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MultiFinder17
Jan 17, 2011, 05:27 PM
I'm just curious, how many of you are sticking with an older MacBook Air, and what are your reasons for it?

I have a mid-2009 1.86GHz Air that I've had for a bit over a year now and absolutely love. The only thing that I did not love about it was its hard disk. The wee little drive in the older Airs was just too slow and awful for my usage. I seriously considered selling my current one and getting a new one, but eventually decided to just get one of OWCs new SSDs for it. Why? I'm not sure, but there's something about the feel of this laptop that entices me like no other laptop I've ever owned. I've always liked small laptops (I upgraded to the Air from a 12" PowerBook), and this one has the perfect balance of smallness, fullness, power, and elegance for me. I'm a touch typist, but even so, I still enjoy the backlit keyboard. I give presentations off it quite a bit, so losing the IR sensor would be quite a loss. And as much as people stare at me funny for it, I rather like having a button on my trackpad.

So, what about you? What's your reason for sticking with your older Air?



jimboutilier
Jan 17, 2011, 05:41 PM
Not me. I thought I might keep my revC 2.13/2/128 because of it's backlit keyboard and screen resolution.

But just as I had fallen for a 13" MBA for it's mobility advantages over my previous 13" uMB, I fell for the 11.6 MBA over the 13" MBA.

It turns out that even with my poor old eyes, I can enjoy the 11.6 all day long (although I do use an external monitor periodically) and the silvered keys while not as good as a backlit keyboard are manageable when typing in dim light.

And I ended up with a smaller, faster, cooler, quieter machine that gets better battery life and meets all of my everyday computing needs better than any previous machine. So for me the upgrade was definitely worth it.

AMDGAMER
Jan 17, 2011, 05:44 PM
mid-2009 isn't old! Maybe go to apple store and check the new ones out...see if its worth it by actually testing it out. There will always be a NEXT macbook AIR also.

gglockner
Jan 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
+1 to jimboutilier. Exactly the same situation for me. And when I found that PowerMax gave me a great trade-in price on my 13" 2.13/128 SSD, I jumped on it. The 11" MBA is a great, super-small machine that makes the perfect second Mac. It is also a fine machine for those who are not power-users.

I am also amazed by the battery life - WiFi was a big power drain with the 2009 MBA. Not so with the 11" 2010 model.

slioch
Jan 17, 2011, 07:13 PM
I have an old revA, ordered 20 minutes after it was released. I really want to upgrade to the 11" ultimate, but the deal breaker for me is that the CPU is the same CPU I have in my machine (nearly 3 years old now).

Can't say that I'm holding out for a nearterm upgrade for the macbook air either. So, I guess I'm waiting for another reason to upgrade at this point (i.e. harddrive failure, logic board dies etc.)

Mike

--
Michael Larson
Crunchy technical tidbits: http://softengcrunch.blogspot.com/

gglockner
Jan 17, 2011, 07:33 PM
I have an old revA, ordered 20 minutes after it was released. I really want to upgrade to the 11" ultimate, but the deal breaker for me is that the CPU is the same CPU I have in my machine (nearly 3 years old now).

I can't say whether the work you do is CPU-bound or IO-bound. But I can say that the SSD received a huge upgrade from the 2009 model to the 2010 model. And if you have the original rev-A MBA, it used PATA rather than SATA. So you may find the newest one is quite a bit faster than the revA, even though the CPU architecture did not change.

All this depends on your needs and budget, of course.

jimboutilier
Jan 17, 2011, 07:49 PM
I have an old revA, ordered 20 minutes after it was released. I really want to upgrade to the 11" ultimate, but the deal breaker for me is that the CPU is the same CPU I have in my machine (nearly 3 years old now).
]

Actually its nowhere near the same CPU. The original MBA cpu was a custom packaged earlier and full power design. It happens to be the same speed and general family but new MBA has a much higher density, much more modern ultra low voltage model. This new CPU is significantly faster, uses much less power, and generates a lot less heat. That in combination with the much more capable GPU and SSD put the new MBA in a completely different class. Try one out at a local retailer and you'll see.

loby
Jan 17, 2011, 08:36 PM
I'm sticking with my RevA. I too like the design better and it is actually a little lighter than the new 13'' (not by much, but I compared the new to my old, but it should not be a deterrent). I have a SSD 64gig which helps with the weight. Yes, the new is MUCH better as far as CPU, RAM, Heating etc. If you have the funds to purchase, than my all means upgrade if you have disposable income to burn.

