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dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 05:46 PM
I know I know, this has probably been discussed to death. I'm getting my wife the 11-inch MBA for Christmas and I really just have two questions. Should I upgrade to 4gb ram? And should I get the 128gb ssd instead of 64gb?

Let me tell you the use cases. Right now, my wife has a 4 year-old 13-inch HP 1.6 C2D w/60gb hdd, 1.5gb ram. But she barely is on it except to sync her new iPod Touch. To be honest, she uses her iPod Touch for virtually everything-browsing the web, facebook, etc. So I'm thinking that I might not even need to upgrade the RAM.

Thoughts?



Hellhammer
Nov 6, 2010, 05:51 PM
Does she even need a new computer if she barely uses it? Sounds like the base MBA is just fine, as long as 64GB is fine for her

gw1
Nov 6, 2010, 05:52 PM
You could buy yourself the 11" and let your wife sync her ipod touch on it every now and then!

I've got the base 11" without any add-ons & it works a dream. Much faster, cooler and quieter than my previous which was an original MBA (rev A).

LouieSamman
Nov 6, 2010, 05:54 PM
The 11" model would be fine for her.

4GB of ram helps to allow her to open many application without slowing the computer down.

I think 2GB is fine for what she uses the computer for but in thinking of the future it's always best to go with 4GB just in case.

dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 05:56 PM
Does she even need a new computer if she barely uses it? Sounds like the base MBA is just fine, as long as 64GB is fine for her

well she would use the computer i think, but the fact that it takes 5 minutes to boot and the battery doesn't last but 5 minutes anymore hurts. ha. i'm fine with her using the ipod, but it's really small i don't want eye trouble you know?

dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 05:57 PM
The 11" model would be fine for her.

4GB of ram helps to allow her to open many application without slowing the computer down.

I think 2GB is fine for what she uses the computer for but in thinking of the future it's always best to go with 4GB just in case.

right that is what i was thinking. 4gb ram would be better than 2 obviously. but should i spring for the 128gb ssd?

pfjellman
Nov 6, 2010, 06:01 PM
get 4GB ram to "futureproof" it, and i think the 128GB will be a safe bet. once she has a working computer, let alone a brand new MBA, she may start using it more and more... 64GB can go fast in this day and age.

LouieSamman
Nov 6, 2010, 06:08 PM
right that is what i was thinking. 4gb ram would be better than 2 obviously. but should i spring for the 128gb ssd?

I personally don't know if you should get the 64GB or 128GB because I don't know the things she downloads, Music and apps she has.

Get a 128GB though to be safe because with 64GB and the install of OS X and downloading of music and apps. She will have about 45GB left.

So just look into how much GB she uses with the previous computer and make the choice between the 64 or 128GB

dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 06:17 PM
if i could only get EITHER 128gb ssd OR 4gb ram, which would be the best bang for the buck?

LouieSamman
Nov 6, 2010, 06:59 PM
4GB of ram.

The 11" model is underpowered from the 13" model so I say try to get the 11" model as powerful as possible.

She probably won't use the rest of the GB of the MacBook Air since she just does a lot of browsing the web.

coelacanth
Nov 6, 2010, 07:05 PM
For what you described, I'd recommend base model 11", completely stock.

4GB RAM is nice, but for what she wants to use the computer for, it's overkill, and probably it will stay that way even after Lion release.

Another thing to think about:

If you want $999 + 4GB RAM upgrade, you'll have to buy from Apple. That means $1099 plus tax.

If you want $99 base model, you can buy it from Amazon, shipping and tax free (ya ya you should be paying tax later..)

That's about $200 of difference right there. I think the beauty of MBA11" is $999 price point. And your daughter's case is definitely where this model really shines IMHO.

silverblack
Nov 6, 2010, 07:29 PM
Out of everything that I own, the last thing I would futureproof is my computer. It's going to be a slow computer in 3+ years, with or without the additional 2GB ram.

dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I checked her computer, she actually has an 80gb hard drive with 20 gb free right now with windows 7. It seems as if I might want to spring for the 128gb model. She has photos and music mainly but I don't know where the rest of the gigs go.

I do get the educational discount since I work for a k-12 school, so thats $50 cheaper I think.

robby818
Nov 6, 2010, 07:36 PM
I think you should go with the base 13". She is already using a laptop with a 13" screen and the 11 will probably feel too small. Even the 13 will be an adjustment bec of the higher resolution but I think the 13 is much more usable than the 11. And since it doesn't sound like she travels with it a lot, then she doesn't need the ultra portability of the 11 so why not get the bigger screen?

dwd3885
Nov 6, 2010, 07:58 PM
I think you should go with the base 13". She is already using a laptop with a 13" screen and the 11 will probably feel too small. Even the 13 will be an adjustment bec of the higher resolution but I think the 13 is much more usable than the 11. And since it doesn't sound like she travels with it a lot, then she doesn't need the ultra portability of the 11 so why not get the bigger screen?

The price difference? Actually, we went to the apple store today and she was perfectly fine with the 11 inch because she is now basically using her iPod touch as her computer. I think the 13 might be too big?

zartemis
Nov 6, 2010, 08:37 PM
The price difference? Actually, we went to the apple store today and she was perfectly fine with the 11 inch because she is now basically using her iPod touch as her computer. I think the 13 might be too big?

If she likes the 11 inch, I'd go with that. I used a 9inch netbook for the past 2 years and the 13 inch is too big for me for a portable. Even the 11 inch is a little wide for me. I use the MBA as a netbook that I carry in my purse, so my use might be similar to your wife's.

I'd go for the disk and the ram upgrade. My last desktop had 4G of ram and 2 sticks went bad. While I was waiting for the warranty replacement I ran on 2 G. Even using light apps -- web browsers and such -- it is possible to max out the ram if you are a heavy multi-tasker and like to open lots and lots of tabbed windows and directories and aren't vigilant about closing them. I'd get second or so delays switching tabs or apps a few times a day and I noticed it. It wasn't a big deal and it wasn't often (daily, but not often) but I noticed (even with an SSD you might notice). These days even web browsers can make good use of ram if it is available. With the instant-on features of the MBA your wife might like to go ahead and keep the browser running with lots of different pages open (facebook, blogs, etc) and maybe itunes, her photo app, etc. 4G will make it possible to do this and have near instantaneous app switching.

Jaro65
Nov 6, 2010, 10:17 PM
right that is what i was thinking. 4gb ram would be better than 2 obviously. but should i spring for the 128gb ssd?

I did. 64 GB could become constraining and also selling a computer with 64 GB a couple of years down the road could be a little bit of an issue.