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Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Hi, Im going into this college this fall semester and upgrading my 2020 i3 Macbook Air. As i was looking I saw a $1400 m3 MacBook Air (13 inch) with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 ssd. Furthermore, I saw an Apple refurbished M2 Pro MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM and 512 SD and it would cost $1500. I use my laptop for web browsing, Geforce Now, YouTube, and Netflix. I like the weight of the air better but I also don't mind the better screen of the MacBook Pro. Does the 120hz, faster chip, and greater brightness outweigh the weight of the MacBook air?
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
I would go for the M2 Pro MBP. I definitely think the somewhat small difference in weight is worth the larger, much nicer screen alone. Plus you get a better CPU and GPU, extra ports, and better speakers.
Is apple certified refurbished legit? Like is it just as good as new?
 
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Iwavvns

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2023
427
529
Earth
Is apple certified refurbished legit? Like is it just as good as new?
I have used three different devices purchased from the Apple refurbished store, and you can't even tell they're refurbished. The only way I could tell they were refurbished is that the outside of the box doesn't show a picture of the device. Other than that, they look and feel like brand new.
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Yes. I have purchased countless MacBooks, iPads, and other devices for myself and friends/family from the Apple Refurbushed store and they are always as good as new. They come with the same warranty and have the same AppleCare eligibility as a new device.
I did see that the single core performance is decently better on the m3 than the m2 pro is that gonna be noticable for simple tasks?
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
I have used three different devices purchased from the Apple refurbished store, and you can't even tell they're refurbished. The only way I cacouldn tell they were refurbished is that the outside of the box doesn't show a picture of the device. Other than that, they look and feel like brand new.
gotcha, so besides the box; their basically brand new?
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2023
427
529
Earth
gotcha, so besides the box; their basically brand new?
Yep. I had an Apple Store person tell me that the logic boards are taken out of returned/traded in machines and put into new cases with new batteries. Which makes sense, a company valued like Apple would want to maintain their image.

Apple isn't allowed to sell returned/traded in devices as new, so those machines go to the Refurbished store - even if the customer returns them the next day.
 
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Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Yep. I had an Apple Store person tell me that the logic boards are taken out of returned/traded in machines and put into new cases with new batteries.

Apple isn't allowed to sell returned/traded in devices as new, so those machines go to the Refurbished store - even if the customer returns them the next day.
Thank you man, also by any chance is the battery on the m2 pro worse than the m3 air?
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2023
427
529
Earth
Thank you man, also by any chance is the battery on the m2 pro worse than the m3 air?
I've never owned a MacBook Pro, basically because a MacBook Air does everything I need, so I have no idea what the battery life is like. I will say that my MacBook Air M1 battery lasts just over two days. But, I don't do any gaming or streaming.. just office work and web browsing. I'm guessing, just guessing, that the "Pro" in MBP would mean better performance and battery life.
 

jb310

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2017
264
595
For a $100 difference, it probably doesn't matter all that much which one you get, but I would suggest the MacBook Air because:

- the newer chip should get supported longer

- if you mostly use your laptop for browsing, GeForce Now, and watching videos, then the greater power of the M3 Pro chip isn't really going to be a factor

- The MacBook Air weighs 2.7 lbs, the 14-inch MacBook Pro weighs 3.5. Again, not a huge difference, but if you like to keep things light, maybe it'll be important to you

The MacBook Pro does have a better screen, so if a nice display is important to you, then maybe it's worth spending the extra $100?
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
For a $100 difference, it probably doesn't matter all that much which one you get, but I would suggest the MacBook Air because:

- the newer chip should get supported longer

- if you mostly use your laptop for browsing, GeForce Now, and watching videos, then the greater power of the M3 Pro chip isn't really going to be a factor

- The MacBook Air weighs 2.7 lbs, the 14-inch MacBook Pro weighs 3.5. Again, not a huge difference, but if you like to keep things light, maybe it'll be important to you

The MacBook Pro does have a better screen, so if a nice display is important to you, then maybe it's worth spending the extra $100?
it would be the regular m3 base chip vs M2 pro chip, not the M3 pro
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2023
427
529
Earth
it would be the regular m3 base chip vs M2 pro chip, not the M3 pro
I think the main factors would be lots video editing, lots of photo editing or app development (compiling). I think those three things would help decide between chip decision.
 

