MBA 2015 11” - any gotchas?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by imrazor, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. imrazor, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019

    imrazor macrumors member

    imrazor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Dol Amroth
    #1
    I’ve been quoted a price of ~$525 to repair the screen on my 2012 rMBP 13”, which already has bad TB and USB ports. So given it’s age and likelihood that it will be vintage soon, it’s probably best to replace it.

    For about the same price I can get a 2015 MBA 11.6” w/ 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Is this a fair deal? Are there any known hardware problems to look out for with this model?

    Reasons I like this laptop-
    1) Even more portable
    2) Geekbench is about the same as my old rMBP. Ditto for the RAM and SSD.
    3) More future proof than the old girl.
    4) It has ports!

    Any flaws in my reasoning?
     
  2. Brammy macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #2
    I have an 11" Air from that era.

    The biggest thing is the lack of the retina screen. I notice it. I still like my 11" Air, but after I got used to the retina on ally my other devices, I really notice the lack of a retina screen.

    It is very light and portable which I like.
     
  3. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #3
    Other than he screen not being particularly amazing, it’s a fantastic little laptop. I’d say go for it!
     
  4. imrazor thread starter macrumors member

    imrazor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Dol Amroth
    #4
    Thanks for the thoughts guys. I’ve also spotted a couple of deals on a 13” MBA with 8GB and an i7, but only with a 128GB SSD. The 13” does have the SD slot to help deal with the lack of onboard storage. How much hassle is living with such a small boot drive?
     
  5. Brammy macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    #5
    Another option are the ultra USB drives from San Disk. That said, 128 is tough. I wouldn't want to move your user folder to to an external drive, but it's good for storing a lot of loose data.

    I have also seen people upgrade the internal SSDs so that could be an option. I wouldn't go less than 256.
     
  6. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #6
    I have both the 11inch and 13inch MBA and really like my 11inch because of how portable this little laptop is. I also have a retina MBP and like Brammy mentioned, notice the difference but with that said, I still tend to use my MBA most of the time. The display is adequate for my needs and with the app SwitchResX you can adjust the resolution of the display to suit your needs.

    Since you have a 2015, get a Sintech adapter and a decent sized NVMe M.2 drive to replace that small 128GB SSD you have in there. You will immediately notice the drive performance boost of NVMe drives and can enjoy having more storage. There is a good writeup in this forum regarding upgrading to NVMe storage in MBA.

    I have a 500GB Samsung 950PRO NVMe M.2 drive in my 2015 13inch MBA and have no issues. Been running this config since April2018.
     
  7. robvas macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
  8. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #8
    Sure you can get a MBr 12inch but then you also get the problematic "butterfly" keyboard. No thanks....
     
  9. imrazor thread starter macrumors member

    imrazor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Dol Amroth
    #9
    So I zigged instead of zagging. I'm writing this on a brand new (not refurb) 2017 MacBook Air i7 with only 128GB storage. Despite what @Brammy and others have said about the screen, I'm pretty happy with it. Somebody (not here) said it had a TN panel, but the viewing angles seem great. And my middle aged eyes can't really see the individual pixels, despite it being non-Retina. The glossy finish is a bit distracting though, and it's certainly not blindingly bright. EDIT: I thought the backlight brightness was the screen brightness, duh. It's plenty bright now...

    I decided to go this route because, well, I wanted a new Mac without all the issues that usually come with used hardware. But at the same time I also wanted a decent keyboard that wasn't going to break a week after the warranty expired. So I got last year's model at a significant discount. Plus, as others have mentioned, the storage is upgradeable if not the RAM.

    Any suggestions on cases, sleeves, or other ways to carry this thing around? The naked look is certainly striking, but I worry about scratching it up. While I don't abuse laptops, I don't treat them like prima donnas either.
     
  10. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Location:
    Ocean State
    #10
    The RAM is soldered and not upgradable unless you have the tools and skills for micro-miniature solder repair... Storage drive however, there are good writeups in this section of upgrading storage drives in MacBook Air. Congrats on your new laptop imrazor :)
     

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