MBA purchase advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Vlad D, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Vlad D macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here. I'm thinking about getting my wife a MBA 11 inch for mothers day. This would be her first Mac. She is currently using a 15 inch Dell laptop which is frustratingly slow. She would mainly be using it for email, web surfing, YouTube and occasionally editing work documents. Most of this is done on the sofa or in bed, so i wanted something small and light. We already have an iPad which she rarely uses and I know she would prefer a laptop. My only concern is the amount of storage, 64 gigs is not a lot. I'm also debating 2 vs 4 gigs of RAM. I wanted to keep the price at $1000 so I'm considering the basic model, but I wanted some advice on storage and RAM before I pull the trigger.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    How much space is currently being used on her current laptop? 2GB ram might be sufficient for the use scenario you laid out, but I can't recommend not maxing it out at 4GB for the future and potential resell later on.
  3. Vlad D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    She's currently using about 54 GB of 120 GB drive, but I'm not sure how much of that she's actually using and how much is crap that she just has installed and not using.
  4. Flake macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2010
  5. jhatz macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    1.4ghz, 4gig ram 128GB SSD, that's the way to go for her needs, IMO.
  6. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    1.4 GHz, 128 GB SSD, and possibly 2GB RAM from what your post said about its use... However, I'd prolly go up to 4 GB RAM.
  7. Vlad D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning towards 4 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD. I think she would benefit more from the extra RAM and a lot of the used space on her current drive are programs that she doesn't even use. BTW, is the SSD upgradable?
  8. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    Yes, OWC sells 3 different sizes of SSDs that are compatible. However, they are pricey.
  9. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    my wife has a 1.4, 64GB, 4GB RAM that I got her. She uses it for work (documents), web surfing, and other things like that. She doesn't keep much media on it at all -- we have a desktop where she synchs her ipod. She still has more than enough free, and I doubt she will ever come close to capacity on her HD.

    I have an 11.6 ultimate, and if you took away the itunes stuff I have on there -- which I never use -- I'd have about 90GB free.

    My advice is go for the 1.4, 64, 4. We got that one from Amazon -- via the third party reseller onsale (which is MacMall).

    Also, I'd note, I almost always have 2GB of RAM free (out of my 4GB) for the tasks I'm doing. But perhaps the next OS will demand more RAM.
  10. Oli3000 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    I assume you have a main PC/Mac in the house for storing anything large (i.e. media?). If it is not the main household computer, than 64gb should be no problem.

    The upgrade to 4GB, for the comparably small cost, is well worth it.
  11. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    I would recommend the 128gb. If she's going to be watching a lot of shows etc, the 13" might be a better option.

    Also, would recommend getting a refurb from the online Apple store as appose to getting a brand new one. Note, the refurb ones are pretty much brand spanking new.
  12. Vlad D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the input. I think I've narrowed it down to the 4 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD. My only concern is weather the 11 inch screen might be too small. Anyone have issues with the screen size, eye strain, etc?
  13. Twe Foju macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    i play alot on my cousin's 11.6 Ultimate

    and coming from a 15 MBP user, i have no problem with eye strain whatsoever

    this actually depends on the person tbh

    some people i have heard complaints about the small screen and all that

    but i think if you wife watch only youtube and all that, 11.6 will be fine

    people that have used to look at Monitor alot, i think it does not make any difference if it's 20inch or 11 inch, i think it's the same, it's just smaller and different resolution ( for me at least )
  14. Burnincoco, Apr 28, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011

    Burnincoco macrumors member

    May 6, 2007
    I've got a 3.33GHz 6 core MacPro w/24GB RAM, an OWC ProReSSD 200GB on the optibay for system and libraries, 4x 1TB RAID 5 inside and one eSATA card going to a RAID0 2x 1TB Caviar black Scratch disk and a few Backup HDs.
    That's in my home office, for work.
    It is a Monster, I work about 4 hours a day. [i'm fast (with "It") :eek: ]
    I'm a colorist and editor.

    However, I feel like I'm cheating on my monster by spending
    90% of my time on my MBA (1.6 GHz, 128GB, 4GB RAM)

    Believe me when I tell you that your wife needs the same thing I got my wife.

    1.4 GHz, 128GB, 2GB RAM. MacBook Air.

    I know a lot of people would disagree with me on going with higher capacity SSD and geting "only" 2GB RAM. but a lot of people don't know that 2GB of RAM is rarely used by the "comon folk"
    You can have alot more than 20 tabs on your browser plus "Word" running and a movie in VLC and another in Quicktime, and another bowser, and...
    See what I mean?
    As long as you're not transcoding video and editing at the same time the 11.6 MBA w 128SSD and 2GB RAM is what you need to get.


    128 is comfortable for people who are not "power" users and like to keep all of the .ppt forwards from their moms, pictures and music, plus all of the crap that "most" women keep. (yeah, yeah... I generalize)

    2GB RAM will never be a bottleneck if you don't use pro apps like photoshop, final cut, after effecs, protools, etc. Snow Leopard is pretty effective at handling your RAM. (Lion will be better)
    If you get 4GB you'll see that the system is normaly using 2GB but if you get 2GB you'll see that the system will use 1GB for it's 'thang'

    (this info just for geeks)
    1.4GHz is what I always underclock my 1.6GHz MBA to with "coolbook" (google it) with settings that make it go to 1.6GHz when needed, but allways at the same voltage. And it gives me A LOT more battery power time.

    So there you have it.
    Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
    I´ve been lurking this site for more than 1,000 years but I only subscribed a few years back for personal ¨Anti-subscribalization¨ issues
    I tell you one other thing. Listen to WHATEVER Mac Rumors users, ¨nanofrog¨or ¨Hellhammer¨got to say about anything

  15. Vlad D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the input guys. I pulled the trigger today on the 11 inch 64 GB SSD 4 GB RAM. Hope she likes it. :)

    Btw, I'll be coming back soon for more advice. I'm thinking about getting myself a 13 inch MBP sometime this summer.
  16. Vlad D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did that run you?
  17. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I got my wife the 13" for mothers day, she works on documents a ton and while she wanted the 11" i was concerned that she would get frustrated on the smaller screen. She currently has a 13" pro and is used to working on it, so this is only a moderate change in shear size and much better resolution...eventually i think you are able to go 11 but it takes time, I went from a 15" pro to a 13" Air, and I barely feel the difference in performance...if at all.....

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