The only time I notice lag is when I have parallels with win/8 loaded, and that's by in large due to only have 4GB of ram, which was the max for that model year.

phoenixsan
Aug 3, 2013, 12:47 PM
good care and with medium use, seems to me your time frame is correct (3-5 years). Not so well cared and heavy use put in less than 3. But still, have to take in account components (as battery chargers) that are becoming more fragile in the last times, at least Apple branded/originals. And then....software obsolency (per OS updates)......:confused:.....:eek:

Safe bet: Not more of 5 years, IMHO


:):apple:

2IS
Aug 3, 2013, 12:57 PM
I haven't had any issues with my chargers. Luckily, if you do break it, you don't have to buy a new laptop to get a new charger. ;)

NorCalLights
Aug 3, 2013, 01:02 PM
My Late 2010 MBA (the last of the Core2Duo machines) is still running as well as the day I bought it. Battery is still great.

The i5 machines should last even longer.

skaertus
Aug 3, 2013, 01:06 PM
Contemplating a 2013 MacBook Air 13".

How long does these thing run smoothly?
Can I expect it to be a perfect daily driver, say 3-5 years from now?

I would say that it depends on the model and your usage. It would run smoothly for 2-3 years, I guess. If you buy a beefed-up version, say a Core i7 1.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD, then it would probably last more, and perhaps even 4 or 5 years.

PharmDoc
Aug 3, 2013, 03:38 PM
2011 i5 13" and it runs great. I wish I had the all day battery like the 2013 but not enough reason to upgrade. I think 3 years is the minimum

robvas
Aug 3, 2013, 08:02 PM
3 years? Sure. 5? Not so sure.

I wouldn't want to be using a 2GB 2010 these days but a 4GB model would be okay. I'm using a 2011 right now and it's still fine for what I do - SSD is a little small though.

iExpensive
Aug 3, 2013, 08:34 PM
My 2012 MBA is still running like a freshly-unboxed computer, under heavy daily use for the past year. My battery has lost about 45min worth of maximum capacity, but that's about the only sign of aging. Everything else about this computer is in great shape.

Its speed and overall performance are excellent. The only reason I can think of for replacing this computer is the additional 5hr of battery life on the newer models....

(Of course a lot depends on what you plan to use it for. The MBA is a Ferrari, not an SUV. It might not last as long if you were using it to render a lot of video, for example. But for internet, word processing, spreadsheets, and other everyday things, I've found it perfect.)
These MBAs are great for encoding and rendering video. Graphics intensive 3D models etc... Doable but you'd get a lot more performance out of a desktop or retina 15".

Clix Pix
Aug 4, 2013, 10:17 PM
Reading this thread on my first-gen 2008 MBA and she's still going strong! (Yes, I do have another machine in the household, too, so that this is not my only computer, but even so.. ) This first-gen MBA has been a real trouper through the past five years and I am sure she'll still keep ticking along for another year or two if need be.

maflynn
Aug 5, 2013, 06:17 AM
How long it lasts depends on your usage and software selection. Office apps and email sort of stuff will mean the laptop stays smooth in its operations.

FWIW, my C2D 13" MBP is holding up fine for my wife (office apps and what not) and that's nearing 4 years old

ValSalva
Aug 5, 2013, 07:23 AM
I have a fall 2010 11" MBA that is nearing 3 years old that I use almost every day and it's holding up great. Much better than I ever expected. I thought the weakest thing on it would be the hinge. Yet it shows no signs of breaking down.

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 09:36 AM
Just sold my 2011 4gb/256gb i5 MBA to a friend and replaced it with a 2013 i7/8gb/512gb i7. Got the old machine all setup for her and we were using both of them together for the last few days.

Really, the 2011 machine holds it own very respectably with the 2013 model. It's "like new" as far as my friend is concerned - a huge upgrade from her POS Windows netbook.

Take care of it and your MBA should last as long as you need it, until you feel the need for a higher spec machine. The only reason I upgraded was because of the opportunity to help out a friend by selling it at a low price, and to get a bigger SSD for the video I am now working with.

silvershamrock
Aug 6, 2013, 12:17 PM
These MBAs are great for encoding and rendering video. Graphics intensive 3D models etc... Doable but you'd get a lot more performance out of a desktop or retina 15".

Yes, I've done a little video rendering with mine too, and it does the job well enough. However, the people at the Apple store also warned me that doing a _lot_ of video rendering/conversion/etc on an MBA will shorten the computer's lifespan because this computer "isn't designed for that" (their words).

Video rendering was, however, the only type of use they warned me about. Anything else you might want to do with this computer, it will do well, and for a good long time (as long as you take care of it).

Rendering one or two videos isn't going to kill the machine -- but since the OP's question was specifically directed toward the computer's durability .... well .... :D

DisplacedMic
Aug 6, 2013, 12:21 PM
Yes, I've done a little video rendering with mine too, and it does the job well enough. However, the people at the Apple store also warned me that doing a _lot_ of video rendering/conversion/etc on an MBA will shorten the computer's lifespan because this computer "isn't designed for that" (their words).

