Longevity of the MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jrb363, Apr 2, 2014.


How long do you keep your MBA before upgrading?

  1. I've never upgraded

  2. I upgrade every year

  3. I upgrade every other year

  4. I only upgrade when there's a reason. (Retina, double memory/ssd, etc)

  1. jrb363 macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    How long should the Macbook Air last as a general use PC? I've got the base 2011 11" model with 2GB ram/64GB SSD and for now it still works fine, but I find myself wishing for more storage or a complete upgrade all together. Of course, as always, the question is one of cost not desire. :(

    Just curious how long some of you tend to hold onto your Macbook Air and what prompts you to upgrade. :confused:
  2. helix142 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    2010 still Going

    I have a 2010 that's still going strong. I used it for 3 years as my primary machine. I then gave it to my wife so I could get new MBA2013 :D If you're waiting for it to die on it's own, it could be a long wait. If you want to upgrade you might want to look into selling it, or bequeath it to someone in your family.
  3. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Seems your question has to do more about general life expectancy of a Mac rather than a specific model. When you buy the cheapest Mac in a given lineup, I guess you can't expect to hold onto it as long as you would a higher end model, especially models that can't be upgraded down the road like the Air.

    FWIW, I bought then top-of-the-line 2012MBP, upgraded from the start to 16GB RAM, with a faster HDD. Later purchase would be an SSD or a band new machine, depending when I'll consider its speed insufficient for increasingly heavy apps. I know it may be a tougher sale as I upgrade, because buyers of second-hand stuff are usually very cheap.
  4. iRun26.2 macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2010
    I always buy the 'maxed out' version of my computer and only upgrade when the display is improved. Thus, I've been waiting for the retina MBA for a long time.
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I had a 13" 2011 i5/4gb/256gb MBA. Last summer I sold it to a friend who needed a new computer as a "sweetheart deal". I replaced it with an 11" 2013 i7/8gb/512gb MBA.

    So that was sort of an "upgrade of opportunity", I would not have upgraded so soon otherwise. Very happy with the performance of my 2013 machine and not interested in retina screens so I probably won't be upgrading again for awhile unless my needs change.
  6. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Hey :)

    I've owned 2 Macs. One was a 2008 Macbook Pro which I used as my main computer for 5 years until I acquired a desktop. Another was a 2010 Macbook Air which I carried to school almost daily.

    While the MBP was 2 years older, I upgraded it to a 500GB HDD and 4GB RAM, while the MBA only had 64GB SSD + 2GB RAM, both of which I often felt was a little too little/slow for me.

    Still I held onto it. Until the day that I stopped holding onto it...I left it by my doorstep while searching for my keys and I didn't bring it in. :( If that wasn't a good enough reason to get a better MBA then I don't know what is.
  7. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    If there's a very compelling (to me) reason, I'll consider upgrading. With that said my tendancy is to hold on to tech as long as possible to get as much use out of the gadgets as I can.
  8. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    When I first got my MBA my plan was to upgrade every two years, because that's about how long my previous PC laptops lasted. I'm at about 2 years now and I see no reason at all to get rid of it. It's actually more reliable than the newer models (2013s have all sorts of problems) and more than fast enough for my use. The 8gb RAM upgrade helped. As it is now I'll probably keep this one for at least two more years. Even if the next model has some new features that's not enough to justify replacing a perfectly good $1000+ laptop.
  9. sixrom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    I upgrade every other year but only because I prefer to. Every Mac laptop I've owned has been especially durable. My wife's four year old MBP is still going strong. I've offered to replace it but she's attached and wants to see how long it will last. She takes good care so I bet it'll be good for quite some time.
  10. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    I came across a 2013 refurb13" MBA Ultimate last fall and managed to sell my 2012 Ultimate for about the same price. :D
  11. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    I upgrade my Air every year - especially at the release (or impending release) of a new OS X.
    I on-sell the old one on eBay and gain a tax offset for the upgrade net cost. :D
    I've been doing this since the release of the 2nd MBAir and even though I dropped big $ in the early days of the Air, the difference now is negligible and the improvement in performance is amazing.
    [ps - I always buy the base model]
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    To be honest, the thread title is a little misleading; it asks about the longevity of the MBA, whereas, reading the thread itself, it is obvious that what the OP is asking about is for how long people decide to keep their MBAs.

