Comparing the 2018 MacBook Air with the less-expensive 2017 model

24

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 63
    I have the new Air for over a month now...  generally very pleased with it.   I do miss the Mag safe connector with the LED indicator on it, that was a very cool thing.  The lit up logo on the back of the screen is gone, miss that too, it really was a distinctive thing from the old Air that really shows it off in the crowd.  However, the new Air is very close in size to the 11" Air I had for 8 years.  Love the size.   The old keyboard was so familiar but the new one is not that bad after you use if for a while.  It has been hard to keep the screen clean for some reason - it is a dust magnet.   Every tiny speck of crumb or dirt you have on the keyboard will find its way onto the screen the next time you open the laptop up.  Trying to find out what is best liquid and type of rag to clean this with.   You definitely don't want to eat while using this laptop because of the crumbs and dirt.  I am glad we still have the old school headphone jack on it - LOL...  I use it of course.   The screen quality is great.  I don't know why anyone would now buy the older Air model at this point, despite having to deal with usb-c dongles and no SD card reader (the 11" Air never had the SD reader).  I have the $39 SD card reader to hook into the Air and it works fine.
    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 63
    DuhSesame said:
    No, I disagree....
    You know, at this point, I’m sure any talk is pointless.

    Feel free to believe what you believe, we’ll see who’s right in the end.
    Yes, "talk" is pointless.   Facts, such as those I sited, are not.

    You can value different things differently and develop your own preferences, but that doesn't change the facts.
  • Reply 23 of 63
    What about all the reports on reddit and elsewhere about keyboard problems on the 2018 MacAir?  I want to replace my 2010 Macbook but I am nervous about buying something with endless keyboard problems.  One of my sons has a recent Macbook Pro - he has to use canned air on it about every week to keep the keyboard half working.  That is what the Apple Store in Minneapolis/St. Paul told him to do.

    I am am considering the 2018 Macbook Air, the 2017 Macbook Air, or the early 2015 Macbook Pro.  The later two  have the old scissors keyboard is my understanding. 

    My wife and I travel internationally for months at a time.  I don't want keyboard problems while we are traveling.
    Another factor, important to many, is the feel of the keyboard.   Many do not like the ultra short travel on the newer butterfly keyboards.   I am very much one of them. 

    Try before you buy!  (Hopefully you have access to an Apple Store where they will have both the 2017 and 2018 MacBook Airs available to try.
  • Reply 24 of 63
    M68000 said:
    I have the new Air for over a month now...  generally very pleased with it.   I do miss the Mag safe connector with the LED indicator on it, that was a very cool thing.  The lit up logo on the back of the screen is gone, miss that too, it really was a distinctive thing from the old Air that really shows it off in the crowd.  However, the new Air is very close in size to the 11" Air I had for 8 years.  Love the size.   The old keyboard was so familiar but the new one is not that bad after you use if for a while.  It has been hard to keep the screen clean for some reason - it is a dust magnet.   Every tiny speck of crumb or dirt you have on the keyboard will find its way onto the screen the next time you open the laptop up.  Trying to find out what is best liquid and type of rag to clean this with.   You definitely don't want to eat while using this laptop because of the crumbs and dirt.  I am glad we still have the old school headphone jack on it - LOL...  I use it of course.   The screen quality is great.  I don't know why anyone would now buy the older Air model at this point, despite having to deal with usb-c dongles and no SD card reader (the 11" Air never had the SD reader).  I have the $39 SD card reader to hook into the Air and it works fine.
    Yes, an that size is amazingly easy and convenient.   A very definite plus.-- especially since you get the 13" screen in the 11" screen body.

    I'm surprised that I don't hear more about that in the reviews.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 63
    sudaltsovsudaltsov Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    I cannot believe you did not mention the cameragate of the new one. There are plenty of images around there showing how dramatically worse the new camera became.
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/macbook-air-camera-quality-issue/
  • Reply 26 of 63
    M68000 said:
    I have the new Air for over a month now...  generally very pleased with it.   I do miss the Mag safe connector with the LED indicator on it, that was a very cool thing.  The lit up logo on the back of the screen is gone, miss that too, it really was a distinctive thing from the old Air that really shows it off in the crowd.  However, the new Air is very close in size to the 11" Air I had for 8 years.  Love the size.   The old keyboard was so familiar but the new one is not that bad after you use if for a while.  It has been hard to keep the screen clean for some reason - it is a dust magnet.   Every tiny speck of crumb or dirt you have on the keyboard will find its way onto the screen the next time you open the laptop up.  Trying to find out what is best liquid and type of rag to clean this with.   You definitely don't want to eat while using this laptop because of the crumbs and dirt.  I am glad we still have the old school headphone jack on it - LOL...  I use it of course.   The screen quality is great.  I don't know why anyone would now buy the older Air model at this point, despite having to deal with usb-c dongles and no SD card reader (the 11" Air never had the SD reader).  I have the $39 SD card reader to hook into the Air and it works fine.
    I am perplexed in what got into Apple here...

