NEW or OLD Macbook air after refresh?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by libskate, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. libskate macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2009
    Hi all,

    long time lurker, first thread...

    Here's my situation. I'm a college student with a 17" mbp (it's a core 2 duo, couple years old). As a CS major, I love the huge screen for programming, it really comes in handy.

    I do however want something lighter that I can carry around when I won't be working for a long time, or if I'm biking or whatever. The air seems like the obvious choice. It seems that the refreshed airs will be out within a week or so with sandybridge and thunderbolt.

    TL; DR

    My question is, how suitable are the old airs for the programming, notetaking, etc that I would be using them for? I don't need it to be a speed demon but I don't want to be frustrated by slowdowns and pinwheels.

    Also, how much will the refurbished current gen airs cost once the new ones come out?

  2. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Get a 2010 Air; it's plenty of power for you and I'll be cheaper come the refresh with refurb prices dropping somewhere between 100-150, my guess.
  3. monk3r macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    I too am wondering whether to get a refurb or wait for the new ones. The prices on the refurbs are very attractive at the moment, and if the new ones only provide an iX processor and thunderbolt I wonder if it is worth the cost increase, especially if the base 11" only comes with an i3.

    From what I gather from other posts it seems the current one is more than capable for most peoples needs, including programming, so I imagine you will be fine based on their opinions.

    I am inclined to order a refurb and return it within the 14 day period if the refreshed models are significantly better, might be worth you doing the same?
  4. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    My opinions (having used several MBP's and currently a 2010 MBA) - if you can afford the extra couple hundred bucks, wait for the refresh and buy the refreshed one. If that couple of hundred bucks means a lot to you, feel free to grab the current refurbs - I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the current MBA (in large part due to the SSD) and I think you'll be happy with it as well.
  5. libskate thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2009
    Well I think I will definitely wait for the new ones because then the price of the old refurbs will drop right? Right now they are about 830, if they drop to 700s that would definitely be what I would get over an 1100 new one.

  6. radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2008
    i've been trying to decide the same deal, but i think i'm gonna wait to see how the reviews are for the refresh. battery life is the most important for me, so that's the deciding factor.
  7. DreamscapeRuins macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2011
    Inside your mind
    Eep. I didn't see this thread before posting one just like this on my own. Oops. Oh well, huh? I too am having the same issues, mainly due to price increases. Part of me is wondering if the new MBA will cost more than the current ones, and I'm not one to purchase a refurb.
  8. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    I am a current CS major. Going into my Sophomore year.

    I had a 15" MBP for the first semester. I take my laptop to work everyday, but never to class because it was just to bulky.

    Moved to the 13" air. Best decision ever.
    Took it to every class after that. It's just made for college.

    There are a couple things I didn't like about it, no backlit keyboard and the keyboard is not quite as nice as the MBP's. (I am sitting on a 15" MBP again here at work in the meantime, the depth and feel is just nicer to me)

    That and your power is gone. You will be faster in day to day things (like coding) than your buddies super sweet 1337 gaming PC, but in hard rendering or processing you are going to get smoked. Like in gaming.

    I just sold my Air 2 days ago to buy the new one that will refresh pretty quick here. Hoping to god for backlit and flush screen. Doubt it though.
  9. monk3r macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    I wouldn't normally consider a refurb, but I imagine they are basically new stock being sold off (based on the amount of configurations they have under the refurb section and the time they have been available) in anticipation of the refresh.
  10. rovitotv macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2009
    All I can say is I have a MBA 2010 11" Ultimate

    All I can say is I have a MBA 2010 11" Ultimate and it is used for programming every day. If I was back in grad school (about 5 years ago) I would have really enjoyed a machine like the current MBA. I think the current MBA would be great for you but I recommend you get at least the 4 GB upgrade. With the 4 GB I can run virtual machines and XCode all at the same time without missing a beat. I would for the refresh to see what happens to the prices then decide but it may be worth it if you can save a few hundred $.
  11. libskate thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2009
    I'm going into my sophomore year also. :) I did bring my 17" mbp to every class (except philos) for taking notes/ doing other work. It got annoying especially if I had other stuff to carry around.

    ANYONE have a guess at the price of the current-gen refurbs after the refresh?

    Also, none of the refurb 11 inchers currently have 4gb upgrade which is a huge problem. . .Thoughts?
  12. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Certainly wait until the refresh as it is so close to release. Then you can weigh the pro's and con's of a potentially backlit keyboard and faster processor (who cares about Thunderbolt for college :cool:) vs. saving a couple hundred bucks on the late 2010 models.

