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BrandonTheCat

[Review] Macbook Air 2012 [After 3 years of use]

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Before I begin, I want to inform everyone that is watching this review that the Mac vs. PC thing, needs to stop. These computers are designed for web browsing, video watching, and note taking, not “Balls to the wall” overclocking.

 

With that out of the way, lets review the computer that I would like to call “The best computer of any student ever”. 

 

[intro]

 

To be clear, Modern portable PC’s are probably the greatest thing in the world. Since I don't own a modern laptop or tablet PC, I have no idea, so this is probably not the most ideal thing I can take from owning a PC Laptop. I would absolutely LOVE to try the XPS 13, or the Surface Pro 3 sometime in the future, to get a taste of what owning a portable windows machine is actually like. But for now, we go into the 3 year old mac, that I've been carrying since the end of middle school and the beginning of high school and throughout the time so far. 

 

The real reason I’m writing this review, is because I owned a HP touch smart back in 2011. Which costed around $1000. And at the time, there were so many consumer features that were purely marketing, mostly for the purpose of basically just adding Bullet Points to the list of “Features” that HP wanted. Thats cool and stuff, HP would pretty much agree with this but they would hate me soon because I'm about to beat on it pretty hard.

 

Long story short, that computer, was the worst computer I've ever owned. It lasted 1 year, and after that, the Motherboard basically died and HP couldn't repair it. (Keep in mind that they didn't even tell me what was wrong with it, and offered no repair or replacement) Basically I had to buy a new one. 

 

So, with that, I went to the apple team to see if the grass was really greener on the other side. And boy was I not disappointed. This specific mac is a Macbook Air Mid 2012 13' release. I bought this puppy on the day it shipped to the stores, which was 1 day after the keynote. The unboxing experience was the greatest thing in the world. opening this thing was like opening a garage, and finding a brand new Ferrari that has a terrible engine. (More on that terrible engine later) In my mind, it should feel like a premium unboxing, since this thing costed an eye watering $1,600. lets move on. 

 

Lets start with the good stuff. This has a beautiful all aluminum design, with the best build quality a computer has ever had. I can’t even imagine how hard working these apple engineers are, like seriously. This is something that no PC manufacture could ever replicate in 2012. It felt solid, smooth, and just plain nice to the touch. 

 

The screen is what I would call, “Exceptional”. Since the screen isn't retina, this is packing a “Whopping” 1440 by 900. I’ll be clear, you can pretty much see the pixels from any viewing distance. “Exceptional” but not “Beautiful”. The viewing angles are fine left to right, but pretty much gets destroyed when looking from the top or bottom. This basically confirms that its a TN panel and not a IPS panel. Would have liked to see IPS, but then again, this is 2012…

 

Lets talk specs for a second, This computer is rocking a “Blistering” 1.8Ghz that turbo’s up to 2.7Ghz Core i5 with 2 cores and 2 threads. (Intel Core i5-3427U CPU @1.80Ghz)Not the best, but this isn't a workstation. It has 4GB of 1600 DDR3 Memory, Which I must add, Is NOT ENOUGH. and has a Integrated graphics solution of Intel’s HD Graphics 4000. This actually surprised me. The graphics has 1024 MB of GDDR5. So I through it in bootcamp, and got consistent and usable frame-rates on most games from steam on medium graphics. Neat.

 

The chiclet keyboard is nice to type on with the keys basically going farther than I originally expected it to be, so pretty nice. The backlight is really bright with 16 levels of brightness and… Nothing much else. 

 

The speakers is what I also consider “Usable” but you can definitely tell that its being muffled by the keyboard that is behind it. Not very loud, not very clear, but definitely usable.

 

Battery life on this thing is pretty much a Godsend, I get 9 hours off this computer just using Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Great to have especially when you are on the go just typing stuff. 

 

Fan in this thing, well, I don't even know that its there all the time. At the time of writing this review, I get around 2000 RPM which is basically nothing considering the fan is almost 5 Centimeters in diameter and received the A-Symetrical treatment, as well as with its Big Brother the MacBook Pro, also getting the A-Symetrical treatment. Neato. 

 

Lets talk about the issues because I pretty much had the worst experiences with this thing, especially with all the things that happened to this laptop for over 3 years.

 

I swear to god, apple needs to fix their system with the technical support. They are waisting so much money on just easy to fix things. About a year ago, One of the keys cracked on the keyboard. I felt like this could be an easy fix with just one keycap, but they had to replace the entire top unibody with all the keycaps. Thank GOD I bought apple care for 1 year since 1 keycap broken would have costed $200 to replace almost half of the computer. Absolutely ludicrous. 

 

Another thing that broke is the WiFi card on this computer, which was an easy fix. since they said one of the antennas weren't working they replaced the screen as well as with the wifi card. Apparently, they gave me a bad screen, that resulted in lines on the computer screen. That was a $600 replacement that I didn't have to pay for since it was their fault that resulted in a motherboard replacement, a screen replacement and one angry customer. Basically the only thing that is original, So parts when I bought the computer, would be the backplate that protects the board and its components, and its SSD. absolutely crazy.

