Buying a used MBA need advice.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jercdevil, May 15, 2016.

  1. jercdevil macrumors newbie

    jercdevil

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #1
    Like to by a used MBA to replace my windows 7 ASUS Zenbook. What should I look for. My main uses are email and web surfing. Also travel extensively. I usually watch movies on my IPad Air 2. Would like a 256 SSD or better and 8 mb ram. So I guess one of the importent things is the build date. I'm also aware of apple's refurb's. I don't do much photo editing or high demand computing. Also 13 or 11. I like the 13 for its sad card slot for future expansion but like the smaller 11.
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    I had a 2011 13" MBA and switched to a 2013 11". I like the 11" much more, it is fantastic for travel. But of course it's a very personal decision.

    If buying used, I wouldn't go any further back than 2013. They added 802.11ac wifi in 2013 which is really nice if you use shared disks on a LAN. They also switched to much more power-efficient CPU chips in 2013 which made a big improvement in battery run time. They alse went to a much faster SSD in 2013. I'd avoid 2011, it only has USB 2.0 and the SD card slot is much slower because it's on the USB 2.0 bus. They didn't even offer 8gb RAM in 2011.

    IMO, 2013 is the sweet spot for cost/performance, the current models aren't very much faster. But Apple refurbs are a great value, got one for a family member a year ago.
     
  3. Mike MA macrumors 65816

    Mike MA

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    #3
    I'm still using my 2011 MacBook Air and basically doing the same things as you are: Emailing, browsing, streaming music. So when not doing heavy operations, it still runs smoothly. What does this mean for you? Try to find an appropriate quotation, but you don't necessarily need a 2016 version, refurbished ones also have enough performance. As for the screen, I would recommend to chose the 13" one if you already own an iPad.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I was very happy with my 2011 MBA, I sold it to a close friend as a "sweetheart deal" when it was a year old. She still has it and is very happy. But two things about the OP suggest that a 2011 would not be the best choice. First, he said he does a lot of travelling, and the battery life was much shorter on the 2011 models. The battery will also be rather old if it's the original.

    Second, the OP said he wanted a 256gb or larger ssd and 8gb of RAM. 8gb was not available in 2011, 4gb was the maximum (2gb was the other option). And the 512gb ssd was not available in 2011 either, 256 was the maximum.
     
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #5
    ...go for the 11", typing this on mine right now...also for extra storage space I use 2 64Gb SanDisk USB3 flash drives for files and music (they are only about $25 each so it was much cheaper than shelling out for a larger SSD) and I couldn't pass up the deal I got on a NIB 2013 model when the 2014's came out and the price reduction apple did back then to the 14's which made the 2013 that much better a deal!
     
  6. jercdevil thread starter macrumors newbie

    jercdevil

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #6
    Will the price drop next month after the WWDC. Also is eBay the best option for buying used.
     
  7. leon44 macrumors 6502

    leon44

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    #7
    This... does anyone know from experience if either the MBA will get a spec bump or the price will drop or nothing at all or maybe even be discontinued?
    Or is it impossible to predict?

    I want to buy an Air and I have an instinct to hold of until WWDC...
     
  8. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #8
    2013 was the first year with the much improved battery life so I would not look for anything older than that. I have seen 2013 13" models with i5/8/256 go for $650-700 on ebay.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    I think a price cut is unlikely given that the MBA is already Apple's cheapest laptop at $899 and $999. In other words, the update is likely just going to be a spec bump, although it's of course possible that Apple does something more radical given the rumours of significantly thinner MBPs. Wait for WWDC until you absolutely need one now.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    I just buy what I need when I need it. You never know what will happen with Apple, remember when they updated the Mac Mini? People waited years for that, then when the update came it was greeted with a lot of negativity because the RAM was soldered in place and there were less configurations available.

    I don't think they discounted the old models at all, they sold out almost immediately and refurbs were just about impossible to find. I was glad I got one of the old ones a few months earlier. ;)
     
  11. numtini macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    #11
    Look at refurbs as well as used. I only paid $679 for my 2014 11"

    Definitely agree on the 2013 or later. My partner has a 12 and I have a 14 and the battery on the 14 lasts over twice as long.
     

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