Should I Upgrade from a 2017 MacBook Air to a 2018 MacBook Air?

What do you think I should do?


  • Total voters
    91

AutomaticApple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 28, 2018
4,519
1,674
Massachusetts
The 2018 MacBook Air just seems so much more modern. My current 13-inch 2017 MacBook Air feels like from another era, so to speak. The non-Retina display on my current MacBook Air bugs me, and the keys feel really wobbly and unstable. Also, the aluminum around the screen looks really ugly.
 

AutomaticApple

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 28, 2018
4,519
1,674
Massachusetts
It is from another era. It may be a "2017" model, but that was the tiniest refresh ever, not even to the latest tech at the time. The model design is really well old by now, and I think it's a shame it's still being sold by Apple.
I happened to be unlucky and bought it this year in August. About two months before the 2018 MacBook Air was released.
 

nartycrem

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2018
23
21
I'm someone who can't resist "the latest and greatest," so I buy a new laptop every year (I sell the old one and can still make 75-80% back), and so if I was in your position, I would upgrade. I cannot stand the pixelated display on the 2017 MBA (lots of eyestrain), and so that would be a big deal breaker for me, especially since I spend 12-14 hrs a day on the computer. The ports are nice, and I actually like the mushy 2017 MBA keys, but it's not enough for me to keep myself from upgrading to the 2018 model.

From a health standpoint (and to help you justify buying the 2018 MBA even though you just got the 2017), if your eyes are straining to read the text on the 2017 MBA, upgrade to the 2018.
 
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Mainsail

macrumors 68000
Sep 19, 2010
1,510
1,530
It really depends on how you use the computer. I am probably going to buy a 2017 MBA for my son to take to University in the fall. The older model is just so reliable. We have several in the family, and they have been unbelievably great. We don't want the keyboard crapping-out during mid-terms and term papers. We could get Apple care, but that don't feed the bull dog when you have a class deadline due at midnight. It's just not worth the risk for people that face critical deadlines

Now, in about a year or two, I will be replacing my 2014 MBA, and I will probably get the latest model MBA with Apple Care. But, I am retired, and while I still do some business..... rarely face critical deadlines. I can deal with issues if they come-up and use Apple care to protect the investment. Who knows? Maybe Apple will have finally figured out how to fix these failure prone butterfly keyboards by that time.

So, it really depends on your situation. It's too bad Apple no longer makes a sufficiently reliable new computer for me to recommend for college.....but, that's the way it is right now. Bummer. The older model MBA was the quintessential college computer.
 
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macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,920
3,496
The 2018 MacBook Air just seems so much more modern. My current 13-inch 2017 MacBook Air feels like from another era, so to speak. The non-Retina display on my current MacBook Air bugs me, and the keys feel really wobbly and unstable. Also, the aluminum around the screen looks really ugly.
If:

- non retina screen bugs you
- keys feel wobbly and unstable
- aluminium around the screen looks ugly,

This means you are unhappy with all aspects of the computing experience, from working with it to aesthetics.

Get yourself a new MBA 2018. You will:

- love the Retina display
- keys will not wobble and be stable
- no aluminium around the screen will look far better.

You will also get:
- Touch ID experience
- better quality speakers
- modern hardware
- USB type C ports which are very versatile in my opinion
- colour options, if that is your cup of tea.

All in all, an excellent upgrade to the current MBA 2017.


However, you might unfortunately also get:
- T2 chipset issues that never existed in T1
- keyboard issues that stand unresolved even in their third revision
- potential display flex cable issues
- poorer battery life if you will stay away from charging ports for long
- costlier battery replacement if you wish to keep your computer for long.


Understand the tradeoffs you will make with each machine and take a call, which are the ones you find worth making. :)
 

MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
942
651
It's worth upgrading for the screen quality alone, but you will also benefit from:

- Touch ID
- Brilliant speakers
- Force Touch trackpad and new keyboard (the latter may not necessarily be an upgrade to you, I'm indifferent).

And most importantly, the new design which finally feels like a modern laptop should. The only tradeoff I see is the port situation, not really a fan of USB-C or the lack of MagSafe to be honest but it is what it is.

Performance and battery life has been great.

I'd say it's a no brainer. Do it!
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
986
586
Austin, TX
Get yourself a new MBA 2018. You will:

- love the Retina display
- keys will not wobble and be stable
- no aluminium around the screen will look far better.

You will also get:
- Touch ID experience
- better quality speakers
- modern hardware
- USB type C ports which are very versatile in my opinion
- colour options, if that is your cup of tea.
You forgot to more super awesome amazing things he will get. First of all a keyboard that is defective by design and will fail sooner or later. Granted, the 2018 generation may last a bit longer but it will still fail. And when it does it won't be covered under Apple's keyboard service program. And second a screen that will die after around 2 years because of a braindead and stupid design decision. And when it does fixing it won't be a $6 cable swap but a $600 display swap because of yet another even more braindead and stupid design decision.

