Macbook Air 11 – The Last Ones

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I’ve had a MBA 11″ since 2011 (MacBookAir4,1) and I’ve never been able to find any other laptop that had such an unbeatable combination of size, speed, flexibility, and utility. My 11 has been amazing and my go-to mac (I also have a 13 and 15 MBPs between work and home) for most things, but over the past year or so it has begun to shown it’s age. To keep it going and maintain its utility I’ve had to replace:

  • the battery (twice – the first was junk from ebay, then I got one from NewerTech that was great but didn’t stay connected)
  • the trackpad (the click was broken, found a nice one on ebay)
  • upgraded wifi (to get faster n)
  • SSD (128 to 420) from OWC

Recently the battery has consistently come lose and caused issues. Despite the fact that I have lightly glued its connector down onto the motherboard power connector. The OSX Sierra acts very, very, strangely when there is no battery at all (at least no battery that it can detect). The gluing helped for a while but at some point I began to wonder if it wasn’t a smart idea to get a MBA 11 while you still could. Apple discontinued the 11 last year and it’s no longer available on the Apple website. I’ve poked around Ebay but never saw anything that interesting. This time however Ebay has a seller with a quantity of new in-box and so I got one. I would have liked 8GB ram, but there were no NIB custom configs on Ebay and the 4GB I had in my 4,1 was adequate for how I use it. Hopefully this 4GB will last me another 5 years? I’m not sure…

The new MBA 11- even though they are marked as “Early 2015” – was not sitting around for three years- it turns out it was built by Apple just back in October 2017- just five months ago.

357854 apple macbook air 11 inch 2014

The best Apple laptop?

Display Issues

As I began to setup and configure the new MBA one thing became immediately apparent- the screen was washed out and seemed faded compared to my previous MBA. It looked horrible.

Apple logo

Google soon revealed the issue was real- and provided a link to the solution. Apparently the LG Displays in the 11s are all washed out. OSXDaily has a great solution that worked perfectly. As soon as I downloaded the new profile and created a new Color Profile the screen hues snapped to where they should be. I’m surprised that such a thing still exists- this article is from 2011 and the 2017 MacBook Air was still shipping with a bad profile.

Note: the ICC profile from the Article is gone at that link, however it’s available from github and works fine in the 11.

Macbook trio cropped 100578158 orig

The 11, the 12 and the 13.

The 12 MacBook has a gorgeous screen but the butterfly keyboard is not something I’m prepared to commit to yet. And it needs to have two USB-C ports.

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