Is the lower end 11" Really Powerful enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by StuMcBill, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. StuMcBill macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    My other half is currently considering getting an 11" MBA, and we are not sure if we should get the lower end or higher end 11"?

    It will mainly be used for Microsoft Office (Word, Excel & Powerpoint) and general internet surfing. Since I own a copy of Microsoft Office for Windows it would probably either be boot camped or run via Parallels / VMWare.

    The main thing that concerns me is the 2Gb of RAM? Is this really enough to accommodate the needs of Lion?

    Since she should be eligible for the Apple Education Discount we should be able to get the higher end one for almost the same price as the lower end one?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
    It would be beyond plenty.

    But another 2GB of memory wouldn't hurt.
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    If you run Windows via Parallels I'd definitely go for the higher end 11-inch. You'll find that it chokes a little bit while running Lion and Win7 at the same time on only 2GB of RAM. Also, Windows can be quite large in size, and the 128GB hard drive will leave you a good amount of room for media and other programs.
  4. nexsta macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2007
    Even a refurbished 2010 11" with 2gb ram would handle this tasks perfectly + you get a better battery life.
  5. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    If there a reason you can't use office for mac? Bootcamp means needing to purchase a copy of windows as well, and it seems quite troublesome to be constantly switching between operating systems. :confused:
  6. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    If you want to do bootcamp or parallels, you will struggle immensely with the lower end Air. As noted in the post above, if you do go with the lower end air, your best bet is to get Office for Mac.

    If the price point of the air is what is attracting you to it, and you are heart set of parallels or bootcamp, you might want to consider the Macbook Pro 13, which would be able to do that, while keeping the cost down.
  7. Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    I had the lower end 2010 Air 11" and it never seemed to struggle with anything. I was shocked at just how well it did with 2GB RAM. I tried Win 7 via Parallels and it didn't seem to struggle (heck I was able to start Windows, with the Air off and Parallels not loaded, faster than the Win 7 laptop I was trying to not have to use anymore).

    However, while the CPU and memory seemed surprisingly adequate the 64GB SSD was just too tiny to make it workable and I removed Parallels.

    When the 2011 Airs came out I went for the stepped up 11". So now I have Parallels back on, have finally stopped using a windows laptop, and am not cramped for room nearly as much.

    I would suggest then getting the better model of the Air. I was able to get it from Mac Warehouse saving nearly $140 compared to buying from Apple store so it was not much more than list price on the lower end model.

    Finally, while office for mac will run just fine on the lower end mac, if you don't already own it but do own Parallels and Office for Windows I would say to spend the money on the better Air than on office for mac.

  8. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    Never been a problem on my MBA 2010 11" with 2GB.

    I use it quite often on my MBA as my office went across to Windows and I now have to use it when I work from home if I can't be bothered to bring the Thinkpad home (which is often the case!).
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It will run (I used to run Windows 7 in Parallels on my 2GB RAM Rev B MacBook Air), but I'd go with the 4GB version. Remember you are running two operating systems, so the more RAM you have the more you can let the VM use (I give Windows 7 1.5GB of RAM in Parallels).

    Also remember that the 2GB version has only a 64GB SSD. Windows 7 would use up 16GB of that even before installing MS Office. I'd suggest going for the $1199 version with the 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM.
  10. StuMcBill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Still thinking about it.


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