Update Imac 2009 to Macbook Air


Hi There I am toying with replacing my 2009 iMac with a Macbook Air.
The reason is that the iMac is now rated as obsolete and it utilises an older SSD to replace the manual HD (which died a couple of years ago) and it has been upgraded to 12 GB of RAM.
I am concerned that the iMac will die soon as it does have some quirks that it needs to keep operating.
My usage is pretty limited as it is daily mainly for emails, internet and fairly basic computations (now that I am retired).
I feel I should get a refurbished 2016 Macbook Air with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD.
My question’s are:
Would a refurbished Macbook Air have sufficient computing capacity to meet my needs?
Would the non retina screen be a real factor?
Would I really notice the change to a laptop?

Regards Col


Would a refurbished Macbook Air have sufficient computing capacity to meet my needs?
2009 was the switch from Core2Duo to the Core i3/i5/i7 range. In short the new laptop should walk all over the Core2Duo, but if it’s a newer model it might just be a little more evenly matched. But in short for the requirements you have listed a MacBook Air would be more than enough.

Would the non retina screen be a real factor?
That’s more up to you. Personally I never had an issue with the MBA screen and although my retina screen is nice I don’t think I would have a real issue (with the non retina-ness) if I was forced to go back to a MBA.

Which leads nicely into: Would I really notice the change to a laptop?
YES. Screen size and total resolution here are huge factors. Even going from a 21.5" down to a 13" laptop is going to be huge. I love my screen realestate and run my retina 15" MBP at 1920 x 1200 so I get more to work with. Having less space to work with, even going from 15" retina to 13" non retina would hurt alot. I’m sure I could get used to it, but that would be my biggest issue.

You can always add in a keyboard, mouse and external screen to give you the big screen experience as well as the laptop portability. If you’re happy with 22"/24" screens these are pretty damn cheap, especially if you grab one off gumtree or similar.

Honestly, if you don’t need the laptop portability a refurbed iMac might be the better option, although I just went to look up pricing for reburbs and there it literally nothing in the mac refurb store right now. It’s also sort of hard to compare laptops to the iMacs given the way they provision SSD and/or fusion drives makes pricing pretty different… also modern iMacs are hard to upgrade yourself after the fact.


On the other hand, you bring up some very good reasons to own an iPad.


I already have an iPad and I use that a lot to check emails and internet, probably more than once a day.


Hi there The_Hawk
Many thanks for your response.
I have wondered about changing to a laptop or upgrading my old iMac.
I need to do more thinking along those lines.
Also I want to keep an SSD in a replacement mac as the older HDD is just so slow.
I have been keeping watch on refurbished stuff but may macs with SSD’s seem to originate from USA


If you travel around, a laptop would be a great option. If you don’t, or if you don’t really need computing power on the go in your day to day life, it’s probably better to get a “new” iMac. Bigger screen, more power, less moving parts.

I wouldn’t worry about the Refurb Store on Apple’s website - the savings just isn’t enough. You want to find a big shopping centre with Myer, DJs, JB Hi Fi etc all together, then walk around from one store to the next, and talk them down on their price til you get something decent.

Alternatively, well, I’m not sure what sh! is being passed around on eBay these days… but really that’s the “go to” second hand Mac market place in Australia.


or Gumtree. Options range from stupidly priced to crazy bargain! Sometimes you just get really lucky so it’s worth keeping an eye out, just be prepared to move quick.


Hi there The_Hawk.
It seems I may be better pursuing a new iMac via a large reseller here. I looked into a laptop because they have SSD’s, which is not the norm for imac’s
I agree that the refurbished stores and the second hand dealers are milking the system for as much as they can make.
I may have to bite the bullet soon.


May I ask what is wrong with the 2009 iMac specifically?


Hi Oldmacs, the specific thing that bothers me is that I had to replace the HDD with an SSD some years ago. At the same time i also upgraded RAM to 12 GB.
The problem is that I have to run OSX Utilities and use first aid and reset the choose start up disk.
This operates fine but I probably have to run the disk repair fortnightly. it usually repairs the issue. All is well until the next time and I have to run disk repair again.
I am really quite old and both my wife and i have retired from work, but we both use the iMac regularly for emails, internet and some basic pc work.
What concerns me is the specific issue as mentioned above, also the decision by Apple to nominate the 2009 iMac as obsolete and the overall age of close to 9 years now for this really great machine.
I posted on the website as I appreciate the comments offered by members as they truly assist me in making a decision.
I would appreciate your further comments. Col