Jussta couple of MacBook Air questions!


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 13, 2008
Hey everyone!

I've been trying to keep up and read everything that everyone is saying about the MBA, and it appears that it seems like the right fit. I'm about to go into college, and I'm in need of a laptop. I will be a International Relations major, meaning I won't need anything too graphic intensive or in great processing speed. The most I'll probably do is internet and Pages/Microsoft Word processing. I will most likely opt for the 13" with a larger HDD. Would this be considered a wise purchase as opposed to the MacBook Pro's? Opinions regarding this?

The one thing that does scare me is the size of the HDD's. They are rather small and I do have a large music collection. I can of course buy an external hard drive (an obvious "DUH") and be done with it as well.

On a closing note, I do have one more question. I know all that is going around is just rumors, but what are some of the "new" modifications going into these new machines? Other than a backlit keyboard, I mean.

Thanks everyone!


macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
The storage space is smaller because they are SSD's and not regular hard drives. The technology isn't as cheap.

As for what will be new in the machines, this is what has been rumored and is likely coming:

More storage (up to 256GB on the 11-inch, but that doesn't matter for you)
Facetime camera will be updated to HD
Backlit keyboard as you mentioned
Sandy Bridge processor
Thunderbolt port
Possible 4GB RAM standard

I am personally getting the 11-inch as my first Mac. And I can't wait.

How large is your music collection? iCloud would probably work for you. I think the Air would be perfect for your needs, we are the type of users they are made for. I'm a writer and I bet a Mac, and an Air at that, will increase my productivity.


macrumors 601
For your stated needs, even the base 11" 2010 MBA (plus an external HD) should work. Come to think of it, any mac sold today should work.

And....with iOS5, and the cloud music service, you should pay Apple twenty five bucks per year and keep your collection in the cloud. No need for a HD.

Your needs are pretty basic, and you're probably not going to need an i7 chip to open a Word document.:D Once the new models to come out, you may try to stalk CL and BB to see if you can pick up a good deal on a 2010 model. Not wanting to enter the 'how much ram on a MBA do you need' debate currently raging elsewhere, but I'd want to make sure any thing I received had at least 4gb of ram just in case.


macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
The Far Horizon
To the OP, regarding your stated needs, the MBA should be fine.

Essentially, when asking yourself about the MBP/MBA choice, it is a bit of a trade off between power and portability. In terms of power, spec, HD capacity, screen size, value for money, the MBP is a better buy. However, if portability is your main need (along with a good battery, fast SSD speed, and excellent screen resolution) then the MBA is an obvious choice.

I have had both, and both were excellent computers. However, I travel a fair bit and portability and weight were (and are) issues. I'm very happy with the MBA.

Re the HDs, I agree that, at present, they are rather small; however, I imagine that with the continuing development of SSD technology, both the price will come down and the capacity will increase, though perhaps not immediately. (Indeed, we saw the same with memory sticks only a few years ago; remember when a 1 or 2 GB memory stick cost nearly €100?)



macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2009
I have the 11 Air 4GB with 128GB and it works better than anything else when traveling or taking to a meeting or the genealogy library. I use it for my genealogy which has a large data base plus photos, keypoint presentation a few games and my itunes library. I use a portable 1tb hard drive, one for my itunes library with at this point is over 800GB and another portable 1tb HD for everything else.

I just ordered a grid it sleeve from cocoon that they have just come out with.

When I flew back to Nebraska last month I took my Mac Air and ipad in my backpack and just did a carry on. Worked great but I do need to do some tweeking.

Bottom line for me is the Mac Air with a portable HD is perfect. It is lightweight and compact. As a student I would think it would be a great combination for you as well.

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