New Air vs Refurb rMBP

Same price: rMBP vs MBA?

  • Refurbished Retina Macbook Pro 13"

    Votes: 10 32.3%
  • New Haswell Macbook Air 13" (with upgrades)

    Votes: 21 67.7%

  • Total voters
    31

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 5, 2011
809
142
I just noticed that you can get a refurbished 13" retina MBP now for $1269. That's a pretty significant discount from the original price. For that you get 128GB of storage, a 2.5GHz i5, 7 hours of battery life and the retina display. A 13" MBA with educational pricing is $1279 with the processor upgraded to 1.7GHz, 8GB of RAM, and ~15 hour battery life. So which is a better laptop?

Note: I'm not asking about which I should buy, I already have an Air. Just curious which one people think is a better deal. If I was going to buy a new laptop right now I would probably go with the refurb rMBP just for the screen and faster processor.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,035
30,960
Boston
The better deal is the laptop that best fits your needs and budget.

The MBA is a bit more portable and much better battery life. The rMBP has a better screen and more CPU horse power.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Oct 17, 2008
2,029
105
Note: I'm not asking about which I should buy, I already have an Air. Just curious which one people think is a better deal. If I was going to buy a new laptop right now I would probably go with the refurb rMBP just for the screen and faster processor.
Er, I think you answered your own question.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Oct 17, 2008
2,029
105
Yes, it's reassuring to hear what other people think to confirm you make the right decision. But at the end it's you that will be using it. Go with your gut instinct. Seldom wrong.
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
Air all the way!!! The rMBP is too bulky for me and the Air's CPU (the 1.7 GHz), SSD and GPU are vastly superior to the rMBP. AC is just icing on the cake and is the reason I just bought a DLINK router from Amazon. So excited!
 

taff2003

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2013
46
1
UK
I pondered this same question for a while before the WWDC. I was really tempted to go for the rMBP on refurb. However, on reading lots of reviews of the rMBP, I realised I didn't use enough graphics-type apps to get the best out of the screen. The most graphic intensive use I make of my MacBook is using Photoshop very occasionally.

In the end I opted for a new MBA i7/8GB RAM/512GB SSD for about the same money I was willing to spend on a refurbed rMPB and am pleased with my choice. In the end portability was a greater requirement for me than an amazing screen. I upgraded from a mid-2009 MBP and need to keep checking my rucksack to make sure my computer is in it because the new computer is so much lighter than my old one!
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Based on the benchmarks of the current rMBP13 and current Haswell MBA13, they're pretty close in performance. So it all boils down to the screen and battery life. If retina doesn't matter to you as much as battery life or thinness, then go with the MacBook Air.

If you really want a retina MBP though, I'd wait until after the Haswell models come out. They will also hopefully get the barry life improvements as well, and even if you don't mind going refurb or previous-year closeout, you should get an even better deal then.
 

tann

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2010
1,720
401
UK
Which is the better deal really does come down to the person.

If they need a really good screen, MBP. If they need a more portable and crazy battery life machine, MBA.

For me I think the MBA is the better deal out of the two in this scenario.
 

zipur

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2011
583
73
The great state of Texas
Let me tell you Battery Life is king. I am coming from a 15 rMBP. You might as well keep it plugged in all the time. I know that's an exaggeration but it is true that you never want to be without a charge cable near by just in case. Bottom line no juice, no retina.