    The most complimentary thing I have heard about these butterfly keyboards is that they're "not that bad after you use if for a while".  Their only positive comparison seems to be to a on-screen keyboard such as on an iPad.

    I
    f they added something I could see it.   But these keyboards only seem to detract from the user experience while offering zero benefit in return.

    What is going on at Apple?
    MplsP
  • Reply 27 of 63
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,079administrator
    sudaltsov said:
    I cannot believe you did not mention the cameragate of the new one. There are plenty of images around there showing how dramatically worse the new camera became.
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/macbook-air-camera-quality-issue/
    Why? It is hardly a "gate," and service calls for the "issue" aren't statistically significant. As with any other issue, if you have a problem with a piece of Apple hardware, go to a service center and get a case number so it can be tracked.

    So far, the 2018 MacBook Air has about the same failure rate over the corresponding period of time as every other MacBook Air ever released past 2010, and a notably lower one than the original Air. If there was a widespread problem, it would manifest in the service data.

    Also? Watergate was the name of the hotel. The scandal in question wasn't about water. Adding -gate to things is... silly.
    edited February 10 MisterKitGeorgeBMacthtfastasleepchiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 63
    No, I disagree....   Even ignoring the $200 price difference, I still prefer the 2017 because of the better keyboard and the fact that the SSD can be replaced or upgraded when needed.

    Yes, the 2018 has a better screen.   But I find the 2017 screen to be fine -- the same with the sound.

    The only significant advantage I see to the new one is the size.  But otherwise, I like the old one.
    ... Yes, the 2018 has upgraded some stuff.  But the upgrades are minor and what they took away is significant.   The trade-offs are not worth it.

    I think we would have been better off if Apple had kept the stuff we liked and upgraded the stuff that they could.  I think they should have kept the keyboard, SSD and the real I5 processor instead of the renamed M series).
    In decades of computing I’ve never upgraded a laptop’s storage, and I’d wager neither have the vast majority of users. So if that’s your big argument, I’m afraid it’s completely meaningless to all but a few. The trade-offs are certainly worth it. 
    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 63

    What about all the reports on reddit and elsewhere about keyboard problems on the 2018 MacAir?  I want to replace my 2010 Macbook but I am nervous about buying something with endless keyboard problems. 
    There aren’t endless keyboard problems. Per AI’s own data, it’s a very rare occurrence that someone has a bad keyboard. 
    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 63
    It’s also good to remember not to eat graham crackers with your mouth open while simultaneously drooling over the keyboard. The bib is in the mail😂😂😂
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 63
    sudaltsovsudaltsov Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    sudaltsov said:
    I cannot believe you did not mention the cameragate of the new one. There are plenty of images around there showing how dramatically worse the new camera became.
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/macbook-air-camera-quality-issue/
    Why? It is hardly a "gate," and service calls for the "issue" aren't statistically significant. As with any other issue, if you have a problem with a piece of Apple hardware, go to a service center and get a case number so it can be tracked.

    So far, the 2018 MacBook Air has about the same failure rate over the corresponding period of time as every other MacBook Air ever released past 2010, and a notably lower one than the original Air. If there was a widespread problem, it would manifest in the service data.

    Also? Watergate was the name of the hotel. The scandal in question wasn't about water. Adding -gate to things is... silly.
    If you look at the number of complains and returns on Apple support site (need links?) - you'll see it is serious statistics. And you'll see that all Apple can offer is 'yes we designed it that way, just return/replace and shutup if unhappy'. People do return those devices, in bulk. It is design issue, not an issue with individual items. Go to any Apple store, compare the camera of Air 2017 and Air 2018. You'll be surprised. I did that with at least 5 different stores in different countries. Also, I returned my Air 2018 for replacement - just to get the new one with the same horrible camera. Other people did that too. What other kind of proof do you need?

    "It would manifest in the service data" - do you have access to it? I doubt Apple publishes it.

    BTW "watergate" created a naming pattern, it is not a hotel name anymore. There was antennagate with iPhone ;)
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 32 of 63
    DuhSesame said:
    No, I disagree....
    You know, at this point, I’m sure any talk is pointless.

    Feel free to believe what you believe, we’ll see who’s right in the end.
    Yes, "talk" is pointless.   Facts, such as those I sited, are not.

