should I upgrade my late 2010 11 inch MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by claudiobxl, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. claudiobxl macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2011
    Hi Guys I was juts wondering whether any of you took the plunge and upgraded your 11inch MBA from the late 2010 model to the latest one (I have a 128 gig one with 2 gigs of RAM) . I am thinking of doing the same, selling my current machine and putting in the difference.
    I am not a heavy graphics user no gaming, mainly iwork, internet browsing, word processing, etc.
    Is it worth it? I suppose I can run Lion on my current machine right?
    thank you!
  2. Brandon0448 macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2011
    Anchorage, Alaska
    No the upgrade really isn't worth it for you. And Lion will run perfectly on your machine right now. If you are doing lots of processor intense work then it would be worth it to upgrade but considering you aren't your current machine is just fine. Save the money towards a newer machine down the road when this one no longer suites your needs.
  3. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    No, stay with the 2010, the 2011 was only an minor refresh, wait for the 2012, which should be a major refresh, 8GB/512SSD, USB3.0, better graphics IGP, retina display, faster CPU (Ivy), better cooling, and hopefully a full-size SD slot!
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    The 2010->2011 upgrade for the MBA is the biggest upgrade ever for apple when it comes to laptops (after intel hardware). The CPU is twice as fast.

    Cinebench CPU:
    2010 1.86GHz: 1.1 points
    2010 2.13 GHz: 1.3 points
    2011 1.7Ghz: 2.1 points
    2011 1.8Ghz: 2.4 points.

    2010 1.86GHz: 2980
    2010 2.13 GHz: 3337
    2011 1.7Ghz: 5854
    2011 1.8Ghz: 6301
  5. stark4 macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2008
    you should upgrade if you want the latest technology. Also 2010 resale value is still good.
  6. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Totally upgrade! Safari and Word Processing are going to be unusable on such a slow machine like the 2010 MBA now that there's newer computers out there. Night and Day difference! I mean who wants to wait 1 second for something to open when the new Airs can open it in 0.98 seconds.

    In all seriousness, for your needs you are best off using your computer until something really good comes out and/or you can no longer do what you need on your current one.

    Selling now will mean you lose $200-$300. While thats better than selling 2-3 years from now, you also will be upgrading to a unit that is 0% faster in REAL WORLD usage for YOUR needs (Word Processing, Safari Surfing), where as in 2-3 years you are going to see some really cool hardware.
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    If it's still working for you, then you might as well keep it. The only thing I'd worry about with the 2GB system is running Lion, but if you stick with Snow Leopard then things should be just fine for quite a while. Even Lion might run OK, but it does use up a lot of RAM.

    As far as graphics are concerned, the 2010 model is actually slightly better than the 2011 model. That will change with the 2012 model. Now that the MacBook Air is a mainstream product, I think it's safe to say it will receive meaningful updates every year, so if it works for you, stick with the 2010 for as long as you can, and you'll be rewarded with a decent upgrade in 2012 or 2013 when it's time to replace it.
  8. roncron macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2011
    Many of us who bought 2010 Airs are in this position, and the right decision for me isn't necessarily the right decision for you.

    A good rule of thumb for many people is this:

    Unless your 2010 air isn't powerful enough for the kinds of tasks you throw at it, keep it until the 2012s come out.

    There are few benefits to upgrading to the 2011 air: you get a much faster processor, a backlit keyboard, and a thunderbolt port.

    The backlit keyboard is very cool, to be sure, and faster is always better. But Airs will likely get faster with each new model, so if you don't need the extra speed right now, you'll do even better by waiting until the 2012 model arrives.

    Thunderbolt is important if you want the new $999 Thunderbolt display. If not, you can almost certainly live without Thunderbolt for another year. There are very few Thunderbolt compatible accessories at this time, and they tend to be very expensive.

    There are reports that battery life on the 11" Air is maybe 30 minutes less on the 2011 model than on the 2010 model, and the 2010 model's NVIDIA graphics is actually better than the 2011 model's sandy bridge graphics. (Though for most of us, the 2011 model's graphics should be perfectly adequate.)

    The 2012 model may well have other advantages that we cannot yet predict. Maybe Apple will squeeze another 30-60 minutes of life from the battery, or have more and cheaper SSD options, or use a faster SSD. Or maybe USB 3.0.

