$900. Refurb 2014 13-inch rMBP vs. Discounted 13-inch 2015 rMBP vs. 13-inch MBA?

AllDayVanguard

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 23, 2015
15
4
Hey everyone,

I have $900 to work with and had my old 2011 MacBook Air break on me the other week, and can afford a new computer. So I have the following options:

Refurb 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro from the Apple Store: $1,019.79 (after taxes in my state, Hawaii)
New 2015 13-inch MacBook Air with a friend's Apple Retail Store 15% discount (after taxes): $884.47
New 2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a friend's Apple Retail Store 15% discount (after taxes): $1150.08

So, I loved my MacBook Air, I really did - I know that the 2015 design is more or less the same as the 2011 design, albeit with major internal improvements. However, I am a bit tired of a non-Retina screen. My laptop would be my secondary computer as I just put together my old Mac Mini with an SSD and more RAM, but I do some photo editing in addition to the typical browsing, Netflix washing and other casual stuff. I do like the concept of window splitting, which I imagine would be more effective on a rMBP than a modern Air?

I'm thankful for any input you guys might have!
 

Orr

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2013
363
50
Would be helpful if you included the actual specs for each possibility. Assuming the base model for each?
 

spatlese44

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2007
367
27
Milwaukee
I think it's terrible that they bother putting 128GB in any of their computers, but that's what you're working with. You could go up to the mid level rMBP, which with your discount would run about $1335 and just consider it what it is: a major purchase. For the money, I would go for the air and sell it in two years when you can get Skylake with wireless charging and a bigger SSD all standard.
 

Orr

macrumors 6502
Oct 8, 2013
363
50
Option #3. External storage is cheap and you can offload non-essentials to maintain sufficient hard drive space.
 

AllDayVanguard

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 23, 2015
15
4
Is the difference in battery life between the 2014 rMBP vs. 2015 rMBP really substantial? I know they aren't really MBA life, but....
 

Appurushido

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
251
208
Don't waste on your friend's apple store retail discount if you have an .edu email address. Since you are aiming for a base model 13" MBA or rMBP, it's best to try and get it at Bestbuy. I ended up with a new 2015 11" MBA base model for $650ish tax inc, after their personal Apple product sales on top of the .edu *usually ($100 off coupon, which I got).

Largest discounts/sale I saw on these base models in the past month:

13" MBA 2015 - $999 *MSRP -$150 *BB Apple Sale - $100 *.edu pricing = roughly $790 tax inc

13" rMBP 2015 - $1299 *MSRP -$150 *BB Apple Sale - $100 *.edu pricing = roughly $1090 tax inc


Tax will vary from state to state, as well as the sale prices on the base models at different location BBs. YMMV. Can save anywhere from an average of $70+ just as long as you have a .edu email address. Hope this info helps.