Buying a Macbook Air for my father. C2D vs i5

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by don.lee103720, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. don.lee103720 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Hey guys,

    My father's 3-4 year old MBP is aging. Battery doesn't hold charge anymore, aluminum is bent.. etc. so I decided to buy a new system for him.

    I managed to find a site called Macmall and they are currently selling the previous generation of Macbook Air (2.13Ghz C2D, 4GB 256GB) for $1149 and the current model (i5, 4GB, 256GB) for $1235. Now, I personally know how much difference i5 will give me (i5 is ranked < 100 on the cpu benchmark where as the C2D is ranked 167 ish) but will this affect my father's daily task?

    He uses his computer for:

    1. Web surfing, watching youtube videos.
    2. Word processing.
    3. Sometimes imports music to iTunes to burn CDs.

    He recently received a huge music collection from my brother and it feels like he would like to have the luxury to keep some of his music in his SSD. Furthermore, he wants to have Windows 7 installed so he can use exclusive softwares.

    Now, I have no intention to spend $1500 on a MBA as I personally think it's too overpriced so my choice comes down to these two. Does the previous generation really suck? Should he really suck it up and get the current gen? I honestly don't know if he will need that much space but I assume time will tell.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. anirudh macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2008
    For the tasks you mentioned, the 2010 model would be just fine. You won't be seeing much difference in performance compared to the 2011 for word processing and web surfing. Plus, the added storage space is so much more convenient as he wouldn't have to lug along an external drive with him all the time.

    However, keep in mind that the 2010s do not come with a backlit KB. Would that be a problem for him while typing in the dark?
  3. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    I can attest that the 2010 will be more than sufficient. Have it and love it; and do much more intensive tasks on it than you mention without issue.

    Also- you have the wonderful option of running a solid working OS; 10.6
  4. don.lee103720 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Thanks for the comment guys! I really appreciate it.

    If I buy this MBA for my father, he will be using it for another 3-4 years. I just want to get something that's more futureproof.

    I know i5 MBA comes with the thunderbolt. I am unsure whether the lack of this feature will cause him any trouble down the road.
  5. Xikum macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2011
    USB will still be very relevant in 5 years time. Even if Thunderbolt somehow takes off enormously, there will be converters available.

    The C2D model is perfectly fine for the tasks you mentioned, btw.
  6. don.lee103720 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Thanks, I will go ahead and purchase the C2D version today then :)
  7. nd3eb macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    the macbook air obviously does not have a cd drive, so if one of the tasks he uses his mbp for is importing music from cd's to itunes you will need to buy an external drive... im sure you know this, but just a reminder :)
  8. don.lee103720 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Yup. I got that covered ;) Thanks for the reminder though. :)
  9. gary c macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
    I am one of those older Dad's that have a I5 11'air. Really like it and the back lit keyboard is really nice. For the extra hundred buck I would get him the I5.
    Just an old guys opinion.:D
  10. Soulman macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2006
    Detroit, Michigan
    The Old Guys has spoken...

    I concur:)
  11. btdpi007 macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    North Carolina
    I'll chime in. I have the 2010 MBA with the 2gb on RAM and I use Aperture 3 and Photoshop and it has worked pretty amazingly for me. While I "wanted" a 2011 MBA, there was no scenario I could justify purchasing one to replace my 2010. 2010 satisfies my needs and the only thing I really want is the backlit keyboard. Your dad's needs would definitely be fine using the 2010 MBA. That being said, the prices you quoted are only $86 apart. I'd probably seriously consider spending the extra $86 to get the newer spec'd machine. Yeah, it's always easier to spend other peoples' money, but I'd seriously consider the newer machine.

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