    You may also want to look for alternative resellers than Apple's refurbs too as techies may want to off-load their old Airs for a new one.

    I have the 13" and it is great for working on the go. The 11" is tad tiny for reading pdf's and editing photo's if you ask me though.
  13. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    I'm really impatient. I hate waiting for something large to compile. If you have another box to handle the lifting, save the money.

    If you're impatient and/or this is your main machine, get the newer model. The CPU should be VASTLY superior... we're talking a full two generation jump in processing power as well as 2 threads vs 4 threads.

  14. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I respectfully disagree... with a vengeance. ;)

    IF the price difference is only $100-150 then it would be insane to go for last years model. We may not know the full specs, but we do know its Sandy Bridge difference between C2D and SB is going to be INSANE. And if ANY of the other rumors pan out then backlit keyboard, Thunderbolt, better battery, 4GB or faster SSD are easily worth a hundred bucks. Heck, the fact that it comes with Lion already saves you $30 and the hassle of upgrading.
  15. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    It all depends if the $ is worth more to you or not. I myself am buying the 2011 refresh for those reasons, but if you want a deal, the old models are still very capable computers that'll continue to be for a while (though not as long as the refreshes, obviously). If I was still a student, I'd have to think twice about paying a lot more for something newer. I was being very conservative with my price estimates. I think refurbs (old ones) will be up to 500 less depending on the specific model (the more expensive the original model, the more you'd save).
  16. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    I agree. Unless you can get some killer deal, like several hundred off, I wouldn't get the current model after the refresh. As it is C2D is outdated, and if you want to keep your computer for any length of time, you'll be doing yourself a disservice to get the older model.

    I guess if you know that ALL you're going to do is take notes or something and you have another more powerful machine elsewhere, then it would be ok, but if that's the case, you don't really need a mac.
  17. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Im actually going to start shopping for a 2010 11" Air for the wife. I got her an iPad and she was so nuts for it that I sold her 08 Macbook to buy a new TV... without discussing it first. :eek: So I kinda owe her a new Mac and she'd really benefit from a cheap 11" Air.

    I'm thinking the refurb store will drop to $850 (which isnt good enough IMO) but if it hits the $700 mark then I'd jump on it.
  18. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    Considering the Core 2 Duo was already old technology when the 2010 Air first came out, you would be crazy not to get the Sandy Bridge models as they are now 2 generations ahead (which is a lifetime in CPU years). And this includes the fact that they will have weaker video cards. The increase in performance from C2D to SB will be exponentially greater than the downgrade from 320M to HD 3000.
  19. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    some are new and some have been returned with issues ... all have been checked by Apple and passed ... IMO they are a good deal
  20. icecrystal23 macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2010
    Refurb 11'' Air (low-end model) is already $830. Are you talking about a higher end model or what?
  21. justywusty macrumors 6502


    Apr 10, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB
    i'm in the exact same situation as the OP....just have to wait it out i guess! BUT I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGERRRRRRRRRRRR. :D
  22. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    1. Wait for new model slash refresh.

    2. Wait for reviews discussing real world differences between '10 and '11 models. Decide which set of features will work for you.

    3. If '10 will do it, stake out craigslist and wait for the 'newest, shiniest and fastest' crowd to dump their less than year old models to buy the newest ones. Get one that has, or is eligible for, extended applecare.

    I'm already seeing 11" base models sell for $750 or less on CL. My '08 MB-CE is starting to act up a bit, and is out of applecare, but I'm fighting the urge to get another (ungodly slim) toy.
  23. libskate thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2009
    It definitely seems like the right move is to wait and see the prices once the refresh hits. If it's a $300 difference or more I would probably go for the 2010.

    It's also important to note that my current mbp is 2.8 ghz core 2 duo and it has been fine for the compiling and such I've had to do.
  24. Monkeychemist macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2011
    Honestly, 2010 would do everything you'd ever want to do...

    but who want's last year's model haha??
  25. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Until I see 2011 model, I don't know what to say.

    They are talking about backlit keyboard coming back to MBA. I really really freaking doubt it.

    The new one has sandy Bridge, but it has a ****** intel HD 3000 graphic card.
    I am not planning on taking step forward on CPU and take step back on GPU.

    I will have to see what apple changes first.

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