MacBook Air - Lastability

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iPad2013, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2012
    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?
  2. macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2013
    Predicting the future is occasionally an inexact science.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I've had mine two weeks now and it's holding up just fine. ;)
  5. silvershamrock, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    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.)
  6. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    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!
  7. AXs
    macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    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
  8. macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Jun 9, 2005
    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.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    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.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    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.
  11. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    our mba 11"(4GB RAM & 128 GB SSD) from late 2010 works perfectly!
  12. Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    Kite flying
    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.
  13. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    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.
  14. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    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 obsolency (per OS updates)......:confused:.....:eek:

    Safe bet: Not more of 5 years, IMHO

  15. 2IS
    macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    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. ;)
  16. macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    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.
  17. macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2009
    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.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2010
    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
  19. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    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.
  20. macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2010
    Las Vegas
    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".
  21. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    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.
  22. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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
  23. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    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.
  24. macrumors 68000

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    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.
  25. macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    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

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