MBA 2017 vs refurb MBP 2016?

GregA

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 14, 2003
1,243
12
Sydney Australia
My father needs to replace his 2012 MBA. He wants as basic as he can get, except for a larger 256GB SSD. He can get a 2016 MBP refurb for slightly cheaper than the new MBA.

If I remember right, the MBA is a bit slower than the MBP, so I assume last years Pro would be slightly faster than the latest Air? Is that right?

The weight is similar, the size similar, the Pro has a better screen but the USB-C will annoy him.

Anything I'm missing? Thoughts? Thanks :)
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,399
1,983
New Jersey Pine Barrens
You can compare the specs for yourself here:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...book-air-core-i5-1.8-13-early-2015-specs.html
http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...e-2016-retina-display-no-touch-bar-specs.html

They don't list the 64 bit geekbench3 score for the new MBA however, but compared to the 1.6ghz 2015 MBA, the 2016 MBP is 23% faster.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...book-air-core-i5-1.6-13-early-2015-specs.html

The new 1.8ghz MBA is about 12% faster than the old 1.6ghz version though, so you might estimate a score of 6400 for the new one. That would imply the 2016 MBP is about 10% faster than the 1.8ghz MBA. Not much of a real world difference, especially for someone who wants "as basic as he can get". ;)

If he really doesn't care, why not get a refurb 2015 1.6ghz MBA and save even more? They will all be a big improvement over the 2012 MBA - much longer battery run time, much faster wifi, faster SSD...
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
If your father is primarily using the system for basic tasks like web browsing, email, Office, etc., does not care all that much about the screen, but does care about maximum battery life, the MBA may be the better computer in this situation if the pricing in Australia is like the pricing in US in that the 1.6 GHz 2015 MBA can be found for as little as half the price as the MBP.

If he cares about the screen quality, screen brightness, speakers, plans to use the system with an external 4k display(s), or is performing tasks that tax the CPU/GPU more heavily, and is not worried about maximizing battery life, the MBP really shines and USB-C isn't hard to adapt to as it is a really nice technology.
 

GregA

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 14, 2003
1,243
12
Sydney Australia
Thanks both.
I see what you mean about an older MBA. He's actually happy with his very old one, but it has died and the geniuses aren't sure what has blown and consider it vintage so won't work on it. But he could take it to a 3rd party for repair.

The refurb store doesn't list any refurb MBAs, and only last year's MBP. Sounds like the 2016 MBP would be the way to go in that case.

BUT I hadn't considered older machines and resellers with old stock ... so I'll search for those options now. :). Is he really looking at under A$1k?
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,399
1,983
New Jersey Pine Barrens
No clue about pricing in your country. If looking at used computers, the big change to the MBA came in 2013. Battery run time increased greatly (approaching twice as long as 2012) in that year due to a more efficient processor. That is also the year they switched to the much faster 802.11ac wifi and a faster SSD.
 

deepen03

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2010
117
38
Why pay $1000 for a Broadwell processor? Makes more sense to buy the $1299 2017 Pro.
 

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