Help me decide! Macbook Air Refurbished or Brand New

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jhoffm34, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. jhoffm34 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #1
    Usually, I am simply a passive observer of these forums but today I have an important decision to make that I am literally obsessing over.

    I'm buying a Macbook Air for my girlfriend for her birthday, but I'm trying to decide between getting a July 2011 and a brand new Air with a spec bump. For $300, there doesn't seem to be too much of a difference between the two, except that the new one has USB 3.0 and the Turbo Boost. Keep in mind, my girlfriend is by no means a power user. She generally sticks to her word processor, netflix and iTunes. Can anybody see a reason not to save a little bit of cash? Please, I need convincing.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    The refurb should work fine. Apple refurbished products are considered by most to be a very good deal, as they're pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box.
    • Apple Certified Refurbished Products are only available from the Apple Refurb Store and are not sold by any 3rd party or local Apple stores
    • Educational discounts do not apply to refurb products.
    • Refurb products come with the same warranty as new products, and qualify for AppleCare
    • Refurb products have a changed serial number that identifies them as refurbished
    • Refurb products come with whatever OS version and software they originally shipped with as new
    • Refurb products come with the same items in the box as new products, only the box is a plain one, not the new box.
    • A refurb product could have some cosmetic signs of prior use, but rarely do
    • A refurb Mac may have some cycles on the battery, but not a significant enough amount to affect usable life
    • The refurb store inventory changes frequently, sometimes several times a day, and doesn't have any direct relation to upcoming product releases. What's available in the refurb store is determined by what has been returned to Apple.
    • If you're looking for a particular item, refurb.me can alert you when it becomes available.
     
  3. Knightimer macrumors member

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    Jun 27, 2012
    #3
    I have bought many refurbs from apple. They are usually excellent condition and like new. You can't go wrong if you go that route. I usually buy the refurb during the front end of the product life cycle.

    However, I would go with the new mbar. Faster graphics by 50%, 8 gig ram, faster SSD, etc. Is the extra 300.00 worth it? I think so.
     
  4. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    #4
    If you are his gf, then he should get the new one. If not, then probably a refurbished product is fine. I think most MacBook Air users would find that a refurbished product suits them just the same since people that buy MacBook Air aren't looking for heavy processing power.

    MacBook Air is probably used for video watching, surfing and word processing the most. The difference in performance really don't affect these activities.

    I would save the $300 for accessories, because dressing up your MacBook with toys is just as fun as getting a new MacBook. Apple TV is just $99 (hello AirPlay Mirroring). = )
     
  5. stchman macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2012
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    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    Other forum members correct me if I'm wrong, but everything I've read and heard is that the 2012 MBAs have better SSDs than the 2011 models.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    California
    #6
    That is correct. The 2011 had a SATA II SSD and the 2012 has a SATA III SSD. See this test. Much faster.
     
  7. jhoffm34 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #7
    Faster SSD

    Can someone clarify what a faster SSD really means? The performance of the computer goes up? It boots up faster? Applications run quicker?
     
  8. SoIsays macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2011
    #8
    Your gf is not going to notice any of the performance enhancements that have been mentioned above. She'll be happy with the refurb.
     
  9. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    US
    #9
    Can you translate the benchmark tests into real world differences? For example: How much faster will iTunes or Chrome or Safari open up? How much faster to edit a spreadsheet or type up a document? How much faster will downloads complete?

    I'm curious since so often people post benchmarks as the basis for buying decisions, but never quantify what they mean in the real world.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    Having a faster SSD means anything that involves reading/writing to the drive will be faster. That includes boot up, launching apps, opening/saving files, etc.
    You aren't likely to notice much, if any, difference between SATA II and SATA III in normal day-to-day use. SATA III would be faster, but not as noticeable as going from a HDD to a SSD.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  12. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #12
    Thanks, that matches what I thought. It would make a difference if you had multiple internal drives and copied large files back and forth, but that's sort of a special case.

    Hard disk to SSD is a major difference. My 2011 MBA spoiled me; anytime I have to use a HDD based system it feels like I'm working in slow motion... :)
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    I went from a 2011 Macbook Pro with a Samsung 470 SSD (SATA II) to a new Macbook Air, so will give you my non-scientific seat of the pants impressions.

    > How much faster will iTunes or Chrome or Safari open up? Not much... I mean we are talking .5 seconds as opposed to maybe .7 seconds or so.

    > How much faster to edit a spreadsheet or type up a document? Launching the apps, same thing... small difference. I have a large loan amortization spreadsheet I often access in Numbers. That launches in about two seconds now vs. three or four with the old system. As far as editing once the documents are open, there is no difference that I can tell.

    >How much faster will downloads complete? That would be the same with either SSD.

    You are correct not to get too hung up on benchmarks. I can tell the difference between the two systems, but the difference in SSD speeds is just incremental and not significant.

    That said, if you do editing of very large video files, say 5GB files, that would be much more noticeable between the two systems due to the amount of data being moved around the drive.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    I still beat my SATA III friends and with their slightly superior SSDs using my Agility 3 on SATA II. Maybe not in benchmarks but it applications I win. If you count Battlefield 3 that is... :rolleyes:

    Beyond SSD, it is icing on the cake. I do want better numbers regardless.
     
  15. dcorban macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #15
    Get the refurb as long as it has an i5 or i7 CPU, so it can fully use the Mountain Lion features.
     
  16. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #16
    I appreciate it, thank you for taking the time to type that up. It reaffirms my lack of desire to upgrade from my 2011 MBA13. The 2012 MBA is a great machine, it's just that coming from a 2011 model the evolutionary differences wouldn't provide enough bump for the things I do to justify the cost.
     

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