    You can value different things differently and develop your own preferences, but that doesn't change the facts.
    Pfft.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 63
    if you had any fact.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 63
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,079administrator
    sudaltsov said:
    sudaltsov said:
    I cannot believe you did not mention the cameragate of the new one. There are plenty of images around there showing how dramatically worse the new camera became.
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/macbook-air-camera-quality-issue/
    Why? It is hardly a "gate," and service calls for the "issue" aren't statistically significant. As with any other issue, if you have a problem with a piece of Apple hardware, go to a service center and get a case number so it can be tracked.

    So far, the 2018 MacBook Air has about the same failure rate over the corresponding period of time as every other MacBook Air ever released past 2010, and a notably lower one than the original Air. If there was a widespread problem, it would manifest in the service data.

    Also? Watergate was the name of the hotel. The scandal in question wasn't about water. Adding -gate to things is... silly.
    If you look at the number of complains and returns on Apple support site (need links?) - you'll see it is serious statistics. And you'll see that all Apple can offer is 'yes we designed it that way, just return/replace and shutup if unhappy'. People do return those devices, in bulk. It is design issue, not an issue with individual items. Go to any Apple store, compare the camera of Air 2017 and Air 2018. You'll be surprised. I did that with at least 5 different stores in different countries. Also, I returned my Air 2018 for replacement - just to get the new one with the same horrible camera. Other people did that too. What other kind of proof do you need?

    "It would manifest in the service data" - do you have access to it? I doubt Apple publishes it.

    BTW "watergate" created a naming pattern, it is not a hotel name anymore. There was antennagate with iPhone ;)
    I have access to return data as well. There is no increase over any other model. And yes, I have access to a pretty large subset of the entire set of Apple's service data going back to 2010. It is where the keyboard failure numbers came from.

    I'm aware of the naming pattern. It was stupid during every other -gate too.

    What kind of proof I need is actual data supporting the fact that there is a large issue and the actual data says that there isn't one. I'm not saying that you didn't experience the problem, and that there aren't complaints about it. What I am saying is that it isn't a giant issue affecting the entire line, beyond more than a small percentage of purchasers because the data does not say that it is one. Should the data show a shift, then the conclusion will change.
    edited February 10 raulcristianchiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 63
    No, I disagree....   Even ignoring the $200 price difference, I still prefer the 2017 because of the better keyboard and the fact that the SSD can be replaced or upgraded when needed.

    Yes, the 2018 has a better screen.   But I find the 2017 screen to be fine -- the same with the sound.

    The only significant advantage I see to the new one is the size.  But otherwise, I like the old one.
    ... Yes, the 2018 has upgraded some stuff.  But the upgrades are minor and what they took away is significant.   The trade-offs are not worth it.

    I think we would have been better off if Apple had kept the stuff we liked and upgraded the stuff that they could.  I think they should have kept the keyboard, SSD and the real I5 processor instead of the renamed M series).
    In decades of computing I’ve never upgraded a laptop’s storage, and I’d wager neither have the vast majority of users. So if that’s your big argument, I’m afraid it’s completely meaningless to all but a few. The trade-offs are certainly worth it. 
    It’s more about the potential.  Retinas can upgrade to 970 Pro, and will be faster than both 2016 and 2017.  For these two, you can still get the fastest NAND available for the time, but that’s it, and considering that most laptops have at least one M.2 slot.

    I think there’s a way to get around if they’re planning to use their own processors, as an iGPU will free all of their x8 PCI-E lanes, then can be used for SSD.  Most laptops with RAID still uses PCH instead the actual processor, which bottlenecks the performance at x4, so that can be a significant advantage.
    edited February 10 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 63
    sudaltsovsudaltsov Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    sudaltsov said:
    sudaltsov said:
    I cannot believe you did not mention the cameragate of the new one. There are plenty of images around there showing how dramatically worse the new camera became.
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/macbook-air-camera-quality-issue/
    Why? It is hardly a "gate," and service calls for the "issue" aren't statistically significant. As with any other issue, if you have a problem with a piece of Apple hardware, go to a service center and get a case number so it can be tracked.

    So far, the 2018 MacBook Air has about the same failure rate over the corresponding period of time as every other MacBook Air ever released past 2010, and a notably lower one than the original Air. If there was a widespread problem, it would manifest in the service data.

    Also? Watergate was the name of the hotel. The scandal in question wasn't about water. Adding -gate to things is... silly.
    If you look at the number of complains and returns on Apple support site (need links?) - you'll see it is serious statistics. And you'll see that all Apple can offer is 'yes we designed it that way, just return/replace and shutup if unhappy'. People do return those devices, in bulk. It is design issue, not an issue with individual items. Go to any Apple store, compare the camera of Air 2017 and Air 2018. You'll be surprised. I did that with at least 5 different stores in different countries. Also, I returned my Air 2018 for replacement - just to get the new one with the same horrible camera. Other people did that too. What other kind of proof do you need?