TechnoMonk

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2022
2,017
2,885
Go for MBP, better speakers, better screen, extra ports, and more power With M2 Pro. MBA would be better if you don’t carry your laptop in the bag, and need to move around holding in hand navigating classes or meeting rooms. I had bought few apple refurb products, never had an issue.
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
For a $100 difference, it probably doesn't matter all that much which one you get, but I would suggest the MacBook Air because:

- the newer chip should get supported longer

- if you mostly use your laptop for browsing, GeForce Now, and watching videos, then the greater power of the M3 Pro chip isn't really going to be a factor

- The MacBook Air weighs 2.7 lbs, the 14-inch MacBook Pro weighs 3.5. Again, not a huge difference, but if you like to keep things light, maybe it'll be important to you

The MacBook Pro does have a better screen, so if a nice display is important to you, then maybe it's worth spending the extra $100
Thanks man
 
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Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Go for MBP, better speakers, better screen, extra ports, and more power With M2 Pro. MBA would be better if you don’t carry your laptop in the bag, and need to move around holding in hand navigating classes or meeting rooms. I had bought few apple refurb products, never had an issue.
is the weight difference noticable?
 

antiprotest

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2010
4,124
14,715
gotcha, so besides the box; their basically brand new?
Apple refurbished devices are better than new. This is because they go through individual multi-point inspections. It appears that the usual factory QA often miss manufacturing defects. The refurbish quality check would catch those. You are more likely to get a machine that does not have cosmetic defects and that does not need to be brought back to the store.
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Apple refurbished devices are better than new. This is because they go through individual multi-point inspections. It appears that the usual factory QA often miss manufacturing defects. The refurbish quality check would catch those. You are more likely to get a machine that does not have cosmetic defects or that needs to be brought back to the store.
really
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,448
1,078
IMHO you probably wouldn't notice a big difference in CPU for standard tasks. But you surely would notice the better screen and/or more ports.

As for support: Some people claimed that the M3 wasn't too much of an advancement over the M2, so chances are that both generations are supported for an equal amount of time.

Performance-wise the M2 Pro could be slightly better than the M3, but as said, probably not notable in most use cases.

Personally, I would opt for the M2 Pro MBP, just because of ports and especially the screen! Once you've worked on a MBP, you can't unsee the quality difference to the Air screens anymore.
 

Zaydax333

macrumors member
May 25, 2021
85
212
Re Refurbished: can confirm, Apple refurbished is not an issue.

Re Battery life: Take a look at the image attached, JustJosh youtube channel from the M3 Macbook air review.

73% of 55.6 Whr is like 40.6 Whr left which means it used 15 Whr of battery

75% of 70Whr battery is 52.5Whr. Which means it used 17.5Whr of battery for the same task. So yes it uses more battery to do his netflix 4 hours test at equal brightness, but has a nearly 22% larger battery to compensate. (But this is also the 12c model, if the M2 Pro MBP youre talking about is the 10 core model, battery life will be even better)

Some other things to consider:

Do you plan on connecitng out to external displays a lot? If so the m2 Pro chip is going to be much better. has an HDMI port built in and supports 2 external displays while driving the built in one. M3 Air you get 1 external display support or have to shut the lid to use 2 external, plus you'll need an HDMI adapter. (but you might already have one)

yes the M3 is going to be faster for lightweight tasks thanks to the improved single core performance. Will you really notice it? No, not unless you have both machines side by side for comparisons sake.

the MBP is heavier like you said, but you get more ports, a better screen, larger battery, and a better GPU/multicore performance chip. Though the more performance here maybe isn't applied to your use case that much. If you're streaming GeForce Now for extended sessions the fans may come in handy. The more performance becomes more useful if you end up playing games on your Mac in the future.

If you watch a lot of youtube/netflix the M3 chip has AV1 HW decode which both those sites are going to be using more moving forward so in the long term it may benefit more from that. But no way to know for sure without tests comparing them.

That 4K HDR content from youtube and netflix is going to look much better on the MBP display. I have an M1 Pro 14 inch and it's incredible.

You're buying this for school, what is your major going to be? If its going to involve engineering/coding/media editing then the Pro is probably better.

Now I realize I'm not giving you good advice in terms of "go buy this" but you should decide what matters to you right now, and in the long run.
 

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Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
IMHO you probably wouldn't notice a big difference in CPU for standard tasks. But you surely would notice the better screen and/or more ports.

As for support: Some people claimed that the M3 wasn't too much of an advancement over the M2, so chances are that both generations are supported for an equal amount of time.

Performance-wise the M2 Pro could be slightly better than the M3, but as said, probably not notable in most use cases.

