2017 MacBook Air - A good buy?

rockitdog

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
2,502
863
My 2012 MBP has slowed to the point of almost being unusable for everyday tasks. It’s fine for the kids but for me, it’s awful. Last Saturday I bought an HP for $375 thinking I could handle Windows 10.... hate it. Machine feels cheap and when I went to run Avast anti-virus, I’ve got all sorts of issues with broken registry this and performance issues with that and I’m reminded why it’s been 12 years since I bought a Windows machine. Didn’t want to drop $1k on a Mac but saw that BestBuy has the previous gen MacBook Air onsale for $750 so I picked one up today just because sale could end tomorrow. I considering how long MBP has lasted, I think $750 is a decent price, my question is if it’s still a good buy today being that it’s from 2017. Thoughts?
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,834
1,850
tokyo
excellent value. do it.
will be able to handle yearly updated macOS versions for at least 3 more years, more likely 4.
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,664
9,377
Prescott Valley, AZ
My 2012 MBP has slowed to the point of almost being unusable for everyday tasks. It’s fine for the kids but for me, it’s awful. Last Saturday I bought an HP for $375 thinking I could handle Windows 10.... hate it. Machine feels cheap and when I went to run Avast anti-virus, I’ve got all sorts of issues with broken registry this and performance issues with that and I’m reminded why it’s been 12 years since I bought a Windows machine. Didn’t want to drop $1k on a Mac but saw that BestBuy has the previous gen MacBook Air onsale for $750 so I picked one up today just because sale could end tomorrow. I considering how long MBP has lasted, I think $750 is a decent price, my question is if it’s still a good buy today being that it’s from 2017. Thoughts?
For those that consider the non-retina display on the 2017 MBA to be a "blurry, pixelated mess", the answer is "no, not a good deal".

For the rest of us, yes that's a solid deal. 2 months ago, Amazon was blowing-out new i7 2017 MBAs for $799. I snatched one up. IMO, the 2017 MBA is the last of the great Apple notebooks. (I know many will disagree)

Congrats on the purchase. I'm not sure how much longer there'll be new 2017 MBAs for sale let alone ON sale. :)
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,492
6,162
Australia
My 2012 MBP has slowed to the point of almost being unusable for everyday tasks. It’s fine for the kids but for me, it’s awful. Last Saturday I bought an HP for $375 thinking I could handle Windows 10.... hate it. Machine feels cheap and when I went to run Avast anti-virus, I’ve got all sorts of issues with broken registry this and performance issues with that and I’m reminded why it’s been 12 years since I bought a Windows machine. Didn’t want to drop $1k on a Mac but saw that BestBuy has the previous gen MacBook Air onsale for $750 so I picked one up today just because sale could end tomorrow. I considering how long MBP has lasted, I think $750 is a decent price, my question is if it’s still a good buy today being that it’s from 2017. Thoughts?
Can I also recommend putting an SSD in the MacBook Pro - SSDs are so cheap now and it will make it very useable.
 
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TheOtherAndy

macrumors newbie
May 20, 2018
8
5
Outside Milwaukee, WI
Yeah, it's an okay value. I'm typing on one as we speak.

But, it's an okay value. You can largely fix the screen by looking up the terminal command to turn anti-aliasing back on. It's still worse than any modern Mac, and pretty much any $800 pc. But, it's the only way to get a new mac without the garbage-fire keyboard.

I do feel the need to make something clear: You did the classic Apple fanboy move of comparing one of the cheapest PC laptops you could find with a Mac costing over twice as much. I generally don't recommend HP (their bloatware is incredibly bad), but even an $800 HP would land you a laptop that is better in most respects (screen, performance, and even keyboard; HP does keyboards exceptionally well).

The 2017 Air is good if you want a reliable laptop with MacOS. That's worth something, but you have to be willing to put up with a fair amount of negatives compared to most other computers on the market.
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
2,502
863
Yeah, it's an okay value. I'm typing on one as we speak.

But, it's an okay value. You can largely fix the screen by looking up the terminal command to turn anti-aliasing back on. It's still worse than any modern Mac, and pretty much any $800 pc. But, it's the only way to get a new mac without the garbage-fire keyboard.

I do feel the need to make something clear: You did the classic Apple fanboy move of comparing one of the cheapest PC laptops you could find with a Mac costing over twice as much. I generally don't recommend HP (their bloatware is incredibly bad), but even an $800 HP would land you a laptop that is better in most respects (screen, performance, and even keyboard; HP does keyboards exceptionally well).

The 2017 Air is good if you want a reliable laptop with MacOS. That's worth something, but you have to be willing to put up with a fair amount of negatives compared to most other computers on the market.
I’m not looking for the best screen or for power. Just a laptop that gets basic tasks done. It keeps me in the eco system gets me out of the Windows headache.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
My 2012 MBP has slowed to the point of almost being unusable for everyday tasks.
I'm not sure what you consider everyday tasks, but I'm surprised that your 2012 MBP can't handle what you need. Did you install a SSD in it? If not, you could just swap out the HDD for a nice SSD drive and have a perfectly workable machine back in your hands. I use a 2018 MBP, but also have a 2012 and 2009 lying around with SSD drives. Both are perfectly good devices still.
 