    "It would manifest in the service data" - do you have access to it? I doubt Apple publishes it.

    BTW "watergate" created a naming pattern, it is not a hotel name anymore. There was antennagate with iPhone ;)
    I have access to return data as well. There is no increase over any other model. And yes, I have access to a pretty large subset of the entire set of Apple's service data going back to 2010. It is where the keyboard failure numbers came from.

    I'm aware of the naming pattern. It was stupid during every other -gate too.

    What kind of proof I need is actual data supporting the fact that there is a large issue and the actual data says that there isn't one. I'm not saying that you didn't experience the problem, and that there aren't complaints about it. What I am saying is that it isn't a giant issue affecting the entire line, beyond more than a small percentage of purchasers because the data does not say that it is one. Should the data show a shift, then the conclusion will change.
    I respectfully disagree (even knowing that you have access to the stats).
    That is the design issue affecting the entire line, which was confirmed many times (including Apple support people - 'functions as designed' looking at those photos). Look at the poll https://9to5mac.com/2018/12/02/some-2018-macbook-air-users-experiencing-poor-facetime-hd-camera-quality-are-you-poll/ near 80% (small percentage?) out of 4K people experience that. So far noone could present good (at least not seriously worse than Air 2017) quality photos made in less than 'Apple-grade perfect conditions'. Could you please by any chance do that, if you happen to have access to two devices? There was no single report of the scenario "I had a bad one, sent back for replacement, got the good one" - but there are numerous "replaced bad one with the same bad". I sincerely would like to see some hope here, some proof that there exists good Air 2018 devices with decent (not worse than Air 2017) camera. Then perhaps I would shut up on that issue forever. Please prove me wrong, not with statistics, just with the photos made on 2017 and 2018 devices. Proving that mythical "good-camera-enabled" Air 2018 exist at all.
    PS. BTW, there was a huge thread on Apple support website about it. What did Apple do? Deleted it. Now, there are smaller threads but they still grow.
    edited February 10
  • Reply 37 of 63
    Great article. I have an old Air that I love, but it cannot be upgraded to Mohave nor perform certain useful features (Air Mirror, for instance).

    Good to see the performance increase. Still, I am mostly concerned about the need to buy dongles for everything (here is a pen drive, plug it in, oh wait... I can't). I need good old VGA and HDMI too, so the difference is more than 200$.

    I would miss Magsafe too and the cool LED indicator.

    Just one USB-A port left, and no removal of Magsafe and I would be complelety sold on the new size, screen, battery, performance and TouchID. Now... undecided.


    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 63
    No, I disagree....   Even ignoring the $200 price difference, I still prefer the 2017 because of the better keyboard and the fact that the SSD can be replaced or upgraded when needed.

    Yes, the 2018 has a better screen.   But I find the 2017 screen to be fine -- the same with the sound.

    The only significant advantage I see to the new one is the size.  But otherwise, I like the old one.
    ... Yes, the 2018 has upgraded some stuff.  But the upgrades are minor and what they took away is significant.   The trade-offs are not worth it.

    I think we would have been better off if Apple had kept the stuff we liked and upgraded the stuff that they could.  I think they should have kept the keyboard, SSD and the real I5 processor instead of the renamed M series).
    In decades of computing I’ve never upgraded a laptop’s storage, and I’d wager neither have the vast majority of users. So if that’s your big argument, I’m afraid it’s completely meaningless to all but a few. The trade-offs are certainly worth it. 
    There's a thriving market in storage that says you're wrong.
  • Reply 39 of 63
    DuhSesame said:
    if you had any fact.
    Because you don't like them doesn't make them any less facts.   Life sucks.  Deal with it.
  • Reply 40 of 63
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,001member
    McJobs said:
    Alternative headline: Comparing the 2018 MacBook Air with the old 2010 design.




    The late-2010 model is what I had until last month.  I evaluated both the new 2018 Air and the 2017 Pro, and went with the Pro.  Very happy with that decision.  I’ll keep food and dust away from the keyboard.  
    Good luck with that. I had the same thought with my 2017 MBP and even being as careful as I could be I started having issues with sticking keys after a couple months. I ended up getting a silicone protector which protects the keyboard but makes and already crappy keyboard even crappier.
    We've had one keyboard failure across the entire staff, spanning 15 MacBook Pros.
    That would extrapolate to roughly 2+3% per year. I would actually consider that to be a rather high failure rate for something like a keyboard which is critical and, with the new design, very expensive to replace.
    edited February 10 GeorgeBMac
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