MBA 2019 - Coming-up on 6 months

Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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The 2019 MBA was released in July, so we are coming up on 6 months. I bought mine in August, so this is the 5th month for me. Anyway, I was interested in how satisfied people are with this iteration of the MBA.

Basically, I am the target customer for the MBA. My use is pretty typical of average consumers; i.e. Mail, Messages, Calendar, Notes, Safari, iWork, MS Office, iMovie, Photos, and streaming video/movies. I could probably have gotten by with an iPad Pro, since I retired a few years ago. However, when you add iPad accessories (pencil and KB), they were close to the same price. And, I still do a fair amount of spreadsheet work for the family real estate business and community volunteer activities, so the MBA was a better choice for me.

Anyway, my prior laptop was the 2014 MBA, and it was a great computer. However, it only had 4GB of RAM, so it was getting a bit sluggish. Also, I liked the new MBA's display and smaller footprint for portability. Honestly, I could have gone a couple of more years on the old unit, but there was a good deal so I decided to trade-in for the 2019 MBA.

So far so good. No problems whatsoever. I like the feel of the keyboard, but I understand that some folks do not. It's a personal preference thing. Also, I haven't had any reliability problems with the keyboard so far. Anecdotally (tech reviews and online posts), it seems like the 2019 Butterfly KB is better than the predecessor KBs. It will take some time before we truly know if it is "fixed". I definitely prefer the screen, it is significantly better than my older model. It is also snapper owing to 8GB RAM, which is standard on the base model. Finally, I appreciate the smaller bezels and footprint. It's easier to get the laptop into my backpack. I know that the 2019 MBA is a quarter pound lighter than the older model, but, I don't really notice that difference.

All in all, at this point, I am very satisfied with the 2019 MBA. My 2014 MBA was the best electronic device I ever owned. For me, the 2019 MBA has a shot at unseating its predecessor. Time will tell.

Ok. Given the fact that I am satisfied, I probably shouldn't be asking these questions. Ignorance is bliss. But.....How is it going for other 2019 MBA users? Are you happy with your purchase? How do you use it? Has the computer been reliable?
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
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Happy with mine, also 2019 MBA 8/256. Mostly use it for email/web/MS office.
 

vaugha

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2011
557
170
Very happy w/ mine also, 2019 mba - 16gb, 1tb ssd in silver. Keyboard is fine. I haven't heard any complaints regarding the keyboard since 2019 mbps, mbas came out. I will probably buy the next gen when they put the magic keyboard and thinner bezels just like the 16" mbp.
 
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Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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I think if they introduced the 10th gen Y CPU’s soon, I will buy one in a heart beat. I’d like the magic keyboard and thinner bezels but those changes are likely far away.
 

JBGoode

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2018
691
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I've had mine for a few months and bought it for basic uses like yours. I've had no reliability issues and no real problems with the keyboard which I don't mind typing on. I DO seem to make a lot more errors while typing which I'm sure is related to the almost non-existent key travel but for the most part, typing on it is ok although at this point I'm pretty sure I'd prefer a traditional scissor switch.

If a model with the newer keyboard is released next year I will be tempted to buy it but since I don't do a whole lot of typing, I hope to resist the urge as I really have no need of a new laptop. I find I don't even use this one as much as I thought and my 10.5 pro is my most used device at the moment.
 

Mainsail

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Sep 19, 2010
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I think if they introduced the 10th gen Y CPU’s soon, I will buy one in a heart beat. I’d like the magic keyboard and thinner bezels but those changes are likely far away.
I agree. I think a routine update to the processor will occur next year. I understand that many folks anticipate a redesign soon to accommodate the Magic KB. I am not so sure this will happen right away. I don't think we can necessarily extrapolate design decision/trade-offs for Apple's largest laptop to Apple thinest and most portable laptop. Also, it might just be more cost effective for Apple to wait a few years until they do a full MBA redesign...... a typical 4-5 year cycle.

