What future for the 11" MBA

r6mile

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
440
92
London, UK
Hi all,

(apologies for the long preface)

In 2013 I bought a 13" MBA (8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) and it was my only machine, was used for everything (work, study, media, light gaming, etc.). I bought using my UK higher-education discount (15% off, + free 3-year warranty) so it was a very good deal and still has a couple of months left of Applecare. Then, last year I managed to get my office's unused 2010 21.5 iMac (i3-3.06) for free, upgraded to 8GB of RAM and an SSD, and it's now become my main machine. I'm not a heavy user at all; aside from for media I really just use it for internet browsing - no video editing or anything like that, and I do my gaming on the PS3 - so the iMac is very snappy and feels plenty adequate. The iMac has a 2TB hard drive serves as a home server and does Time Machine backups for the two machines (plus the missus' 2010 MB), and stores and shares all my media through Plex. Now, my MBA only really gets used for watching movies and internet browsing in bed just before going to sleep. And when I travel occasionally, when it's nice to have a machine that can do everything. I have recently been considering whether the 13" MBA is over-kill for what I use it for, since the iMac is now my main machine.

I realise that an iPad might suit my needs well, but I really don't like iOS (the reason why I have an Android phone) and find it quite limiting - unlike OS X. I have been wondering whether an 11" MBA might be a better option. Another incentive to upgrade is that I still have my Higher Education discount and this may expire soon (it still works with my university alumnus e-mail address, but who knows when Apple might realise this and shut this down!); so I can still get the 15% off and free Applecare. Having looked at eBay, it looks like my machine could fetch about £500, and with the HE discount a 8GB 11" MBA would cost £713, so it would not be a costly upgrade.

Two questions.

1. Any thoughts as to whether Apple is likely to update the 11" MBA at WWDC in mid-June? I realise the machine's future is in doubt since the arrival of the 12" rMB, but I feel like the MBA would suit my needs better and having tried it at a store I really don't like the keyboard (plus the MBA is cheaper, it has ports I can actually use, and I don't need the extra storage since I have NAS).

2. Is replacing my 13" MBA a completely bonkers idea?

Thanks!
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
440
92
London, UK
Why do you want to change your current setup?
It just feels like a 13" is over-kill to compliment a 21.5" inch iMac (which I should have added, is also connected to a 20" ACD). No issues at all with performance, quite the opposite in fact. But maybe I'm just being silly.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
It just feels like a 13" is over-kill to compliment a 21.5" inch iMac (which I should have added, is also connected to a 20" ACD). No issues at all with performance, quite the opposite in fact. But maybe I'm just being silly.
Screensize is a matter of personal preference.

I personally wouldn't go through the trouble to change a working setup for no real reason.
 
Last edited:

r6mile

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
440
92
London, UK
I personally wouldn't go through the trouble to change a working setup for bo real reason.
Yeah, you're probably right. This is just a thought I had on my commute this morning and probably just needed a sense check from the people at MR. I should though also have added that an incentive to upgrade is to take advantage of my Higher Education discount and free Applecare, which might not be available I purchased a machine in a couple of years (altogether it adds up to a not-insignificant saving of about £310)
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,708
3,653
Consider you have a good amount of discount based on your HE discount, why not trying a slightly higher model to gain more from your benefit? Like, a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
However, based on your usage, such powerful machine would be overpowered for you. But then, you can use this machine for a much longer time (maybe 4-6 years) without worrying much about performance.
I don't think Apple will introduce any hardware update for current MacBook Air, although current retina MacBook is just so bad in many ways (forgive me in here, my two cent).
It depends on you. At least such discount cannot be used to buy iPhone anyway.
 

noanker

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2015
91
58
MacBook Airs tend to have a very long service life and the way you use your MBA sounds very similar to mine. I currently use 2 MacBook Airs, both 11" mid-2011: a 128gb with 4gb RAM and a 64gb with 2gb RAM. Boots super fast, no issues or lag, but then it's used primarily for surfing, word processing, photo editing, etc. Nothing too taxing.

Why not keep your MBA and save for when Apple does update the line eventually. I plan to keep my MBAs until they're no longer supported by OSX, especially if they run the same as they did when brand new.
 
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cincygolfgrrl

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2012
346
227
Somewhere In Time
Mid-2011 MBA 11" 128GB SSD 4GB RAM. It's my out-of-house computer. The logic board failed within the first few months; it's been flawless since. I've updated to each new OS as its become available. I'll replace the battery when it drops below 80%. I expect at least another five years use. If Apple changes the Mac OS to something incompatible I'll use what I've got until it no longer serves it's purpose.

If you have the opportunity to get a new discounted MBA of either size, but you're happy with your present MBA, I'd suggest waiting to see what Apple has up it's sleeve at WWDC. You already have the best laptop ever made so they'll have to come up with something really special to justify changing anything, won't they?
 
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