another can't decide what to buy question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by beechlj, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. beechlj macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    I'm looking to buy my first macbook to replace my aging 5 year old Dell laptop, and possibly to replace my 3 year old desktop PC too, as this seems to get less used these days.

    I don't need portability, the laptop will stay at home. I play a few games occasionally, a little photo editing, some basic stuff with Virtual machines, terminals, some basic coding, but 90% is web browsing.

    I've managed to get to two options:

    1) The new macbook air 13, the base model i5. This model is currently £100 off in PCWorld, £849 for 128G, £1029 for 256G. The screen looks OK to me. decent res for the size, heard it runs cool (and so better if mainly used on a lap as I do?), looks great, cheaper to buy.

    2) Retina screens though look fantastic, and like the idea of the extra screen estate to get a browser and a terminal window or two running. Looking at apple refurbished store can get a 15" retina 2.3G with 256G SSD for £1319. I've kind of ruled out the 13" retina pro thinking it might be a bit underspeced for what it is and may aswell pay the little extra to get the 15"?, but you can get a refurbished 2.5G with 128G SSD and 8G RAM for £1059, or £1229 for 256G SSD

    My first question would be is there any other points to think about to help sway me into getting a macbook air or macbook pro? I'm thinking the 8G and better specs of the retina 15" would mean it could last out abit longer, I typically keep computers for 5 years, but is this worth spending as much as £470 extra in the first place going for a 15" retina over the macbook air?

    Secondly Is 128G enough storage as most of my documents and files live in the cloud or local NAS box?

    And lastly, I realise there is an apple refresh due shortly, but is this going to affect me if I'm only looking at refurbished prices? I can't justify buying a new macbook at £1800 I think £1300 is about as much as I'd want to spend, and I don't need massive battery length that haswell may bring. Is it too much of a gamble waiting and possibly loosing out on the chance of buying a macbook pro 15" retina for £1300?

    Any advise to a new macbook owner to be would be appreciated
  2. fireedo macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2011
    if u want a powerful macbook then go get rMBP 15"
    but if u don't need portability then u should get an iMac 27" it give u more power and a beautiful machine :cool:
  3. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Based on your usage, I would look at the 13" MBA. Because it can't be easily upgraded later, I would get the 8GB/256GB config. Yes, you might be able to get the 128 to work but do you want to HAVE to? Regarding Retina, I wouldn't pay that premium for what you typically do.
  4. beechlj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    Thanks for your comments, and agree with your MBA suggestion, but I can't get an 8G/256G in that offer, or as yet at a refub price would have to pay full price, £1209, which is getting close to retina refub prices.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    If you don't need portability, why get a MacBook? Consider a Mac mini or an iMac. A lot more bang for your buck.

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