An Update on My 2012 Mac Air

Typically I want to get 3 years out of a laptop to amortize spending on a premium grade machine. I’m at 4 years on this one and while there is better hardware available now, so far it hasn’t been enough better to drive me to buy something new. I maxed it out when I bought it; I7, 8GB ram, 256GB SSD and I’m glad I did.

The machine itself has done ok. I’ve replaced the power cord twice. Once due to the wire breaking, once due to losing it. Expensive to fix, in the $80 range each time. I’m glad to see machines moving to USB-C for charging.

I replaced the battery around the end of the 3rd year (after market), and it’s just been replaced again with a “real” one. Maybe the OEM stuff is better, hard to tell.

It’s been dropped a couple times and one USB port is a little dinged, but still works. Most recently it was mishandled and the backlight failed. I was able to login by shining a flashlight at an angle so I could see the screen, then once logged it I could use an external monitor. The repair was $280 via the Apple Store, sent out and back in 3 days, fixing the screen, backlight, logic card, battery, and some missing screws. Very good service and cheaper than the local fixit place I went to for a second estimate.

I’m not sure what will drive my next purchase. I like working via a USB dock and it’s hard to drive multiple big displays (27″) without lag, so maybe that requires better hardware and/or a better dock. Resolution isn’t a huge factor when using the laptop standalone, I can get by with whatever – certainly it will be as good as what I have now. USB-C charging is high on the wish list. I’ll probably go up to a 512GB SSD or larger just to have some wiggle room. 8GB ram has been fine. I might get more if available, but it’s not a must have. I’ll look harder at the extended warranty this time.

Four years on one machine. Not bad.