Refurb Pro vs Air advice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KatieRoeMac, May 17, 2017.

  1. KatieRoeMac macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2015
    Hey good afternoon,

    I'm looking at a couple of options:

    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5

    Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel i5

    The Chat assistant has let me know that both devices will come equipped with El Capitan. I also intend to purchase a 1TB external hard drive to store photos and do backups.

    The Macbook Pro is from June 2012, the Air is June 2016. Would the 4 years of technology advancement be worth the extra $50 and way less storage space for the Air? Is that .9 ghz really that big of a deal? I am working from home as a freelance writer. I don't do much with photo or video. I won't be storing movies on the computer.

    Would I be required to purchase the Thunderbolt adapter? That might help make my decision, I like having all the ports built into the laptop.

    What else will be helpful to know? The price difference isn't a big deal, I'm just not sure if the functionality is all that different or if I'm getting a better device for my needs one way or the other.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Both processors have 'turbo boost' and will speed up to 2.7GHz and 3.1GHz

    Either way, the Air will be faster for daily use because of the SSD/Flash drive. And, it will have better battery life. I would go with that one, assuming you don't want or need a DVD drive. They both have all the ports built-in.

    Have you considered the non-Touchbard 2016 13" model?
  3. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    As a former cMBP user I'd say to just go for the Air honestly. It's faster overall, you get much better battery life and it's easier to carry around. The screen is also slightly better compared to the cMBP though that's not saying much. You don't need to buy extra adapters either unless you actually use Ethernet or an old FireWire device on a regular basis.
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
  5. Gav.Winters macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2016
    Pro all day, though that does seem overpriced. What does refurbished actually mean?
  6. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    That's a cMBP though, the 2015 MBA has it beat in most aspects especially battery life and performance.
  7. khabboub macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2014
    don't get the 2012 laptop. anything without flash storage will become VERY slow over time. the air will be so much faster for so much longer.
  8. KatieRoeMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2015

    I have looked at this one, but I'm not sure exactly what makes it more capable? The retina screen looks like a neat new feature, but that it does use up battery life quicker than the Air. Can you explain a little bit why this is a better computer?
    --- Post Merged, May 19, 2017 ---
    That does make sense to me. My 2009 model was really great until about 2014. Although, I will be using it a little more responsibly these days... =D
    --- Post Merged, May 19, 2017 ---
    Refurbished by Apple means the MBA has been returned for some reason fault, demo, return within the 14-day period. Apple then replaces the battery, case and any faults are repaired. The unit cannot be distinguished from new and carries a warranty.

    A big difference between refurbished and new is the refurb is completely tested...the new gets the low level testing done on the production line.

    Posted on Mar 20, 2014 7:05 AM
  9. KatieRoeMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2015

    I compared them at the store and the Air definitely seemed speedier. Still haven't taken the plunge yet though. =D
  10. ZapNZs, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    In regards to the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina versus the 2015 MacBook Air, I favor the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina in capability because:
    • The CPU has better single-core and multi-core performance
    • The SSD is ever so slightly faster IIRC
    • The RAM is slightly faster
    • The graphics are better
    • The screen is better
    • You have better portage (two TB2 ports opens up a lot of possibilities when you use devices that do not allow a chain - such as using one external display with one or more TB/TB2 devices that do not have a passthrough port)
    Both are great computers though. I mention the 2015 MBPr because the specific Air you are considering through Apple direct isn't priced all that differently from the Pro, which I think is a better value (see comments below.)

    The battery life may or may not be better on one system versus another, depending upon what you do, as the MBP consumes more energy (higher power CPU) but has a larger battery to offset this, and you may or may not like the different style trackpad (the 2015 MBP has a Force Touch trackpad where as the 2015 MBA has a standard physical multi-touch trackpad - I personally find myself liking both of them very much.)

    It is also worth noting that the MBA you are considering with a 128 SSD has been spotted for as low as $750 new on sale. Best Buy has been one of the retailers periodically selling these for stupid cheap and they are a crazy good value at this pricing.

    It is also-also worth noting that rumors are swirling that Apple may release an updated MacBook Air in several weeks. This could affect the pricing of current stock, and/or mean an option for a Kaby Lake Apple laptop that maintains the legacy of extreme value and capability that the MacBook Air has forged over its years.
  11. mj_ macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Since nobody has addressed this yet: are you planning on using the notebook's keyboard for your writing? If so I would definitely make my decision based on how well you get along with the keyboard, because all three keyboards are very different:

    The MacBook Air has a rather mushy, small keyboard that some people love for its ease of actuation.

    The MacBook Pro (2012) has a somewhat firm and, if I remember correctly, slightly larger keyboard with its keys spaced wider apart than the MacBook Air's keyboard.

    The MacBook Pro (2016) has the new Butterfly keyboard with a very firm actuation point but almost no key travel. Unlike all other keyboards I know it's a love or hate thing.

    If you plan on using the keyboard for prolonged periods of time you should definitely try all your options before you buy anything. You might fall in love with the new Butterfly keyboard switches or you might prefer the Air's mushy actuation point - it all depends on you.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Get a refurbished 2015 13" retina MacBook Pro, or a 2016 refurbished 13" non-touchbar MacBook Pro.

    Unless one is absolutely obsessed with "thinness", I can't see why anyone would give up the power of the two above for the sake of "slim"...
  13. KatieRoeMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2015

    Thanks for all of your input, everyone. Especially noting the keyboard differences. I tested everything at the store and ended up ordering an excellent condition + certified open box version of this Air:

    It felt speedier than the Pro, I liked the feel of the keyboard better and the price was right. The retina screen was noticeable, but not significant enough to affect my decision. I will report back once I've had a few days to use it and will keep the potential for a new Air in mind throughout the return period.

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12 May 17, 2017