MacBook Pro 13 for 15 Retina Deal?!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by njsa04playa, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    new joisey
    Hey everyone,

    As I am going to college next year I need an upgrade from my 2010 macbook pro 13 inch 2.66 ghz 8gb ram 500 hd laptop.

    I want to get the 15 inch Retina after the next refresh this spring.

    I was offered $675 for my macbook (out of applecare warrantee, almost 4 years old).

    So I have two questions:

    A. Is this $675 a good deal to get rid of my macbook pro? It is in pristine condition

    B. Is the 15 inch retina a good laptop for college (BME, with computer science, and business) or is it overpowered for all but the most extreme use cases? I really despise working on a 13 inch screen but that may be due to the small pixel count relative to the 13 inch retina.

    Thank you for your help!
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I would say that's not a good enough deal. Depending not he condition of course, but if it's in good-excellent conditions and you have the original box/accessories, then $800 should be your low-end price.

    And even though it's a C2D machine, it's still a great machine and I think a better machine than the retina 15" model. I say this because you have usb and FW ports that make external storage cheaper now, and getting a display to connect via the MDP would be a lot cheaper than getting a 15" retina.

    The other benefit to not having the retina is that you won't need any adapters with it. For example, you would have to get an adapter to use an ethernet cable or to use a firewire device and you would also need an external optical drive.

    Why go through the added expense of getting a machine that's sometimes unnecessary when there will be times as well that even taking your current machine to class might not even be feasible.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Personally I would slap an SSD in there if it really is in pristine condition. However, if your heart is set on a new MacBook then the 15" is the way to go for some applications where you may have to do design work. Otherwise, newer applications are built for smaller screens. Take Xcode as an example, with its one window approach, it looks great on my 13" cMBP and would be even better on an rMBP.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's fine to ask that, but no one in their right mind would pay it. It's still a solid machine but out of warranty with an aging battery. It needs to be lower to be worth it for any sensible buyer. If it wasn't still a solid machine, you wouldn't have a potential buyer in the first place.
  5. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I understand that, but the problem here is trying to offset the price of a possible 15" retina purchase. I know an additional $125 isn't "that much" in those terms, but you just have to find someone that knows Macs and will recognize the good deal that it is.

    I guess I'm just used to using older Macs and such to the point where "out of warranty" is meaningless. Up until 1 month ago, my main machine was a 2004 20" 1.8GHz iMac G5 with 320G HDD, 2 GB RAM, and no AP or BT with the older Apple Pro wired keyboard and mouse (single click only). Before that it was a PowerMac G5, and then iBook G4s. In fact, my "newest" computer was the PowerMac G5 quad that was made in 2006.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The OP is trying to offset that, but that is meaningless for a buyer. The problem for the buyer is they don't know. They have no guarantee, and you will find that not everyone experiences immortality with their hardware. I mentioned the battery because it's an expendable piece. At some point you have to replace it, even if only due to age. The machine is nearing that age, so I mention it. As I also pointed out, usability does not mean it's worth nearly as much as a new one. Take a look at one of the used mac shops. In that case the buyer still has a short warranty in case of a problem. Pricing is still lower than what you suggest. I think it's still a bit aggressive on pricing, but might as well start high. If you order from Apple, a 13" Air is $929 refurbished with a fresh battery and one year warranty. A 13" macbook pro with the same specs is $1000 for some reason. In either case they represent a far better value, because if the buyer keeps that machine for another 3 years, they are looking at a new battery somewhere in there. That boosts the price to what they would have paid for something newer, with better specs and 0 battery wear. It represents a poor value for the buyer, so you are reliant on taking advantage of a clueless purchaser. Also do keep in mind that your results have been solid, but many on here have experienced hardware failures. I suspect it's less likely on machines with integrated graphics. I've personally experienced the dreaded swollen battery on the unibody models.
  7. Intelligent macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2013
    id say 750-800 would be a good price.
  8. RedCroissant, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

    RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I understand your point, but if it’s the buyer that’s being considered more than what is being sold, then the item will be undervalued. And I think it is undervalued at $675.

