When do you decide/justify upgrading Airs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by maccokko, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. maccokko macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011

    I am trying to decide if this is the right time for me to upgrade my Air...

    I was wondering when do you guys consider upgrading...besides
    wanting the fastest, the newest and the shiniest toy...:p

    How do you decide when to take the plunge???

    I have a mid 2011 13 inch Air and thinking and wondering if I
    should/need/want to upgrade. There is nothing wrong with it...
    In fact, I still have close to 169GB available out of 250GB storage...
    My day to day use involves mostly internet browsing and email, besides
    holding my pics and music...it is sort of my main machine. I also
    have iMac from 2010 but hardly ever use it b/c its sitting in not main
    area...(also have ipad mini which is used for listening music purposes)
    (I might or might not be going back to finish my BA online...so I am not
    certain if I use iMac as possible display or not...I might...) Also, minor
    detail...I will be overseas for the next 3yrs and so I don't know if my
    current Air will be sufficient enough...(can't consider purchasing locally
    since the currency exchange will make it considerably higher price...)

    2014 Airs...are they so much better than my 2011?? Will I notice the huge
    The question about the screen size, I am thinking of going to BB and see it
    myself. When I decided on my Air back in 2011, I felt that the screen on the
    11 was too small...but I might consider it...since I started to think 13 is kind
    of big for me...(I make things small and have kind of wasted screen space)

    If you wouldn't mind sharing what triggered YOUR past purchases or any
    input, I'd be appreciative!

    Thank you for reading my post.
  2. Kaylor macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2011
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    The thing you would notice most is battery life. There's been a massive improvement since you bought your machine. That alone could be a reason to upgrade if you think you would benefit from it.

    Personally, I got my MBA in August of 2012 and don't plan on upgrading until the summer of 2016. By then I should be done with undergrad and be moving on to future endeavors, and my machine will be an entire year out of AppleCare. If anything fails during my senior year, I'll have to pay for an out of warrantee repair.

    Do I think in another 2 years my current setup will be run fine and suit my needs? Sure, but technology doesn't last forever and it's nice to have a warrantee to fall back on. In addition, I don't know how my needs will change after undergrad.
  3. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    I'm also at this dilemma. I think i have a 2012 (but could be wrong). So only significant upgrade when going new would be battery life? If so i'll skip.
  4. Kaylor macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2011
    Long Island, NY/Houston, TX
    Battery life isn't the only improvement but it's certainly the one you would notice first and is quite substantial. Besides a generational improvement of the processor, the storage is also faster, so the system might feel snappier. Your best bet is going to a store and playing around with one to see if you notice a difference.
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I had the exact same machine as yours and upgraded one year ago. A close friend was visiting and needed a new laptop (had a terrible Windows netbook, although she had an iMac back home). So it was an "upgrade of opportunity" for me. I sold her my 2011 MBA at a "sweetheart" price and included a bunch of other stuff I didn't need, like an external drive and DVD drive.

    But in addition to helping a friend, my reasons were:

    * I wanted a 512gb ssd and that option was not available in 2011
    * I wanted 8gb RAM and that wasn't available in 2011 either
    * I wanted an i7 and my 2011 MBA was an i5
    * I wanted to move down to an 11" screen

    Really happy with the way this worked out.
  6. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    If you don't NEED a new machine, I would hold out to see what the next generation of the Air line brings. The current Air's are fantastic machines outside of the display. If rumors are true, and the next generation of the Air has a retina display, it will be just about the perfect machine.
  7. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    If your 2011 MBA has 4GB of RAM, I'd wait till the 2015 Broadwell Models are released (hopefully April of 2015). They'll have even better battery life and may have a retina display. Your 2011 should hold you over until 2015.
    Don't get me wrong, my 2013 13” MBA is the finest laptop I've ever owned (upgraded from a 2010 11” MBA and a 2010 15" MBP), but if you don't need to upgrade right now, I'd wait.


    This is correct. I posted almost the exact same response. I guess had I read the thread all the way to the end before posting, I'd have saved myself some time. :D
  8. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    It's cool, great minds think alike:D
  9. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I highly, HIGHLY doubt Apple will be able to increase battery life while also providing a higher resolution screen.
  10. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    With Broadwell they will.
  11. maccokko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    Thank you everyone for your input.
    Since this is weekend, I will probably be able to
    go see Air in person~!
    Then, I can decide...I might see the huge difference
    and be pushed to purchase...or might not see the point
    in having the newer one...who knows...
    I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post.
    (Have a good weekend!)
  12. Dweez, Jul 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014

    Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    When my current device dies I will upgrade it with a new device. Until then, as long as it's functional and does what I need it to do it will stay in service.
  13. nexus4life macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2014
    Understand that 3 years is quite a while and you may want to go ahead and get a new one just because of that reason.
  14. Martin29 macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    I have a regular two year cycle for changing all my devices, so half are changed one year, the others the following..

