2017 MA Is It Worth It??

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AverageGuy

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May 21, 2010
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I purchased a new in box 2017 MB Air 8/128 over on Black Friday on Amazon for $649. Have an old 11” that has 4 GB Ram and can’t update current OS. May give to my wife. I have several Macs and use this for document management and web surfing. Considered 2018/2019 Air but storage not slotted/upgradeable as on 2017. But giving up Retina display and new USBc interface. But has USB 3 and SD Card Slot! I will have hard time with 128GB but can prune my data and store offsite to make it work. Is this a good deal or should I go for newer tech?? Someone recommended I look at 2015 MB Pro with slotted/upgradeable memory but used it is going for more!
Wonder if 8GB enough to run Catalina, as RAM is not upgradeable on any of these laptops!! I have to decide pretty quick and wondering if I am buying soon to be obsolete tech!!
 

Nacho98

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Jul 11, 2019
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The 2017 MBA is archaic and probably should've been taken out back and shot in like 2012.

So freakin' dated.
 

EdwardC

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Jun 3, 2012
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Georgia
I would disagree. Given the price paid for light duty use it’s a decent buy. I have the exact model I bought new in August for $699.00 and I’m very pleased. I store all my data on iCloud so the small SSD is no problem. 8 gigs of RAM is sufficient for typical business use. The 2017 has a decent keyboard albeit the display is pretty subpar but for my 55 year old eyes it’s fine. YMMV. Ed
 
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MultiFinder17

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Jan 8, 2008
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Seeing as how you’re old Air has presumably lasted you a goos while, your new Air should be good for your needs. The 2017, while indeed not the latest and greatest tech, is definitely not obsolete or archaic. If it does what you need it to do, and you enjoy it, then it’s the perfect laptop for you :)

Disclaimer, I use a 2010 white MacBook daily in my classroom and a 2015 Air as my personal laptop.
 

sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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I would disagree. Given the price paid for light duty use it’s a decent buy. I have the exact model I bought new in August for $699.00 and I’m very pleased. I store all my data on iCloud so the small SSD is no problem. 8 gigs of RAM is sufficient for typical business use. The 2017 has a decent keyboard albeit the display is pretty subpar but for my 55 year old eyes it’s fine. YMMV. Ed
I had been using my base 2014 11" 4/128 MBA for far more than light duty with great success. Relatively recently, I upgraded that to a 2017 13" 8/128 i7 and it is even more capable. I'm taking full advantage of the SD card slot (which the 11" didn't have) and have a 128GB card permanently installed.

For those who don't chase tech specs, the 2017 MBA continues to be a great system that punches above its weight. And with the regular sales on new units in the $600-$699 range, it is still the best value for a macOS system.
 

macintoshmac

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May 13, 2010
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I am on a stock 2017 MBA and it serves my needs just fine. It does not scorch the benchmark charts, but it does not leave me wanting in any way either - considering the hardware and the price I paid for this notebook.

To compare, this dual-core i5 1.8 GHz, Intel HD Graphics 6000 (1.5 GB VRAM), 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD machine is able to run games better than the 2011 MBP with 2.4 GHz quad-core i7 with AMD 6700m (1GB) and 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Not talking of disk transfers that are obviously faster owing to faster disk speeds on the Apple SSD.

This machine currently serves all my requirements better than the 2011 MBP with better specs. Specs aren't everything unless you are really pushing the hardware, in which case you do need a machine with beefier hardware. For most everyday consumer needs, the MBA 2017 still works as well as any other Mac and runs the latest macOS.
 

revmacian

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Oct 20, 2018
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I purchased a new in box 2017 MB Air 8/128 over on Black Friday on Amazon for $649. Have an old 11” that has 4 GB Ram and can’t update current OS. May give to my wife. I have several Macs and use this for document management and web surfing. Considered 2018/2019 Air but storage not slotted/upgradeable as on 2017. But giving up Retina display and new USBc interface. But has USB 3 and SD Card Slot! I will have hard time with 128GB but can prune my data and store offsite to make it work. Is this a good deal or should I go for newer tech?? Someone recommended I look at 2015 MB Pro with slotted/upgradeable memory but used it is going for more!
Wonder if 8GB enough to run Catalina, as RAM is not upgradeable on any of these laptops!! I have to decide pretty quick and wondering if I am buying soon to be obsolete tech!!
I am using the 2019 MBA 8GB/128GB and it runs Catalina beautifully. The 8GB RAM doesn't seem to be a limit despite running 9 apps simultaneously (office work light image/video editing and web surfing), but I would be cautious of the 128GB storage - Catalina takes up ~20GB of this. I even edit videos in iMovie on this machine and the only issue I've seen is some dropped frames. From the looks of things this machine will last me for at least 4 years.
 
