Would a 2012-2013 11" Air be good now?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JerTheGeek, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2014
    Hello all,
    Looking for some general advice. I'm looking for a good used Mac for a family member who needs a Mac for around $450, to be used for basic usage and iMovie editing (nothing too intense). There seems to be plenty of these 11" models on eBay, but I'm wondering if a 2013 or maybe 2012 model would be a good option now? Would anything older than that be a bad idea for running the latest macOS updates for a few years? Maybe even a classic MBP? What would be your recommendations for a used MacBook at this price point?
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    2013 is very different from 2012. Battery life is much longer on the 2013, it has much faster wifi (802.11ac) and the SSD is also much faster. I think a used 2013 represents a lot of bang for the buck, the specs are very close to the current models. I have 2013 11" MBA i7/8gb/512gb and still love it. No plans to replace anytime soon.

    I'd avoid the 2011 models. I used to have one and I loved it back then, but the MBA has come a long was since 2011. In addition to the things I mentioned above, it only has USB2.0, that is a huge difference in port speed and not fast enough for editing video on an external drive. Also, the only memory options in 2011 were 2gb and 4gb - I don't think you want a 2gb machine. The largest SSD was also only 256gb in 2011. The options for 8gb RAM and 512gb SSD first appeared in 2012.

    As you go older, you get into Core2Duo machines, and these will be much slower than the i5 and i7 processors that came along (IIRC) in 2011.
  3. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2014
    Yeah definitely will avoid 2011 models. I've seen 2013 ones in the price range that I'm looking at, so I'll try to stick with that.
  4. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Both my wife and I now use fully-loaded 2013 11" Airs (i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD).

    Like many others, I chose this year as the perfect medium because none of the 2014 or 2015 improvements seemed to be worth the extra cost, but the improvements over the 2012 or 2011 models are worthwhile. Specifically, the 2013 and newer models have USB3.0, 802.11AC, PCIe SSD, and significantly improved battery life.

    I expect these laptops to be sufficient for our use for the foreseeable future.
  5. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Get the "13 MBA from early 2016 if you can. I'm aware the budget is $450 but it is $850 brand new at Best Buy right now. I was in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes. If you think about it, $850 for the "13 is a terrific deal. Not into the "11 ones. Just feels way too cramped when I briefly used one back in 2014.

    Compare MacBook Air to iPad and iPhones without any useful ports to transfer files or use SD cards, and it is a no-brainer. I know laptops are becoming forgotten but smartphones and tablets can never truly replace them for me especially an iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Pro. MBA seems to retain their value much longer too.

    If people drop $700-$800 flagship smartphones that get disposed every two years, I don't think paying for a $900 MBA is asking for too much when it can serve you well for five years or more. My younger brother has a MacBook Pro from 2010 and has no plans getting a newer one anytime soon.

    MacBook can last. Flagship phones like iPhones won't. Nearly same prices between them but one has far more useful ports and SD slot for longevity. Drag and drop files is the way to go from here to eternity.
  6. adib macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2010
    iPhones lasts as well. We have an iPhone 5 that's still running the latest OS and still quite fast. It had a battery replacement, but that's just about it.

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