 

Since this Computer is 3 years old, I've had to replace the battery only once. Which is great, because if I had a PC it would be way more, Probably 2-3 battery replacements just to get the right amount of battery juice left. 

 

I’ve performed self surgery to this computer twice because the fan wasn't spinning because of some hair and dust. Annoying, but whatever. I’m not that annoyed because if I gave it to apple they would have probably replaced the fan or something. 

 

Since we've went through the bad things I guess this leads pretty well into conclusion. The macbook air is no powerhouse. Its for the people who go to school, and just want Evernote  for school or something. I love this thing to death, and it will never leave me. Thanks for reading this far. I wrote this a while back for a script in a video. Let me know If this would be a good idea for me! Cheers! 

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I think you've missed the trackpad, which in my opinion Apple does better than everyone else and is the most important part of the notebook experience. As a owner of a macbook, the trackpad is the only thing that keeps me from going to another brand. The implementation of the gestures are also very well executed. Back when I bought this notebook, Apple was the only company that had a large trackpad as well. My old Sony notebook's trackpad had barely any room for you to move the cursor.


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I have a 2012 Air too and installed Ubuntu on it, basically use it for light weight stuff. :)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I think you've missed the trackpad, which in my opinion Apple does better than everyone else. As a owner of a macbook, the trackpad is the only thing that keeps me from going to another brand. The implementation of the gestures are also very well executed. Back when I bought this notebook, Apple was the only company that had a large trackpad as well. My old Sony notebook's trackpad had barely any room for you to move the cursor.

Good point, but Honestly its a Mac. I thought everyone would know that. If this gets finalized, that will be added. Thanks! :D

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Lets talk specs for a second, This computer is rocking a “Blistering” 1.8Ghz that turbo’s up to 2.7Ghz Core i5 with 2 cores and 2 threads. Not the best, but this isn't a workstation

it actually is 4 threads.

all mobile i3,i5 and i7 support hyper-threading ;)

I have a 2012 11" MacbookAir myself with 512GB and 8GB Ram and the only thing I would change is the display and the battery life.

It is more than powerful enough for anything I would use a 11" notebook anyway.


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it actually is 4 threads.

all mobile i3,i5 and i7 support hyper-threading ;)

I have a 2012 11" MacbookAir myself with 512GB and 8GB Ram and the only thing I would change is the display and the battery life.

It is more than powerful enough for anything I would use a 11" notebook anyway.

 

Battery life? Is 9 hours, maybe 6ish hours as the battery wears out not enough? I struggle to get 4 hours of battery life on my 1 year old haswell ultrabook. 2012 is ivybridge right?

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Battery life? Is 9 hours, maybe 6ish hours as the battery wears out not enough? I struggle to get 4 hours of battery life on my 1 year old haswell ultrabook. 2012 is ivybridge right?

 

9 hours is pretty unrealistic for the 2012 11" Macbook Air.

 

And yes 9 hours of office work would be perfect ;)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

it actually is 4 threads.

all mobile i3,i5 and i7 support hyper-threading ;)

I have a 2012 11" MacbookAir myself with 512GB and 8GB Ram and the only thing I would change is the display and the battery life.

It is more than powerful enough for anything I would use a 11" notebook anyway.

Good find, I would actually list the processor number, but apple never likes posting the part number of CPU's (I have no idea why) 

I mean it still isn't made for multi threaded workloads being a dual core. 

Sorry for the late post ;)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

[Edit and update] #1

 

I have found the exact model number of the CPU after installing windows 10. The processor is listed below.

 

Intel Core i5-3427U CPU @1.80Ghz

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[Edit and update] #1

 

I have found the exact model number of the CPU after installing windows 10. The processor is listed below.

 

Intel Core i5-3427U CPU @1.80Ghz

Pro tip, click the Apple in the top left corner, click "About this mac", click "System Report", find the model identifier (the second row) and look it up on google. 

 

And I agree with the last part from the OP, even my 8 year old MBP runs amazingly well (once I went back to Snow Leopard -- yosemite just wrecked it, and I don't remember if ML/mavericks did, and I didn't care enough to upgrade to either to find out). My 8 year old MBP only shows it's age when you try to multitask or do anything heavy (since it's only C2D w/ 4gb of RAM), plus the fact that I've destroyed the palm wrest with sweat over the last 8 years -- interestingly enough, even my 2013 rMBP's palm wrest is getting damaged where I rest my right hand. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Pro tip, click the Apple in the top left corner, click "About this mac", click "System Report", find the model identifier (the second row) and look it up on google. 

