Is the 2017 MacBook 12” worth buying in 2019?

kht410

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2016
25
9
I’ve been wanting to buy the 12” MacBook since last year, but then i decided to wait for an update only to find out Apple didn’t bother updating it at all. Instead, they released the MacBook Air which still doesn’t make sense to me to this day.

So my question is, is it worth taking the leap and buy the current 12” MacBook now? Or should i keep waiting until Apple updates it, whenever that is? Would it still last for years to come?

Ps: I already have an iMac to do all the heavy stuff so specs doesn’t matter too much to me. However, I still want to get my money’s worth since these laptops are really expensive.
 

Jamers99

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2015
179
105
Lutz, FL
It will be perfectly fine for web surfing and word editing. I had the 2016 model and it never had a problem.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,333
4,726
Personally, I would wait, unless you can get it at a significant discount. It's almost two years old now.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
601
655
IMO the presence of the lemon keyboard design just sways the decision to not being worth it.

If they had bulletproof keyboards then the MB 2017 would last well because the Intel m* CPUs got good with that revision.
 
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lambertjohn

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2012
1,041
1,017
"they released the MacBook Air which still doesn’t make sense to me to this day."

Why doesn't the Air make sense to you? It's a budget computer for the masses that sits right below Apple's pro line of notebooks. Seems fine to me, especially when it's on sale.
 

kht410

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2016
25
9
"they released the MacBook Air which still doesn’t make sense to me to this day."

Why doesn't the Air make sense to you? It's a budget computer for the masses that sits right below Apple's pro line of notebooks. Seems fine to me, especially when it's on sale.
I thought that was what the MacBook (non-Air) line up was supposed to be for. A “budget” computer that sits below the Pro line with an amazing portability. To me, the MacBook Air just sits in that awkward spot where it’s not much cheaper than the MacBook line, not as portable as the MacBook (in fact it’s closer to the size of the Pro) but no where near as powerful as the Pro line. It’s just the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

But if anyone here can convince me otherwise, please do share your experience of the MacBook Air. That might be able to help me make a better purchase decision :)
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,333
4,726
"they released the MacBook Air which still doesn’t make sense to me to this day."

Why doesn't the Air make sense to you? It's a budget computer for the masses that sits right below Apple's pro line of notebooks. Seems fine to me, especially when it's on sale.
The MacBook Air has the performance of a MacBook with the portability of a MacBook Pro. It doesn't make much sense to me either, except that Apple wanted to leverage the brand recognition of the MacBook Air name.
 

alvincth

macrumors newbie
Dec 30, 2013
12
6
Hong Kong
I thought that was what the MacBook (non-Air) line up was supposed to be for. A “budget” computer that sits below the Pro line with an amazing portability. To me, the MacBook Air just sits in that awkward spot where it’s not much cheaper than the MacBook line, not as portable as the MacBook (in fact it’s closer to the size of the Pro) but no where near as powerful as the Pro line. It’s just the worst of both worlds in my opinion.

But if anyone here can convince me otherwise, please do share your experience of the MacBook Air. That might be able to help me make a better purchase decision :)
I am the one who struggled between the 12-inch and the 13.3-inch for almost half a year. Yes MacBook is quite light with less than a kg and great performance for me, but what impresses me only is just the number and the lightest record. If portability is an important factor, I would dream of the weight similar to the small iPad Pro (about 500g).

When I try to pick the MacBook and the new MBA up, for me I think the former is a bit lighter only, while the latter is not so heavy, especially when I compare to my old MacBook Air with the same screen size I feel the new much lighter although in numbers they are just 0.1kg in difference.

And the screen size is more important to me, a bit bigger screen can have more stunning images and pictures when I visit design websites. The MBA has a larger enough screen while it is thinner than Pro so this machine is for me.

I understand why people love 12-inch MacBook. It is a product that Apple was working hard to pursue portability and performance. The screen is much better and it is lighter, small and thinner than 11.6-inch MBA, with the fanless design like an iPad. The product that reveals the innovative spirit of Apple.

MacBook Air is what Apple learns from redesign of both MacBook and MacBook Pro. They combine technology and design from both kinds of laptops in order to create a (relatively) safer and generally great user experience for the mass. It has a different display cable design from MacBook Pro mostly learnt from the stage light issues, and the latest Butterfly keyboard which has been launched on 2018-Pro.

I can't convince others to turn from MB to MBA. There are usually two kinds of people who pursue something greater (they are early adopters and even risk-takers) and those who wants to be safe. In the past most Apple users are the formers and now the company wants to include the latter as well.

I will keep watching and maybe MacBook will be my next laptop.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,333
4,726
I am the one who struggled between the 12-inch and the 13.3-inch for almost half a year. Yes MacBook is quite light with less than a kg and great performance for me, but what impresses me only is just the number and the lightest record. If portability is an important factor, I would dream of the weight similar to the small iPad Pro (about 500g).

