The 2015 MacBook Air: A 6-Year Review
How is it held up here in 2021, let’s find out that intro was a nod to one of my favorite youtubers. If you know who it is comment, their channel below this laptop is iconic in so many ways. Even for those who don’t use macbooks know unmistakably what it is: it’s a macbook air and it’s iconic for good reason, it’s a design that stood the test of time. It was january 2008 when steve jobs. First pulled this computer out of a manila envelope on stage and it was amazing, the entire laptop fit inside of a manila envelope and it’s, just something that blew the world’s mind at the time. The design was all space ag and futuristic. Definitely something that catapulted apple into the future and for better or for worse. This is a design that stood the test of time. It hasn’t changed seriously since 2008. All the way up to 2018 for 10 long years apple has kept the same design on their macbook air and for better or for worse. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. The price was unwavering as well still the cheapest macbook you can buy in apple’s website. It was still a thousand dollars all the way up to 2019 to buy this thing which, when you’re buying hardware from 2008 nearly 10 years later, it’s kind of a ridiculous bargain. In some instances sure got updated, internals and chipsets to make it quick and snappy on the inside, but hardware is just as important and for apple being, primarily a hardware company.
It just didn’t jive nicely with the updated software on the inside of the machine. Now, like i mentioned earlier, this model is an early 2015 macbook air that my wife actually bought for college a few years ago and she still uses it every day to this day. So let’s see how it’s held up for daily use here in 2021 and i’ll be honest when my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, told me that she spent a thousand dollars on a practically eight year old design, macbook design. I was not super thrilled or excited about it. Granted, i wasn’t necessarily an apple fan at the time, but that’s besides the point it’s just an old design for what you get. But my main gripe with this computer is that, yes, while it’s still been an iconic computer over all these years, apple just kind of failed to capitalize on the success of it, but to their credit, you can look at that. The other way around and say why would they change it? It was so wildly popular. It still is so wildly popular one of the best selling laptops of all time that they ever had. Why would they change anything when they don’t have to when they know people are going to buy it anyway? So two sides to that same coin, but there again apple, is and always has been primarily a hardware company, so they’re essentially selling the same product. 10 years later, which says a lot about the product, but it also says a few things about the innovation, but they corrected it.
They fixed it, but let’s move on to some of the pros and cons of the hardware on this six year old machine. The casing on this laptop is not bad at all and honestly, i kind of dig it. It looks, futuristic, it’s, space agey and i honestly, like the glowing apple logo on the back of the screen there. I think that’s a neat touch that i’m kind of disappointed. They did away with in the newer models because it’s such a lighter material it’s, a lighter aluminum, it does tend to stain more easily. So if you have it next to like a colored book in your bag or in like some kind of a colored envelope, it will get occasional stains. But it does clean quite nicely and easily. And i like the fact that it’s all aluminum it’s one piece of machined aluminum – i mean there’s some seams in there, but the basic the base chassis is just all one piece and i kind of like that. I dig it. Opening the lid is as smooth as you’d expect any other macbook to be one finger, ready, ready, that’s, nice and smooth let’s. Do it again for a different angle, no lift up on the bottom there at all check it out, perfect it’s, so great i mean apple. Has just always done such a fantastic job on their hinge design and the ease of opening and closing the lid it’s just great. You know those days of using two hands to pry open your windows pc because it doesn’t open to get it open like that.
Nope, not a problem here, you just uh, you open it right up and we’re right into the work, but this is where some of my mixed feelings come in once we get the lid open, starting with the screen, and oh this. Oh, the screen, it’s it’s bad it’s, not good, um 2008. It was perfect, it was great, it was fine, it was the standard but to sell a computer like this in 2018, it it’s just it should be a crime it’s, a capital punishment to sell a screen. This bad on a device in 2018 2019. when we’ve been getting retina displays since 2014 2015, which may even be earlier. I could be wrong on that we’re just so used to the rich high density and high resolution screens that looking at something like this, it honestly hurts the eyes a lot it’s kind of like looking through a screen out your window. I swear you can kind of count the pixels on this thing when going from something like a modern day, macbook or even your smartphone or an ipad to this it it hurts a little bit. I got ta, say the tech enthusiast in me. It hurts a little bit to look at the screen and the back lighting on it, but hey that was the technology in 2008, which is fine, but to sell that same technology. 10 years later, at the same price tag, that’s that’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow, but moving on to the good things, the keyboard, i actually like the keyboard.