 

And I agree with the last part from the OP, even my 8 year old MBP runs amazingly well (once I went back to Snow Leopard -- yosemite just wrecked it, and I don't remember if ML/mavericks did, and I didn't care enough to upgrade to either to find out). My 8 year old MBP only shows it's age when you try to multitask or do anything heavy (since it's only C2D w/ 4gb of RAM), plus the fact that I've destroyed the palm wrest with sweat over the last 8 years -- interestingly enough, even my 2013 rMBP's palm wrest is getting damaged where I rest my right hand. 

Oh, I didn't have the effort to look it up. Just glad its there :)

 

I was always afraid of my keys or my mac in general wearing but for some reason it still looks brand new. I guess its all the replacement surgeries its been through? Still, glad your 8 year old mac still even works. I think my mac is being replaced on the 5-6 year mark. 

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Oh, I didn't have the effort to look it up. Just glad its there :)

 

I was always afraid of my keys or my mac in general wearing but for some reason it still looks brand new. I guess its all the replacement surgeries its been through? Still, glad your 8 year old mac still even works. I think my mac is being replaced on the 5-6 year mark. 

I replaced mine 19 months ago since  C2D w/ 4gb RAM just wasn't nearly enough for my use case. I'm now sitting on a quad core i7 with 16gb of RAM and I'm usually sitting around the 15gb mark -- but for light use (what the majority of people will use it for) my 8 year old mac still works great. 


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Before I begin, I want to inform everyone that is watching this review that the Mac vs. PC thing, needs to stop. These computers are designed for web browsing, video watching, and note taking, not “Balls to the wall” overclocking.

 

I loved my MBP.


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I replaced mine 19 months ago since  C2D w/ 4gb RAM just wasn't nearly enough for my use case. I'm now sitting on a quad core i7 with 16gb of RAM and I'm usually sitting around the 15gb mark -- but for light use (what the majority of people will use it for) my 8 year old mac still works great. 

What laptop now?


signatures are the illuminati #mkultragotcha

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My 17 year old powerbook g3 still works fine.

It's not even that slow


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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Loved. Past tense? Explain! :P

 

I don't really use it that much now... Compatibility between my PC and MBP was slipping. I produce music on a small level, so I use more than one DAW to get everything just how I like it: FL Studio, Ableton, Logic, Cubase... The problem is some of my DAWs and VSTs can only run on my PC or only on my MBP. I tried using WineBottler, but it just wouldn't work for VSTs. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it just didn't fit my needs. I'm going to keep it so I can use it in college (only so I don't have to use a ChromeBook).  :D


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What laptop now?

2013 15" rMBP w/ 2ghz i7 (4750hq), 16gb ram, 256gb pcie ssd.


PSU Tier List | CoC

Gaming Build | FreeNAS Server

Spoiler

i5-4690k || Seidon 240m || GTX780 ACX || MSI Z97s SLI Plus || 8GB 2400mhz || 250GB 840 Evo || 1TB WD Blue || H440 (Black/Blue) || Windows 10 Pro || Dell P2414H & BenQ XL2411Z || Ducky Shine Mini || Logitech G502 Proteus Core

Spoiler

FreeNAS 9.3 - Stable || Xeon E3 1230v2 || Supermicro X9SCM-F || 32GB Crucial ECC DDR3 || 3x4TB WD Red (JBOD) || SYBA SI-PEX40064 sata controller || Corsair CX500m || NZXT Source 210.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I don't really use it that much now... Compatibility between my PC and MBP was slipping. I produce music on a small level, so I use more than one DAW to get everything just how I like it: FL Studio, Ableton, Logic, Cubase... The problem is some of my DAWs and VSTs can only run on my PC or only on my MBP. I tried using WineBottler, but it just wouldn't work for VSTs. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it just didn't fit my needs. I'm going to keep it so I can use it in college (only so I don't have to use a ChromeBook).  :D

If I was in your situation, I would just install windows on the mac.

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If I was in your situation, I would just install windows on the mac.

 

I tried that. It ended up being a bit too slow for my tastes. Dual-booting on a Mac has never really gone too well for me. I always end up switching back within a few days...  :P


Intel Core i7-6700K | Corsair H105 | Asus Z170I PRO GAMING | G.Skill TridentZ Series 16GB | 950 PRO 512GB M.2

 

Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX OC | BitFenix Prodigy (Black/Red) | XFX PRO Black Edition 850W

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I tried that. It ended up being a bit too slow for my tastes. Dual-booting on a Mac has never really gone too well for me. I always end up switching back within a few days...  :P

Really? wow, I actually found that running windows boosted my Macs speed like ten fold. Bootcamp is awesome though :)

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Really? wow, I actually found that running windows boosted my Macs speed like ten fold. Bootcamp is awesome though :)

 

That's surprising... Windows just felt laggy to me through Bootcamp.


Intel Core i7-6700K | Corsair H105 | Asus Z170I PRO GAMING | G.Skill TridentZ Series 16GB | 950 PRO 512GB M.2

 

Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX OC | BitFenix Prodigy (Black/Red) | XFX PRO Black Edition 850W

 

 

My BuildPCPartPicker | CoC

 

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