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Dear Aunt TUAW: Disappointed over AirPlay Mirroring hardware cutoff

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Dear Aunt TUAW,

With the new launch of Mountain Lion and its new features, I have somehow started looking at my old mid-2009 MacBook Pro with disdain.

One of the features I looked forward to was AirPlay Mirroring which unfortunately my older model can't support due to hardware limitations. [This is causing no small amount of consternation among Mountain Lion upgraders, many of whom expected the feature to work universally. –Ed.]

So my question now is, do I really need a new laptop? My hands are itching to get one. Maybe my question should be, what should be the cycle for upgrading laptops (but this is probably more personal). Would appreciate your help and guidance. Thanks.

Your loving nephew,

Dare

Dear Dare,

It's never the wrong time for a nice new Mac, if you can afford it. If not, AirParrot is just ten bucks and gives you the same kind of AirPlay mirroring, albeit with more burden on the Mac's CPU and some quality tradeoffs.

In return for your $10, AirParrot offers two killer features that Mountain Lion does not. First, you can limit mirroring to a single window. Second, you can use it with an HDTV/Apple TV combo to extend your desktop! Why just mirror to your HDTV when you can use it as an extra monitor?

As for Auntie's laptop upgrade cycle, it goes like this: she only buys hardware when she absolutely utterly cannot avoid doing so. It looks like a new Mac mini is in her future, although she hopes to hold off for a 2012 refresh.

If not, she's buying a refurb 2011 mini and upgrading it to within an inch of its life. It will fit in perfectly with Auntie's lace doilies and Precious Moments figurines.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

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