Best 13" Macbook Air for Middle Schooler, 2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by psymac, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. psymac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Looking to get a Macbook Air for my 6th grader, wanting to spend about $450, and I see on ebay the 2012 13" is about that price. I'm new to the Air, having had the MBP, so not sure if this is the best Mac for her. I'm thinking the 2010 or 2011 MBP is a little too heavy for her and she doesn't really need that power.
  2. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    I'd look at an early 2014 with the Haswell chip. Make sure you get 256gb or higher flash drive, though.
  3. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Does a 6th grader really need that much storage?
  4. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    I really need to learn to read better...
  5. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    Would the 6th grader be ok with a 11" instead? They are a little cheaper and then you might be able to get 2013 or newer version which are in my opinion the best option. Apple started using significantly faster storage (PCIe) with the 2013 models and also made a huge improvement in battery life compared to older models. My sister has the 2012 13" (I gave her my leftovers) and I have the 2013 version. I notice the difference in speed when I use her computer. Granted she is not very computer savy and hasn't complained, but I think you will get significantly more life out of the machine if you go for one version newer. By comparison there is not that much functionally different between 2013 and 2016 macbook airs. Just small speed bumps.
  6. psymac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Yes, it seems like the 2013 or even better the 2014 is the best value, and she likes to watch videos, so I think I have to go with 13 inch screen. Looks like a lot of people are selling their MacBook Air to get the new MacBook Pro.
  7. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Incidentally, about a year ago I got a 2012 Macbook Air base model for my little brother who is in 8th grade. He loves it.

    I was able to get a broken one for free, cracked LCD and no battery. Found a battery with fewer than 20 cycles on ebay for ~$50, and a mint condition top case LCD assembly was ~$200. Approximately $250 all in, and a few hours of what I consider to be fun.

    His school uses Google Drive for Education for a lot of the written homework and stuff, and it seems to work really well. Indeed, better than his older Chromebook in some instances.

    I thought 128GB of storage would be insufficient, but it turns out he doesn't use that much. Documents and school projects don't take up that much space. He has under 20GB of music. Everything else data-intensive, like the instagrams and the snap chats, all reside on his phone anyway. Turns out 128GB works just fine.
  8. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I agree that you should try to find a 2013 or newer - the extra battery life alone makes this worthwhile. But finding a good one might be tough on a $450 budget...
  9. psymac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Ebay seems to have these at about the $450 price point, and surprisingly on my Tampa Fl Craigslist for even $400, seems many are selling to 'upgrade' to the new MacBook Pro (nee 2016 Macbook Air, according to Tim Cook).

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8 November 2, 2016