A lot on this model, it’s it’s, quite good, it’s, very classic apple it’s got you know. It’S, the it’s, the perfect keyboard, i think in my opinion, it feels very nostalgic to type on like the early 2010 models. Macbook pros, just a really good overall feeling keyboard, especially with the whole butterfly keyboard scenario. That was about three years long, where apple, just their keyboards were awful and they were always needing repair and getting broken. I just i hated those keyboards. I would often actually borrow this laptop my wife’s if i had to type something, because i honestly could not stand those keyboards and actually have one of those keyboards on my work, laptop and it’s tough to go back to you know something like this. It’S tried and true it’s tested and it’s it’s amazing it’s a great keyboard. It works it’s, not my favorite, i would have to say my favorite keyboards now are going to be the the newer keyboards that apple has released. I find this keyboard just to be a little bit too squishy. For me, the key travel just a little bit too much they’re a little too deep to be able to feel like i can type comfortably and quickly. I kind of feel like i need to press the keys in a little bit harder to get the job done as opposed to something newer where there’s slightly less key travel, but otherwise this keyboard’s amazing honestly it’s one of the best design keyboards of all time and Even all the way back in 2008 to present day now, it’s still pretty unrivaled moving on to the trackpad scrolling is really good it’s, just as good as a modern day.
Macbook i mean, even in 2008 apple had this technology down pat they had it correct. It’S. Still better than any windows laptop any windows, pc, trackpad i’ve ever used, i mean it’s, just a fact: there’s, no comparison for it, it’s, just so good. The only gripe i have about it, though, is that because it’s, an older trackpad, it uses an actual click it’s. A mechanical click in there, so i have to actually press down to get it to click and when i’m so used to the newer models, which is like a force touch, i just kind of have to exert a little bit of pressure before it clicks. This is much more noticeable force. You have to push onto the trackpad to get the click, not that big of a deal, because i just turn on tap to click anyway, if i’m going to use this laptop – and it does essentially the same thing but the clickiness feels a little archaic, but otherwise The trackpad is still really good for its age. Battery life is actually really good for a macbook of this age. Now battery life has always been pretty good for macbook airs, but especially for this one. Six years later, it still gets several days worth of use on a single charge. We can just pick it up, use it for any of the sort of light tasks and then just plug it in you know, in 30 minutes later we got a full charge again for the next few days, so battery life is really good on this and finally, For hardware we’re going to talk about the i o ports – and this is one area that i think this laptop shines even brighter than the most modern day.
Macbooks – is the fact that it has a full selection of i o ports. I mean usbc is great. I understand the advantages i understand the benefits but come on apple it’s, it’s, it’s, tough to live the dongle life it’s tough, but this is awesome. I mean to have our card reader to have usba to have a thunderbolt, which it is what it is. I mean i’m used to it by now the thunderbolt that is headphone jack, usb a and then magsafe, which is amazing. I mean i have my battles with magsafe. I have my struggles it’s kind of hard to keep it plugged in sometimes depending on how the computer’s laying or the cord is laying, but i think, it’s much better it’s. A nicer design than usbc is, if only for the sake that it’s a dedicated port. The frustration i have with my usbc on my modern macbooks is that it takes up an entire port unless i want to get like a pass through dongle or something which costs money just a great solution. I love the i o ports on this much better than i do on the modern machines, and i think it actually does much better in that realm. Moving on to software, this thing runs obviously mac os and it actually runs on the latest version of mac os big sur, and it does just fine for itself. Honestly, i mean it’s. A little sluggish like you’d expect any six year old machine to be but it’s, not that bad.
