After 10 years, it’s time to kill the MacBook Air

“You might have missed it over the long weekend, but yesterday (Jan. 15) marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the MacBook Air by Steve Jobs on stage at Macworld,” Andrew E. Freedman writes for LAPTOP Magazine. “When he removed its sleek chassis from a manilla envelope, it changed laptops forever; competitors raced to make their own machines that thin and light. However, with Apple barely updating this laptop for several years, it’s time for the MacBook Air to take a one-way trip to the gadget closet in the sky.”

“The Air became one of our favorite notebooks of all, and we gave it high ratings and numerous editors’ choice awards. But today, in 2018, the MacBook Air has lost its relevance. It didn’t have to be this way,” Freedman writes. “Apple could have continued to upgrade the Air with top-notch features like a Retina display, Thunderbolt 3, Touch ID and even longer battery life. But Apple has instead focused on the 12-inch MacBook as its flagship thin notebook (one might call it the ‘Air apparent’), and the MacBook Air has languished.”

“Apple’s last update of the MacBook Air was a small processor bump to a fifth-generation Intel Broadwell CPU in 2017. (Most new notebooks have 8th or 7th Gen CPUs. The fifth-gen option was old even then.) The laptop still uses the same basic chassis design that it had in 2010,” Freedman writes. “If Apple isn’t going to give the Air a full, true refresh, then it’s time for it to go.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the MacBook Air’s usefulness, beyond offering a low entry-level price, as been supplanted by the rather fabulous 12-inch MacBook.

10 years ago, Steve Jobs pulled the MacBook Air from a manilla envelope – January 16, 2018
CNET reviews Apple MacBook Air (2017): An old friend shows its age, but… – August 17, 2017
Apple updates iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook, and MacBook Pro – June 5, 2017
Analyst: MacBook Air 2017 could be the last in series as Apple plans to kill off ‘Air’ line– July 15, 2016

AirMail manilla folder notebook sleeve for Apple MacBook Air now available for pre-order – January 18, 2008
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s MacBook Air: ‘Will captivate millions’ – January 16, 2008
Apple’s new MacBook Air tempts Windows user to make the switch – January 16, 2008
Mossberg’s early impression of Apple’s new MacBook Air: ‘Very attractive product’ – January 16, 2008
Apple posts Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo 2008 keynote address QuickTime video – January 15, 2008
Apple’s new MacBook Air TV commercial and guided tour (with video) – January 15, 2008
Jupiter Research analyst: Apple’s MacBook Air a new star, Apple TV no longer a hobby – January 15, 2008
Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks stock price, iPhone in China, MacBook Air, iPhone sales – January 15, 2008
Apple introduces MacBook Air; world’s thinnest notebook features multi-touch gesture support – January 15, 2008


  1. Its the last one with a card slot, and the reason I chose it over the MacBooks. They have over-neutered the MacBooks by allowing no external media whatsoever without a fscking dongle.

      1. I used a Hyperdrive for several months, until the connection between it and my MBP became unstable. That instability killed my USB bus-powered backup drive. With the refund from the defective Hyperdrive I purchased a second dongle from Apple to give me an HDMI port, and I bought a USB-C card reader for my camera cards. That means that I have 3 separate dongles to re-create the built-in ones that I had on my old MBP, which also supported monitor spanning with my 27″ iMac (which my new MBP does not.)

        I was happier with my previous MBP, but had to replace it when the keyboard and trackpad developed an intermittent fault.

  2. “If Apple isn’t going to give the Air a full, true refresh, then it’s time for it to go.”

    Well, if that’s the case then Apple can go ahead and axe 75% of their product line. They really are falling behind. They’re not hungry anymore. Just foolish.

      1. Mac mini
        Mac Pro
        MacBook Air
        iPhone Se

        So he was off by a little bit on his percentages but these products suck in terms of their technology being up to date by current standards.

        1. -Modular Mac Pro on its way … and we have the new iMac pros already.
          -Mac mini; Tim in a response to an concerned customer’s email has expressed that mac mini is an imporant part of the line up and its not forgotten…. stay tuned.
          -iPhone SE… new version is coming in a few months.

          -MacBook Air… well the new MacBook 12 is the replacemnt for the Air. Imo. (And it is a beautiful product )

          So all in all ….all these products have been confirmed to have a new updated version coming soon .

          But.. no doubt for the past few few years.. many things were neglected. .. Apple has already realized this goofup and they are in process of releasing solutions.
          Why dont we consider the goofups as a part of growing, moving pains and adjusting to Steves passing.
          Lets see what 2018 holds in store.

          1. -Modular Mac Pro on its way … and we have the new iMac pros already.

            On its way. In the pipeline. Not here now. Real artists ship.

            -Mac mini; Tim in a response to an concerned customer’s email has expressed that mac mini is an imporant part of the line up and its not forgotten…. stay tuned.

