MacBook Air for girlfriend - Refurb 2010 vs Refurb 2011

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LukeSpringUK, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. LukeSpringUK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    My girlfriend's wanting to buy a MacBook Air for general use and we've decided on two models. We'd love some MacRumors insight into which one to buy. :p

    So the two models are both refurbished from the Apple store.

    First we have a 2010 model for £669: 1.6ghz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4GB Ram / 128GB / Snow Leopard

    And a 2011 model for a cheaper £639: 1.6ghz dual-core Intel i5 / 2GB Ram / 64GB / Mountain Lion

    As we've said, this will be used for general use. Music, web browsing, and assignment write ups. Nothing major.

    Although the 2011 has lower specs in terms of memory and storage I'm thinking this may be the better option as its only a year old. What do you think?

    2010 MacBook Air: http://store.apple.com/uk_edu_5000744/product/G0JK0B/A
    2011 MacBook Air: http://store.apple.com/uk_edu_5000744/product/FC968B/A
     
  2. raftr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    I think she should be ok with the 2010 model if it's for general use.

    One thing to be noted is 2010 model has a much, much better battery life, people reported it to last up to 9 hours on one charge.

    I have a 2011 13" and it barely reaches 4 hours now.

    What the 2010 lacks on the outside though is a highlighted keyboard.

    Also, 64GB is very little if she's going to store photos and music.
     
  3. mtreys macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    College Station, TX
    #3
    I agree that the 64GB will fill up fast if she has any sort of decent library of photos and music. If you're (she's) content to play it safe on storage then go with the 2011. It is the better computer, although less RAM and SSD size would say otherwise. If she's worried about filling up the hard drive, then go with the 2010. It's only a ~60 pound difference. If it were me, I'd take the 2011, but that's just my opinion.
     
  4. LukeSpringUK thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #4
    Thanks for your replies everyone. :)

    Interesting, so you'd say the 2011 is a better laptop even though it has lower specs? In all honesty I think we both have more confidence in a year old MacBook compared to a 2 year one.

    I don't think that SSD space will be too much of an issue in all honesty, small iTunes library and she keeps most photos on her iPad.

    We were discussing it and this is the most that would be open at a time.

    Chrome (5-10 tabs)
    iTunes (Playing)
    Pages (Standard .doc)

    Id of thought that a Dual-Core i5 with 2GB ram would suffice?
     
  5. mtreys macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    College Station, TX
    #5
    It probably would suffice, but it'd be stuttering. Chrome with that many tabs open is going to choke any decent chipset if there is insufficient RAM. The 4GB would probably be more suited if you're going to go along these lines on a constant basis. If you think she may have 1-2 tabs open, Pages every now and then, and iTunes playing a lot, then the 2GB 2011 model would be fine. And make no mistake, although the 2010 is a year older, 4GB of RAM is always better than 2GB. The 2010 is a great machine, but for an extra 60 pounds, I personally would go with the 2011 due to, like you said, it only being a year old machine.
     
  6. dona83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #6
    I bought a base model 2011 refurb for my wife and it ended up coming with 4GB of RAM, you might get lucky.

    I could've saved a few bucks and gotten her a 2010 model but in the end I thought she would really appreciate the backlit keyboard.
     
  7. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #7
    Tough call, but I'd say the 2011 strictly for its inclusion of a backlit keyboard. Doesn't sound like performance/storage is a huge concern, so the next best thing is the backlit keyboard in my opinion :)
     
  8. dcorban macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #8
    Even a casual user will greatly appreciate the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of drive space. If I had to choose between those two systems for a family member, I would grab the 2010 without hesitation. The only negative I see is that it does not have a backlit keyboard. It's more useful than you would think.
     
  9. dona83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #9
    My wife still has 30GB left in her 64GB machine. I deleted Garageband which saved a lot of space, we have it on our iMac anyway. Also, with iTunes Match she has access to our entire music collection if she wanted, although I doubt she'll use it, she has the same access via her iPhone. I didn't bother putting movies on, if anything she'll just watch Netflix.

    Main questions to ask, is she going to load it up with media? Apps? Especially games, games are huge these days. Movies can be put on USB flash drives even if they are to be played via iTunes, $10 for 32GB sticks and 64GB sticks will eventually come down in price.
     
