Should I switch my 2010 MBA for 2011 model

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ohenriquez, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. ohenriquez macrumors member


    Dec 7, 2005
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Dear members

    I have the highest end model MBA late 2010, I use it for iWork, internet, Preview PDFs and some multitasking, I don't play games. My work is mainly research. It is worth the upgrade? I have read that the new model is faster, but will I notice real difference in my daily use?

    I am looking for some threads about this, I have not found something specific to my case so far

    Thanks for your help

  2. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    MR advanced search for '2010', thread titles only.
  3. DeBilbao macrumors member


    Jan 13, 2008
    I've just recently switched from a 2010 MBA (Core2Duo 1,86 GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB Samsung SSD) to a new 2011 MBA (Core i5, 4GB RAM, 256 GB Samsung SSD) and based on your comments, I think you will get no performance upgrade for your daily tasks.

    I'll try to explain my motivation for switching. My 2010 MBA was fantastic, but when I saw the announcment of the new 2011 models, I felt instantly betrayed by Apple: the specs of the 2011 model were the ones that should have been present in the 2010 model. It's not acceptable to have such an update in 9 months.

    A much better Core i5-i7 SandyBridge processor - Core2Duo is an outdated arquitecture from 2006 -, a promising Thunderbolt port and of course... the backlit keyboard. I didn't kenw how much I missed it until now that I've got it back. Who decided to take it out from the 2010 model?

    As soon as I saw the new model the idea of getting the new one came to my mind. It's not easy to sell the old model for a reasonable price, and It has cost me two months to get it sold.

    I've also upgraded the hard drive with the top of the lineup - i've been lucky getting the Samsung 256 GB model - and the extra space makes really a huge difference, but you already have that on your 2010 model.

    The new Bootcamp 4.0 is also an added benefit, and I've partitioned and installed easily Windows 7 Ultimate x64 in a 50 GB partition. Windows 7 runs definately smoother with the Core i5 processor and for anyone thinking about running Windows 7 natively, the upgrade is really worth it.

  4. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    For general use, upgrade to 2011 only if you want a lighted keyboard or TB.
  5. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Totally a LOOSING approach. Dont do it...I'm not.
  6. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    No, save your money and keep what you have. Pointless upgrading unless you find what you currently have isn't good enough, which doesn't sound like the case to me.

    Go spend the money on something fun! :)
  7. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    I always have to have the latest fastest thing but for most people it won't matter. Wait for the next rev. I don't think you will notice any difference.

  8. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    If the backlit keyboard is important to you then yes it worth the upgrade. Otherwise you won't see any difference in daily tasks.
  9. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    I'm sure you know that the ULV (ultra low voltage) version of this processor suitable for the Air did not exist until recently. Thats why the usually short upgrade cycle.
    Plus the Core 2 Duo is not the same as 2006. Its smaller and faster with bigger and faster cache.

  10. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    As a 2010 MBA owner I say, nah don't waste your time and money... wait for Ivy Bridge, that's what I'm doing.
  11. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    It's what I'm doing as well... Maybe. I may hold out even longer than Ivy Bridge. Haswell perhaps? For my general computing tasks I just don't see needing more than the C2D and 4GB ram can provide anytime soon. If I do upgrade, there needs to be more significant changes than merely a more powerful CPU. Like an IPS display and/or 50% longer battery life. A faster CPU would be of little benefit to me, but those two things would be a great benefit.
  12. alflavor macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2010
    Whittlesey, UK
    For your usage which is similar to mine, I'd stick with the 2010 model. I am doing, and will probably see what 2012 brings.
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    The Sandy Bridge processor wasn't available in October 2010, and the Arrandale Core i5/i7 had unacceptable GPU performance, particularly in the 18W ULV chips that were the only ones that might have worked in the MacBook Air. That's why Apple stuck with the Core 2 Duo for another 9 months, since they were able to pair it with a better integrated GPU (they can't do so with any model Core i3/i5/i7). The specific Sandy Bridge chips that are used in the current MacBook Air weren't released until June 2011, about a month before the new design came out.

    However, Apple had a significantly improved design overall, and wanted sales in the holiday season. As you point out, for many users, the Core 2 Duo model was and is perfectly adequate for their uses. Regarding the backlit keyboard, I think Apple was trying to determine what content they could take out without risking a customer backlash. It was put back into the 2011 model since there was high demand for it.

    Makes sense. The 2012 will have better battery life. It will also have better graphics performance (good enough for moderate gaming vs. the light gaming that the Sandy Bridge is capable of).
  14. BENJMNS macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
  15. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Well. I have the 2011 13" ultimate after having a 2010 13" ultimate. In my experience the backlit keyboard is a great asset. I alway thought i wouldn't care about it but as soon as i started using the MBA in a dimly lit room i realized what i missed out on.
    As for the processor speed. I do a lot of photo processing and software development so i really notice the speed increase. The only thing that should be a bit slower is the GPU but as i do not game on a MBA i do not notice this at all.

    The thing is that i upgraded to a 2011 version through some special deal but seeing how much an improvement it is for me i would have willingly paid for the new machine.

    In the end what matters is what you do with it and if you have the disposable income to get it.

  16. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    I went from a 2010 11 inch ultimate to a 2011 11 inch 1.6 i5. For for my basic tasks, there is no real noticeable difference -- although when I upgraded the 2010 to 10.7 it did seem a little more sluggish at first for some tasks.

    I would not upgrade again, even though I did so essentially for free. For one, I just get the feeling that my battery life is a little less -- and you can't use things like coolbook for extended battery life. For two, the 2011 gets warmer than the 2010 did.
  17. iApple Mania macrumors member

    iApple Mania

    Jul 11, 2011
    Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
    Personally, sell out 2010 and upgrade to 2011.
    It's worth enough.
  18. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    Well, it depends.. If you have bucketloads of cash, and plenty of money to burn...go for it. If you have a reasonably limited budget like most of us, skip the 2011 version, and wait for 2012 version with USB3, much better intergrated graphics and cooler CPU.
  19. DieterRams macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    What about 8GB RAM option?
  20. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Jan 9, 2011
    Completely unnecessary for what I (and the vast majority of consumers) use their MBA for. If there was an 8GB option when I bought mine, I'd have still went with 4.
  21. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    I don't notice any difference in my daily usage of my 2011 over the 2010 that I had. I switched because I needed the lighted keyboard. I'm very glad I made the switch.
  22. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia

    Lion as standard is both a blessing and a curse - it's taken me longer to get my head around this version of OSX than any prior one.

    I'll upgrade next year to the next Air when it arrives - I figure the $300 - $400 p.a. that one drops is well worth it for the advances made each time; especially if you get the timing right when selling the old one :)
  23. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Don't do it. Wait, save you money and get the next upgrade instead.
  24. dlubis macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2008
    I'd just switched my 2010 MBA 11-inch to 2011 MBA 13-inch, should be arrived tomorrow morning. Why? One important reason: bigger screen! Hopefully I made a right decision.
  25. ThomasBoss macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    If the 2010 does everything you need, I would keep it since you won't get all the money back for the 2010 model and will end up loosing money...
    Save up for the next version if you really want to :)

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