I mean six and computer years is like a hundred in people years. So if you were to think about this like a hundred year old person, how well would they run? I mean it’s it’s, pretty good it’s, pretty good it’s. No comparison, you know, even for how old this machine is, the software experience is still quite reliable. I mean you know what you’re going to get, even if you have to wait a little while longer once you click something for it to open up you still, it still works every time and that’s kind of the apple tax at work. People complain a lot about how apple products cost so much, but the trade off is that they just last they last so much longer i mean if you were to compare this to a six year old, pc of similar specs. I mean this is very low. Powered processor, very low, internals, everything’s, just extremely low power, and it still runs amazingly well. I mean it’s like i mean it’s, not like a chromebook but it’s about the next step up above a chromebook. So if you were to compare six year old pc to this, i mean i guarantee you almost guarantee you. This would win hands down at just being reliable and bomb proof, and it may not be quick, but it’ll get the job done and it’s good to be able to rely on a computer. This old still to be able to do that now i wouldn’t go around doing any sort of video or photo editing on this, but for just basic everyday stuff like emailing web browsing all those kinds of things it does great and it even keeps up with my Work laptop, i have a 2019 core, i9 macbook pro with 16 gigabytes of ram, and this will keep up with doing just average daily tasks.
It’S it’s pretty darn good to be honest, but before you get all excited and think you can go use, this laptop future outlook is not looking so good. On average apple’s macbooks get about seven years of updates before they’re obsolete. So this thing being six years old means it has about a year or so left before apple’s gon na cut it off it’s no longer gon na get updates and you’re gon na be left in the dust. Then this thing is really going to slow down and kind of tank and just hit its peak as far as age goes and that’s. Just the way things are honestly. Six years is not too bad of a run for a laptop, but i just want to put that out there, so you don’t get too excited and go buy one and that’s obsolete in a year from now. Overall, this laptop has honestly stood the test of time. Really well, it still runs great it’s, very usable as an everyday machine. I don’t recommend you go out and buy one and expect to use it as your everyday machine, it’s kind of becoming more like a collector’s item. At this point i mean the nostalgic. Design is definitely definitely older being from 2008, like i say, it’s already a collector’s item when it was brand new, theoretically practically but it’s, just it’s a great machine and it’s it’s held up pretty well. Like i mentioned earlier, though, apple actually redesigned the macbook air in 2018, so it had about 10 years of the same design before apple.
Then redesigned the macbook air to look more like the macbook pros. But there was a big issue with them and that’s that they have the butterfly keyboard, design, they’re, really shallow key travel, and so i recommend staying away from those if you’re looking to buy a redesign. I actually used one for work not too long ago, and it was terrible. The keys got stuck and it was just there’s a nightmare of a machine. I would honestly rather use something like this with a little bit slower software. When i know the hardware is going to work every time like you need the working keyboard for a laptop, but thankfully apple actually fixed that in late 2019 they replaced the butterfly keys with a better redesign it’s, a more modernized version of the magic keyboard. I think it’s called the magic keyboard that’s in this one here, just a modernized version where the keys travel a little more shallowly than they do here and it’s. Actually, my favorite version of the keyboard that they have out um but that’s a much better bargain. Much better machine and that’s actually what i use – i use a 20 2020 m1 macbook air to run this youtube channel and for everything else. I do on my personal computer, but i’ll do more videos about that later on down the road. So how is the 2015 macbook air aged here in 2021? Surprisingly quite well, it’s, honestly, a great piece of technology.
It gives us a lot of nostalgia at least gives me a lot of nostalgia when using it and it’s. Just a great machine. It’S fared fairly well, and it just is a really good testament as to how well apple’s machines and their devices age over time, and it should be a standard for all devices everywhere. I think in my opinion, so we can kind of expect everything else to age.