Macbook Air or Refurb rMBP 2014

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gpatrick15, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. gpatrick15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    So I'm in the market for a new laptop, and was dead set on a 2015 11 inch MBA (though I could definitely have been convinced to get the 2014 model as well.) I was convinced until I took a peek at the Apple refurb store and noticed they have 2014 rMBP's for $979.00, only $80 more than what I'd pay for the base model 11". So MR, what's your opinion on my predicament? Buy the new MBA, or go for the refurbished rMBP? They also have a 2013 rMBP for$929, but I don't know if I'd want to go that far back. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    ETA: I belive this price may be due to the student discount Apple offers.
     
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #2
    The 11" MBA is way more portable than any of Apple's 13" laptops.

    If you were going to buy the 11" MBA it sounds like you were probably mostly focused on portability, so I would say it's still the right choice.

    I have an 11" MBA and couldn't be more happy with it.

    If I wanted a 13" laptop I would get the rMBP though.
     
  3. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Size was a significant part of the equation, true. However, I have owned 13" cMBP's in the pas and got by just fine. Honestly, my needs are pretty basic at this point. Web browsing, iTunes, Spotify, email, etc. Nothing too heavy, which is why I initially ruled out getting another MBP, until I saw the refurb price.
     
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #4
    Sure, I also had a few 13" MacBooks and I was happy enough with them. But once you try a laptop with the size and weight of the 11" MBA, everything else feels like a cinderblock.
     
  5. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    I checked the 11" MBA out a few times at Best Buy and was absolutely thrilled with the size and weight. Never considered the 13" MBA after seeing the 11 in person. Even though the screen is outdated, I don't foresee that being a problem either. But the rMBP is definitely enticing.
     
  6. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    Depends what your priorities are. I used to have a 2013 MBA 11/13 (shared between the wife and I), but after experiencing Retina quality screens, I ended up returning both and ended up with a 2013 rMBP 13. The rMBP is much lighter than the cMBP in the 13 size (the cMBP 13 is just as heavy as a rMBP 15!) And the added heft was worth it for the better screen. The rMB 12 might be good for you, but I think it's out of your price range.
     
  7. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    The new rMB 12 was certainly going to be an option until they unveiled it. The price was a prohibitive factor, but more importantly I lost interest when I discovered how limited it is in terms of power and I/O. To me, the only thing it was going for it is it's size and color selection. And at that price, it's a no brainer to go rMBP instead. So the 12 rMB was a non starter for me.

    ----------

    My concern with the 13" rMBP is my preference to buy new items versus used or refurbished. I know there's a chance that they are clearing stock on the 2014 rMBP's due to the update, and that I may get a new one shipped from the refurb store. But part of me is still against paying so much for a refurb. I've heard Apple's refurbished products are just as good as new. Any thoughts on that?
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #8
    You seem to me as though you are actually looking for reasons to buy the refurb 2014 rMBP, rather than the 11" MBA, and are hoping that the posts people write will support that preference.

    If your needs are for an incredibly portable computer, nothing, but nothing touches the 11" MBA for portability. It weighs next to nothing, and I say that as a female not in the first flush of youth, who travels an awful lot for work purposes, and for whom carrying anything heavy is a real nuisance, so what a computer weighs is an incredibly important issue for me.

    As motrek has already pointed out, none of Apple's 13"computers (and I also have a 13" MBA) are anywhere nearly as portable as the 11" MBA.

    Anyway, I have one and it is a fantastic computer. Mine is a CTO with 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD and with an i7 Core, which means it is an outstandingly fast and powerful computer as well as being exceedingly portable. The only thing it lacks is a retina screen.

    However, if you are completely blown away by that retina screen, and portability - while nice, is not essential - then, obviously, buy the rMBP. It is a terrific computer.
     
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #9
    While I will always recommend the MBP over the Air, it sounds like you were dead set on the Air and you are only considering the Pro because of price.
    For your needs, the Air will be plenty. Get the Air.
     
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #10
    Yes, they are.

    With a refurb, you get the warranties and guarantees that come with a brand new computer, (i.e. a full one year warranty) and you can add Applecare to that any time during that year.

    The main difference between a refurb model and a brand new one is that it comes in a plain box, whereas the 'new' model comes in a nice, fancy Apple box.

    I have bought refurb models and invariably found them excellent.

    In fact, as a refurb, the computer in question will have been individually tested and tried before being (re) released to the public.