    The battery (although expendable) should last more than 3 years even if it no longer reaches full capacity. Even at half capacity, ~5 hours is still respectable as far as battery life and I would not bother replacing the battery at that point.

    I agree that usability does not make it as valuable as a new machine. I agree with that completely. However, the link you provided showed a MBP with half the RAM and half the storage. Sure there’s a warranty on it, but I would not pay $699 for a newer machine that has less than the machine currently owned and used.

    And the MBA sure is only $929, but that has a 1.3GHZ dual core i5 that is only slightly more powerful than the C2D that the OP has, it has half of the RAM, just over 1/4 the storage, and essentially the same display size (and no Retina display).

    I just don’t think that the buyer should be the one considered more than the seller and that the value of the item being sold should be negatively effected by that amount of over-consideration.
  9. DixieDog macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2014
    Nothing is worth more than someone is willing to pay

    The value of anything is determined by the buyer, not the seller
  10. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I only agree partially with that statement. My point is that the seller should not be adjusting the value of his items based on a presumption of what it's worth simply to make a sale.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Huh... I must have been tired. I looked through a number of them on that site, and I meant to find one comparable. Given the current price of ram, 8GB does help. I don't place much value in a hard drive that is more than 2 years old. They do eventually wear down and begin to develop bad sectors, even if they don't fail to mount. I would have rated that point as little more than a push unless it was fairly new.

    There is always a certain amount of risk in buying a used machine, particularly when there is no available recourse in the case of latent problems which are not immediately obvious when previewing the machine. Most used mac retailers tend to offer a 90 day warranty to compensate for that, even if it's a minimal length of time. Batteries often need to be replaced regardless of how much charge they still hold. I've had to do it due to swelling. Sometimes toward the end they do take a dive. It's something I would expect around 3-4 years, so it's definitely a consideration. They are more likely than not to require a new battery if they keep the notebook for the same amount of time. Anyway I don't think it's as likely to sell at $800, at least not quickly. It would be more likely on ebay, but then you have transaction fees and the risks inherent to ebay.
  12. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Well I think I found the same model as the OP’s and according to that site, they;’re selling their Mid-2010 13” MBP 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $749. So if you factor in the cost of another 4GB RAM and the larger HDD, then I think (at least according to that site) that $800 is still more than reasonable.

    However, that same site is selling a 13” retina MBP 2.4GHz i5 with 4GB RAM and a 128 GB SSD for $1,199. So I have no idea what their pricing scheme is really and how they termini a value for each specific part.

    Even though I like screen clarity and crisp detail, I think the current lineup of cMBP have awesome displays and retina is one of those things that’s not really a necessity. Plus, with the purchase of a retina MBP, you lose the built-in expandability and the user-upgradeability that the cMBP offers.

    with the FW 800 port, you can connect to TB/FW800/FW400 devices and the usb 2.0 ports allow for connection to any usb device as well. with the retina MBP, you would need a separate adapter for each peripheral.

    Of course there’s always a certain amount of risk involved when buying a used machine, but not trusting a HDD after 2 years really limits options for computer purchases. Sure some HDDs are cheap enough now where they might not be that big of a deal to replace, but there are some amazing deals out there. For example, I was able to get a PowerMac G5 Quad with a 1TB HDD, 8 GB RAM, AND a 23” ACD for the incredibly low price of $200. Sure, I ended up buying more RAM and bumping it up to 16GB, but that machine was great for as long as I was able to hold onto it.

    I also recently (5 months now?) got and sold a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver from 2002(733MHz with 1.5GB RAM and a 40 GB HDD) to a friend and he has made that machine AWESOME. he upgraded the CPU to a Dual Processor, SATA cards, 4 HDDs, 3 displays…etc. And he got it from me for $50 + 2 iBooks.

    Anyway, I understand why you would consider the value of the OP’s machine to be lower, but my experience with much older Mac machines has given me a very different perspective on actual value based on usage and potential usage and I go higher on the value because of that.

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