2.13 refurb a better buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Steven in VA, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Steven in VA macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2009
    If one likes the backlit keyboard and finds the 128 GB HD adequate, wouldn't the Rev C 2.13 refurb at $1,099 be a better purchase than the new 13.3? I've been anxious for the update to replace my Rev A 64 GB SSD, but now I'm sort of disappointed with the update. Can anyone give me a convincing argument for either the Rev C or the new 13.3? Thanks for the guidance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    New one is only 200$ more but you get better GPU, battery life, display, second USB port, SD card slot and new trackpad. Also option for 4GB of RAM. Although you lose some CPU speed and backlit KB but IMO the new one is worth it.
  3. Mr. Savage macrumors regular

    Mr. Savage

    Jun 11, 2010
    Also, you'll (hopefully) not have to worry about the dreaded hinge problem if you opt for the new one. That alone is reason enough IMO.
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I feel the same way. While the previous MBA's are great, the new ones feature many pretty significant updates. Just the fact that I can put in 4GB of RAM offers more flexibility and future-proofing (if there is such a thing) than the previous MBA's.
  5. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    The build quality alone is worthy of getting the new ones!

    The old ones I really felt like I could break it if I was not careful with it.

    These new ones feel solid - built like a tank - (built like an iPad) - a much stronger build quality that I would suggest these - the second USB port is a big deal - and the ports themselves are more accessible.

    Also a quick note - I switched from the Original MBA to the new 11" - I feel like I have not lost any screen space! - the new resolution is perfect and I don't think the 13 inch is not really as compelling as this new 11" - great machine - also the onboard SSD in my tests is 4 times as fast as the original SSD drives!

    So the new ones are great and the Onboard Solid State Storage is a much better way to go!
  6. stockscalper macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2003
    Area 51
    New ones also have bigger L2 cache and better graphics card. Plus they are vented in a way that avoids their getting as hot as the older model.
  7. Steven in VA thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2009
    Thanks for the insights, especially regarding build quality.
    Although by my math, the new 2.13 costs $700 more than the Rev C refurbished 2.13. Is the new 1.86/128 GB $1,299 model actually faster than the older 2.13?

    Do any of you miss the backlit keyboard on your new machine? Also, is the aluminum bezel still on the new model for strength? I like the look of the all glass screen on my wife's MBP. I expected the new Air to have the same. Any thoughts on that?
    Thanks again.
  8. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    I think you may find that processor power is more of a stat that doesn't really apply to how fast you find the machine in actual use.

    I'm finding that going from a 2 GHz to a 1.4 GHz you don't really notice a difference there - I would not worry too much about clockspeed.

    The way Apple is doing the storage is about 3 to 4 times faster than the traditional SSD storage - which is already blazingly fast!

    The silver I believe is around the bezel is to distinguish high resolution displays from normal displays. The high rez MacBook Pros have that silver bezel too (I do like the silver better)

    Also to note that these displays are much better than the Rev B/C displays (Rev A was great too) - this new Gen2 MBA has a resolution similar to the 15" MBP - if you were to get the older one you will have that 13" resolution rather than a much higher resolution of the new models.

    Another thing that you may want to think about is that the video output does audio too if you use the HDMI adapter - so there a bunch of great things to think about here - and I would actually go in the store and see if the 11" works for you - you may be surprised to find how uncompromized this super high resolution machine really is.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions - my expierence is with the Original Rev A MBA (1.8 64GB) and now the 11" MBA 1.4 128GB model.
  9. jagger27 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    No. I heard the Rev C benchmarks a bit better. Not by much, and not in the graphics department. Is the extra USB port, SD card slot, better screen and trackpad worth the loss of a sliver of an inch, the backlit keyboard and give or take $700?

    NOTE: This benchmark may or may not have been with identically spec'd systems. I'm assuming these preliminary benchmarks were with a high end Rev C and base model 2nd gen. Don't take my word on it and I'm really sorry I can't source it. I'm 98% certain I didn't dream it up. :rolleyes:
  10. falconeight Guest


    Apr 6, 2010
    I can say that I owned the old MBA for 3 days and sold it. It was to limited and the MBP offered the best bang for the buck. But with this new flash memory on the board and real GPU, two USB ports and SD card slot make it a great option to carrying a big laptop.
  11. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    Oh another BIG thing - I think at least is the old trackpad button has a bad reputation for marking up the silver by the camera - and many times makes it unfixable.