If sales of the MBA are brisk, there are fewer problems with the latest BF KB, and customer satisfaction is high, then there really is no immediate reason to switch to the magic KB or do a full redesign.
 

auxbuss

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2014
187
143
UK
I've had the 2018 base model for over a year now, and have no complaints at all. I love how portable it is and the battery life. The CPU thing doesn't bother me. The Air's not intended for grunt work – and it's never once been a problem – so I'll take time-on-battery over CPU power every day.
 
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Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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I've had the 2018 base model for over a year now, and have no complaints at all. I love how portable it is and the battery life. The CPU thing doesn't bother me. The Air's not intended for grunt work – and it's never once been a problem – so I'll take time-on-battery over CPU power every day.
Historically the Air had a 15W CPU and was probably the most popular development laptop.

Now of course the current 7W CPU is more powerful than the 15W of yesteryear but dev tools etc have also become more resource intensive, so while I think it’d be great if they could make an Air today with a modern 15W CPU (similar to Window Ultrabooks), a 4 core 9W 10th gen Y processor will be a very good compromise to the current situation - it won’t beat the XPS 13 in performance but also won’t be a worry in my head in terms of being slow to compile or when multitasking like the current dual core Y processor does.
 

Mainsail

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Historically the Air had a 15W CPU and was probably the most popular development laptop.

Now of course the current 7W CPU is more powerful than the 15W of yesteryear but dev tools etc have also become more resource intensive, so while I think it’d be great if they could make an Air today with a modern 15W CPU (similar to Window Ultrabooks), a 4 core 9W 10th gen Y processor will be a very good compromise to the current situation - it won’t beat the XPS 13 in performance but also won’t be a worry in my head in terms of being slow to compile or when multitasking like the current dual core Y processor does.
In general, if you do a fair amount of coding, you are probably better off with the MBP.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
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Historically the Air had a 15W CPU and was probably the most popular development laptop.

Now of course the current 7W CPU is more powerful than the 15W of yesteryear but dev tools etc have also become more resource intensive, so while I think it’d be great if they could make an Air today with a modern 15W CPU (similar to Window Ultrabooks), a 4 core 9W 10th gen Y processor will be a very good compromise to the current situation - it won’t beat the XPS 13 in performance but also won’t be a worry in my head in terms of being slow to compile or when multitasking like the current dual core Y processor does.
If it’s going to make the machine run hotter like the base MBP, I would rather they stick with the lower wattage processor.
 
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magicschoolbus

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May 27, 2014
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I love my MacBook Air.

It's the best computer I have ever had. No problems, super lightweight, looks awesome, great speakers, I LOVE the keyboard, the trackpad, screen... I do not regretting getting the pro. The fan also never turns on and the battery life is insanely good.

I have a 512/16GB RAM. Love this machine.. I don't even care if they refresh it that's how much I love it so much. It's a seriously fantastic computer..
 

Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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If it’s going to make the machine run hotter like the base MBP, I would rather they stick with the lower wattage processor.
This is a 10th gen 10nm Y-series processor so should in theory be more efficient thermally and in terms of battery life compared to the current 14nm Y-series even with 2 extra cores.

You’ll also get WiFi 6 and probably some other niceties of the new 10nm process.
 
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torana355

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Dec 8, 2009
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Sydney, Australia
I got a 2018 base MBA a month before Apple released the 2019 model. So far I'm really liking it, I enjoy typing on the keyboard but I'm aware of the reliability issues. Will keep it till it dies, by then Apple should have ARM laptops out.
 
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Mainsail

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I got a 2018 base MBA a month before Apple released the 2019 model. So far I'm really liking it, I enjoy typing on the keyboard but I'm aware of the reliability issues. Will keep it till it dies, by then Apple should have ARM laptops out.
The good news is that if you need the keyboard replaced, Apple will put in the 2019 version under the 4 year warranty.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
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Sydney, Australia
The good news is that if you need the keyboard replaced, Apple will put in the 2019 version under the 4 year warranty.
Well my 2011 MBA lasted over 7 years so it doesn't really help me when I'm past that initial 4 year warranty period however I knew about it before my purchase, will be interesting to see if it can last as long as my 2011 model.
 

