Need advice. Should I buy an MBA temporarily?

musukosan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
247
15
Not to get into the details but I will be away from home in another country for an extended period of time. In my house, I have an iMac and my wife uses an MBA. Any time I travel for a short time I take her MBA, but this time it will be for quite awhile and she doesn't want me taking her laptop, which is understandable.

I plan to do photo editing and web design in my spare time so I need something more than an iPad. We have an older Sony Vaio that I could take. But it is clunky and it is... Windows. But I am a reasonable guy, so if I have no other options, I will take the VAIO but I would like to see if anyone else as a better idea. I've considered renting an MBA but that was just as expensive as buying one. So now I am thinking about buying one but selling it when I get back. Thoughts? I really do NOT need another laptop when I'm at home, these trips are not that frequent. Thanks for the help.
 
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wolfpuppies3

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2012
413
0
Virginia, USA
Buy a 13" MBA for the photo editing and extended battery life over the 11". Look for a refurb on apple.com if you can locate one configured as you need it.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,032
4,105
Bedfordshire, UK
Not to get into the details but I will be away from home in another country for an extended period of time. In my house, I have an iMac and my wife uses an MBA. Any time I travel for a short time I take her MBA, but this time it will be for quite awhile and she doesn't want me taking her laptop, which is understandable.

I plan to do photo editing and web design in my spare time so I need something more than an iPad. We have an older Sony Vaio that I could take. But it is clunky and it is... Windows. But I am a reasonable guy, so if I have no other options, I will take the VAIO but I would like to see if anyone else as a better idea. I've considered renting an MBA but that was just as expensive as buying one. So now I am thinking about buying one but selling it when I get back. Thoughts? I really do NOT need another laptop when I'm at home, these trips are not that frequent. Thanks for the help.
Just made do with using the Vaio as it's only temporary. Or get your wife to use the Vaio & iMac and you take the MBA.

I don't know, you should make your own decision for this scenario and not ask us.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
If you would rather use an MB Air over a Vaio then go for it. You don't need a pack of strangers to tell you how to spend your hard earned cash. If you think you'll be happier on the MB Air then jump. You have to decide.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
Toss-up. Take Vaio or Buy Then Sell. That's the hardware.

Did you take into consideration you may have to purchase additional software licenses?
 

musukosan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
247
15
You guys are right, I'm not expecting you to make the decision for me. I was just hoping for more information so that I could make the decision myself. I wasn't very clear but I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas that might work. Also, I forgot to mention it but I was hoping someone might have an idea of the return I could get when I sell it. Let's say, after 6 months. I am willing to go this route as long as xx% return isn't too low. Otherwise, I'll just take the Vaio. But I also understand that that may be a hard question and no one may really have a good answer. Thanks for the replies!
 

DisplacedMic

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2009
1,411
1
You guys are right, I'm not expecting you to make the decision for me. I was just hoping for more information so that I could make the decision myself. I wasn't very clear but I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas that might work. Also, I forgot to mention it but I was hoping someone might have an idea of the return I could get when I sell it. Let's say, after 6 months. I am willing to go this route as long as xx% return isn't too low. Otherwise, I'll just take the Vaio. But I also understand that that may be a hard question and no one may really have a good answer. Thanks for the replies!
well, the return might be a bit lower due to the fact that we are expecting an update to the MBA this summer to be announced next month.

baring something bizarre or unforseen problem with the release, your laptop will not only be used but no longer the latest model. how much this will affect the resell price i couldn't say but i imagine it would drag the resale value down a bit.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
You guys are right, I'm not expecting you to make the decision for me. I was just hoping for more information so that I could make the decision myself. I wasn't very clear but I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas that might work. Also, I forgot to mention it but I was hoping someone might have an idea of the return I could get when I sell it. Let's say, after 6 months. I am willing to go this route as long as xx% return isn't too low. Otherwise, I'll just take the Vaio. But I also understand that that may be a hard question and no one may really have a good answer. Thanks for the replies!
If you buy a used machine... you are likely to lose less than if you buy a new machine and sell it later.

I am not too sure how long you will be gone... so I'll assume 6 months for illustration purposes. If you buy new... you sell a six month old computer and lose a lot (because it is not new anymore). If you buy a 12 month old computer... it probably will not loose much value when you sell it as an 18 month old computer.

/Jim
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
393
136
Houston, TX
I'm not sure what all your uses are but you could sell your iMac and buy a higher end MacBook Air or even a rMBP. This way you have your own laptop and won't have to worry about it when the situation arises again in the future. Also, you won't have to settle for a lesser machine for the next six months and/or lose your money.

Just another option :)
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
47,428
31,726
The Far Horizon
Why not buy a refurb, or a good quality used MBA? You can always sell it - or better still - sell - or give - the 'clunky VAIO' to a charity/third world shop when you return home.

When you are abroad - for an extended period of time - with few other outlets, and little opportunity to socialise outside of your immediate work environment - a decent computer is a must, not a luxury, as it is your lifeline for communication and very often, information, too. Clunky VAIOs won't cut it, in my opinion.

At the moment, I'm abroad, - for an extended period - and I must admit that I would be completely lost without my MBA. Indeed, for the first time in my life, I am contemplating adding an iPad to my MBA.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,216
1,882
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I would buy the MBA - used or refurb is probably a good idea and maybe get a smaller SSD and RAM model unless you really need more. I recently took two trips with my 2011 13" MBA and it was just great all around.

I wouldn't make too many hard assumptions about resale value because who knows what condition it will be in by the time you return. You could drop it, it could have a hardware failure, it could get stolen...
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
Not to get into the details but I will be away from home in another country for an extended period of time. In my house, I have an iMac and my wife uses an MBA. Any time I travel for a short time I take her MBA, but this time it will be for quite awhile and she doesn't want me taking her laptop, which is understandable.
...
You did not say how old your wife's Air is. What you could do is buy a new (or refurbished Air). And then after the trip if it's better than what your wife has, let her switch to the new one and you can sell her old one or keep it for your shorter trips.
 

yinz

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
640
5
Definitely, MBA is awesome. A 13" can easily be a primary computer as long as you aren't a gamer.
 

musukosan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 6, 2008
247
15
I ended up getting, what I think to be, a decent deal on a 2011 13" for $650. Used, of course, but in good shape. Most I was finding were going for at least 700 to 800 bucks. I decided if I could get a good deal on one I would go for it, so I did. We'll see how much I get for it in 6 months. Assuming nothing bad happens to it in the mean time.

Thanks for everyone's advice.
 

DisplacedMic

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2009
1,411
1
I ended up getting, what I think to be, a decent deal on a 2011 13" for $650. Used, of course, but in good shape. Most I was finding were going for at least 700 to 800 bucks. I decided if I could get a good deal on one I would go for it, so I did. We'll see how much I get for it in 6 months. Assuming nothing bad happens to it in the mean time.

Thanks for everyone's advice.
i think you made a wise choice. and if you decide to upgrade 6 months to a year from now you'll get some of that back and be well-poised to decide what you want to get next.

$50-$100 a month (minus whatever you sell it for) isn't a bad deal :)