Buying A MacBook Air Laptop
It is a good time to buy a MacBook Air now if you really want one. Maybe you already had one before or always wanted one but couldn’t afford it. Apple discontinued production last year and there are still new MacBook Airs available for sale. Not to mention countless refurbished and used ones on the second hand market. The same thing happened to 17 inch MacBook Pro that was discontinued from production a couple of years ago. People love them and don’t mean to sell them. They are really hard to come by now. If you have one you are probably keeping it in its best shape, proudly showing it to your friends and family. We don’t blame you. Apply didn’t say anything about new plans for bringing the flagship MacBook Pro 17 inch back to life.
Beginnings of MacBook Air
The first Air was released in 2008 igniting a revolution in the laptop industry and creation of a new category of ultrabooks. Those are high end laptops in ultralight slim bodies with great performance. Apple not only reduced the size and weight but at the same time extended battery life. Making laptops more portable was the best thing that could have happened to them.
In 2008 first MacBook Air looked almost futuristic putting Apple ahead of the laptop game by far. But even today the Air has many followers that wouldn’t consider buying other ultrabooks like Dell XPS or Microsoft SurfaceBook. Apple doesn’t seem to care about those needing touchscreen in their laptop. You can fully communicate with your MacBook through the keyboard and trackpad. In more stationary situations you can use an external mouse for more precision. Apple finally designed a totally new feature for the top end MacBook Pro which is a touchbar. But all standard notebooks are not equipped with one, and they still sell great at a premium price in comparison with other brands.
Buying a MacBook laptop will set you free from Windows and Internet Explorer if you are not a Microsoft fan. The PC world is full of glitches, errors and viruses. Apple environment on the other hand feels much cleaner and safer. The company takes greater care and pride in protecting customers and their data that’s exposed to many threats through the Internet.
MacBook Air 11 and 13 inch
Apple produced 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air laptops. Better performing 13 inch models were equipped with Core i7, whereas smaller 11 inch top model had only Core i5 processors. Smaller models were of course more portable fitting in a coat’s pocket. Weight was never an issue and both versions are ultra light like Lenovo Yoga 900. Choosing between the two you have to decide which size and which processor is best for you. That usually depends on what you will be doing with the laptop. If you only play and usually do so on the go you may wanna take a closer look at the 11 inch MacBook. If you need it for work and expect more processing power for your applications 13 inch one is your best bet.
Inside the Air
Remember that you cannot upgrade parts like processor and memory. Those are soldered onto the motherboard and only very skilled technicians can successfully manipulate them. Luckily storage drive are separate modules and can be removed and replaced after opening the chassis of your MacBook Air. Neither we or Apple recommend messing inside your Mac. If you’re not sure what you’re doing you might break something and make things worse.
Everything inside your MacBook is super tiny and fragile. So even if you have experience in building gaming PCs you shouldn’t attempt repair on the Air. MacBooks aren’t modular and require special tools to begin with. Replacement parts are different for all versions and sub models and are not interchangeable. One digit off in the entire part number surely indicates different part. They are also expensive and hard to find. One of the best places to buy is eBay, especially if you want to save money and find use ones. New Apple parts are outrageously expensive and take time to order.
There are a few things to look for when buying a used MacBook
- First power on the laptop and read specifications under “About This Mac”. Make sure that you’re getting the exact model that you want and that’s being advertised. Check “System Report” for Model Identifier, processor, memory and storage.
- Inspect if the serial number is visible on the bottom and compare it with the serial displayed in the system.
- Check internet connection. You want to be sure that the MacBook Air connects to wirelessly to the Internet without a problem.
- Once you’re online open YouTube.com and let the laptop stream and play a video for a while. See if everything is working smoothly, if video is not artifacting after the system warms up.
Most importantly check for any liquid damage as much as possible. Even smallest amount of liquid spilled on the keyboard will result in some damage and malfunctioning of the laptop. Test all the keys and backlit if they work. Check if the keyboard doesn’t feel crunchy which usually indicates a previously spilled liquid. Inspect display on startup. You will be able to see blemishes from moisture on solid bright background if there are any. They would appear along the edges and in the middle around Apple logo. They may be hard to notice on colored background. Apple laptops have spill indicators installed inside that are white and turn red in contact with any liquid. They work great but are only visible after opening the case.
Check battery under power settings. They display battery condition and how many charging cycles it already went through.
Inspect the case if it’s not getting bulky around battery compartment. MacBook batteries are known for swelling and not only losing their charging capabilities but also damaging case and other parts inside the laptops.
Check visually the bottom of the laptop if all screws are there and if there were tampered with. One can usually tell if the screws were touched. Stay away from the laptop if the previous owner doesn’t have a good reason for opening the case. He might be hiding something otherwise.
Test speakers if produced sound is clear and crisp. MacBook Air’s speakers aren’t very loud considering the size but should be sufficient to watch a movie in a closed room.
- Check if power cord doesn’t have cuts with exposed wires which can electrocute you. Also see the light indicator on the plug if it changes colors from orange to green meaning that it communicates with the charging circuit in the laptop as needed.
- Visually inspect the case for physical damage. See if top and bottom align correctly when closed.
- See if the Mac OS is fresh and doesn’t have someone's information.
Now that you read our post we believe that you have a great interest in buying a MacBook Air. If you can afford a new one or at least Apple certified refurbished one then you have nothing to worry about. If you’re shopping for a used one please be careful and apply our instructions to ensure good choice. Also read about MacBook Airs common failures before deciding to buy on.