Mixup means decision: 2017 refurb MBA vs. 2019 MBA

Ms.Tessie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2018
6
0
Here's what happened: Ordered a refurbished 2017 MBA, had to leave town for several weeks to help ailing parents. Had to extend pickup date twice, but was assured things everything was okay in that regards. No one at the Apple Store can explain why the refurb was sent back prematurely after I was assured it wouldn't. As a gesture of goodwill, I'm being offered a 2019 MBA with the same HD capacity (500 GB) but with 16 GB RAM rather than the 8 GB that came with the 2017 MBA.

Before you call me crazy for even questioning this upgrade (but really, by all means be honest!), know that I'm severely sleep deprived, still worried about my parents, scrambling to catch up on my own life, and don't have tons of time to research another computer option, so I'm reaching out. I've never experienced the touch bar (strikes me as something else that could go wrong). I also have concerns about the keyboard, and it seemed to me that the 2017 MBA had escaped keyboard issues. Is that correct?

Also, the 2017 MBA is 2.2 GHz, and the 2019 is 1.6 GHz with some ability to get higher processing speeds at times.

I use the card reader on my current 2010 MBP, and I am not inclined to give that up. And I could continue using my older Apple Cinema Display with the 2017 MBA mini display port. And I have a favorite vintage Apple split keyboard (now I'm dating myself) that I want to continue using. It seems like I'm firmly entrenched in USB connection land, and my sense is that I'd need to get adapters to run things like my Evoluent mice.

Of course, getting 16 GB of RAM is better than 8 GB of RAM!
And I'd be getting a retina display in the 2019 MBA rather than the 2017 MBA's LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors. Regarding the display, I prefer whatever is best for my eyes over the long run. I've read posts here that the retina displays can cause eyestrain for some, not for others.

In conclusion, which would you choose and why?
Thanks for any who can weigh in, and I appreciate your help!
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,598
1,184
Georgia
Get a Thunderbolt charging dock to connect all those devices to. Then all you have to do is plug the 2019 MBA into the dock. That's it just one cable plugged in and you can charge, connect to a display, hard drives, USB devices (including vintage USB-ADB), card reader, ethernet, &c.

The 2017 MBA is really a 2015 MBA. There was a slight bump in CPU and base specs but the parts are all still the same generation.

The 2019 display is slightly brighter and covers more of the Adobe sRGB. The SSD is much faster. The CPU is about the same to mildly faster depending on the test but more energy efficient. 16GB RAM will help a lot with the useful life of the computer.

I'd get the 2019.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,175
2,508
Here's what happened: Ordered a refurbished 2017 MBA, had to leave town for several weeks to help ailing parents. Had to extend pickup date twice, but was assured things everything was okay in that regards. No one at the Apple Store can explain why the refurb was sent back prematurely after I was assured it wouldn't. As a gesture of goodwill, I'm being offered a 2019 MBA with the same HD capacity (500 GB) but with 16 GB RAM rather than the 8 GB that came with the 2017 MBA.

Before you call me crazy for even questioning this upgrade (but really, by all means be honest!), know that I'm severely sleep deprived, still worried about my parents, scrambling to catch up on my own life, and don't have tons of time to research another computer option, so I'm reaching out. I've never experienced the touch bar (strikes me as something else that could go wrong). I also have concerns about the keyboard, and it seemed to me that the 2017 MBA had escaped keyboard issues. Is that correct?

Also, the 2017 MBA is 2.2 GHz, and the 2019 is 1.6 GHz with some ability to get higher processing speeds at times.

I use the card reader on my current 2010 MBP, and I am not inclined to give that up. And I could continue using my older Apple Cinema Display with the 2017 MBA mini display port. And I have a favorite vintage Apple split keyboard (now I'm dating myself) that I want to continue using. It seems like I'm firmly entrenched in USB connection land, and my sense is that I'd need to get adapters to run things like my Evoluent mice.

Of course, getting 16 GB of RAM is better than 8 GB of RAM!
And I'd be getting a retina display in the 2019 MBA rather than the 2017 MBA's LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors. Regarding the display, I prefer whatever is best for my eyes over the long run. I've read posts here that the retina displays can cause eyestrain for some, not for others.

In conclusion, which would you choose and why?
Thanks for any who can weigh in, and I appreciate your help!
Definitely take the 2019. The "2017" is ancient computer technology at this point.
 

flaubert

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2015
232
34
Portland, Oregon
Apple is offering you a pretty good deal, I'd say. Hard to pass that up, and I say that as someone who just bought a 2017 refurb MacBook Air (not yours, mine only came with 128 GB storage :)). What I would suggest is that at the end of the day you'll want to be happy with whatever you get. You probably can't sit down in front of a 2017 MacBook Air at this point, but you can pretty easily sit down at Best Buy or an Apple Store and examine/type on a 2019 model. See if you would be happy with the 2019 display and keyboard. You can assume that the 2017 model's display and keyboard would be pretty much unchanged from your current 2010 MacBook Pro, so there's that. If you accept the 2019 just go into it assuming that it might be a purchase good for 4 years, since that is the length of coverage for keyboard issues on the 2019.
 

Ms.Tessie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 10, 2018
6
0
Thanks to everyone for weighing in---I really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. I haven't been able to test out a 2019 MBA yet, but I will do that tonight. I'm still puzzled as to how the 2017 MBA at 2.2 GHz, will in generally be slower than a 1.6 GHz 2019 MBA. Am I missing something? I'd be moving from a 2010 2.66 GHz Macbook Pro with upgraded 1 TB SSC, so I naively feel like I'm trading down regardless. The thing is, while I try to keep my macs as long as possible, I also need a quiet machine for recording voiceover. My 2010 MBP no longer provides that, though I'm still using it to save money. I'm trying to not spend extra money on adapters. I'd only be using the 2019 MBA keyboard when traveling, attaching a different keyboard to it at home, but I don't want the keyboard issues to haunt me after four years. I figure as Apple improves the keyboard situation in subsequent years and models (one hopes), the 2019 MBA will continue to have a black mark on its head in terms of reselling it, even if it doesn't deserve it. I can live without a retina display, but the the 16 GB of RAM (big plus) and uncertainty about recent heating/fan noise issues (big minus) is making this a hard choice for me. Thanks again!
 

flaubert

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2015
232
34
Portland, Oregon
Is "Refurb 2018" an option? That's where I would probably go.
I'm curious why you would suggest that option... is it the faster SSD? I would think that would be hardly noticeable, whereas the display and keyboard improvements in the 2019 would make it a better choice in my view.

 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,744
7,350
Austin, TX
I'm curious why you would suggest that option... is it the faster SSD? I would think that would be hardly noticeable, whereas the display and keyboard improvements in the 2019 would make it a better choice in my view.

Refurbs are cheaper and the changes are minor between 2018 and 2019. The keyboard improvement is not clearly better and even if you have a problem with the 2018, the replacement keyboard will be a 2019.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,175
2,508
Refurbs are cheaper and the changes are minor between 2018 and 2019. The keyboard improvement is not clearly better and even if you have a problem with the 2018, the replacement keyboard will be a 2019.
Sure, but the OP isn't paying full price for the 2019. A refurb would make no sense in this case.