Nbd1790

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2017
205
99
New York
SSD and RAM upgrade will most likely be the cheapest way to get what you need. It will drastically improve the performance. I have a lot of friends still running that MBP with those upgrades and to be quite honest it's still very good. The 2017 MBA is still a great computer (if purchased at the right price). I believe B&H has the top spec model for about $1100 (down from a retail of $1600) which is a great value in my opinion.
 

Sword86

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2012
267
114
As others have said, a 2012 MBP with an SSD swap should be plenty of power. Heck, my 2009 MB is fine for "basic tasks".
I know I’m a little late to this party, but I still run a late-2008 MB alum. unibody as my everyday computer. I have an OWC SSD and 8 gig of ram.
I run El Capitan and it is great. I look at the prices  wants for me to come into this century and freak out. I do most stuff on an ipad but my Macbook is just fine in my opinion. I could afford what it
would cost me for whatever, but why? All I do is e-mail and a bit of surfing. S
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
I run El Capitan and it is great. I look at the prices  wants for me to come into this century and freak out. I do most stuff on an ipad but my Macbook is just fine in my opinion. I could afford what it would cost me for whatever, but why? All I do is e-mail and a bit of surfing. S
If you're fine with what you have, there's almost never a good reason to upgrade. You could even update your machine to Mojave with a Mojave patcher if you want.

I have a 2018 MBP and a 2009 Unibody as a backup. If all I did was email and Web surfing, I'd be fine on the 2009.
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
3,934
I’m not looking for the best screen or for power. Just a laptop that gets basic tasks done. It keeps me in the eco system gets me out of the Windows headache.
Then the answer is a resounding hell yes. There’s absolutely nothing “wrong” with a 2017 Air. It’s just out dated. The screen doesn’t look the best, but after a half hour you get used to it. Really

BUT: if price is the issue then I ask, have you checked out used MacBook pros? You could get one with an ssd and retina screen for the same price
 

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
1,462
1,485
I recently bought a 2017 MBA for my son going to College in the Fall. It was $750 on sale at Best Buy. He loves it, and I don’t want to take a risk on the new keyboard. Reliability is number one for a student over a thousand miles from home. And, the prior generation MBA was the reliability poster child!
 

imrazor

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2010
200
58
Dol Amroth
I bought a Macbook Air 2017 with an i7 a couple of months ago from Amazon. Curiously, the i7 model was only $0.99 more than the i5 model, so I snapped it up. I also upgraded the SSD from 128GB to 512GB with the help of a cheap adapter.

Going by reviews of the MBA 2018, it seems that model has a sharper screen with better colors. But it's also dimmer than the MBA 2017, so not everything about the display is improved. (Maybe that's to conserve power?) Anyway, I've been very pleased so far with my purchase.
 

one1

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2007
1,145
25
Chattanooga, TN
I picked up a MINT 2017 MBA today for $365 (just marked down this morning from $589 right before I got there) from a pawn shop. 256gb, 8gb with under 100 cycles on the battery. Had a case on it and had clearly never been off of it. Absolutely as new as it comes anywhere near that price. I recently sold my 2015 MBA and was having withdrawals. When I saw this one I was thrilled. It's perfect for me, an average user doing average things. Fast as lightning, and I get to keep my ports. Nothing will ever make me buy the Butterfly Keyboard on any model so any latest MacBook is out. I refuse to buy anything without USB as well, so the card reader is a huge bonus since my GoPro wireless transfer is not as fast. I have the latest iPad and an iPhone X as well as an older iMac 27" so the MBA fits great in my little Mac world. Don't worry about whats the latest, its not always the greatest. Anything from 2015 forward is more than enough for average Joe.
 

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Amaturemac

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2019
4
0
Korea republic of
@rockitdog @sracer
I am not sure it is a good buy. Because now everything changing based on the quality, everyone looking for the quality of output. Like, 4K, 5K , 60Hz to 144Hz, CNN, algorithm coding machine learning and Data analytics. So better go for the better one not like 6000$ iMacpro or 5K display with 1000$ stand (Yeah!). I think it at least PRO based hardware will survive from now on to 5-6 years. To my opinion,MACBOOK Air, 2017 is not a good decision in 2019 Mid July.

Check out my post

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macbook-air-2017.2189922/#post-27544191
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
662
329
Ocean State
I have to say if you can find a good 2015 - 2017 Air at a great price then yes, it is a good buy. I recently got my favorite Air, a 2015 11 inch spec'd i7/8GB model for $380 and couldn't be happier. In fact I'm typing my response using this laptop now. I'm not a fan of any Apple laptop that employ the problematic butterfly keyboard and until Apple starts selling a better quality laptop with a reliable keyboard, I will continue to use my 2015 Air since it has been proven to be a very reliable and productive machine :)
 
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