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Old 06-06-2020, 11:20 AM
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Default What to consider in buying a Macbook Air

I want to get my mom a Macbook air. Is there any reason to get anything other than the cheapest one? What should I be considering? Any important accessories?

Back story:
Why a Macbook Air:

She's stuck at home, and her laptop is a giant old Macbook Pro, and it's too heavy to be comfortable holding it on your lap. So she only uses it at her desk, and it's not very comfortable for her to sit at the desk for a long time. And that means she doesn't enjoy things like Zoom calls from her family. (We use the phone, instead). It also means she doesn't enjoy on-line games, like bridge, that she might otherwise enjoy.

So I want to get her something small and light.

And she's old and having age-related cognitive problems. She's still "with it", but the world is harder to navigate than it used to be. So I want to get her something familiar, and she is already comfortable using a Mac. I think the learning curve for a Macbook Air would be pretty easy.

The price is not a major consideration. I mean, I don't want to throw away money (mine or hers) but it's definitely worth it to spend a few hundred dollars more for a computer she will be comfortable with over, say, a Chromebook that she might find hard to learn to use.

Of course, a Chromebook has the virtue of being really hard to hack or break. If there's an awesome (small, light, easy-to-use) Chromebook out there it might be worth considering. But I have a strong bias towards the "she already knows how to use it" solution. and "The Chromebook is cheaper" is not even a little bit persuasive.

TIA
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:17 PM
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I can't give any advice on current models but I will say I'm getting amazing longevity out of my MacBook Air that I've had for more than 8 years. My previous Apple laptops only lasted 4 years each but somehow this one keeps motoring.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:47 PM
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Get one from Swappa. The number one thing to look for is battery charge cycles. Anything with less than 100 cycles should last her a good 5 years, especially if she mostly keeps it plugged in.

500 charge cycles is when you will see the battery life start to decline. It will still be useable, but will noticeably begin to decline.

Back in November, I picked up a pair of Macbook Airs (2015) with less than 100 cycles for ~$500 each.

Just a heads up, the keyboard on the 2018 and 2019 Airs (ones with USB-C ports for charging) were typically disliked. They were the "butterfly" style switches which had lots of problems.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:48 PM
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Get one from Swappa. The number one thing to look for is battery charge cycles. Anything with less than 100 cycles should last her a good 5 years, especially if she mostly keeps it plugged in.

500 charge cycles is when you will see the battery life start to decline. It will still be useable, but will noticeably begin to decline.

Back in November, I picked up a pair of Macbook Airs (2015) with less than 100 cycles for ~$500 each.

Just a heads up, the keyboard on the 2018 and 2019 Airs (ones with USB-C ports for charging) were typically disliked. They were the "butterfly" style switches which had lots of problems.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:56 PM
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remember to get the one with wheels
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:56 PM
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MacBook Air is great, I've been using mine since 2014 and it's been working perfectly fine since, but have you considered getting your mon an iPad instead?

Depends on what your mon likes, I feel like iPad is more portable and more convenient to use, and it shares the same OS as the Macbook
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Old 06-10-2020, 02:17 PM
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She'd have to hold the ipad, and she's very weak. And it's horrible to type on. And it would be an all-new interface for her to learn.

I'm biased because I have an iPad and I hate the interface. But I don't think it would work.
My brother has pretty much convinced me that even moving her to a newer OS is going to be challenging, and it's probably not worth it.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:07 AM
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get the MBA. it's the OS she knows and they're great devices

i have a 2017 MBP with the butterfly switch keyboard and i haven't had any problems with it

the latest MBA did away with the butterfly switch kb

if it were my mother, i'd spring for a new MBA and not have to worry about potential keyboard issues, but ahow's suggestion is perfectly fine too
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:08 AM
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oh, and the base model should be more than adequate for her needs
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:23 PM
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Not so sure about Mac, since I am a Windows user. However, I did buy one old MacBook air and three old MacBook pros at low price in the past. I cleaned and sold them all at higher price. MacBook air does have better quality for duration and physical feeling than plastic Windows laptops with same specs. However, MacBook air is about twice as much expensive as Windows laptops with same specs. If your mom uses the laptop for basic internet surfing and videos only, it will be best to get a touch screen 2 in 1 Windows laptop. Yes, it's possible that Windows laptops can get virus but you can always install anti-virus to protect the laptop for a few bucks a year. Also, almost all major brands' Windows laptops can be unlocked even if they get attacked with bios lock. I am not sure Google Chromebook can be reset without remembering Google account password.
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