Is this a good deal? (Refurb 2011 vs New 2012 with edu discount)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by keilinger, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. keilinger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #1
    I'm tight on money right now, but I need a laptop for school. (My HP died after two years.)

    Here's what I'm looking at:

    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released July 2011
    13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    128GB flash storage
    Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    FaceTime camera
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

    $929.00


    This is cheaper than the newest version by about $150, since the education discount for the Air is only $50. For my needs -Internet, watching DVDs from an external drive, storing less than 16gb on music- is this sufficient and will it last me 7 years? I'm not into upgrading every once in a while and like to use my computers until they fail. If there isn't a noticeable different in speed between the pro and the air in everyday use, the Air would be a better option for me. I'm just looking for some guidance in thinking this decision through.. Is this model a good choice for me and am I getting the best price possible on this without having to resort to Craigslist or eBay? I'm open to buying from other sources if the service from Apple is the same. Thanks!
     
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #2
    I think the MBA would be a good choice, especially if saving money is a major point. I however, would recommend the MBP. You can get a better comparison by looking at their notebook comparison page and that will give you a better idea of what you would be gaining/losing by going with the Air.

    I would recommend the MBP because even though a lot of people might not use the ODD, it might come in handy if you have to use DVDs or CDs and then have to rely on an external superdrive. The RAM on the MBA is also soldered onto the board and therefore not upgradeable at all. With the MBP, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and have more options for higher capacity drives in the future. Because of this, I would go with the MBP to have a better chance of reaching your goal of 7 years of use.

    So why not look at refurbished models of the MBP? There's one available for the same price that you quoted, but you'd get more for your money. Good luck!
     
  3. keilinger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #3
    How would upgradeability help me reach my goal of 7 years of use? As you can probably tell, I don't know much about computers at all. I was thinking I'd go with the MBA since the portability factor is nice, but the most important factor in my decision is getting the best value for the best performance over a long period of time.


    Also, the specs for the 11 inch MBA as listed on the refurb site appear the same as the specs for the 13 inch. Am I correct to assume there would be no performance differences between the two models?

    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released July 2011
    11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    128GB flash storage
    Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    FaceTime camera
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    $849.00
    Save $150.00
    15% off
     
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #4
    I've noticed that as time goes by, more and more RAM is becoming a requirement to continue to use future products and even upgrade the OS. being limited to 4GB of RAM when trends seem to suggest that 4GB will not be enough in 3-4 years would make me want to go with the MBP. and the refurbished MBP has these specs:


    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Dual-core Intel i5
    Originally released October 2011
    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, 1280-by-800 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM

    $929
    save $170
    15% off

    With this you get a more powerful processor, ODD, higher capacity HDD and more ports for expandability. You can even upgrade the HDD to an even higher capacity later or install a SSD with a higher capacity when the prices drop.

    I would also use the MBP with more RAM to run either Parallels of virtual box to utilize Windows because Windows formats or even programs might be required depending on the school and major. For example, I took a computer science course that required the use of Internet explorer.

    And with the faster processor and more RAM, the MBP should be better on performance, albeit slightly slower to boot up and open applications. So if you want the best value+portability+best performance over a longer period of time would be the MBP in my opinion.
     
  5. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    #5
    A 13" Macbook Pro is the exact same footprint as an Air, but thicker. However you get much more for your money: DVD, upgradeable RAM and HDD, more ports. Up to you to ultimately decide what is best for you.
     

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