MBA 13” still viable purchase ?

Wags

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Mar 5, 2006
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Just saw BB had $250 discount.
Got me thinking about getting second laptop. No heavy work load. Internet, word processing, childs elementary school use. New generation for everything sometime next several months. (Except MBA)
Any thoughts ?
 
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gobikerider

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Just saw BB had $250 discount.
Got me thinking about getting second laptop. No heavy work load. Internet, word processing, childs elementary school use. New generation for everything flextime several months. (Except MBA)
Any thoughts ?
I was curious myself. As nice as the new MacBooks are, they are all atleast $1500 after Apple Care. The MacBook Air seems more then capable for my usage of writing papers/research/coding during college. I feel likes it’s the difference bewtween buying a brand new car vs the last generation of that car that’s proven its reliability over the past 5 model years. The price is great as well coming in under $1000 after Apple Care.
 

Glmnet1

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For your usage, the only downside I can think of is the screen. The MacBook has a very nice high resolution display. You should be fine with the MBA though.
 
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gobikerider

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Yes, newest Retina very nice but would be like $500 more with BB price.
I’m personally going to keep an eye on its price and will probably pick one up once this price or an even better deal is offered. I simply don’t have an opportunity to go out tonight so I’ll be missing the $250 off deal, I’m sure it le a $300 off deal will return soon enough though.
 

Wags

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I was curious myself. As nice as the new MacBooks are, they are all atleast $1500 after Apple Care. The MacBook Air seems more then capable for my usage of writing papers/research/coding during college. I feel likes it’s the difference bewtween buying a brand new car vs the last generation of that car that’s proven its reliability over the past 5 model years. The price is great as well coming in under $1000 after Apple Care.
Not sure if AppleCare really worth it at these MBA prices.
 
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sracer

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Just saw BB had $250 discount.
Got me thinking about getting second laptop. No heavy work load. Internet, word processing, childs elementary school use. New generation for everything sometime next several months. (Except MBA)
Any thoughts ?
$250 off is about as good as it gets on a sale on the MBA these days. Back in 2014 Best Buy had a deal with $250 off plus an addition $200 for .edu discount. Back then I was able to get a 4GB/128GB 11" MBA for $475 out the door (including tax).

Since Best Buy deals are a flat price off of all models, the best deal is on the base model... so if the base model can serve your needs it would be better to go with that than to go with the higher priced configurations.
 

Wags

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$250 off is about as good as it gets on a sale on the MBA these days. Back in 2014 Best Buy had a deal with $250 off plus an addition $200 for .edu discount. Back then I was able to get a 4GB/128GB 11" MBA for $475 out the door (including tax).

Since Best Buy deals are a flat price off of all models, the best deal is on the base model... so if the base model can serve your needs it would be better to go with that than to go with the higher priced configurations.
Yes, that is my same thoughts. Don’t want to invest in MBP this moment even though had some good pricing recently too.
 

Micky Do

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Been thinking of getting a basically specced MacBook Air myself to supplement my 2009 Mac Mini, and as an upgrade in some respects. Whereas in the past I would take the Mini to work (as a teacher) a couple of times a term, of late I have been using it in class once or twice a week, and that is likely to increase going ahead. I use it with a LCD projector. The MBA would be more convenient to carry and set up, plus not having to rely on a projector as a monitor would be better.

I recently updated the OS to El Capitan, as far as I can go with the 2009 Mini, and am content with that in most respects........ except that it came with Photos 1.0, which is a disaster. Previously, on Mountain Lion, I used iPhoto, which, though a bit basic, was fine for my purposes (which has included providing photos of some sports events for the local newspaper).

A new MBA would come with the latest version of MacOS. With that comes Photos 3.0, which is a great improvement on the original, an restores much of the functionality of iPhoto.

While many in the USA seem to sniff at the MacBook Air as old tech and old fashioned, I have seen several reviewers from India and other countries raving about it.

The only significant advantage offered by the 12 inch MacBook seems to be the Retina display, which is neither here nor there from my point of view. USB C seems a good thing, and probably the way things are going, but where I'm at little of what I would want to connect to is so model. Until recently USB C hubs have not been available. Even now the selection is limited. All that is unlikely to change soon, so for now and a while ahead the older tech connectivity of the MBA remains favourite.

While the Mac Mini I have now continues to function and be adequate for my needs (photography aside), I am not inclined to replace it...... though could be tempted with a new improved update to the current 2014 model, which may or may not be coming soon. The MBA could be an interim solution, and supplement a desktop going ahead.
 

