The 11″ MacBook Air That Could

Had to get a battery replaced on an old 11″ MacBook Air today, and the process was very smooth. Good job Apple! You are handling my hardware issues WAY better than another company I recently needed to deal with.

The laptop was purchased, well, a long time ago. When the first MBA was announced, I bought it immediately. It was perfect for a budding writer. The sloped clamshell was exactly what I needed for my already-becoming-tired wrists to be a little happier about life. I used it for a year, and if I recall, the only complaint I ever had with it was the first gen didn’t have backlit keys.

Apple corrected that for the second gen, and I immediately sold the first one and replaced it. That is this laptop. This laptop and I have been through a lot. It was my laptop for a number of years, hundreds of thousands of words have been typed on it.

At some point, it went to my wife, then my daughter, and I used my MacPro for desktop usage and my iPad for mobile stuff, borrowing my wife’s MBA 13″ when I really needed better power while mobile. That worked for a while until the new MacBooks were announced.

I was hooked. I know the new MacBook wasn’t for everyone, but it was perfect for what I needed. The MBA is one of the best designed laptops ever made, but it lacked a Retina display. While I would love to have a slightly larger MacBook, the 12″ retina 4:3 screen with retina is a beauty to behold, and was, in fact, my first Retina display I ever owned on a computer.

But ka being what it is, the wheel turned and I ended up needing a better laptop to send with my daughter to college. She took the newer MacBook, and I went iPad-only for about six months. By this point I had the iPad Pro 12.9″ with the keyboard and it worked very well.

The 11″ was setup as the Final Cut Pro computer. That’s right! For 8-9 months this little laptop-that-could processed all my videos for my YouTube channel. It was slow, but it allowed me to offload the workload to another computer, thus freeing up my MacBook for recording and other tasks while videos rendered on another computer.

That was until the battery up and died one day. The only way it would stay powered on was with the power cord plugged in all the time, and it got bumped one too many times for me to feel happy about it. I never lost any data, but I we moved the video processing to my wife’s laptop, and this sat on a shelf for a month or so.

Then I thought: hey, I don’t really enjoy typing on my MacBook Pro, mainly due to the size/weight/and the thick base to the laptop really hurts my hands, so why not fix this thing up and use that?

Well, I did it! New battery, cheap Chinese knock-off replacement power cord (the old one was starting to fray) and this thing is good as new! The keyboard design is a bit dated, and it’s pretty slow, but all I’m going to do is write on it when I’m mobile. It will work well enough, which is all I really need. I now have the smaller iPad 10.5″ and so I really don’t want to be doing too much typing on that if I don’t have to. Even though all my blog posts are done in Ulysses on the iPad, so the keyboard is certainly serviceable. I just wouldn’t want to willingly type an entire novel on it.

So yeah, I love my old 11″ MBA. It’s a great little computer and it’s served me well, and will continue to serve me well for hopefully a very long time, or at least until I save up enough for a new MacBook 12″ to replace the one my daughter took from me 🙂

This is one of the reasons I love Apple computers. Six years later, this thing is still rocking.

Till tomorrow,


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