MacBook Air (Late 2010)

Apple made some significant changes to the MacBook Air in October 2010, introducing a new 11.6″ model and moving the line from tiny hard drives to solid state drives (SSDs) exclusively. Apple claims its SSDs are up to twice as fast as conventional ones.

2010 11 and 13 inch MacBook AirFor the first time ever, you can expand RAM from the stock 2 GB, with 4 GB as the 2010 MBA’s new maximum (a $100 build-to-order option – and only available at time of purchase).

The Late 2010 MacBook Air is the oldest MacBook Air to officially support macOS Sierra.

In light of FaceTime coming to the Mac, Apple has renamed the built-in webcam, formerly called iSight, as a FaceTime camera.

Peripheral users will rejoice: The Late 2010 MBA finally has two USB 2.0 ports (one on each side), a huge improvement over the single USB port in previous editions.

The MBA has no built-in optical drive, but you can add an external USB 2.0 SuperDrive (only compatible with the MacBook Air) for a new low price of US$79. Rather than include an install DVD, Apple now ships the MBA with a USB software reinstall drive.

A few things are missing. There is no FireWire port. There’s no built-in ethernet port; if you need ethernet, Apple sells a USB 2.0 ethernet adapter for $29. And the MBA no longer has a backlit keyboard.

The MacBook Air is available only with an 18-bit glossy display (not the 24 bits you might expect). Like the iPod and iPhone, it does not have an easily replaceable battery. Cost to have Apple replace the battery out of warranty is $129.

13″ MacBook Air

In addition to a second USB port, the 13″ MacBook Air also gains an SD Card slot, a standard feature on most MacBooks these days. This not only makes it easy to import photos and videos, it also makes it easy to add more data storage if the SSD isn’t large enough or removeable data storage if security or portability is a concern.

Apple has increased screen resolution on the 13″ MBA to 1440 x 900, the same resolution that’s been standard on 15″ MacBook Pro models. The 11″ MBA has a 1366 x 768 display.

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Late 2010 MacBook Air Shared Specs

Mac OS

  • requires Mac OS X 10.6.5 Snow Leopard or later
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 64-bit operation is supported.
    • OpenCL is supported.
  • Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility
    • AirPlay Mirroring is not supported.
    • AirDrop is supported.
    • Power Nap is supported.

Core System

  • Level 2 cache: 6 MB shared cache
  • Bus: 1066 MHz
  • RAM: 2 GB, expandable to 4 GB

Video

  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 320M with Mini DisplayPort, supports extended desktop.
  • VRAM: uses 256 MB of system memory
  • Video out: Mini DisplayPort (to 2560 x 1600 resolution)

Drives

  • SuperDrive: optional external USB 2.0 drive, requires high power USB port (only compatible with MacBook Air)
  • floppy drive: external USB only
  • expansions bays: none

Expansion

  • FireWire: none
  • IR port: none
  • Ethernet: optional USB-to-ethernet adapter
  • Modem: No longer offered by Apple
  • WiFi: 802.11n AirPort Extreme built in
  • Bluetooth: BT 2.1 built in
  • ExpressCard/34 slots: none

13.3″ MacBook Air Specs

  • introduced 2010.10.20 at US$1,299 (128 GB SSD) and US$1,599 (256 GB); replaced by Thunderbolt model 2011.07.20
  • Part no.: MB543 (1.6 GHz), MB940 (1.86 GHz)

Core System

  • CPU: 1.86/2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Performance:
    • Speedmark 6.5: 108 (1.86 GHz), 119 (2.13 GHz)
    • Geekbench 2: 2695 (1.86 GHz), 3003 (2.13 GHz)

Video

  • display: 13.3″ glossy 1440 x 900 128 ppi color active matrix
    • supports 1440 x 900, 1280 x 800, 1152 x 720, 1024 x 640, and 800 x 500 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
    • allows mirroring to external display and extended desktop mode

Drives

  • Hard drive: 128 GB solid state drive standard, 256 GB optional

Expansion

  • USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • SD Card slot: yes

Physical

  • size: 8.94 x 12.8 x 0.11-0.66″ (227 x 325 x 3.0-17 mm)
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.32 kg)

2010 11 inch MacBook Air

11.6″ MacBook Air Specs

  • introduced 2010.10.20 at US$999 (128 GB SSD) and US$1,199 (256 GB); replaced by Thunderbolt model 2011.07.20
  • Part no.: MB543 (1.6 GHz), MB940 (1.86 GHz)

Core System

  • CPU: 1.4/1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Performance:
    • Speedmark 6.5: 84 (1.4 GHz), 94 (1.6 GHz)
    • Geekbench 2: 2026 (1.4 GHz), 2280 (1.6 GHz)

Video

  • display: 11.6″ glossy 1366 x 768 18-bit color active matrix
    • supports 1366 x 768, 1344 x 756, 1280 x 720, and 1024 x 576 pixels at 16:9 aspect ratio; 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, and 640 x 480 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio; 720 x 480 at 3:2 aspect ratio
    • allows mirroring to external display and extended desktop mode

Drives

  • Hard drive: 64 GB solid state drive standard, 128 GB optional

Expansion

  • USB: 1 USB 2.0 port
  • SD Card slot: none

Physical

  • size: 7.56 x 11.8 x 0.11-0.66″ (192 x 300 x 3.0-17 mm)
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds (1.06 kg)

Online Resources

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