  10. nexsta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #10
    Sounds like you never used this model. You can open as much tabs as you want and many other programs without feeling any stutter. As long you don't use mutliple ram hungry apps extensively like photoshop, imovie and other pro apps you don't feel any difference between 4gb ram and 2gb ram on the 2011 Air.
     
  11. LukeSpringUK thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #11
    No apps, especially games. After looking through posts and discussing it I don't believe the SSD space is going to be an issue. Other than a bunch of .docs and a few albums there's not much going to on it. And if we really need space we have plenty of old IDE and SATA HDDs we can enclose and use externally.

    The only thing we"re having trouble with is the ram and the trade-off of having a 2010 netbook with a lesser CPU.

    Deep down I think we're siding with the 2011, it's cheaper, has newer hardware and and the SDD isn't a problem.

    And to clarify, the 2011 is actually £30 cheaper than the 2010! :)

    P.S Thanks again for all your replies. We're very grateful.
     
  12. dcorban macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #12
    That's odd. I normally do not have Garageband installed, either. However, on my new Air, it came pre-installed. I just looked and it is only taking up 349MB of space. How did you save so much space?
     
  13. Jobsian macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #13
    If as you say it's for general use, I would certainly get the 2010 model for the superior battery, even if it didn't have double the RAM and SSD. But with double RAM and SSD, it's a no brainer for me.

    ----------

    I'm making the almighty presumption that you like your girlfriend. If not, get the other one.
     
  14. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #14
    +1 to recommend the 2010

    4Gb Ram will be a lot better, especially to upgrade to Mtn Lion, which (I have no real proof to say this) will probably run better on 4Gb than 2Gb.

    I actually have the exact same 2010 model (4Gb RAM and 128Gb ssd) and apart from feeling a little squeezed on disk space, the machine is (still) great.
     
  15. dona83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #15
    Loops and instruments take up a lot of space. Use AppDelete to delete everything related to GarageBand. I think in total it's about 4GB.

    To everyone, don't get me wrong, I love GarageBand, I've written quite a few songs using it, but on a computer with limited storage used by someone who will likely never touch the app, it made sense to delete it.

    Just note though that these loops are great for iMovie as well.
     
  16. ElCani macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #16
    I've just spent a fair bit of time looking on the UK refurb store for a MacBook for my girlfriend and eventually went with an early 2011 15-inch hi res anti-glare, for £1,099. It's more than her needs require, but we liked the idea of it having a long life thanks to being able to upgrade the RAM and one day replace the HDD with an SSD.

    Anyhoo, if I was in your position I'd probably try to stump up another £50 and get the 2011 128GB model that's available for £719. You get a modern processor, 4GB RAM, more storage and the back-lit keyboard. Generally, the whole package is a bit more flexible and future proof.
     
  17. mtreys macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    College Station, TX
    #17
    Oh no, sorry if I worded it wrong but that was the point I was trying to make. 2gb is plenty enough for 80-90% of users. The rest of users who use heavy usage programs like you described will notice a difference in 2gb and 4gb. You'll notice a difference with 10 tabs open in Chrome compared to 1-2 tabs open, but that's not going to be a deal breaker to where the computer will be unusable.
     
  18. Bigmacduck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #18
    A gentleman buys his girlfriend a brand new MBA 2012!!!
     
  19. LukeSpringUK thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #19
    This sounds great. In all honesty I think it'll be rare to have Chrome open with 10 tabs. I was just listing the maximum amount of usage the MacBook may come across. On average I'd say she'd have 3 or 4 tabs open. Honestly, with no Adobe Creative Suite or iMovie type apps running I think the 2GB will suffice.
     
  20. mtreys macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Location:
    College Station, TX
    #20
    Touche, good one.

    And yes, the 2GB will be plenty. Didn't want to scare you!
     
  21. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    Second'd :D
     
  22. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    #22
    Real men use 4gig RAM, buy her the 2010, she'll be happy.
     
  23. dona83 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Coquitlam, BC
    #23
    To a girlfriend, I dunno. Engagement ring, yes, jewellery, sure, computers?
     
  24. LukeSpringUK thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #24
    Ha thanks guys but I came here for Mac advice not relationship advice. ;)
     

Share This Page