That said - enjoy your ticking time bomb :)
 

Mainsail

macrumors 68000
Sep 19, 2010
1,510
1,530
You forgot to more super awesome amazing things he will get. First of all a keyboard that is defective by design and will fail sooner or later. Granted, the 2018 generation may last a bit longer but it will still fail. And when it does it won't be covered under Apple's keyboard service program. And second a screen that will die after around 2 years because of a braindead and stupid design decision. And when it does fixing it won't be a $6 cable swap but a $600 display swap because of yet another even more braindead and stupid design decision.

That said - enjoy your ticking time bomb :)
Understand the keyboard failure issue. What is the screen failure issue? I read about brightness concerns, but not failures. Have there been reported quality issues with the screen too? Genuinely interested.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
5,339
3,161
Horsens, Denmark
I happened to be unlucky and bought it this year in August. About two months before the 2018 MacBook Air was released.
In 2014 I went all retina and vowed never to go back. i get headaches and feel bad looking at non-retina displays at this point. I really couldn't stand it and don't think Apple should offer anything non-retina ever again
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,920
3,496
So that’s why I constantly get headaches when I use it…
Not necessarily. :oops:
[doublepost=1548352829][/doublepost]
You forgot to more super awesome amazing things he will get. First of all a keyboard that is defective by design and will fail sooner or later. Granted, the 2018 generation may last a bit longer but it will still fail. And when it does it won't be covered under Apple's keyboard service program. And second a screen that will die after around 2 years because of a braindead and stupid design decision. And when it does fixing it won't be a $6 cable swap but a $600 display swap because of yet another even more braindead and stupid design decision.

That said - enjoy your ticking time bomb :)
I did not. ;)
 

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
986
586
Austin, TX

mj_

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2017
986
586
Austin, TX
It began with the Pro because that is the design that came in 2016, before MBA 2018. However, I wonder what about the MacBooks that were launched way back in 2015.
Yes, I was wondering about those as well. They must be using a different design because I have yet to see them mentioned in this particular regard. The MacBook Air 2018, on the other hand, uses the same display cable design as the MacBook Pro 2016, 2017 & 2018.
 
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macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,920
3,496
Yes, I was wondering about those as well. They must be using a different design because I have yet to see them mentioned in this particular regard. The MacBook Air 2018, on the other hand, uses the same display cable design as the MacBook Pro 2016, 2017 & 2018.
Perhaps the difference in screen size means something else in engineering. 13.3 is 13.3 in Pro and Air .....
 

gsurf123

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2017
222
374
If:

- non retina screen bugs you
- keys feel wobbly and unstable
- aluminium around the screen looks ugly,

This means you are unhappy with all aspects of the computing experience, from working with it to aesthetics.

Get yourself a new MBA 2018. You will:

- love the Retina display
- keys will not wobble and be stable
- no aluminium around the screen will look far better.

You will also get:
- Touch ID experience
- better quality speakers
- modern hardware
- USB type C ports which are very versatile in my opinion
- colour options, if that is your cup of tea.

All in all, an excellent upgrade to the current MBA 2017.


However, you might unfortunately also get:
- T2 chipset issues that never existed in T1
- keyboard issues that stand unresolved even in their third revision
- potential display flex cable issues
- poorer battery life if you will stay away from charging ports for long
- costlier battery replacement if you wish to keep your computer for long.


Understand the tradeoffs you will make with each machine and take a call, which are the ones you find worth making. :)
Most of the unfortunately items are way overblown. Bad stuff happens and the difference now is that it happens to a few people and then a few more realize it did happen to them and then people who think it happened to them join in the complaint posts. Finally speculators who may or may have the computers model(s) in question, but have never had the problem and just feel the need to keep sustaining the problems of the very few.
 

nartycrem

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2018
23
21
Most of the unfortunately items are way overblown. Bad stuff happens and the difference now is that it happens to a few people and then a few more realize it did happen to them and then people who think it happened to them join in the complaint posts. Finally speculators who may or may have the computers model(s) in question, but have never had the problem and just feel the need to keep sustaining the problems of the very few.
In the past, it was easier for companies to hide problems with their product because the Internet was non-existent, or just emerging. Now, more people have access to Internet and word gets out fast. One mistake and every YouTuber will make a video about the problems that a product has. And, people are more likely to report problems than they are to report being satisfied with a product. This all means that it is critical for companies to be very careful about quality control and engineering decisions, because reputation and public image matters now more than ever.

From personal experience, though, my 2018 MBP 15 inch keyboard did fail on me, like others have said. However, I used a 2016 MBP 15 inch for 2 years, and had no keyboard problems. I also used a 2017 13 inch non-touch bar MBP with no keyboard issues. It seems like with these keyboards, it's hit or miss, but the failure rate seems to be exceptionally high for a product that costs so much.
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,997
2,677
a South Pacific island
I happened to be unlucky and bought it this year in August. About two months before the 2018 MacBook Air was released.
I bought a 2017 MacBook Air last August, knowing the rumour that the new 2018 iteration was imminent. Not unlucky; I purchased it to fill work needs there and then, and it still does.

Checking out the 2018 MacBook Air, I see that it does have some benefits, but nothing that would significantly improve its suitability for my needs...... not enough incentive to even think about making the change.
 
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