MacBook Air (mid-2012) to 12" MacBook (2017) = upgrade?

SiteChecker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
2
1
England
I have a mid-2012 1.8ghz i5 MacBook Air with 128gb storage. I use it lightly for web browsing and emails. The £800 m3 MacBook deal in the UK has me tempted for the screen upgrade alone (plus battery and 256gb storage). However, will I see any overall speed/performance upgrade?

Has anyone else made this switch? Would it be worth the extra £200 for the i5 MacBook with 512gb storage?
 
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Erehy Dobon

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2018
180
130
I replaced a 11" MacBook Air 2013 with a 12" MacBook 2017.

You will not see any performance improvements based on your two self-reported uses. Neither is CPU intensive.

I don't see what you'd get from the i5 512GB option apart from maybe future proofing it a year or two. Also, nobody here knows whether or not your usage case will change. Certainly if you start storing local data, the 512GB storage option will give you more headroom.

The MacBook 2017 has a nice Retina Display. It also has an inferior keyboard and the sole USB-C port. It is lighter than the MacBook Air.

Overall, I am satisfied my upgrade (mostly for the better display) although I wished that I had waited for the 2018 Air. When I purchased my 2017 MacBook, I was under the impression that Apple would discontinue the Air product line.

Someday, I will probably replace this MacBook with a MacBook Air if the latter switches to a better scissor-style keyboard.

My MacBook has 512GB of storage of which I am using 44GB; that's about the same amount I was using on my 2013 notebook. I don't have to worry if I need to temporarily store a bunch of local data, but for daily use I really don't need 512GB.

Good luck with your purchase decision.
 
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SiteChecker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2019
2
1
England
Thanks for the info, why do you wish you got the 2018 Air? Just because of the keyboard (which I didn’t think was that different) and the extra USB port? Do you think it’s with the extra ~£450?

Does the increased resolution in the 12” MacBook display websites any better? I’ve started to notice some websites on my 2012 Air almost look too big for the screen.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2018
180
130
MacBook Air 2018 benefits: faster CPU options, more battery life, larger display, better price-performance value (the MacBook commands a premium price for its low weight).

The 2018 Air has a bunch of peripheral ports, something I miss on my MacBook 2017 which is perpetually plugged into a mini hub.

The MacBook 2017's Retina Display does render text better than my old 2013 Air.

I don't know about this "I’ve started to notice some websites on my 2012 Air almost look too big for the screen" thing you claim. My usual machine is a Mac mini 2018 driving a 27" 4K monitor. I don't use the MacBook very much. My eyes are old, my neck and back are tired and hunched over a 12" display is way worse than sitting straight and enjoying a 27" display at eye level.

Because my MacBook isn't my primary computer, I think I could live with the lower resolution MacBook Air display. It's not like I spend 40 hours a week on my MacBook, more like 8 hours.

But buy what you want. For basic web surfing and e-mail, any Apple computer manufactured in the past 10 years will suffice.
 
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JamesTheMac

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2019
13
6
UK
I went from an i7 2014 11” to a 2017 i7.

The additional screen real estate is worth the upgrade. Performance is supposed to be a little better on paper. Although I did bump it from 8GB on the air to 16GB. So that does give improvements to my use cases which is Xcode programming and occasionally running a Windows 10 VM. The rest of the time, the computer is used for word, excel, PowerPoint, and web surfing.

The keyboard is ok and easy to get used to. Just has the reliability concerns.

Why did I get the 12” over the new Air? Form factor... the 11” is a great little machine, that can be used anywhere, including trains, aircraft etc., with ease.

Always worth getting a decent amount of storage, so it can be used for a couple of years longer. Yes, you can manage storage via cloud services, and extra storage. But these can be awkward. Also, having less files on a larger disk, helps the ‘disk’ from being hammered, as the ‘wear’ gets spread over a larger capacity.

Certainly a worthwhile upgrade still; it won’t be any slower, and the display does make a big difference.
 

SmackBookPro

Suspended
Jan 11, 2018
529
362
These guys make okay points. But that £800 price tag makes this undoubtably the best value Mac you’ll ever buy. Go for it is my advice.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2002
1,931
514
If the 2018 Air is considered an option at all, I would always go the extra step and take the 13" MBP. Close in weight, identical footprint and same price point, but (sometimes significantly) better components and performance.

For focus on mobility (weight, size) the 12"MB is king, hands down.

Will be interesting to see what Apple might potentially do in the rumored 2019 refresh for the Air.
 
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