Personally, I would opt for the M2 Pro MBP, just because of ports and especially the screen! Once you've worked on a MBP, you can't unsee the quality difference to the Air screens anymore.
is the weight difference alot, because Im gonna have to work around with the macbook and is the weight a big deal?
 

Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
Re Refurbished: can confirm, Apple refurbished is not an issue.

Re Battery life: Take a look at the image attached, JustJosh youtube channel from the M3 Macbook air review.

73% of 55.6 Whr is like 40.6 Whr left which means it used 15 Whr of battery

75% of 70Whr battery is 52.5Whr. Which means it used 17.5Whr of battery for the same task. So yes it uses more battery to do his netflix 4 hours test at equal brightness, but has a nearly 22% larger battery to compensate. (But this is also the 12c model, if the M2 Pro MBP youre talking about is the 10 core model, battery life will be even better)

Some other things to consider:

Do you plan on connecitng out to external displays a lot? If so the m2 Pro chip is going to be much better. has an HDMI port built in and supports 2 external displays while driving the built in one. M3 Air you get 1 external display support or have to shut the lid to use 2 external, plus you'll need an HDMI adapter. (but you might already have one)

yes the M3 is going to be faster for lightweight tasks thanks to the improved single core performance. Will you really notice it? No, not unless you have both machines side by side for comparisons sake.

the MBP is heavier like you said, but you get more ports, a better screen, larger battery, and a better GPU/multicore performance chip. Though the more performance here maybe isn't applied to your use case that much. If you're streaming GeForce Now for extended sessions the fans may come in handy. The more performance becomes more useful if you end up playing games on your Mac in the future.

If you watch a lot of youtube/netflix the M3 chip has AV1 HW decode which both those sites are going to be using more moving forward so in the long term it may benefit more from that. But no way to know for sure without tests comparing them.

That 4K HDR content from youtube and netflix is going to look much better on the MBP display. I have an M1 Pro 14 inch and it's incredible.

You're buying this for school, what is your major going to be? If its going to involve engineering/coding/media editing then the Pro is probably better.

Now I realize I'm not giving you good advice in terms of "go buy this" but you should decide what matters to you right now, and in the long run.
this is actually very good advice, my major is business analytics so nothing to crazy on the macbook so not editing or engineering; is the weight difference noticable between the 2? And im not planning on external displays
 
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Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,448
1,078
is the weight difference alot, because Im gonna have to work around with the macbook and is the weight a big deal?
IMHO not. You may feel it if you compare both side-by-side, but you will get used to the aded weight after a week or two and after that it simply doesn't matter anymore.

On paper it may look like a lot, while in reality it doesn't matter much, unless you're traveling with _really_ light luggage.

I once had the 12" MacBook. It was nice and very lightweight. Now I'm typing this on a 16" MBP, which is a lot bigger and heavier. Granted, I use it more stationary now, but I would have no worries to put it in a backpack and use it for traveling/commuting.

After all you don't intend to hike all of the time, climb mountains or do other extreme stuff, where the weight difference may become a dealbreaker.

If you're not afraid to risk having to wait for another offer (you can always find some), I would recommend to go to a computer or Apple Store near you and touch and lift both models as well as looking at the screens.

Nothing better than personal experience!
 
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Milly342

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 27, 2024
153
17
IMHO not. You may feel it if you compare both side-by-side, but you will get used to the aded weight after a week or two and after that it simply doesn't matter anymore.

On paper it may look like a lot, while in reality it doesn't matter much, unless you're traveling with _really_ light luggage.

I once had the 12" MacBook. It was nice and very lightweight. Now I'm typing this on a 16" MBP, which is a lot bigger and heavier. Granted, I use it more stationary now, but I would have no worries to put it in a backpack and use it for traveling/commuting.

After all you don't intend to hike all of the time, climb mountains or do other extreme stuff, where the weight difference may become a dealbreaker.

If you're not afraid to risk having to wait for another offer (you can always find some), I would recommend to go to a computer or Apple Store near you and touch and lift both models as well as looking at the screens.

Nothing better than personal experience!
I heard that the m3 cpu is a bit faster from single core tasks it that also a big difference?
 

Iwavvns

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2023
427
529
Earth
I heard that the m3 cpu is a bit faster from single core tasks it that also a big difference?
Yes, but you have to remember those kinds of tests are usually done in a controlled laboratory environment, those official tests are never done in real life scenarios. So, your mileage is almost always going to vary.
 
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