Refurb MBA vs AluBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SirJ, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. SirJ macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Hey everyone, I am in a (somewhat) difficult situation.

    I'll be going to college next year and will be purchasing a mac laptop (1st mac).

    I've been looking at the 2.0 MacBook and the refurb MBAs.

    I WILL be:
    word processing, hulu-ing, web browsing, music playing, and math-related computing (engineering major)

    I WILL NOT be:
    editing large pictures, 3D work, film editing, watching videos, gaming, pretty much anything very graphics intensive

    Will the previous gen MBAs be suitable for this? I know the problems it has with video playback through youtube and hulu without coolbook so there's no need to throw that out there.
    One thing I'm really interested in is the performance of the refurb SSD MBA vs. the new HDD MB. Anyone have a firsthand comparison on that?

    Thanks, and sorry that was long.
  2. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I would go with the Alu MacBook instead of the MacBook Air. Faster processor upgradeable ram and bigger upgradeable hd.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  4. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2005
    Laguna Beach
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    Search is your friend. If you don't want to search get the mb, better long term investment.
  5. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    For what you're planning to do, the MacBook will be a better choice. Even though the MB Air is cheaper, the MB is a better performer and it's actually worth the $1300. To me, the MB Air is more of a luxury than a need. The MB is better for schoolwork and I think that the MB Air would be a good purchase if you have multiple computers. The MB Air is more of a secondary computer. The MB is also much easier to upgrade if you plan on upgrading the hard drive or RAM in the future.
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Absolutely positively go with a MacBook. It only weighs 1.5 lbs more. It has a Penryn CPU with much better performance and speed without overheating. Has Nvidia GPU at like more than 5x graphics power. It has ability to be an "instant desktop" by plugging in up to a 30" external Apple Cinema Display. It has 1066 MHz RAM. It has a SATA-II HDD. It will play hulu movies without overheating and experiencing core shutdown.

    I actually have owned both and the new aluminum unibody MBs are much nicer computers. The original MBA (which is only one you can buy refurbished at, is beautiful but has a massive number of problems when doing ANY intensive work. Also, you can review some xbench scores between the two which will show the differences between the speed and performance capabilities of the two.

    In the long run, the new aluminum MB will perform really well when Snow Leopard is released. The MB will be powerful for years to come while the original MBA already has serious limitations which are well documented.

    Also, I am sure you probably already know this, but the aluminum MBs sell refurbished also for $1099 & $1399.

    Lastly, most people will benefit from upgrading the memory to 4 GB. It's simple to do and costs around $65.

    Definitely aluminum MacBook.

    Best wishes whichever route you go.

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