    That ensures my machines are always good for pretty much anything, but also means I can benefit from good resale values, and that those who buy the old machines can expect a good lifetime from them too.
  15. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    Last month I upgraded my wife's 2010 Air (2.13 the, forget ram, 128gb, 10.8.x) for a 2014 Air (1.7 i7, 4gb, 256gb, 10.9.x). We travel a lot and I wanted more room for photos and more CPU when using Aperture.

    I would not do it again. The speed bump is a trade off between a faster CPU and a slower ssd. While its quicker rendering raw files, its not that much quicker that it was worth bothering with, let alone spending the money. No idea if Mavericks has anything to do with the slower operation but we now have unreliable I/O as SafeSleep improperly ejects usb3 drives (3 different drive enclosures so far, all the same problem) and will not remount them without a reboot. I recently put on hold another 2 Mac buys until they get the I/O issue fixed (19.9.4 and the EFI firmware upgrade did nothing).

    The 2010 always ran fine. And quite frankly, I'm rather tired of a series of problematic versions of OSX we've been given since Snow Leopard. I need a stable OS, working power management and working remote management. Not another feature for notifications, etc.
  16. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2010
    United States
    Is the SSD in the newest MBA i7 really slower than the one in the 2010 MBA?

    I've been considering selling my 2010 MBA and upgrading to the 2014 i7 maxed out or at least to to the 256 GB SSD. Now you make me wonder if I should.

    Mine works fine but I miss the lighted keyboard and I admit to wanting the latest technology (not needing it).I'd also like to get Thunderbolt ports and USB 3 ports as well as the faster WiFi. I just can't stand the display on the MBA's after using Retina machines for years now.
  17. robdrj45 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    I have a 2012 13'' Air. It easily performs the basic tasks I need it to do. I can't justify upgrading anytime soon. Increased battery life is not super important to me since I often run on the power cord. What would interest me is a sharper screen. Not that the current screen is poor, but the retina is a bit easier on the eyes and looks great. All in all, the Air has been a pleasure to use. I'm very satisfied. Coming from the Windows PC world with its endless software/security updates, disk defragmentation and virus scans, which all waste time and slow performance, the Air just plain works.
  18. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    This would be the number one reason I would not recommend an Air owner from 2010 forward to upgrade now. Sure there are gains in battery and such. But I just can't advise investing in a 2014 Air with that display if you are planning on maxing out or upgrading specs on order. I think 2014 was the last time they can realistically get away with putting that display on a "premium" machine.
  19. maccokko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2011
    Thank you guys for continuing input!

    I did go to both the BB and the Apple store yesterday
    and played with both 13inch and 11inch Air.
    I really really liked the 11inch better! The size is perfect
    for someone like me! (5'4 with smaller hands) The 13inch
    felt much heavier and screen looked too big...(might come
    in handy for editing photo/movies for those who needs those
    features, I am sure...but I don't see myself using/needing it)
    I tried to simulate my day to day situation by opening up
    several applications while playing music, etc,...and it handled
    it with no problem. I was really pleased with the speed!

    Now off to clean up my current Air for the trade-in~!:D
  20. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Why would the SSD in a 2010 model be faster than in the 2014???
  21. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    We have kept apple notebooks 4-5 years average before upgrading. Mac Pro I kept 6 years and really probably could have gone another two more. Unless you really need more battery life save your money.
  22. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    A new computer really shouldn't be an emotional decision. Only replace if your current computer no longer gets the job done.
  23. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
  24. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I think that has been completely de-bunked in a followup article here at MacRumors as well as other places. The SSD speed from different suppliers is different and Apple has always used different suppliers, so it's more a case of the luck of the draw.

    I don't think there's any way that a 2013 or 2014 MBA SSD could be slower than a 2010. The new machines have a faster interface. The 512gb SSD in my MBA writes at about 700MB/s and reads faster than 700MB/s. I believe all sizes of SSD have similar read speeds, but the smaller ones have slower write speeds, something like 500MB/s for the 128gb SSD perhaps.
  25. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Yes, only if your current machine no longer gets the job done, or is no longer being supported by the latest OS.


Share This Page