2010 MacBook Air vs. latest model for light use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UnstrungHarp, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. UnstrungHarp macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2008
    I've been researching the different models of the MBA, trying to decide which one would be best to get my husband for Christmas. He has used my hand-me-down MBP for a couple of years now, which is the 15 inch 2007 model. Pretty much all he does is use the web and email. Occasionally he uses Photoshop to resize an image from a digital camera for posting an item for sale on craigslist, eBay, etc. When he's online, he is usually streaming a Netflix movie or playing spades at pogo.com. He is already accustomed to not having a DVD drive because at some point during the past two years, the drive in his MBP completely stopped working (we have no idea why). That's the only thing wrong with it, other than normal wear and tear, so I figure we can try selling it on eBay after the holidays.

    Anyway, he only uses the laptop while sitting on the couch and doesn't take it anywhere. I still think the MBA would be a good choice for him because I assume it's cooler and I know it's lighter...the fan in his MBP comes on fairly often and loudly during his typical web use. I don't think he'll notice much of a difference dropping from a 15 to 13 inch screen.

    My question is...is there much of a reason to buy the latest model MBA or is it safe to go with a used 2010 model that's in "like new" condition? Obviously the cost difference is substantial ($300+), so if the 2010 one would suffice for him, I will go that route. Or, is it better to spend the same money on a MBP that (maybe) has better specs? I think he would like having the newest trackpad which appears to have been introduced in the 2010 MBA. Oh...and he's currently accustomed to OS 10.4.11 because, with a non-functioning DVD drive, we never upgraded his laptop.

    I would appreciate any advice...thanks!
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As Netflix uses Flash to stream its videos, the CPU gets used a lot, thus the fans start spinning faster, thus the noise.
    If a 2007 MBP can do what he wants without problems, then the 2010 MBA is more than enough, and the 2011 MBAs come with Lion, which is a bit different than Leopard and Snow Leopard, which might corrupt his way of working with the MBA.
    Btw, have you looked at the Refurbished Section yet?
  3. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    I suspect he may enjoy an iPad more, based on what you describe above.
    I personally own a MBP, but for browsing, reading, emailing, quick retouching of ohotos, webcam and remotely accessing my MBP, I use my iPad.
    And I could be sitting on the couch, in bed or anywhere but my desk to use it. And it's light and very easy to handle. :D
  4. UnstrungHarp, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011

    UnstrungHarp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2008
    I have checked the refurbished selection at apple.com, but I've been primarily looking at eBay. The late 2010 13-inch MBAs are going for $700 to $750. But....an advantage to getting one somewhere besides eBay is that the surprise would be easier to pull off. We share an eBay account that he uses all the time, so I would have to get someone to bid on the laptop for me. Then, I'd have to pay them back somehow...I'd prefer to use my 0% interest credit card, rather than have to scrape up that cash all at once!

    I briefly considered the iPad for him (I have one), but Pogo.com games don't work on the iPad (Flash). I've looked for comparable apps for playing Spades, but none of them seem to be enough like the Pogo game. Not to mention...we're already getting iPads for both of the kids, so we'll have three iPads around the house if he wants to play with one. :eek: (We don't usually spoil the kids, so we sometimes go overboard at Christmas!)

    Anyway, it sounds like the 2010 MBA might be the way to go, unless I find a great deal on a comparable MBP. Thanks for the advice so far!
  5. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    FWIW- I think Netflix uses Silverlight as opposed to Flash. Not really relevant.

    Get him the 2010 13" Air, it should be more than enough for him to play spades and enjoy netflix on. None of the big improvements from 2010-2011 should benefit your husband enough to justify the extra cost.

    Good luck!

    Avoid ebay. I would check the local craigslist- I got my 2011 15" MBP for $1400 from CL when the same exact on was going for $1700 on ebay and even more refurbished from Apple.

    Actually in the past years I have gone through 3 imacs, 2 mbps, and an ipad, all used from craigslist- and I am yet to regret going that route.

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