            On it’s way. In the pipeline. Not here now. Real artists ship.

            -iPhone SE… new version is coming in a few months.

            On it’s way. In the pipeline. Not here now. Real artists ship.

            -MacBook Air… well the new MacBook 12 is the replacemnt for the Air. Imo. (And it is a beautiful product )

            With insufficient ports and insufficient power.

            We want Apple to do better.

  3. Really only room for a one cost sensitive model and a Pro model, a real PRO model, with top of the line features and ports.

    Someone should start up a company to develop an AI suitcase for the dongles, one that follows you around and dispenses the proper dongle when you need it. Apple will buy you for a billion bucks!

      1. I tried both Hyperdrive and Satechi version of this and found that:

        – You don’t really get Thunderbolt performance except for power passthrough. The port that permits power passthrough (USB-C) doesn’t permit for data.

        – Peripherals will fit into the adapter ports just as snugly as the adapter fits into the computer ports, so removing peripherals requires an annoying level of care as to keep data on connected drives from being damaged

        – I worry that the weight of the peripheral cables would cause the adapter to snap and leave the adapter male ports stuck in the computer while possibly causing damage

  4. The MacBooks horrible keyboard made it unusable for me. That‘s even before you get me started on the limited connections.

    I just bought myself a 2014 MacBook Air on eBay and am very happy with my decision.

      1. My sister in law just bought an Air, the main selling points were ports and price. If I had to buy a new laptop today it’d be a 2015 Macbook Pro 13″, but hopefully my 2013 Air will keep me going for a while longer. Apple still hasn’t produced a better laptop than the Air that satisfies the needs and budgets of most users, it’s STILL the machine with the best battery life that Apple makes. I’m disappointed they settled on ~10 hours as a standard, without keeping or even pushing the envelope on the ~12 hours that started with the Haswell Airs.

        1. I’m still glad I bought two Airs recently for gifts. Might even get a Thunderbolt port for my girlfriends since she uses it mainly hooked to a monitor, bluetooth keys and mouse plus some active bookshelf speakers (via a Meridian Explorer 2 DAC for Roon) and a backup disc.

          I have one hooked to my late 2013 iMac 3.5 GHz Core I7 with 24 GB RAM and 4 GB video card to keep my desk uncluttered and it does fine.

          I am also happy with my mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13″ with 16 GB RAM and 512 SSD storage. Heavy? Yes, but it is a COMPUTER and does all that I need when I travel (plus it used to me my work desktop/ travel laptop).

          Apple hasn’t made one computer in 5 years that I really wanted/needed, unless this iMac’s screen goes to crap from heat like the last two I bought (early 2006 20″ Core Duo and mid 2011 27″ I5)

          Thanks Timmy!!

  5. The option key on my MacBook got stuck in the depressed state through no fault of mine, which means that everything I type comes out gibberish. I was informed at the Apple Store that it would cost over $500 dollars to open it up to fix it. I’ve bought at least 15 models of Macs since 1985 and this is the first one I would label a lemon. They should have warned me when I bought it that any keyboard problems that arise would cost half the price of the computer to fix. I can’t even log into accounts because it doesn’t recognize passwords with the option key depressed. And I had probably used it for less than a hundred hours over the past few years because it was primarily used when I travel. I still love my MacBook Air and new MacBook Pro.

    1. I’ve purchased AppleCare for all my phones and computers and I can’t recall an instance that I did not use the AC for some problem. The big one was the faulty hinge on my 1st Generation Air. Known problem which they fixed – 6months after the program ended. ty aapl

      1. With perfect hindsight I wish I had purchased AppleCare for this computer, although if the problem had occurred six months from now it wouldn’t have done any good anyway. I’ve purchased it for all six of my iPhones and made use of it on at least three occasions. But I’ve been so fortunate with never needing it for my Macs that I eventually became complacent and figured I’d just pay if something went wrong. Wish I had known what it would have cost me for this one.

  6. Reasons the MBA and Macbook should be combined and called Macbook:

    – The Macbook and Macbook Pros imply that all Mac laptops will solely have TB3 and headphone ports. If the ports on an MBA exceed that of the MBP or a Macbook (the original MBA was a lighter alternative to the original style of Macbook) in qty or variety, the very idea of powerful vs portable is disorted.

    – Adding a retina display to the MBA will require a larger battery which will add a higher price tag.

    – The 11″ and 13″ offerings for the MBA showed that quite a few folks would purchase the smaller screen size. This would likely be more beneficial than just a 12″ screen. At those sizes, every bit counts.

    – It would simplify the product lineup. 2 types of laptop and 2 sizes for each type. For average computer users, these seem to be the most burdensome factors to decide on.

  7. Surly the Macbook Air has really been replaced by the iPad Pro for those that want the portable option? I have hardly used my Air since the day the iPad Pro arrived. The latter is my travelling companion around the world!

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