Scarpad

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I'd say no i'd like to say yes, the Mac line just does'nt seem to be important to Apple anymore despite what they say. The MBA Form factor is a winner and if they just kept them up to date with Quad core processors and modern internals they would sell, Windows 10 has improved enough that its a better buy now over any macbook
 

Wags

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I'd say no i'd like to say yes, the Mac line just does'nt seem to be important to Apple anymore despite what they say. The MBA Form factor is a winner and if they just kept them up to date with Quad core processors and modern internals they would sell, Windows 10 has improved enough that its a better buy now over any macbook
Agree. Really just wants to be iOS company.
Started the thread comparing discounted air $749 compared to MBP13 $1299.
Screen is really only difference and half price. Same thing MB
 

iluvgadgets

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Mar 25, 2015
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Ok love my 11 in. MBA. Not excited about screen . I looked at MacBook but don't like the keyboard or lack of ports. I also like the lighted Apple on the air lol.

My air works for me, so I'll keep it until it dies. I carry it for work. At home I have a MB pro. The battery on it is terrible, but I have no need to upgrade yet. I just don't like the keyboard on the newer machines. I also like the safe cord and my ports.
 

Eithanius

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Nov 19, 2005
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My air works for me, so I'll keep it until it dies. I carry it for work. At home I have a MB pro. The battery on it is terrible, but I have no need to upgrade yet. I just don't like the keyboard on the newer machines. I also like the safe cord and my ports.
I kinda have your problem, of a 2010 MBP 15" with terrible battery, been replacing the latter every other year which I don't think feasible in the long run. Currently in deep thoughts whether to get a new 2018 iPad or a 2017 MBA to supplement my MBP on the road.
 

Scepticalscribe

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To the OP, yes, it is.

To my mind, the post 2013 Airs are probably the best computers Apple have ever made; they are fast, powerful, portable, reliable and have terrific battery life.

I am writing this on my 11" MBA which dates from 2014, and it is easily the best computer I have had in my life; if they still sold this form factor, I'd buy another in a heartbeat, but, as things stand, I'll probably buy a 13" MBA later this year.

Yes, I know the MBs have a nice retina screen, but, until the MB improves to at least the standard of the MBA in several other areas that matter more to me (keyboard, power, battery, reliability, lack of/presence of ports, the MagSafe - which I love), I have no intention of buying one.

And yes, I know that USB-C may well be the future, but, at the moment, I am anchored in the present, and what the present offers by way of such technology (such as the ability to charge up my Astell & Kern mp3 player and use a memory stick and charge the computer all at one and the same time) meets my current needs more than adequately.
 
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Bazza1

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May 16, 2017
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Toronto, Canada
My mid-2011 11" MBA is still going gangbusters here. I have thought about upgrading to the most recent 13" - an increase in RAM and SSD might be nice - especially as rumours afoot about a 'new' MBA. Which, given Apple's track record, would likely mean underpowered, the loss of the important ports I use, no Magsafe, an extremely problematic keyboard - but a swell new screen. Oh, and at least one model year to get most of the bugs ironed out. They'd probably also like to kill off all past MBAs, and force users to otherwise purchase the appalling MacBook.

So yeah, the current MBA is a (more than) viable purchase.
 

gertruded

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Jul 5, 2007
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To the OP, yes, it is.

To my mind, the post 2013 Airs are probably the best computers Apple have ever made; they are fast, powerful, portable, reliable and have terrific battery life.

I am writing this on my 11" MBA which dates from 2014, and it is easily the best computer I have had in my life; if they still sold this form factor, I'd buy another in a heartbeat, but, as things stand, I'll probably buy a 13" MBA later this year.

Yes, I know the MBs have a nice retina screen, but, until the MB improves to at least the standard of the MBA in several other areas that matter more to me (keyboard, power, battery, reliability, lack of ports, the MagSafe - which I love), I have no intention of buying one.

And yes, I know that USB-C may well be the future, but, at the moment, I am anchored in the present, and what the present offers by way of such technology (such as the ability to charge up my Astell & Kern mp3 player and use a memory stick and charge the computer all at one and the same time) meets my current needs more than adequately.

Yes I agree, my 2015 Air is the best. Newer is not always better. (My 2012 Air is still in use every day too by family members).

As a secondary point remember that the next Macos will not support 32 bit programs. That means that if I wait for the next air replacement it will have the next operating system, meaning I would have to purchase several hundred dollars of 64 bit programming and probably loose iPhoto too. (I refuse to go to the terrible Photos app from iPhoto).

I am with my 2015 Air and High Serria for years to come.
 

Macdctr

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Nov 25, 2009
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I have access to two spec'd MacBook Pros (one of them being my retina) and I find that I prefer using my 13 inch MBA. So much that I ended up purchasing an 11 inch MBA to refurbish and spec out...