    My old MBA has a marked up bezel because of this design flaw.
  12. Dragynfyre macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Traditional SSDs that you can buy from places like newegg.com are 2-3x as fast as the MBA SSD. The MBA SSD is still very fast though.
  13. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    Ah okay - that was a comparison from the Original MacBook Air that shipped with 64GB SSD to the new 128GB on board solid state storage

    Oh another thing battery life is great on this thing - for simple web surfing I'm getting 6-7 hours on the 11" model

    Once you start recording audio or plugging USB things it goes down to 3 to 4 hours :(
  14. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    Wow, that is amazing. I thought Apple had said only 5 hours, but if your real-life test shows otherwise, I'm impressed.
  15. musicpenguy macrumors 65816

    Oct 29, 2006
    Keep in mind that is with just web browsing - once you start to open other apps that will go down - but a great battery that will be even better in the 13"
  16. ticzon macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    How about upgrading the SSD

    I haven't seen anyone make a comment that the REV C MBA can have it's SSD upgraded to a large drive when needed, but the new MBA has it's SSD actually soldiered to the board as a row of flash chips, which means you can't upgrade it.

    It think it is better to be able to upgrade storage when needed in the future, especially since prices of SDD keep falling.
  17. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    My problem with the 4g ram argument is that this is not future-proofing. It's current-proofing! 8 gb would be future-proofing. Any average laptop comes with 4gb or RAM these days.
  18. GreyMatta macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2007
    The new SSD isn't soldiered to the board, it's just not a standard Drive you could buy from a store though
  19. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Totally agree. Though I do think that for browsing, word processing, or running a Win 7 through Fusion the 4GB of RAM should be just fine for the foreseeable future. Yes, more RAM would be really nice, but 4GB in conjunction with flash-based storage should do the trick.
  20. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    i was actually considering the same options: get the new 1,86 with 4gb and 128ssd or get a refurb rev c? My primary machine is a Rev B 1,6 BTO SSD that is now two years old and sometimes takes its time.

    I finally ordered the rev c, mainly due to the fact that the cpu is the same, the newer Rev C Models use a much faster SSD that is nearly as fast as the new one and i just need a backlit keyboard... the first benchmarks done tonight show a massive improvement over the old Rev B and not much difference to the new models:

    Old Rev B:

    New Rev C with better SSD, more than twice as fast, there could be some improvements after the upgrade to 10.6.4

    and a new one, open gl is the only area where it significanty outperforms the 2008 model....

    Only thing that bothers me is the 2GB Ram, but perhaps Apple will include the bl keyboard on a later revision...


  21. Steven in VA thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2009
    I'm embarrassed; I don't know what open gl is.
    Will you post a note when you've used your Rev C a little? Will the 2GB RAM make iMovie operate more slowly than it would on the new machine with BTO 4GB?
    $700 plus no backlit KB or ambient light sensor seems like a lot to relinquish for 2 GB RAM--not discounting other posters' reminders of seemingly better build quality and a great display.
  22. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2008
    Hi Steven,

    the Update to 10.6.4 shows the refurb model to get somewhat faster: http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc2=477355 - Open GL is a graphics card related benchmark, but it seems as if the old model is as fast as the new one after the 10.6.4 update. I don´t do much iMovie, so i´d suggest you try the Refurb Model for yourself - at least here in Germany you could return it, if you´re not satisfied and get the newer machine. The first impressions after last night: build quality is better than my old Rev B, hinge has been improved, the fan still spins up on some occasions but spins down faster, the cpu temperature seems to be slightly lower than on the Rev B - Photoshop CS3 loads in only 4 seconds, Dreamweaver CS3 4.2 sec. - this beauty seems to be a lot snappier than the old one....


  23. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    its made in a way that only apple can do it, and im sure they have patents to keep others from offering them

    combine that with how difficult they would be to replace, and the fact that theres no way apple will sell them separate, and they might as well be soldered to the board
  24. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
  25. 612kimx1853 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi. Do the refurb 2.13 rev c come with the better ssd? If so, I would be interested. Thanks.

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