    In general, I decide to keep mine for between two and a half and three years; Applecare is what really determines the lifespan of my computers, not technological breakthroughs. My first Apple was a MBP, which I bought in April 2008, a belated birthday present to myself; in September 2008, after two years abroad, I bought a MBA, - the old 'Rev C' and early the following year, sold the MBP. Both had Applecare.

    The MBA, in turn, was gifted to my brother last summer, and I replaced it with a maxed out 13" MBA (8 GB RAM/512 SSD and Core i7), the computer I am writing this on. As that was CTO, it took longer than expected to be ready, - it wasn't ready when I was due to return abroad - and, as I work abroad, I had need of a computer to take back with me.

    Thus, as a stop gap, last summer, I bought a 2012 11" MBA (refurb; 8GB RAM, 256 SSD, and strangely, Core i7); a fantastic little machine, (to which - as with the CTO) I also added Applecare. A colleague lusted after the 11", and two months ago, I sold it to him.

    Having said all that, the 2013 MBA is a superb machine, well worth getting, and the battery life alone makes it an awful lot better than the model offered in 2012 (which I also had, but which I subsequently sold).
  13. CTgreen macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2014
    I previously had a 13" MBA from 2011, and the compelling reason to upgrade to a 2013 MBA... was not there, for me. I am, however, very much enjoying my upgrade to the MacBook Pro. I get all the incremental upgrades that've been happening sine '11 AND the amazing-by-comaprison Retina display. I can't go back to the Air's screen now.

    If you can work out a way to get the Pro over the Air, I'd absolutely recommend it. WAY more bang for for the buck, in my opinion.
  14. achates, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    achates macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2014
    I am still very happy with my 2011 13' MBA. This should be my primary laptop until the battery dies. I have been a mac user since 1989. My Mac usually lasts longer than my lust for a newer model, i.e. 5-7 years versus 3 years. My previous purchase was the 2006 MacBook. It still serves as my print and scan station :cool:
  15. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    I replace all my Macs every year to take advantage of the latest technologies and performance enhancements.

    That 2010 MacBook Air someone mentioned earlier in the thread is almost as slow as a Windows 8 PC now with 64GB RAM. I can't imagine still using that model every day. But I keep it in my little Apple museum here.
  16. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Nowadays I keep it until it no longer serves my needs but I remember when I suffered from the addiction of always needing to upgrade every year :D
  17. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    My computer needs have calmed down a lot over the years. I don't use resource heavy programs anymore so I don't plan on upgrading until my 2013 MBA dies. I don't see any new technologies being such a life changer that I will upgrade.
  18. jrb363 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    So was it stolen? :eek: Or did you just forget it was there and go back outside to get it?
  19. sm0 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Wellington, NZ
    Same here. 2011. Still going strong. Still beautiful.

    I upgraded from the previous model just for the backlit keyboard. And will most likely upgrade just for the Retina. I have been waiting for a long time.

    Funny that the Powerbook/Macbook Pro is what got me into Macs in the first place. But as soon as I got one I sold it within 3 months. Macbooks and Airs are great!
  20. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Yeah it was stolen. Realized the next day that it wasn't in my bag. Went back out to look for it but it was gone :(
  21. Alexappleusa macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2011
    I have a mid 2011 macbook air 4gb 1.8ghz no plans anytime soon to upgrade.

    I did try and upgrade the SSD, bit of a headache, bought an owc SSD on ebay 480GB failed and am now waiting for RMA return, (only due to the kindness of the seller, OWC does not transfer warranty after 2 years..) I have a thread open about it...

    Thats my only qualm storage, though 128GB MICRO SD card in my nub drive adapter might see me through...
  22. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    This is my first new Mac (2013, 11" base), so I've never upgraded. I probably won't upgrade for a few years, even though I will want to, I'm sure.

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