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Old Jan 7, 2013, 09:01 AM   #26
el-John-o
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Originally Posted by torana355 View Post
To start the current MBA's are much more powerful then my 2008 iMac. They have SSDs so there are no moving parts that can go wrong. If anything i think they are more future proofed then my iMac was when i got it.
But your 2008 iMac was significantly more powerful than a 2008 MBA when it came out!

However, with light duty every day tasks, I could see a 2012 MBA being in use 5 years from now.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 09:10 AM   #27
torana355
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But your 2008 iMac was significantly more powerful than a 2008 MBA when it came out!

However, with light duty every day tasks, I could see a 2012 MBA being in use 5 years from now.
Yes but the gap between Desktops and laptops has closed significantly since then aswell and yes, with normal tasks a 2012 MBA will EASILY handle the same tasks in 5 years time. My 2008 iMac with an SSD installed is just as fast at everyday tasks as my brand new 2012 iMac.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 10:53 AM   #28
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Yes but the gap between Desktops and laptops has closed significantly since then aswell and yes, with normal tasks a 2012 MBA will EASILY handle the same tasks in 5 years time. My 2008 iMac with an SSD installed is just as fast at everyday tasks as my brand new 2012 iMac.
You are right, the gap has closed quite a bit. However I don't think 'easily' or 'same' is accurate. A MacBook Air IS a low end computer. No ifs ands or buts. Today, Apple's low end computer is better than almost anyone elses low end computer and it's a lot closer to a desktop class machine than any previous low end computer. However;

In 5 years, it will be a bit of a struggle. It'll operate slower as software becomes more complicated, there WILL be pieces of software it won't be able to run proficiently, and there WILL be limitations here or there. It will do MOST tasks, sure, but not 'easily'.

Ultimately, if you want futureproofing, the MBP is the way to go (of the two options here) given it's better performance. But I understand the allure of the Air, so for those that want it, yeah I'll concede they could still be using it 5 years from now, but it won't perform as well as when it was new in 2012, when it's running 2017 software!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 12:55 PM   #29
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I have a MBA which I bought in September 2010 and which still runs perfectly well, although I am giving thought to an upgrade, probably later this year. In the time since I bought it (and subsequently sold my 2008 MBP), it has been my main computer and has travelled a lot with me. I can say it is easily the best computer I have ever had. Thus far, the keyboard and mag-safe needed replacing (which Applecare took care of). Other than that, I have had no problem at all (whereas the HDD failed on my old MBP, and had to be replaced under Applecare).

Re the MBA itself, the SSD drive is a lot more stable (and faster) than the more traditional HDD. Indeed, with falling prices, and, if the MBA is to serve as a main computer rather than a back-up, or travelling second computer, it now makes sense to have a larger SSD drive than what used to be available.

Likewise, as has been advised by almost everybody else, I would advise that you buy whatever RAM you can afford, as whatever is being developed now will tend to hog more and more RAM. Certainly, for now, 4GB RAM is more than enough for your current - or stated - needs and probably will be perfectly adequate for the next few years. Nevertheless, as, doubtless will be said by others, 8 GB of RAM would future proof a machine to a greater extent.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:36 PM   #30
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Just my 2, after selling my monster dual-proc desktop, I moved full time to my MBA, and since I don't game anymore, I haven't missed the big thing at all. My Air has its fair share of drops and nasty scrapes too, and she's chugging along just fine. The only thing is probably my battery will die/lose capacity retention in about a year, as I've already put 687 cycles on it in roughly a year and four months (though it still shows 87% health and good 4-5 hrs of life). But even then, that's a good amount of life considering how heavily I use it.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:47 PM   #31
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What do you mean "last"? My original 2007 MBA is still running fine, albeit slower than my iPad 2....
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 02:47 PM   #32
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I've had my 2nd gen macbook air for a little over 3 and a half years, and it's still working. It's starting to have some problems, but I can probably get a bit more life out of it if I need to. I would strongly recommend getting applecare if you really want to keep it 3+ years, it's saved me a few times. But yeah as long as you don't feel a strong need to always have the latest hardware and your needs for a computer don't change too much over that time you should be perfectly fine.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 04:59 PM   #33
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My wife has a 2008 mac air and it still runs like new.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 05:03 PM   #34
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I use my first-gen MBA nearly every day and she is still purring right along. However, that is not my only Mac and so I don't do a lot of extensive tasks on it.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:31 PM   #35
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5 years ago, I was still a college student, and I purchased the (then) brand new '08 Unibody Macbook 13" (ok, so it hasn't technically been 5 years yet, close enough). I did pretty much what you did, except I also did some media work and some games that pushed my system a bit. It lasted me 4 years and if I really wanted to, I could have stretched it to 5 years. I upgraded the HD and maxed out the ram during that time, and the only thing that really gave me issues were a battery issue (which Apple replaced for free) and the less significant internal battery (the thing that keeps track of your time) dying, but that's normal.

I've noticed that my computing demands have actually gone down with age, and unless you're a serious computer gamer, or you need the horsepower because of your job, a MBA purchased today could easily last you through college assuming your needs are not extraordinary, but that's just my opinion from my experiences.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:51 AM   #36
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Hey guys, newbie to the forum here. I'm planning on buying a MacBook Air as my primary computer and I wondered how many years it could last while in this role. I'm currently a college student and would primarily use it for writing essays, web browsing, etc. also plan on using it to edit a podcast every now and then. If I do buy the MBA I hope on pushing 3+ years of life out of it.

Also planned on saving a bit of money by buying the base 13" and upgrading the ram to 8g with plans to install a larger ssd in the future but found out the processor can't be upgraded to i7 unless you get the 256 ssd .should I save the money and stick with i5 or get i7 with 256ssd and take the 400$ hit


Thanks
I have a MBA 2011 and is my only computer. Have had it for 1 1/2 years and going strong. I'm hoping to upgrade it this year, only if, the new MBA 2013 has retina display with 256ssd. I have 128ssd and it's somewhat limiting.
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