    (That doesn't seem likely now, Apple seems to be purposely sticking with USB 2.0 to encourage people who need speed to get Thunderbolt devices. But a lot can happen in 9 months, and if Thunderbolt accessories remain scarce and expensive, who knows, maybe Apple will give in and put USB 3.0 ports on MBPs and MBAs.)

    Finally, I suggest you do a bit of math. Look at what 11" Airs are fetching on eBay right now, and subtract that amount from the price of a 2011 Air. That's how much it'll cost -- and there's always a risk your Air won't sell for as much as you expect. If that cost is worth the benefits of upgrading now, then go for it. If not, wait until the 2012 models arrive - you'll be glad you did.

    For me, the cost of upgrading would have been too high to justify a speed increase that I can live without for another year. Plus, I'm working crazy hours now and you have to budget time for selling on eBay and moving everything over to a new machine, that would have been tough for me right now.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  9. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    Having owned both, here's what I noticed.

    1. I don't do anything differently on the 2011 compared to the 2010.
    2. I personally always turn off the backlit keyboard to save power, plus I usually have the lights on when I'm working.
    3. The 2011 doesn't seem faster (though I did have the 4gb 1.6ghz 128mb 2010 and now have the same config on the 2011)
    4. The 2010 seemed to run cooler for me, and last a bit longer doing my web/office stuff.
    5. I still own 0 thunderbolt devices.
    6. I do have the satisfaction of seeing improved WEI scores in windows 7.

    So in summary, you could probably swap my 2011 for my old 2011 and I would probably not notice for a while. However knowing I have the 2011 model does fill me with more of a sense of smug, and makes me feel somewhat superior to 2010 owners lol... If that's what you want, by all means. I would have waited for 2012 and gotten ivybridge for improved graphics and usb 3, but my mom needed a computer and I gave her my old air.
  10. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    I had a 2010 and sold it a few weeks before the 2011's were announced so I could get the max from it.

    I got my 2011 almost two weeks ago. I love it! It FLIES. The old one was no slouch, but I do a lot of CPU-intensive stuff, and this thing is now practical as a fulltime machine if I need it to act as such.

    At this point, if you aren't doing anything heavy with it, I would keep the 2010. With the next refresh there will probably be way cool new stuff and you'll have a great reason to move up.

  11. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    having also owned both, I concur on 4 of those points. And given your computing needs I would say you probably don't need to upgrade but the fact you are considering it probably means you want to! If you decide to stick with the 2010 model, I would urge you to wait a while before upgading to Lion! You really don't need it and I am sure some of the wifi instability and other bugs will be ironed out. Finally, do you know the OEM of your SSD and display? Because if you have Samsung/Samsung, I would stick if I were you. Good luck
  12. claudiobxl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2011
    Thank you

    Thank you VERY much for all the replies, after a lot of thought I decided that I should wait at least until 2012, it seems the safer option in light of the kind of usage I give to my MBA
    thank you again!
  13. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    Wise option, I did make the step from 13" 2010 to 11" 2011, because I needed 150Gb of space and wanted the 11", witch wasn't an option on the 2010 model. In retrospect I should have gone with a 11" in 2010 and buy an OWC blade of 250Gb or so. But I'm happy as can be with my 11" but performance wise it doesn't make a big difference.
  14. optmi macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2011
    I've tried the 2011 and it is noticeably faster. I don't think the upgrade price is worth it at this point unless you get a good refurbished price which is what I'm waiting for.
  15. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    2011 for Thunderbolt Display

    I just bought a 2011 11" MBA i7 and a Thunderbolt display. It's a fantastic combination and works better than I thought possible. But if you don't have the display, I don't see why you'd need to upgrade now -- I'd wait.
  16. outie2k macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    I had a 2010 MBA 11" ultimate (1.6/4GB/128GB) and the Amazon Kindle deal came along which was very hard to resist. To be honest there's not much difference other than the slightly smoother browsing experience (that has flash). Another difference I noticed immediately was that 2011 is heavier. I had a hard time selling the 2010 on CL so I was going to keep the 2010 and return the 2011, but I was able to find a buyer few days before the return period was up. The upgrade ended up costing me $60, which to me was barely worth it.
  17. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    Ey?!?! And you are complaining that you had trouble finding a buyer or CL and on the other hand you managed to get most of your money back and now have the latest machine with the latest processor etc for an incremental spend of a mere $60? Name me any other consumer product that has such strong resale value to allow you to do that?!

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