2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2012 4:03 PM by D. Shamburger
D. Shamburger Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)

I'm planning on buying a new 13 inch MacBook Air pretty soon. I was considering the refurbished July 2011 model available for $929. http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC965LL/A A brand new latest generation is $1199, $270 more. Is it worth that to get the latest model? I'm not comparing the refurbished to new. Refurbished (by Apple, sold from Apple) is just as good as new to me.


So, is 2012 model worth the extra $270 over the 2011 model?


The only differences I know are these:


1.7GHz Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" vs. 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge"

Intel HD Graphics 3000 vs. Intel HD Graphics 4000

VGA quality FaceTime camera vs. 720p FaceTime camera

USB 2 ports vs. USB 3 ports

Magsafe vs. Magsafe 2


Is there processor and graphics bump going to even really be a noticable difference? The HD camera isn't that big a deal to me... USB 3? I don't know, I don't think I have any USB 3 peripherals right now, but I might get say an external hard drive or something in the future that would make these ports nice. Is there any other difference in the new Magsafe than the size?


Are there any other upgrades I'm missing?



  • Converted2iMac Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    The thing that was stopping me getting an Air was the inability to upgrade to 8GB.


    The 2012 models permit that in an online order. For me this now makes the MBA a contender. I would not buy any system with less than 8GB RAM, but that is because of the heavy use I make of a variety of meaty applications all at the same time. The additional memory also gives me better confidence for the future using a computer that can't be upgraded.

  • D. Shamburger Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)

    Good point, I didn't mention the fact that you can get it with 8GB RAM. It's cool that they did that, I'm sure it will really help folks using Final Cut Pro and apps like that.


    For me, though, I'm not sure it's worth almost $400. I'm a web designer, so I generally use Sublime Text 2 or a similar code editor with several files open in it, quite a few tabs open in my web browser, my FTP client, Skype, and occasionaly Photoshop Elements. My current computer only has 2GB RAM, and there haven't really been many times when that hasn't been enough. So I think 4GB will be good for me. I guess 8GB would be good for "future-proofing" it though.