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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Deciding between 2 macbook airs

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Member Since: Dec 27, 2011
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Hi from a newbie. Firstly i want to thank you all for the great information on this forum. I've been an avid reader for years!

One of my macbooks has just about breathed its final breath (my 1 year old threw it off the sofa), so i'm looking at replacing it with an ultra portable 11" macbook air. I love a bit of bargain hunting and have found 2 brand new machines that seem fantastic value.

The first is a late 2010 model UK spec with a 1.6ghz core 2 duo processor, 4gb RAM and a 128gb SSD. which comes with snow leopard, which i'm led to believe can be upgraded to lion for free with a new machine. The price delivered is 750.

The second is the current model UK spec with a 1.6ghz Core i5 processor, 2gb RAM and 64GB SSD, which obviously comes with lion. The price delivered is 715.

Could someone who is a bit more clued up than i tell me which is the better, more powerful machine? I will be using this one when going away and a bit of web surfing at home. I would like to install photoshop on it for my website images, but not used for serious image manipulation. My other, non-1-year-old-abused macbook is used for logic and movies etc / windows7 so this new machine wont need anything like that on it.

Is the newest model really that much better than a better spec'd older model?

Thanks in advance.
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Member Since: Sep 25, 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
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Mac Specs: 2011 MB Air Core i7 256GB, 2011 Mini with 8GB RAM, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, 2TB Time Capsule

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The new machine will have some distinct advantages. Backlit keyboard, thunderbolt port, and the i5 processor (which is a better piece of hardware, regardless of the similarity in clock speed).

That said, the 2010 model has TWICE the storage (64GB can fill up quickly on a laptop) and double the RAM. The one thing that I always max out in a computer is the RAM, because this allows you to "be human" and leave everything open all at once. Most of us don't go around closing programs as we stop using them, we simply open another. Having more available memory will make this smoother.

Personally, for double the RAM and storage space, with the free upgrade to Lion, I would be going for the 2010 model. Thrity five pounds is easily worth either the hard drive space, or the memory alone. You get both.
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Member Since: Nov 26, 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
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If you can find one similar to the 2nd one with an i5 processor and 4gb ram, I wouldn't personally worry about the hard drive as much as the ram as you can plug in usb drives with considerable size. 32gb and 64 gb are just starting to come down in price. I am in Canada and right now I could buy a 32gb for $30 dollars. I would want the faster processor (I have heard unless you are really a power user to go from i5 to i7 is not a very noticeable difference) and the most ram you can get as you cannot upgrade those ever on a MBA. Might be worth spending a bit more, it's a personal choice.

iPhone 6 128GB // MacBook Air mid2011 i5 4gb ram 256SSD // 2009 24"iMac 3.06 C2D nVidia 130GT 512mb // iPad Mini 2 32gb // iPad2 64gb 3G // iPhone4 32gb SOLD // iPod Nano Gen5 // iPod Shuffle 2gb Gen4 // iPod Video 80gb //
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Member Since: Dec 27, 2011
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Ok, thanks for the advice. I think i will go for the 2010 model - i already have loads of mini dvi cables for my other macbooks and have never used a mac with thunderbolt so wont feel like im downgrading. I think the ram is the big plus for me. I'm guessing a core2duo wont feel too sluggish with a ssd anyway?

thanks again, nath
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