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Plett

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Feb 16, 2016
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I have a 2015 MBA with 4Gb and 256Gb running Catalina without exception. I wouldn't load Logic or FCP on it TBH. I just use it for web/email/netflix/news and no issues. It is a beater for the family to kick around. I can't imagine you will have any issues with the machine you have excepting the small SSD. I use iCloud and optimize storage so there isn't much on this machine. My other MacBook does the heavy lifting to include short term large file Logic/FCP working storage and offload to external SSDs when finished, and I do that even thought I have a sufficient 1Tb SSD. Ramble here, but for the money seems reasonable enough to use it if you are keen about your file management.
 

tdhurst

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Dec 27, 2003
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My wife has a stock 2018 MBA with 8 gigs and 128 SSD.
She uses Chrome almost exclusively.
Running Catalina.
Very happy with her purchase, even though I warned her against it and doubled those specs when I got mine.
 

macintoshmac

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I am using the 2019 MBA 8GB/128GB and it runs Catalina beautifully. The 8GB RAM doesn't seem to be a limit despite running 9 apps simultaneously (office work light image/video editing and web surfing), but I would be cautious of the 128GB storage - Catalina takes up ~20GB of this. I even edit videos in iMovie on this machine and the only issue I've seen is some dropped frames. From the looks of things this machine will last me for at least 4 years.
Ah yes, the 128 GB storage is going to be a bottleneck if the computer is used more than moderately. Best way is to carefully evaluating what our storage usage is currently and take it from there based on personal requirements.
 
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revmacian

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Ah yes, the 128 GB storage is going to be a bottleneck if the computer is used more than moderately. Best way is to carefully evaluating what our storage usage is currently and take it from there based on personal requirements.
It's much better than I thought it would be. I have Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, GIMP, iMovie, Numbers.app and Pages.app installed and I'm sitting at ~94GB storage left.. and those are all large apps. This is a base model stock MBA and I'm impressed with it. But, I will be buying at least the 256GB model in future notebooks just for peace of mind.
 
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macintoshmac

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It's much better than I thought it would be. I have Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, GIMP, iMovie, Numbers.app and Pages.app installed and I'm sitting at ~94GB storage left.. and those are all large apps. This is a base model stock MBA and I'm impressed with it. But, I will be buying at least the 256GB model in future notebooks just for peace of mind.
This is my MBA. I could remove an iTunes library backup using 29 GB and a Windows 10 virtual machine using 23 GB since I use them rarely, saving another 52 GB from this nearly 156 GB usage. I use Affinity Designer as well. Microsoft Excel that I use for a couple of things uses nearly 2 GB. I have not installed iMovie on the disk yet when I reinstalled fresh last month. Doesn't get used that much, so no point. Will get to it some day. When I did not use iCloud Library in Photos, my photo library stood at about 85 GB. Now, that 85 GB resides as a backup in a separate disk, and optimised photos use about a tenth of that amount on the main disk.

At worst, I have never went beyond 180 GB on a 256 GB SSD in my 7 years of solely using 256 GB SSDs internally.
 

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Seanm87

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Oct 10, 2014
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I personally wouldn't buy any laptop without a high res screen after 2012. The fact they kept selling this all the way up to mid 2018 without a Retina display was criminal.
 
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sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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I personally wouldn't buy any laptop without a high res screen after 2012. The fact they kept selling this all the way up to mid 2018 without a Retina display was criminal.
Then it's good for you that Apple sells a model with a higher resolution screen. :)

For the rest of us, the old school MBAs continue to serve us well. Performance for the price, ports, battle-tested design... these are the things that keep us fans.
 

macintoshmac

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I personally wouldn't buy any laptop without a high res screen after 2012. The fact they kept selling this all the way up to mid 2018 without a Retina display was criminal.
Not really criminal.

