I had the 2010 and replaced it with the 2011. Both 11". I would go for the 2011. Keyboard illumination is a really nice feature. I prefer the 11" because I want maximum portability. I use it at home connected to a Thunderbolt display. However, if he will not be using an external monitor, you may want to go for the 13". Also, for a bit of future proofing, I would shoot for the 4GB RAM.