Is the new MacBook value for money?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by SSC85, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. SSC85 macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2017
    Hi all,

    Firstly apologies for any repetitive items in this post. I’ve been lurking for many years but the new MacBook release and some unanswered questions made me want to sign up and get some things straight.

    Quick background is I have a spring 2011 MBP. It lasted me really well but died about 3/4 months ago and I’ve struggled on without a laptop since. Its time to invest and the release of new laptops in June seemed the perfect time. I'm not sure I need a MBP for extra reasons as I really only use it for web browsing, emails and work. I do store photos/videos on there and utilise both video/music playing occasionally. The new MacBook sounds ideal in theory, smaller, lighter. Designed for users who like to move their laptop about and require less power but I am still concerned that although a good laptop, it isn’t a GREAT one.

    - Firstly the i5 base model seems the best starting place as reviews of m3 are less favourable. However the base of this is £1549. That’s a lot of money for a non high end designing laptop!
    - Only one USB C port for a £1.5k laptop seems almost criminal. How big a hindrance is it to not be able to charge your laptop whilst charging/connecting to anything else. Any adapter cables look expensive so only incur further costs
    - Ive seen a few articles that the refurbed base MBP is a better machine, if I can cope with 128 GB hard drive than it’s a much better choice value wise, is that true?

    Ultimately I have a hard (yet) fun decision to make.. any thoughts on wether to Macbook, Macbook Pro or otherwise please let me know asap!

  2. Pockets69 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2016
    Hey, well it depends on your wallet, and judging from your post, I would say that you are not really inclined for it.

    I myself bought a 2016 Macbook instead of the new 2017, because for one the kaby lake is not a big leap from skylake, usb c doesn't support thunderbolt 3 (which was something i was looking for) and finally the price.

    By going for 2016 model my only fear was the keyboard, and I have to say even though people say it's not great, I love it.

    I think going for the 2016 MB was a good decision and a better deal since it was cheaper than the 2017 model, i went for the m5 with 512gb.

    As for this year's macbook, i would say that m3 is the best bang for your buck following the analysis people have been doing over here (mainly @EugW ) and he seems pretty happy with it.

    I bought one adapter that has usb type c passthrough, 2 usb 3.1 ports and an hdmi port, so i can charge it while using the adapter.

    It is a better machine in terms of raw power, but is it only what you are looking for? and by saying that i am assuming a refurb from last year or two years ago, but it really depends on what you are looking for.

    All in all i went for the macbook because i had very specific requirements, mainly the screen the weight and the size of the computer, and the macbook fulfilled those.
    Maybe the Macbook Pro is the right pc for you.
  3. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    I have a 2015 version and in 2 years I've never had an issue with one c port. Only need it to connect a USB thumb drive once in a while to transfer files to a pc. Always use wireless for everything
  4. Graham Perks macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Opinion all about my usage, which may not apply to your situation:

    128GB would be far too restrictive.

    The one-port thing is overblown. It's never been an issue.

    The MacBook *is* a high end laptop, or at least it sure feels like one.

    Don't shop by CPU; the m5, i5, i7 are fairly close in speed; there'll be little to no perceptible difference.

    The MacBook has been a great device for me; easier to carry about than an 15" MBP.
  5. SSC85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2017
    Thats interesting re: m3 vs i5/7. Is there no material benefit between them?

    Ultimately what is better VFM for £1249 vs £1549?

    1.2GHz m3 processor vs 1.3 GHz i5 processor
    3.0 GHz Turbo Boost vs 3.2 GHZ Turbo Boost
    256 SSD vs 512 SSD

    Or is the base level MacBook better value with a top up from 128 SSD to 512 SSD for £1649?

