real world differences between 2011 and 2012 macbook air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by adamj575, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. adamj575 macrumors 6502

    adamj575

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #1
    Im getting ready to sell my iMac today and am using the money i get to buy a used macbook air. Money is an issue so a new one is out of the question. I have been shopping around and ive looked on mactracker but what are the real world differences between the 2011 and 2012 airs? i wont be doing much on it...mainly music and web browsing and photos...will i really notice any difference in either?
     
  2. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #2
    A little better battery life and the iGPU mainly. The 2011 iGPU is a little weaker than the outgoing 2010 model while the 2012 model is better than either one.
     
  3. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    USA
    #3
    2012 model has USB 3.0, a huge plus if you have external hard drives.

    They are both much faster than the 2010 models but the battery life won't compare to the 2013.
     
  4. adamj575 thread starter macrumors 6502

    adamj575

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
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    Tennessee
    #4
    thanks...ill keep doin research, looks like ill be happy with either...
     
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #5
    I'd been wanting an 11" MBA since 2010 but the battery life was never acceptable for my needs until the 2013 models came out with Haswell...shop around and try to find a deal on a 2013 if battery life unplugged is a big concern for your needs!
     
  6. 2IS macrumors 68030

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    Jan 9, 2011
    #6
    If money is an issue for the OP debating between 2011 and 2012 models, i really doubt he's going to find deals on 2013 that are going to bring to to 2011/12 prices.
     
  7. adamj575 thread starter macrumors 6502

    adamj575

    Joined:
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    #7
    yeah, im lookin on the bay...ive got in the neighborhood of 800-850 no more than that...
     
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #8
    Just FYI, the 2013 11" Airs are going for $850 on the Apple Store refurbished site. I know you still have to pay sales tax, which puts you over the limit, but you could be a little closer to a 2013 model than you thought.
     
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #9
    For your needs not much diff.

    However if you are buying used, I'd pay attention to the battery's cycle count and factor that in. Ballpark: Battery will last 800 cycles @ 200 cycles per year (I said ballpark, nitpickers take notice)
     
  10. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #10
    I got mine for $809.10 and its the current 11.6" base 2013 model during Christmas (trying to hold out for a 2014 Broadwell model) = couldn't be more :D

    If I need more BHP, RAM or SSD space I grab my 2011 MBP, jump over to either of my desktop (win7) builds or our house iMac.
     
  11. paulkerdot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #11
    The fans come on all the time on the 2011 model. Very annoying. The 2012 is quiet and so is the 2013. As others have said batter is much better on the 2013.
     
  12. studIOS5 macrumors 6502a

    studIOS5

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    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon, OH
    #12
    Just a couple weeks ago, I scored a 2012 with the 256gb ssd 8gb of ram. 9 cycles on the battery, 3 years of apple care (good till February 2016) for 700 plus 30 shipping (eBay). The refurb model of the base 2012 13 inch is 850 now refurbished from apple.
     
  13. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    USA
    #13
    Got one for $779 or something, open-box at Best Buy.
     
  14. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #14
    Cool. I almost got an open-box Air, but when my wife got there, it had already been sold. So she bought me a new one instead. :)

    I was thinking Best Buy open box as I was making that post. But the available stock is limited to only what's on hand, and I wasn't sure the nearest BBY to the OP's location.
     
  15. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    USA
    #15
    You can search on their site for open-box items within a certain radius now, you don't have to limit it to a single store
     
  16. zzzzzzz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    #16
    That's actually not true in reality.

    I own both the 2010 and 2012, and the '10 destroys the '12 in actual gaming environments. As the demand on the GPU increases, the old nVidia model stays playable while the 2012 starts dropping into a 5-10fps slideshow.

    I honestly thought the '12 would be better but even with an extra 2gb of memory over the '10, I much prefer the old model. The benchmarks do not reflect reality unfortunately, I think the CPU is helping bump its scores artificially.
     
  17. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #17
    Not too surprising since the '10s use a GPU(320M) that's only a step down from the 330M, which was used on the Macbook Pros of the same year.
     

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