    The computer could have been a refurb model for a variety of reasons: it could have been a model that was returned during the 14 day 'cooling off' grace period when one can return products; it could also have been a model that was repaired under warranty, in which case everything else would also have been thoroughly checked. It could merely be the model that has been superseded by a later model.

    In all cases, it will have been thoroughly re-examined before being released as a refurb model, one that enjoys the warranties of a 'brand-new' model. Refurbs are an excellent way to get an Apple device, or computer, as they tend to come with rather attractive discounts. Personally, I recommend the refurb route highly.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    If you like the 11" MBA and price is a big concern, consider a refurb 2013 model, it is only $809 and the performance difference between the 2014/2015 models is going to be pretty slight.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...nch-macbook-air-13ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5

    I had a 2011 13" MBA and switched to a 2013 11" MBA. There's a pretty significant difference in portability between these two models (more than the specs themselves might imply). The 11" MBA is by far the nicest computer I've ever owned (going all the way back to the Apple ][ in 1978). :) I have the i7/8gb/512gb model and it's a really powerful little computer, it is my primary machine and connects to an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, disk drives, audio interface, control surface, etc at home.

    I got a refurb 2013 base MBA for a family member last fall and couldn't tell the difference between a new machine. I think the only minor issue is that some credit cards may not offer the automatic warranty extension on a refurb that they would provide for a new machine.
     
  12. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    You're right. I was dead set on the Air. But since an upgraded model could be had for only a little bit more, with significant power upgrades AND a retina screen, that's what's making me consider it.
     
  13. Cjshino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #13
    If you dont do anything intensive just get the Air. I had the rMBP and while I did like it a lot I dont do video editing or anything like that and plus it cost me $1250. I then purchased the 11' mba and I love it and it only cost me $750 for a new 2014 model. Retina means nothing to me, sure it does look sharper but the mba screen isnt bad at all imo.
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #14
    There is a lot of truth here. I have tried a couple of times to bond with the 11" MBA and it keeps not working for me, only because of the display, but it says something about the machine that I have tried a couple of times. :)
     
  15. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #15
    For me it's not just the sharpness of the retina screen, but also the viewing angles, the MBA 11's limited hinge angles is what did me in and made me return it. Maybe I just use my laptops too close to me, but the MBA 11's display hinge didn't go far back enough for me and couldn't stand the piss poor viewing angles of the TN displays found on the MBA line.
     
  16. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #16
    Folks getting the 11" Air are traveling with it, OFTEN.

    So the question is, how OFTEN do you take it out of the house? just a few times a month? go with the rMBP.
     
  17. Cjshino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #17
    viewing angles dont matter to me because when i use my laptop im looking straight at it.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #18
    Again, very well said; the 11" MBA is an terrific computer and the the higher spec'ed version (which I also have) is simply an outstanding computer.

    That is the point. If you travel a lot (and I do) nothing on the planet will touch an 11" MBA (especially one of the more powerful models).

    But if portability - and weight - is not your main - or a main - consideration, get a different computer, one where the screen is more forgiving of less than perfect eyes in terms of both size and clarity of image.
     
  19. Cjshino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #19
    i bought the 11' mba but i dont travel a lot with it. I bought it because I like how small it is but still a very capable laptop :p
     
  20. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #20
    Any laptop is going to be kind of a crap experience if you're just using it in one place at home.

    Best to get a mouse, keyboard, and external monitor and use it as a desktop for those circumstances. And for that purpose, the 11" works just as well as the 13".
     
  21. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #21
    On paper the 13 rMBP is the much better deal. That being said, there is something about the Air that draws me back. I had an Air, then got the rMBP for the retina display, then went back to the Air for portability, battery life, and overall design. It really is a decision only you can make. You have to decide which features are most important. If the display is the be all end all, get the rMBP. If other features like design or size matter more, get the Air. Either way you will have a great Mac that will last a very long time.
     
  22. gpatrick15 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    Thanks for the input. I went ahead and ordered the refurb, for the following reasons:

    -13 in screen not too much of a deterrent, as I will mostly use it at home
    -Extra $80 bucks gets me double the RAM
    -Retina display

    I believe I'd have been happy either way, but my gut sent me to the rMBP.
     
  23. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #23
    Good choice. The 13" Pro is a nice machine and once you go with a high resolution display like the retina, you'll never want anything less :D
     
  24. Cjshino macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #24
    I had no trouble going from 13' rMBP to 11' MBA :p
     
  25. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #25
    I've tried a couple of times and for me it doesn't work, which is a shame. I love the 11", and it's quite a bargain relative to the new rMB. You're lucky!
     

Share This Page