    Realise these are potentially marginal calls but just want to get the best laptop for my uses that will last me another 3-5 years.
  6. Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Being truly honest, the MacBook is my favourite Mac of all time. I love it! At first, I thought that it was expensive BUT when i compare it to my old late 2009 MacBook which was in use for 10 hours a day 7 days a week (for my business) for 7 years!!!!! I'd say that Apple fit some top quality components!
    Look at it this way, my old MacBook was £850 (250gb spinning hard drive, only 2GB RAM) the new M3 is only £400 more BUT includes...
    1. A super fast and reliable SSD
    2. A beautiful Retina display
    3. 8GB RAM
    4. Chic aluminium design - in fact, in rose gold, it's truly gorgeous.
    Which I added all of this into it, I realised what a top quality machine this is.
    I only use ports for syncing my iPhone, backing up to a TimeMachine hard drive once a week and for charging so one port would never be a problem for me :)
    It's a beautiful laptop and for me, the only computer that i'll ever need :)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2017 ---
    BTW, I went for the i5 8GB RAM as I truly needed the 512GB - I download video and I was always fighting for space with 250GB. I have been incredibly impressed with the M3 reviews however, they've got a real winner here and so they should have, it's Apple :)
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    On the 2017 model the m3 is fine. IMO there is little reason to choose the i5 unless you want more than 256GB storage. You won't use this device for CPU-heavy tasks anyway.
    It depends on what you do with it, but yes, it can be annoying. Not so much because it's a single port, but because it's USB-C. If you need to connect it to a projector to give a presentation, or someone gives you a USB stick while traveling and you don't happen to have an adapter on you, it can be a pain. Budget $50-100 for some adapters and/or a hub. Also, if you need a second power adapter for traveling etc., that's another $70 for Apple's adapter and the ridiculously expensive USB-C charging cable (which should really be included with the adapter IMO), since you can obviously no longer use your old Magsafe adapter.

    Otherwise, it's a nice machine. Where it excels is its extreme portability (weight and size) while still having a great screen and fullsize keyboard (although the minimal key travel takes some getting used to).
  8. effineji macrumors newbie


    Jun 12, 2017
    No one talks about the attractiveness of no fan noise and low chassis temperature. Those were my biggest complaints of my mid 2010MBP and I'm loving that aspect of the 12" MB. If you are just browsing, like me, the specs are fine. It's much much more fluid than my 2010 MBP anyways.
  9. SSC85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2017
    Thanks every one, really useful. So is there not much difference between the m3 and i5? Although they may have been trying to upsell, the Apple staff I spoke to in store said the m3 was essentially like what you'd get in an iPhone so was limited compared to the i5/7..!

    I definitely want one as I've been without my old MBP for 3 months now... just have the devil on my shoulder wondering if I can get a lightweight good quality windows laptop for £100s less..!
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Of course they are trying to upsell. No easier way to earn $100. :) I think the renaming of the m5/m7 to i5/i7 in this generation is a pure marketing gimmick. As far as we can tell the only difference between the m3-7Y32 and i5-7Y54 is the clock speed, and the difference is even smaller than between m3 and m5 in the earlier generations (less than 10%). And all Macbooks are limited by the thermals anyway due to the lack of active cooling.

    If possible go try them at an Apple store. I bet you won't be able to detect a difference ...
    If ultraportability isn't your highest priority, I'd recommend to take a look at the current Macbook Pro without Touchbar as an alternative. You get more performance for the money (and a second port), and they are still fairly lightweight.
  11. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

    May 12, 2015
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    well i got mine base 2017 for $1050 right after it released. went on craigslist and what do you know, one listing. Talked the guy down to the price but he lived far away. Surprisingly he was coming my way next day. Brand new sealed for $1050. I love this laptop and i move around a lot. i also have the 2015 version that I bought form best buy open box for $960 when the 2016 was almost coming out. Id say if you aren't paying 1300 for the base than its a good value. If these cost $999, they would be the best sellers. I get that apple put in the R and D into this but i feel $1300 is a bit steep. I'm not broke though and was ready to drop the 1300 or more on the 2017 after comparing it to my 2015. This is due to me not being a cheap on something I use daily.

    If you are patient, just buy it used from someone at a 20% discount. then buy AppleCare and don't worry about it. drain that battery all day long every day. i never plug up until i have to. this MacBook and sony 1000x headphones make my flights productive.
  12. maerz001 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2010
    Seems like ur work tasks are not processor hungry. So if u want to save money a used 2016 is capable as well. Or a refurbished 2017 should be in Apple Store in 2-3months...

    The m3 vs i5 advice from Apple staff was really bs. It's just marketing...

    Forget about the battery drain tip in the last post. There is no benefit in that. Just use it as u wish.
  13. DaMax85 macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    I am on a 12" MacBook now (2016, M3) coming from a 2011 MacBook Pro just like you. It'll be more than enough for your needs. I love mine.
  14. SSC85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2017
    Pulled the trigger on the base model m3/256... fingers crossed! Thanks for the advice all.
  15. blackberrycubed macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2013
    just got the same and love it. I got so use to the 12 size and weight that I returned the 2017 mbp 13 after having for 2days and got the 2017 mb base.
  16. DaMax85 macrumors member

    May 19, 2011
    Great to hear! Hope you're loving it!

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