A high-res screen is one part of the picture. It is meaningless if you do not otherwise enjoy the computer. Windows computers come with better resolution displays than the Mac if I am not wrong. So if display is the only and primary criteria, then...

I find that my 2017 MBA and even my 2011 MBP 15" were more satisfying to use than the 2016 MBP 13 with Touch Bar simply because UI performance was not up to the mark and the horrible keyboard reliability. I liked the keyboard itself, the reliability not so much. What would I do with a high res retina display if I do not enjoy the other parts as well?

1440x900 is still a fine resolution to use on a daily basis with no issues. Yes, the higher resolution and more screen estate is better, but does not mean the 900p is 'criminal' now. Like I said, I got myself a retina display with a 13 inch MacBook Pro 2016 but UI performance turned out to be barely above adequate at 1440x900, so much so that my 2011 MBP felt smoother in my daily use. I liked the colours of the P3 display, but the computer itself left me wanting a lot more from the package, I had to sell it off.
 
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Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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I had been using my base 2014 11" 4/128 MBA for far more than light duty with great success. Relatively recently, I upgraded that to a 2017 13" 8/128 i7 and it is even more capable. I'm taking full advantage of the SD card slot (which the 11" didn't have) and have a 128GB card permanently installed.

For those who don't chase tech specs, the 2017 MBA continues to be a great system that punches above its weight. And with the regular sales on new units in the $600-$699 range, it is still the best value for a macOS system.
The 2017 MBA is a great computer. I bought one for my son to take to college this year. Tried and true. Very reliable. I paid $750 for it last summer. A great value.

For myself, I took a chance on the 2019 MBA. It's been over 5 months, and so far so good.
 

macintoshmac

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The 2017 MBA is a great computer. I bought one for my son to take to college this year. Tried and true. Very reliable. I paid $750 for it last summer. A great value.

For myself, I took a chance on the 2019 MBA. It's been over 5 months, and so far so good.
If you bought it new and/ or without any damage at all, it is a great price to pay for that notebook. I got a stock display piece i5 1.8 GHz with 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM for $550.

There are few caveats that came with that price, that people here would scoff at:

1. It is not new out-of-box
2. It has had its MLB replaced by Apple (check revealed that it was replaced the month I bought it, so I effectively bought an out-of-warranty machine that was within a service warranty owing to that MLB replacement)
3. There are scuff marks on the bottom plate
4. Even the screen has a light imprint of the palm rest that becomes completely invisible when the screen lights up.

but

This thing makes me happy when I use it. Just as the 2011 MBP I owned did. For what I use this computer, it is faster than my 2011 MBP. I had upgraded my 2011 MBP to 256 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM and I sold it only to recover some value while I could, owing to the graphics chipset being a ticking time bomb.

File transfers on 2017 MBA in comparison to the 2011 MBP with SSD are faster in and out, I am okay with the screen resolution, I have played a heavy game on this machine that I could not on my 2011, all apps that I use and the system UI are aptly responsive and smooth. And the keyboard is reliable, unlike my 2016 MBP that I sold in 2018 owing to keyboard woes and underpowered graphics that made my 2011 MBP feel smoother.

For $550 that I paid for my MBA 2017, I really could not have asked for more.
 
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dogslobber

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It's much better than I thought it would be. I have Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, GIMP, iMovie, Numbers.app and Pages.app installed and I'm sitting at ~94GB storage left.. and those are all large apps. This is a base model stock MBA and I'm impressed with it. But, I will be buying at least the 256GB model in future notebooks just for peace of mind.
Try Seashore if you use GIMP. Uses Cocoa and is open source.
- - Post merged: - -

The 2017 MBA is archaic and probably should've been taken out back and shot in like 2012.

So freakin' dated.
The only thing it's lacking is a retina screen which is meh. It's a tried and tested config which is very mature hardware with all the bugs shaken out. Also, the keyboard just works.
 
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macintoshmac

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The only thing it's lacking is a retina screen which is meh. It's a tried and tested config which is very mature hardware with all the bugs shaken out. Also, the keyboard just works.
True. With all the evolution of the 2016 MBP, I just wasn't as happy with it as I was with the 2011 MBP and now the 2017 MBA.
 
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