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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:03 AM   #1
mcdj
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Refurb 11 for the wife...decisions.

Leaning towards the 11" MBA for the wife. (so cute she says).

Currently 2 very tempting refurbs available thru Apple.

1. 2011 1.6/4/128 $829
2. 2012 1.7/2/64 $849 *EDIT* this machine also has 4gb RAM, not 2.

A $20 difference makes this tough. If it were $150, I wouldn't be posting.

I'm pretty sure she'll be fine with the 2011.

She does...

-regularly leave a bunch of apps open (Word, Excel, iCal, FF, iTunes). More RAM good.
-have a 30GB music collection, which is currently stored on our NAS. With the 2011, I could move it back to her machine. More storage good.

She does not...

-play games
-use Facetime
-do graphics/3D/video
-need USB 3.0

Either machine will blow her original 2008 13" MBA out of the water. As evidenced by the age of her current machine, she does not upgrade often, so the extra RAM and storage of the 2011 are pretty enticing.

Am I missing any considerations? I did notice in-store that the 11 screen is considerably less contrasty and saturated than the 13" MBA. I assume this is the nature of the narrower gamut panel. I've read that the Samung panel is preferred...were there Samsung panels in the 2011 models?

Thanks.
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Last edited by mcdj; Nov 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:22 AM   #2
happyslayer
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Get the 2011!

The added drive space and the extra 2GB RAM are totally better than the upped processor speed. OSX Mountain Lion 10.8 runs way better on 4GB RAM than 2GB. This I know from experience and you CANNOT upgrade RAM on an Air. There is a way to upgrade the hard drive, but that will probably void the warranty.

Again, get the 2011 with 4GB RAM.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:24 AM   #3
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Thanks, though I just noticed both machines have 4gb RAM. My mistake. I still think the 2011 wins.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:31 AM   #4
happyslayer
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Yes, I agree. Unless USB 3.0 is absolutely necessary, the extra 64GB of hard drive is worth more.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:36 AM   #5
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That's a tough decision. The 2011 may look more appealing because of the extra 2GB ram and storage. But it does lack Intel 4000 graphics and an Ivy Bridge processor. These imo were the biggest improvements in the 2012 Airs aside from the 3.0 USB. But seeing as your wife wont be using any graphics heavy programs, the intel 3000 and sandy bridge with 4gb ram will likely suite her better if she keeps numerous apps open at one time.

As far as the contrast and color saturation go, I've never noticed a big difference between the 11" or 13" airs. The narrower panel may contribute to what you see. Overall the color gamut for the Airs are pretty bad compared to the Pro. The viewing angles vertically are definitely the biggest issues i have with the airs. The display always tends to become washed out or darker when tilting vertically.

----------

After reading they're both 4GB ram. The 2012 wins. Your decision will be based solely on the space required.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:34 AM   #6
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Get the 2012 one! USB 3.0 is much better and external harddrives are really small today!

Better the newer model with better CPU and USB 3.0!
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:07 AM   #7
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my 'the wife' bought a refurb 11" MBA and absolutely loved it at first then found the screen was too small, resulting in squinting and headaches.
she sent it back and opted for the 13" model.
now, very happy camper
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 07:47 AM   #8
designs216
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I've been wrestling with this same quandary myself. I think the 11" screen is just too small and would opt for the 13" though it has less storage. USB3 means if she ever decides she wants to play around with the family photo library, she can effectively manipulate the photos on an external drive.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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Get the 2011 one. You will need those 64GB sooner or later.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:49 AM   #10
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the 2011 model will be better for her based on her needs. The Ivy Bridge and Intel 4000 will not benefit her at all. The RAM and Storage will.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:42 AM   #11
NutsNGum
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I was just recently considering the same options when I got my most recent 11". I went for the 2012, Ivy is a fairly large step up in terms of graphics performance and contributes quite a bit to greater UI smoothness. In addition, the new one has the asymmetric blade fan and runs cooler and is much more quiet at high loads, and just in general.

I say this having owned both.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 04:01 AM   #12
halledise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdead View Post
The Ivy Bridge and Intel 4000 will not benefit her at all.
The RAM and Storage will.
you're baaad, dog
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 07:50 AM   #13
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But do remember that refurbs may only be for sale for an hour or two before someone snaps them up.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halledise View Post
my 'the wife' bought a refurb 11" MBA and absolutely loved it at first then found the screen was too small, resulting in squinting and headaches.
she sent it back and opted for the 13" model.
now, very happy camper
This is something you should seriously take into consideration. If she is constantly using Word, Excel, and web browsing as you say, the 11" is going to cause her eye strain and definitely affect her ability to work on documents. The tiny 16:9 screen's vertical space is just too small. Get the 13".
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