Elias Pelcastre

OS X El Capitan first impressions on a MacBook Air 2011

It took me two weeks, but here I am, ready to give you my impressions on OS X El Capitan running on a mid-2011 MacBook Air model.

You may be wondering whether you should upgrade or stay away from Apple’s latest desktop software. Let’s find out.

Full disclosure: this IS my MacBook Air. In August, I deleted everything and installed OS X Mavericks, as Yosemite made my computer slow.

Back to El Capitan; it took me three hours to download and install El Capitan. That’s not a reflection on the MacBook Air, but on my slow Wi-Fi.

I shut down my laptop after it restarted to give the machine a fresh start. I was in after 44 seconds, counting the time that it takes to input the main screen password. Pretty impressive.

I previously uninstalled Photoshop to clear my MacBook’s 64-GB internal storage, so I can’t start off my first impressions as I did on my MacBook Pro 2011 El Capitan test. But I have Chrome, so let’s give the app a go.

Stopwatch in hand, Chrome opened in 7 seconds, that including Google.co.uk’s loading time.


In my case, Safari was one of the apps that used to take ages to run. That’s no longer the case, as Apple’s native browser was ready to rock in 6 seconds.

Closing apps was also fast. In the blink of an eye, Chrome and Safari disappeared from the dock. iTunes – one of my main apps – was asking me for my Apple ID and password in 3 seconds after clicking on the multicolored icon. Apple, you nailed it.


Split View works great. You open two supported apps, like Maps and Safari, use three fingers to bring the multiple-desktop view, and drag both of them onto a new desktop to use them side by side.

As I said before, El Capitan’s new spotlight lets you search for more than documents on your computer. Perform a web or iTunes search right from Spotlight.

El Capitan may not be a looker, but it surely is an upgrade worth downloading on “old” Mac computers. I hope that answers the burning question MacBook Air 2011 might be asking themselves on whether or not make the jump.

Did you try OS X El Capitan on a MacBook Air 2011? What do you think? Please leave your comments below.