3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
103
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Anyone push their AIR for audio production work (Logic Pro X)? Yes, I know it's not designed for this. But my company is going to hand me one next week as our next work computer 16GB Ram/256 SSD.

Knowing this was coming, I avoided getting a MacBook Pro as this may be "good enough" for the occasional audio production/recording on the fly (can't beat the price, obviously).

Disappointed we missed the next gen Y chips as they seem a big step up, but happy to have a new work toy to play with.
 
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Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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Anyone push their AIR for audio production work (Logic Pro X)? Yes, I know it's not designed for this. But my company is going to hand me one next week as our next work computer 16GB Ram/256 SSD.

Knowing this was coming, I avoided getting a MacBook Pro as this may be "good enough" for the occasional audio production/recording on the fly (can't beat the price, obviously).

Disappointed we missed the next gen Y chips as they seem a big step up, but happy to have a new work toy to play with.
As someone waiting for the next Y series chips, if it helps, no one knows whether they come by end of this year, end of Q1, Q2 or autumn 2020 🤷‍♂️.
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
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I got a 2018 base MBA a month before Apple released the 2019 model. So far I'm really liking it, I enjoy typing on the keyboard but I'm aware of the reliability issues. Will keep it till it dies, by then Apple should have ARM laptops out.
same and same.
i also have the 2018 MacBook Air (16GB ram / 500GB) bought Dec 2018.
really like it. keyboard is great.
i also want this mac's replacement to be an ARM based laptop. maybe 2021 ?
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
602
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Austin, TX
I've owned and used a 2019 MacBook Air base model one for two weeks in October while my 2017 MacBook was in for yet another keyboard replacement :rolleyes:

Long story short: didn't like it. Not only because it comes with that dreaded broken-by-design Butterfly keyboard but mainly because of the fan. I hated it because I could hear it even when it was running at minimum revs, and it was practically always on. I realize that this is highly subjective, and that 99/100 people won't have that problem, but I am extremely sensitive to noise and fan noise in particular drives me nuts.
 

Mainsail

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Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
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I understand the echo chamber of “broken by design”, but after 6 months in the wild, there really is no evidence that the 2019 butterfly KB is any worse than other types of KBS. Certainly, it seems to be fairing better than its predecessors.

As for the fan on the 2019 MBA, I can’t remember ever even hearing it on mine. I am sure it has come on....but, definitely not an issue for me.
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
602
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Austin, TX
It's only been six months. There have been multiple reports of failed keyboards, even with that latest iteration. Much less than before, granted, but again: it's only been six months. Give it more time, maybe a year or two, and it will fail. That silicone membrane is doing a good job at keeping dust and dirt out, and it certainly improved reliability. However, the inherent design flaw is still there and once dirt gets in there the membrane does an equally amazing job at ensuring it never escapes again :p

As for the fan on the 2019 MBA, I can’t remember ever even hearing it on mine. I am sure it has come on....but, definitely not an issue for me.
Yeah, I don't really know what caused this but it was definitely annoying. Like I said I am very sensitive to fan noise in particular and have been unable to stand laptops that others have claimed to be dead silent. My brain is probably fine-tuned to that particular frequency, just like some people get really annoyed by ticking clocks.
 
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ScreenSavers

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Feb 26, 2016
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Bloomingdale, GA
My 2018 MBP had no keyboard issues in all the time I owned it (Until the beginning of this month) and I heard the 2019 is even more reliable?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the MBA had the butterfly keyboard for several more years, and if it’s reliable, that’s a good decision. It’s a very thin, precise keyboard.

I wouldn’t touch a 2016-2017 MBP or any of those (now discontinued) 12” MacBooks though. Those keyboards are horrible and they have Flexgate now.