13 inch Pro or Air - Best Resell Value

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RossMacca, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #1
    My 2008 white MacBook is on it's last legs. I'm sitting 3 feet from my router, and the wireless signal is 2 bars...

    Anyway, I've been swaying towards getting the top end 15 inch MBP, but I can't realistically afford it at this time. So I've been thinking about getting another 13 inch laptop, either of the base line Air or Pro. Hopefully next summer I'll have enough money for a 15 inch model, so my question is, out of the Air and the Pro, which will hold it's value best until next summer? I'd probably be looking to sell it after the new line of Pro's are released, but before the new Air's are announced (assuming they stick to roughly 1 year life-cycles).

    I'm really swaying towards the Air at the moment, the fast SSD and better screen resolution are pulling me in, but if the Pro would be worth significantly more next year, I'd go for it. Of course there is a chance that I'll like my new one so much that I won't bother going for a 15 inch model next year, so this could also be a factor.

    Any help welcome.
     
  2. macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Nobody knows. Buying for resale values is stupid in the first place. Buy what you need and worry about resale values when (and if) you decide to sell it.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    As Miles said, don't buy for re-sell value. Buy a new mac because it's what you need, not something you'll want to trash in a few years and sell.

    I can see your problem though, you want the 15" but don't have the money right now. My question is: why do those 2 inches matter? The high end 13" is essentially the same machine as the low end 15" but costs $200 less. That's a hundred bucks PER INCH of monitor space. What will you be doing on this machine that it really makes that big of a difference.

    I just upgraded to an iMac myself. Was contemplating either the 27" screen with an i5 or the 21.5" screen with an i7. I personally went with power over screen size. Given that in your situation the power is the same but the price is different; and the difference in screen is minute compared to 5.5" in the iMac, I would say just go with either 13" and don't look back. If it's what you've been working on so long then you don't know what you're missing anyway so why buy, sell for likely a lot less (even if it is only a year old) just to buy again.

    At the end of the day, I suggest this: If you REALLY want the 15", save up a bit more. Like I said, it's not much more money. You'll pay 200 extra now, sure, but you could spend 1000 on the computer, only be able to sell it for 500, and than have to spend an extra 1200 on a new one. That way you lose out on 700 bucks instead of 200. If you don't want to do that, just deal with the slightly smaller screen.
     
  4. r0k
    macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    I have the 2008 white macbook. I get 270 kbps over 802.11n. I run Lion. I upgraded my ram to 4gb and my hdd to 500gb hybrid ssd. If you are 3 feet from your router, why not use gigabit ethernet?

    If you want a new mac rather than upgrade/fix your mb, I recommend the 13 in mbp as a good value. I've considered the 15 in mbp with the hires graphics option but an external monitor will cost a lot less.

    Resale? Check ebay "completed listings only" to get some idea of resale but it shouldn't be the deciding factor as you don't really know resale until somebody buys your old machine. Why not look at resale for your white Macbook to decide how much you might have to put toward a new Mac. Pay attention to upgrades like ram and hdd and how much they enhance resale. You might find your best investment right now would be upgraded ram and hdd in your macbook. If they don't give you enough boost, you can then sell anyway and get more than you would without the upgrades.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #5
    Thanks! Definitely something I should think about.

    A few reasons for wanting a 15 inch over 13, include, the fact I've now used a 13 inch for 3 years, and have been in several situations where I've though "if only my screen was a bit bigger". Also the dedicated graphics on the 15 inch look decent, not that I game much on it, but I'd like to play some older Steam games (TF2, CS:S, Half Life, etc), but it seems the Air/13 Pro can handle them alright without dedicated graphics. Also, the obvious: quad core vs dual core- I don't think I'd notice the difference now, but I know in a years time when I'm going into the final year of my engineering degree, extra power could be useful.

    I'd probably go for the 13 inch Pro in a heartbeat if it had a higher resolution display. Surely a 2011 "Pro" laptop should have a better resolution than my 3 year old, white plastic one? I also like the fact that I could yank out the ODD on the Pro and swap it for an SSD when they get down to a reasonable price. Still like the idea of a really thin Air with that nice screen though.

    Too many options!!
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #6
    Coming from another user with an early 2008 macbook, I would say you should try and save up the extra dough and get the 15". While the screen size isn't a really massive difference you do seem to want the few extra boosts it offers and the price point isn't all that different. Obviously I don't know your money situation but there is always birthday's, Christmas, begging, etc to get a few hundred bucks in order to make the jump from the 13" to the 15".

    Either one will certainly be an upgrade though. My girlfriend has the last generation MBP and it runs circles around my macbook any day of the week (mind you she has much less on it too) so I'm sure you'll be pleased regardless. I just wouldn't want to see you spend a bunch more money by buying just to resell and buy again. In the long run, it would be better to spend 200-400 now rather than lose out on about 600-700 later.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, I usually do use ethernet if I'm this close, I was just making the point that my wifi signal is dying, even at close range, so it's pretty much useless when I'm further away. It runs very warm even though the fans seem to be running high a lot of the time. I upgraded the RAM in this to 2.5GB, about a year and half ago and it gave it a new lease of life, but I think I want a change. The poor battery, poor wifi, poor running temperature and lack of a multi-touch trackpad is enough for me to want a new one now. It's served me well for 3 years.

    Totally forgot that I'd have money to put towards a new one if I sell this. Not sure how much I'd get for it, I'm sure it would be perfect for someone not needing so much power.

    ----------

    The only thing with the 15 inch models though, is that the higher end one has a graphics card which is far superior to the base 15 one, so I'd be very tempted to go for it (even though I don't really need it). Apple are clever like that. I've got a lot to think about, and my birthday is in a few weeks so I'll see how my money situation is after that. Really have no idea between the Air or 13/15 Pro now! :confused:
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #8
    Personally I would go for the MBP but I've never really a fan of the MBA. Maybe because I'm not ready to give up the optical drive and maybe because my head tells me thin things are fragile. I'm not sure which. In any case, the MBA's are newer but the MBP is also a stronger system.

    Comparing the high end MBP to the high end MBA it's no real competition. Yeah, the Air is cheaper by several hundred but the screen is smaller, the processor is weaker, the HD is tiny (although an SSD does make that up a bit) and you lose things like the ethernet and firewire ports.

    If it were me, I'd go with the Pro.
     

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