Ok, so I’ve bought a new MacBook Air, but I’m sure the big question you’re asking is what’s going to happen to 2016 MacBook, the 2013 MacBook Air and most importantly the 2010 MacBook Air I used at the very start of this blogging journey?
I started my own company back in 2003 and since then have bought a new laptop pretty much every 3 years. The first one was a pretty big (based on today’s ultrabook standards) Toshiba model that was a real pain to lug around as a new Business Consultant. It did a solid job, but I spent a little more in 2006 when I replaced it for a Sony Vaio.
That was a great little laptop, although when the MacBook Air was launched in 2008 I was completely seduced, and slightly ahead of schedule bought the very expensive base model from a US supplier making it slightly more affordable. It probably wasn’t much more powerful than the Sony Vaio, but I loved it and it was the start of my Apple/OSX/macOS affair.
After about 12 months I replaced the tiny (and very slow) 80GB HDD with a 128GB SSD which vastly improved the machine, and my partner continued to use it for 3 years after I upgraded to another MacBook Air at the end of 2010. I even sold it after that for £250, so it was a pretty good value machine everything considered.
I went a little mad with the 2010 model, and bought the ‘ultimate’ spec with the fastest processor, maxed RAM and the biggest SSD. It was expensive, but my business was going well and I needed a good laptop. Given I still use it from time to time today when playing with Linux and OSs, it was another good value machine, and I’m sure it’s probably still worth a few pounds today.
The only downside was the missing backlit keyboard, which they fixed on the next version and when it was time for a new laptop in 2013 I replaced it with, you guessed it, another maxed out MacBook Air. That’s still in daily use by my partner and might continue to be for another 3 years. Back in 2016, and after 3 MacBook Airs, what I really wanted was another MacBook Air, but I also wasn’t happy with a machine using a TF display panel (pretty much the same one in the previous 3) when my eyes were starting to struggle and most machines at the time were using much better screens.
I considered a MacBook Pro, but in the end, went with the more portable and slightly cheaper 12″ MacBook which I picked up on a special deal from John Lewis. Up until today, I was still using this as my daily machine, although I’ve had a genuine love-hate relationship with it.
Probably the main reason for keeping it so long was the fact I was working on a contact when the client supplied me with a Windows laptop, so I used the MacBook much less than I usually would have. It’s a little under-powered, but I lived with that as I don’t really use it for any heavy lifting, and it benchmarks pretty close to the 2013 MacBook Air.
No, the main reason for my hate, and possibly the reason my partner will want to keep the 2013 MacBook Air for another 3 years – the butterfly keyboard! What a complete and utter disaster from Apple, which by all accounts has been fixed with the latest Magic Keyboard, but I’ve struggled for almost 4 years with one of the worse keyboards I’ve ever used, including some pretty cheap and cheerful Bluetooth things for playing with single-board computers.
So back the new MacBook Air, or should that be refurbished? I actually ordered the i3 dual-core model with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD yesterday morning, and by late afternoon had also ordered an i5 quad-core model with the same memory and storage configuration. A few hours watching Youtube reviews had me questioning the £80 saving going for the cheaper dual-core processor, and in the end, my experience with the maxed out 2010 and 2013 pushed me to upgrade.
It’s by no means the ‘ultimate’ configuration today, as you can go for an i7 and 2TB SSD, but that bumps things over £2000, even for a refurbished one. I’ve saved £230 going down the refurbished route, which has been quite successful in the past. My 2011 iMac was a refurbished one and is still going strong. My iPhone X was also refurbished, and while that did die, it was replaced free of charge with another, so no bad experiences.
I’ve not done much with it yet, and its currently restoring a backup, but 1st impressions are good. Although it’s a bit heavier than my MacBook, I think the size is better. I’d much happier having a MacBook Air back, and wouldn’t have considered another MacBook, even if they were still making them with a different keyboard.
I’ll let you know what my partner decides, and what I decide to do after that. I’ll have 4 laptops in the house, and at most only need 3 (probably 2 if I was honest) so will be selling one. If she keeps the 2013 model, I don’t know whether to keep the 2010 and sell the MacBook. The MacBook is certainly more powerful than the 2010 Air, but it’s also lacking ports with just the 1 USB-C port. And that keyboard! I’ll also get more selling the MacBook,
I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks after I’ve had a chance to use the new machine, and my partners had a play with the MacBook keyboard…