--- snip ---

MacBook Air is what Apple learns from redesign of both MacBook and MacBook Pro. They combine technology and design from both kinds of laptops in order to create a (relatively) safer and generally great user experience for the mass. It has a different display cable design from MacBook Pro mostly learnt from the stage light issues, and the latest Butterfly keyboard which has been launched on 2018-Pro.
The MacBook Air combines the negative feature of the MacBook (performance, which admittedly is adequate for a lot of workloads), with the negative feature of the MacBook Pro (size and weight).

I have both the MacBook 12" and the iPad Pro 10.5".

The iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard weighs 1.57 lbs. If you add on a TPU back case (which is helpful for an iPad considering the way it is used), the total weight is 1.8 lbs, which is very close to the 2.03 lb weight of the MacBook.

I carry the iPad Pro most of the time, mainly because I can locally download Netflix and Prime Video shows. I can't do that on the MacBook. Also, the iPad Pro has a nicer screen with wide colour gamut and True Tone, which has spoiled me:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/i’m-spoiled-by-my-ipad-pro-want-better-features-for-new-macbooks.2177164/

However, if I need to be more productive with my office type applications, I stick to my MacBook, because of application support and because of support for a trackpad and/or mouse.
 
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kht410

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2016
25
9
Personally, I would wait, unless you can get it at a significant discount. It's almost two years old now.
Yeah I kept telling myself it's crazy to buy a 2 year old laptop now, but I'm getting a bit impatient with Apple at this point. I can keep waiting but any idea when I should wait until? I don’t understand why it's taking them so long to update it.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,607
2,736
Bay Area
Personally, I would wait, unless you can get it at a significant discount. It's almost two years old now.
Agree with this. It's still a good machine, but no way should you be paying full price for 2017 tech in 2019.

There ARE significant discounts, sometimes. If I were you, I'd be looking for several hundred dollars off before I'd consider it.
 
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radiologyman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2011
639
176
You can find MB 12 2017 for less than MBA. Given that base MB comes with 256 GB storage, I would get that over 128 GB MBA.
 
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FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors regular
May 12, 2015
246
118
Manhattan Beach, CA
for productive work id wait for the next Mbr. I have the 2015 and 2017 and they are fine but when I use the 2018 Mini the instant speed is definitely noticeable. I'm 50/50 Mbr and Mac mini user and im fine with my current setup but I do have a fantasy of getting a future MBr 12 that is as snappy as a MBP
 
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fokmik

macrumors 601
Oct 28, 2016
4,009
3,227
USA
The mba is the macbook that others have asked
A bigger macbook with 2 usbC ports
Even if they didn’t put the same brightness display panel
 
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lukeyyyyy

macrumors member
Nov 18, 2010
47
9
I bought the 2017 base MacBook last month, I also have a 2018 15inch MacBook Pro.

I spend 1h 45 on a train each day and wanted something with the smallest possible footprint which would still allow me to be productive.

I run a few IntelliJ tabs with local database, Java and node instances running. MacBook handles it beautifully. Certainly not the fastest horse in the paddock, but capable none the less

If they re released it later this year id sell this because I’m not a fan of the keyboard and don’t trust it for the long term and perhaps lose out on 300 - 500 Aud upgrading.

Small price to pay for making my 2h commute productive!!
 
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kht410

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2016
25
9
Have you considered buying a used 2017 MacBook 12"? That's what I did a a few months ago and it's been great.
I’ve been looking for a second hand but no luck so far. I think i’ll just wait for the next refresh and buy brand new.
 

DNAppleGold

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2009
306
31
I’ve got a 2017 MB and it works exactly the same as the day I bought it. If portability is at a premium for you, I’d consider it. But look for sales. I’ve seen big discounts (bh photo had the rose gold model with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for just $999 — down from $1,599.). I’ve seen woot and Best Buy with big discounts as well. Maybe it means a refresh is near. But these are good prices for a machine that will easily last 3yrs.
 

kht410

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2016
25
9
I’ve got a 2017 MB and it works exactly the same as the day I bought it. If portability is at a premium for you, I’d consider it. But look for sales. I’ve seen big discounts (bh photo had the rose gold model with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for just $999 — down from $1,599.). I’ve seen woot and Best Buy with big discounts as well. Maybe it means a refresh is near. But these are good prices for a machine that will easily last 3yrs.
I live in Australia and we don’t have Best Buy here :(
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
1,525
661
The problem with Apple is that other than for iPhones, nothing else is on any kind of regular update cycle. So you don't know how long you have to wait. Going by MR's buyers guide, the answer is clear -- Don't Buy.

I translate that as follows --
If you don't absolutely need it, then wait. If you need it now, then just get it and don't question the value, because it is bad value to pay premium prices for 2 year old tech.
 
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