But...if you love your existing RevA Air (like I do), then there is no reason to upgrade until the need arises. Latest and Greatest is not always a need to upgrade, it again depends on your usage and needs.

Also, I had the hinge problem and took it to Apple and they replaced the complete housing and screen at no cost ($425 value) "without" warranty...

At the end of the day, it really depends on what you really need it for. The MacAir was designed for portability and general use. If you want strength, wait for the new Pro.

If you desire the back-light option, I am guessing that they will bring it back possibly in the next rev., but you will have to wait until maybe mid-year or fall.

2IS
Jan 17, 2011, 08:50 PM
If your old MBA meets your needs/wants then there's no need to spend more money. I quit upgrading for the sake of upgrading a while ago, at least for a lot of things.

slioch
Jan 19, 2011, 02:09 PM
Actually its nowhere near the same CPU. The original MBA cpu was a custom packaged earlier and full power design. It happens to be the same speed and general family but new MBA has a much higher density, much more modern ultra low voltage model. This new CPU is significantly faster, uses much less power, and generates a lot less heat. That in combination with the much more capable GPU and SSD put the new MBA in a completely different class. Try one out at a local retailer and you'll see.

Right--I know the fab size has shrunk since the revA release, and there ought to be savings in heat and battery life. But the raw CPU performance hasn't really changed much (maybe 8% faster) in the three years since it's release:

http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2010/10/macbookair_benchmarks-late-2010/

I probably only rely on raw CPU performance when it comes to compiling code, and even that can be largely bound by file I/O--which should see a huge performance boost from the SSD over the creaky pata HD that I have (just so you know this isn't my primary development machine).

Mike

--
Michael Larson
Crunchy technical tidbits: http://softengcrunch.blogspot.com/

MultiFinder17
Jan 21, 2011, 07:12 PM
Holy crap, I just installed the new OWC SSD for my Air. This. Thing. Is. FAST. I'm amazed at just how responsive and fast everything is, and this is with spotlight indexing the new drive and flooring the CPU. I'm really quite glad that I stuck with this machine now - I realize now that I never knew how fast it really was with that bottleneck of a HDD in it. Seriously, if you're still rocking an HDD in your Air, you owe it to yourself to get an SSD. It's really quite amazing. I knew it would be faster, but was totally unprepared for just how fast it would be! Here's to another two years or so with it :)

jenzjen
Jan 21, 2011, 07:41 PM
Holy crap, I just installed the new OWC SSD for my Air. This. Thing. Is. FAST. I'm amazed at just how responsive and fast everything is, and this is with spotlight indexing the new drive and flooring the CPU. I'm really quite glad that I stuck with this machine now - I realize now that I never knew how fast it really was with that bottleneck of a HDD in it. Seriously, if you're still rocking an HDD in your Air, you owe it to yourself to get an SSD. It's really quite amazing. I knew it would be faster, but was totally unprepared for just how fast it would be! Here's to another two years or so with it :)

How involved is the upgrade? I'm comfortable doing HD and RAM upgrades on Pro's where it is easier but worried if it is really involved here on the Air.

MultiFinder17
Jan 21, 2011, 08:09 PM
How involved is the upgrade? I'm comfortable doing HD and RAM upgrades on Pro's where it is easier but worried if it is really involved here on the Air.

It's not really all that hard. Ten phillips screws on the bottom, pop off the bottom, four phillips holding the HDD in the machine, pop out the HDD, place the SSD in with some provided stickers, then reassemble. It took about five minutes, and half of that was cursing at the tiny screws on the bottom when getting them back in.