Video rendering was, however, the only type of use they warned me about. Anything else you might want to do with this computer, it will do well, and for a good long time (as long as you take care of it).

Rendering one or two videos isn't going to kill the machine -- but since the OP's question was specifically directed toward the computer's durability .... well .... :D

i suspect they are talking about the life of the SSD. i wouldn't worry too much about this.

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 12:47 PM
i suspect they are talking about the life of the SSD.

So you think they would warn you not to get a 15" rMBP with an SSD then? That would surprise me. ;)

beautifulcoder
Aug 6, 2013, 01:48 PM
The 2013 MBA should be fine to last you a few years. Desktop/Laptop technology looks like is not really going anywhere. I think tech companies see this line of products as a "done" technology. All the exciting cool stuff is happening on Mobile these days.

tooobe
Aug 6, 2013, 04:16 PM
So you think they would warn you not to get a 15" rMBP with an SSD then? That would surprise me. ;)

There is nothing else than the SSD that could wear out from video editing...

Boyd01
Aug 6, 2013, 04:28 PM
Maybe, but that advice also implies you need a more expensive computer. And if you chose the more expensive model, I sort of doubt they would tell you not to get the even more expensive model with an SSD.

Does video editing really hammer on the SSD harder than other apps that require a lot of disk access? 5 years ago I was renting top of the line Mac Pro machines with SSD's for video servers feeding "big iron" 10,000 to 20,000 lumen projectors in stage shows. Nobody seemed too worried about wearing those out.

Are SSD's mature enough that we have any real-world experience with wearing them out?

I wonder if the advice was more along the lines of the high heat levels from intensive CPU? The MBA gets warm and the fans kick into high during rendering. But my 2008 15" MBP got even hotter - too hot to use it on your lap!

robvas
Aug 6, 2013, 05:44 PM
Are SSD's mature enough that we have any real-world experience with wearing them out?

The only Apple ones I hear consistent stories about failing are the original MacBook Air SSD's from way back in 2008.

Mike in Kansas
Aug 6, 2013, 07:25 PM
Yes, I've done a little video rendering with mine too, and it does the job well enough. However, the people at the Apple store also warned me that doing a _lot_ of video rendering/conversion/etc on an MBA will shorten the computer's lifespan because this computer "isn't designed for that" (their words).

Video rendering was, however, the only type of use they warned me about. Anything else you might want to do with this computer, it will do well, and for a good long time (as long as you take care of it).

Rendering one or two videos isn't going to kill the machine -- but since the OP's question was specifically directed toward the computer's durability .... well .... :D

Ridiculus. Shame on them for even suggesting that the components in a MBA will "wear out" due to video rendering. What is in the MBP that makes it more robust than the MBA? Sounds like they have an excess of MBPs and want to move them!

ntrigue
Aug 6, 2013, 07:31 PM
Contemplating a 2013 MacBook Air 13".

How long does these thing run smoothly?
Can I expect it to be a perfect daily driver, say 3-5 years from now?

A family member's MacBook Air Rev A just had the HDD fail so six years and a $65 HDD fixed it.

*These were awful drives that were necessary for the thin-factor. ZIF connector and 3200RPM PATA speeds. Ewww

Clix Pix
Aug 6, 2013, 07:42 PM
Yes, I don't depend on my first-gen MBA to last much longer, but she's been going great for a long time and when she's ready to give up the ghost, well, that'll be it. I don't have anything important on her and I don't use her heavily or for extensive work these days. That 64 GB SSD sure seems tiny now in comparison to what's available these days!

jksu
Aug 6, 2013, 08:00 PM
yup my 2010 11" 4/128 has been great. needed the track pad fixed x2 but both done for free by apple.

just gave it to my brother when i got a 2013 11" 8/256 since i was maxing out the SSD.

if you're judicious with backing/up drive space or use the cloud a lot, your MBA will do 3-4years easily.

silvershamrock
Aug 7, 2013, 12:45 AM
Ridiculus. Shame on them for even suggesting that the components in a MBA will "wear out" due to video rendering. What is in the MBP that makes it more robust than the MBA? Sounds like they have an excess of MBPs and want to move them!

Actually they suggested that _if_ I had wanted to do a _lot_ of video work, I'd be better off with a quad core (instead of a dual core ...)

They never mentioned a particular model. And since I didn't want to do a lot of video work, I didn't ask for any details.... ;)

fedecape
Aug 7, 2013, 01:11 AM
It might not last as long if you were using it to render a lot of video, for example. But for internet, word processing, spreadsheets, and other everyday things, I've found it perfect.)

you're saying that video editing decreases the computer's life?

2IS
Aug 7, 2013, 01:23 AM
you're saying that video editing decreases the computer's life?

Yes... Instead of the processor dying after 50 years it'll die after 30...