Buying Advice: Refurb 2.4GHz i5 MBP vs. 2011 13" MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacAztec, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Looking to upgrade my old MacBook Pro. I don't do a whole lot of video editing, but I dabble with iMovie and GarageBand from time to time. I don't have an external screen, and mostly work in Excel, MiniTab, and do other basic things (photos, movies, etc.)

    I'm debating between the refurb i5 15" MBP, or swinging by the Apple Store and picking up the low end 13" MBP (I have an education discount).

    Any input?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If you don't have an external monitor and you do a lot of excel, I'd go with the 15". Before I had my monitor, it was not fun working in excel on a 13" screen.
  3. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    Peterborough, Canada
    I would go with the 13" and then an external monitor. The 13" will be nice for when you want to haul it around and of course you have the big monitor for when you are at your desk.
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Refurb i5 is now about $1,250 and that would be my pick of the two. Bigger monitor for video editing, spreadsheets...and a great price/value with 'same as new warranty'. Of course I am bias since I already own one. I also use an external monitor for serious photo editing
  5. MacAztec thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    At this point, i'm leaning towards the 13" 2011MBP (base model), and possibly getting an external monitor.

    Are there any reviews of the Intel HD 3000 graphics card in this thing?
  6. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Yeah, the 13" will be nice with an external screen, and obviously more portable than the 15. Although the 15" will be more powerful, especially the graphics. I'm not too sure about the new Intel integrated chips, but I doubt it will be as good as the nVidia in the 15. [​IMG]
  7. rjbruce macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    The 13" does not have a dedicated line in. Not sure if that would sway your decision given your GarageBand usage.
  8. Ohnevah macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    I'm have the same issue here too. I believe you get better bang for the buck on the 15inch, I've been contemplating that move ever since this morning, to me size isn't an issue with the 15 or 13...The only reason I want the new 13" is because of the thunderbolt and sandy bridge....But im really not sure if its worth it...
  9. juicedropsdeuce macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    Have you used a 13"? You can do one window at a time max on that thing, the resolution is awful. Worse than the Macbook Air. 15" isn't that much bigger to carry.

    As for speed, with a ridiculously slow 5400rpm hard drive, who cares about the graphics card or processor. Until they offer a dedicated flash boot drive (at least), these processor upgrades are meaningless.

    Oh yeah, try getting 10gb/s transfer off that $20 hard drive they stock in there. :p
    It makes no sense.
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Personally I think 15" is the absolute minimum for real working use of a laptop.

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