I think the 13 inch MBA is a very good and reliable computer even today. I enjoy the incredibly long battery life my 2015 MBA provides. The magsafe connector is perfect and I don't have to worry about knocking my laptop to the floor if I get careless. Also having the extra ports is nice as well as having a good reliable keyboard. I have noticed that the new butterfly style keyboards used in current offerings are having issues...

I will stay with my "older" Macs....
 
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fathergll

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Sep 3, 2014
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I'd say no i'd like to say yes, the Mac line just does'nt seem to be important to Apple anymore despite what they say. The MBA Form factor is a winner and if they just kept them up to date with Quad core processors and modern internals they would sell, Windows 10 has improved enough that its a better buy now over any macbook

This is what is keeping me from buying a new MBA. If I am going to drop over $1000 on a laptop in Mid 2018 it better have a quad core chip and 16GB ram as specs start to really matter 4-5 years down the line. I'm not purchasing anything until the next gen Intel chips are being used by Apple. My 2012 MBA is doing ok still for light use and I'm glad I speced it out at the time with the upgraded memory and SSD size.
 
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Bazza1

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May 16, 2017
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This is what is keeping me from buying a new MBA. If I am going to drop over $1000 on a laptop in Mid 2018 it better have a quad core chip and 16GB ram as specs start to really matter 4-5 years down the line. I'm not purchasing anything until the next gen Intel chips are being used by Apple. My 2012 MBA is doing ok still for light use and I'm glad I speced it out at the time with the upgraded memory and SSD size.
I grant you that the Apple Tax is daunting, especially when considering the other options out there.

It was certainly a major consideration when I finally bit the bullet. I had been OS-ambidextrous, but my personal machine had always been Windows (which I had been with from Win 3.1 to Win 7) - but Win 8 and the realization I was feeling a need to upgrade my notebooks every two years or so (my person favourite - a notebook which died 13 months into a one year warranty) to keep up with the necessary hardware / software finally made me do it. Well that, and I found a new MBA on a serious discount a week after the newest model came out.

The 'other' OS (and hardware) has certainly improved since then (the same cannot be said of all of Apple's offerings), but Microsoft seems determined to screw with their OS experience enough to keep me leery. That said, Apple's determination to build the very least for the very most remains frustrating.

It seems that they, almost accidentally, built a really good notebook in the MBA - and have been trying to kill it off ever since. And while my mid-2011 11" MBA is still going strong, I've certainly looked at the 2017 13" (8/256) as a replacement. No other Apple product. If that's gone, there's no other current MacBook I'd consider. Back to Windows, I suppose.
 

fathergll

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Sep 3, 2014
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I grant you that the Apple Tax is daunting, especially when considering the other options out there.

It was certainly a major consideration when I finally bit the bullet. I had been OS-ambidextrous, but my personal machine had always been Windows (which I had been with from Win 3.1 to Win 7) - but Win 8 and the realization I was feeling a need to upgrade my notebooks every two years or so (my person favourite - a notebook which died 13 months into a one year warranty) to keep up with the necessary hardware / software finally made me do it. Well that, and I found a new MBA on a serious discount a week after the newest model came out.

The 'other' OS (and hardware) has certainly improved since then (the same cannot be said of all of Apple's offerings), but Microsoft seems determined to screw with their OS experience enough to keep me leery. That said, Apple's determination to build the very least for the very most remains frustrating.

It seems that they, almost accidentally, built a really good notebook in the MBA - and have been trying to kill it off ever since. And while my mid-2011 11" MBA is still going strong, I've certainly looked at the 2017 13" (8/256) as a replacement. No other Apple product. If that's gone, there's no other current MacBook I'd consider. Back to Windows, I suppose.

Yes it does seem like they want the MBA to go away in favor of other laptops. On top of this im not a fan of the new Apple keyboards and might be forced back to Windows.
 

Pugly

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Jun 7, 2016
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It's viable because the MBA provides things people need. But anyone buying one should be aware of the value of the alternatives. A comparative windows laptop will give you vastly better hardware specs for the money. The MacBook and/or Pro, outside of the compromises, are better in all the ways they share capabilities (except battery life of course).

But if you need a Mac laptop for the lowest cost, or need USB-A ports, or hate the new keyboards the Air is still not a bad choice. It's your only choice really, and still works great for what it needs to do.

It's sad that the Air didn't get some basic upgrades before it reached this final form, but it's still the perfect design for a laptop. Any future laptop will always be a modest refinement of the Air's concept.

All in all It's still viable because Moore's Law is dead...