How much life left in Macbook Air Mid-2011

automan98

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 25, 2005
129
32
I purchased by first Mac laptop 6 years ago. It was a Macbook Air Mid 2011. I'm happy to say I'm just as happy with it as when I first purchased it. I had to replace the battery, but other than that it's been running great.

Any thoughts how much longer this laptop could live for? I'm used to having Windows computers that typically die in 3 to 4 years (max!)?

Thanks
 
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dborja

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2007
862
20
Northern California
I also have a 2011 MBA and it's still going strong. I'm running Sierra and the only thing to consider is that any new OS versions after this year are not going to support it, technically.

And, yes, Windows machine lifetimes are typically three years...
 

Rory76

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2017
115
31
I also have a 2011 MBA and it's still going strong. I'm running Sierra and the only thing to consider is that any new OS versions after this year are not going to support it, technically.

And, yes, Windows machine lifetimes are typically three years...
Why won't new OS versions after this year support it? I'm curious because I have a 2015 MBA, and although the model was last updated in 2015, it's still being sold by Apple right now. Do you know when mine will no longer support new OS versions? Thx!
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,680
2,130
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I had a 2011 MBA and it was a great computer but I upgraded in 2013 and there was a huge difference. The 2011 only has USB 2.0 which really matters if you use external drives. For example, I have a 1TB Samsung USB SSD. Connected to a USB 3.0 port it will transfer data at over 400MB/sec. Connect that same drive to your 2011 MBA and you will only get about 30MB/sec.

Then there is the old wifi on the 2011 MBA. Starting in 2013, the 802.11ac wifi on the MBA is at least 5 times faster. This makes a big difference if you access shared drives on a local network.

Arguably the biggest shortcoming is battery life, starting in 2013 Apple switched to more power-efficient processors that deliver close to twice the battery run time on the MBA.

Now many people might not use their computers in a way that they would notice these things. I definitely did however, and am glad I sold the 2011 machine back in 2013. If, as you say, you're still happy with the 2011 then just keep on going with it. Also there is no law that says you need to install every new version of MacOSX. I am still running 10.8.5 on a couple of my machines. :)
 

dborja

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2007
862
20
Northern California
Why won't new OS versions after this year support it? I'm curious because I have a 2015 MBA, and although the model was last updated in 2015, it's still being sold by Apple right now. Do you know when mine will no longer support new OS versions? Thx!
Your 2015 should be good for a couple more years.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

and this

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201475

I may be mis-speaking but computers more than 7 years old are declared obsolete so new OS versions are not required to support them.
 
Last edited:

cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
346
227
Somewhere In Time
My 2011 MBA still runs like a champ with Sierra. My battery is at 85% of original capacity. I don't believe I'm the exception. At some point in the future I'll need to replace it, but that should be at least a few years away.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
246
San Jose, CA
I purchased by first Mac laptop 6 years ago. It was a Macbook Air Mid 2011. I'm happy to say I'm just as happy with it as when I first purchased it. I had to replace the battery, but other than that it's been running great.

Any thoughts how much longer this laptop could live for? I'm used to having Windows computers that typically die in 3 to 4 years (max!)?

Thanks
I'd say you're fine, I was using my old 2007 white MacBook for over six years when it got too slow even for YouTube.

Funnily enough my mom's 2011 Toshiba is still going strong, albeit after a new keyboard and an SSD upgrade.
 

617660

Cancelled
Sep 17, 2011
682
358
Mine is running El Cap and it's just fine. Not seeing a need to update to Sierra.

Not sure if this is just me. The keyboard and the trackpad have its minor problems. The forward arrow key only works intermittently and the trackpad requires several attempts to register a tap-click.
 

drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,522
61
Xhystos
I purchased by first Mac laptop 6 years ago. It was a Macbook Air Mid 2011. I'm happy to say I'm just as happy with it as when I first purchased it. I had to replace the battery, but other than that it's been running great.

Any thoughts how much longer this laptop could live for? I'm used to having Windows computers that typically die in 3 to 4 years (max!)?

Thanks
My 13in 2011 MBA is still going strong. I had to get a new battery last year but nothing else has broken. Now relegated to a second use laptop, it's in daily use. One upgrade I would recommend is to swap out the SSD for a Transcend version. The upgrade is a 240GB TS240GJDM500 (says System Information). Much faster and you can still use the original SSD in an external housing (provided free).

PS Also running 10.11.6
 

Pugly

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2016
262
204
Think of the low end 2015 MacBook. Apple should support that for a long time, and the 2011 Air is close to that in performance.

Computers are slowly turning into all other consumer electronics... get a new one because it breaks. The performance upgrades are marginal, and there are no hard cutoffs anymore to make something unsupported... except maybe ram...
 

Cheffy Dave

macrumors 68030
Think of the low end 2015 MacBook. Apple should support that for a long time, and the 2011 Air is close to that in performance.

Computers are slowly turning into all other consumer electronics... get a new one because it breaks. The performance upgrades are marginal, and there are no hard cutoffs anymore to make something unsupported... except maybe ram...
Well said, I further believe, we all, buy way more computer than we need, I'd be perfectly happy with a Ver.2 IPP, if it had a Mac OS! Computers are like PU TRUCKS, it's a LIBIDO thing
 

Aston441

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,505
2,168
Someone above said future OS updates are not coming to mid 2011 MBA? Where is that from? I've never seen that.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,680
2,130
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Here is Apple's policy on obsolete and vintage hardware, but that is really about what they will repair and not about the operating systems the computer can run. At this point, the 2011 MBA is a "vintage" computer. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

"Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.

Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago."
 
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