2010 air still good for everyday use?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zxspectrum, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. zxspectrum Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    I have been thinking of getting a 2nd hand MacBook Air to use until this time next year when I will upgrade to a retina MacBook 13" (hopefully with haswell).

    I have seen a 2010 MacBook Air (1.86ghz c2d/4gb) available for around £500.

    My question is will it be ok to run mountain lion? Or will it be painfully slow?

  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I use a 2010 MBA, 2.13ghz, 4GB, and its fine. It chokes during multitasking because of only having two threads, but 95% of the time its perfectly fine.
  3. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I've been using a 2010 11" 128/4 as my main machine for the past two years and have rarely ran into any slowdown issues. Granted, my usage is not heavy (lots of research and writing), but even with many apps open at once it still moves along nicely. I installed Mountain Lion upon release and it has been running smoothly ever since. As long as it has 4GB of RAM, which I see that it does, you should be fine.
  4. zxspectrum, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012

    zxspectrum thread starter Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    thanks for your replies.

    I would also like to use garageband on it. I wonder how it would run that?

    Is it ok with 1080p playback?
  5. ooans macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    My 11" 2010 1.4ghz 4GB RAM MBA can play 1080p youtube without a problem. However, at some point the flash updates caused a problem with this, but then it was fixed. Hopefully upcoming Flash updates will not break this again.

    I dont recall ever having problems with playing video files.

    Garageband and audio software in general are not very heavy unless you are using very many plugins and/or tracks. I often use Logic Pro with mine and there has been no problem.

    Mountain Lion can be choppy at times, but overall the experience is OK. However, I can only feel dread when thinking about the next Mac OS update... if it will be supported at all with slower Core 2 Duo.
  6. zxspectrum thread starter Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    Its good to know it can run logic pro without problems! Hopefully the extra mhz in the 13" will stop it from being choppy...
  7. Mac32, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    I'm using one now, and it works very well. No real issues at all. One annoying thing though. At some point flash started hanging for 1/3-1/2 second once in a while. This is not because of an underpowered CPU, but because of bad programming/a bad update. My MBP 2009 model also developed the same issue, maybe it would be fixed by reinstalling OSX Snow Leopard..dunno.

    Anyway, keep away from Lion and Mountain Lion, and you'll be fine. Snow Leopard is a brilliant OS, and is the best OSX version for slightly older macs.
  8. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    My 2010 13" Air runs ML no problem - apart from the battery life is more like 4 hours. Another thread I'm in suggested that SL keeps the higher battery life.

    I've used iMovie on it quite a bit and it only chugs a little when actually processing and rendering. Similarly handbrake can take a while to convert a dvd where a core i5 iMac could do the same file in a few minutes.
  9. Psychj0e macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    I have a basic 2010 macbook air (2gb, 1.4 processor) running mountain lion. It's perfect for my needs, and for the times I've needed to use powerpoint, excel etc, it's fine. Even copes well enough with some of the more specialist software I use, like MATLAB etc.
  10. ritmomundo, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012

    ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
  11. zxspectrum thread starter Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    I think I would choose a better 1080p video than that ;)
  12. zxspectrum thread starter Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    And do what? :)
  13. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    I used a 2010 maxed out Air before recieving my 2012 model.

    Honestly I can't tell that big a difference. The keyboard feels different, and the fans don't crack that easily. If I could've kept my 2010 and saved the money used on 2012, I would :)

    You can definitely go with a 2010-model and enjoy it
  14. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    I'd say that the key is the 4GB of RAM. On my 15" 2009 MBP, after a few days and with 4GB, just Safari, Mail, iTunes and a couple of other non-pro apps open, it could get close to using all its RAM. 2GB, even with the dedicated graphics RAM of the 2010 model, will fill very easily - especially with Lion or ML. Yes, the SSD does make RAM swapping less of an issue, but its still not as fast, and you don't want to hammer the SSD, as 128GB fills quickly enough.

  15. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Using a 2010 13" MBA 2.13Mhz/4GB with Snow Leopard, perfectly good for general use. I run VM/Win7 a lot and it handles that well too. Not really CPU-limited unless you're doing Handbrake or numerical processing. I'm using mine until Haswell as well, and see what Retina_2.0 looks like. I may keep the 2010 anyway as a road warrior machine since it gets 10+ hours battery life with Coolbook. In the meantime, I'm buying a Mini for desk use with a TBDisplay.
  16. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    I'm very impressed you're still getting those battery figures on SL. The *only* disappointing thing about my 2010 13" Air is the 4 hour battery life I get with Mountain Lion. Still trying to find somebody who did a clean install (rather than an upgrade) to compare with. Anyone here?
  17. jrasero macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    2010 mba 11"

    I have the base 2010 MBA 11" and it runs fine. It struggles at times with HD streaming and can't handle the Optimum app but for pure portability, internet browsing, emailing it's great
  18. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009

    yup, 2010 mba 11" 4/128 i have is running mtn lion fine as well. love the portable size, don't miss the ipad (that's been handed off to wife and kids) at all.... now that ipad mini, i'd love one of those for browsing around the house/traveling -- awesome size and battery life.
  19. jrasero macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I held off from buying a tablet for a long time due to $500 for an entry iPad being to steep for something that I would use ever now and then compared to my 11" Air. My MBA only has 2gigs but I am sure if you have 4Gigs like JKSU you will be fine
  20. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Spec-wise sounds OK, but £500? What does it cost for a 2011 refurb?

    There is a rather large performance jump from a Core Duo to an Intel i5.
  21. zxspectrum thread starter Guest

    Oct 24, 2012
    2011 refurb is £789
  22. hrl macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    I use my 2010 MBA 11 128/4 for just about everything. From simple tasks like docs to FCP X. It works great and I rarely notice any slowdown. I expect to keep using this machine for another 3 years.
  23. gizze macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have been using my 2010 13" air for the last couple of years no problem.
    Mine has 4gb of ram and the only reason I am thinking of swapping is I need more space.

    But I get a genuine days worth of use out it when browsing etc.

    I use ableton live on mine and it runs fine, so garage band will be a breeze.

    I am just trying to decide if I really want to sell this for £500 and spend £1250 on a 256gb 2012 Air.

    There was someone on ebay selling 256gb ssd blades for £189, should have grabbed one of those and then sold this blade for £99, would have been a cheap upgrade, but I left it and now they are all gone.

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