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Which OS X Lion features wouldn't work on a late 2008 MacBook? The system in question has a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and has been upgraded to 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive, so it meets the hardware requirements. (Oh, and the MacBook is white. ;-)

Am I right in thinking the only major thing not supported would be the lack of some multi-touch gesture functionality, assuming no external trackpad is attached?

Or, is there something else I'm missing? Thanks.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've got a similar model to yours (black one, same age).

Lion runs fine on it, and all the features work except for multitouch.

You get two finger scroll, but that's about it. It's basically like having a mouse attached.

That said, I don't think there are any functions that require multitouch; they all have keyboard/mouse equivalents.

The performance is good (about the same as 10.6), and the screen size isn't a problem.

Go ahead and install; it's a worthwhile upgrade for sure.

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I think your MacBook should support all of Lions features except the gestures as you mentioned. I checked using MacTracker and your MacBook doesn't support the multitouch so you will not be able to use some of the more complex three and four finger gestures.

The only other feature I questioned was Airdrop but a quick search found that Airdrop is supported.


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Internet Recovery comes to mind as a notable features you will miss on Lion. (in addition to your lack of a multi touch trackpad surface) It looks like late 2008 is the cutoff for being included in the AirDrop armada - which is great for you. You will get a Recovery HD which should download Lion from the internet if you need to restore, but your mac won't be able to network boot from Apple's servers if the internal drive unpartitioned or otherwise without a recovery partition.

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the recovery HD is extra good. Really, I should do that everywhere. – chiggsy Jul 30 '11 at 3:07

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