Refurb vs. New Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by shallisy6, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. shallisy6 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Hey everyone! Long time reader, first time poster...

    My 2007 MBP died about weeks ago, so I am looking for a new laptop. I needed the power of the pro for some intensive college programs, but I have recently completed school so this computer will be used for internet surfing, emails, music, movies, occasional word/excel programs and maybe a game once in awhile.

    I am looking at the refurb 11" Air (1.6 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 SSD, $849) vs the similar brand new 11" Air (1.7 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 SSD, $1,099)

    Do you think the $250 price difference is worth basically a processor/graphics/USB 3.0 upgrade? Thanks!
  2. rygamble macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2012
    Not if you don't need those things.
  3. jameswdmb macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    Completely depends...

    I bought a new 13" Air w/ i7, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB RAM because I plan on keeping 2 to 3 years before considering an upgrade and needed a new laptop now. I also work in IT and have a higher system requirement than the average user. I actually was planning on buying a Retina Pro before the keynote, but I realized that the 8GB Air would meet my need for the forseeable future. If you dont need one now, or are going to upgrade in a year or the release after that, then get the machine that meets your expected needs. If a refurb will do that and you plan on upgrading anyways then save money now. If you are buying for something to last multiple years, then buy the high end now, because a year or two from now their will always be better, but a top machine now is more likely to meet your needs longer....just my 2 cents
  4. shallisy6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Thanks for the responses. I guess what I'm wondering is how much do you think those upgrades will affect performance for my common activities. My guess is not much.
  5. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    It seems you keep your machines for a while. Getting a machine with 8 GB RAM should help it age much more gracefully.
  6. yourtoys7 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2007
    With out a ? It's worth, I can never understand people getting these old machines (when new available), for vary little discount considered they automatically generation behind. I would only buy new, think over 2-3 of ownership and saving are very little.
  7. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    USB 3.0 IMO makes a big difference if you copy./backup to an external drive a lot.

    I have 2010 machines and im not going to upgrade them for usb 3.0 but if i had to pick one i'd get one just for that reason
  8. jgc macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2012

    • The processor is probably 10-15% faster.
    • The graphics is (reportedly) 50-60% faster on the 11 inch.
    • USB 3.0 will probably give you 3x faster read/write speeds on an external hard drive (that supports USB 3.0) compared to USB 2.0 (theoretically 10x, but in real world tests more like 3x).
    • They seem to ship with SATA 3 hard drives now which are probably 50% faster (if not more; theoretically 2x faster) than SATA 2.
    • RAM is 1600 MHz compared to 1333 MHz.

    I was thinking refurb if it was only minor changes as well but I'm completely sold on paying extra for the newer model.
  9. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Good question. I usually prefer to buy new, but I'm curious to hear some thoughts on this one.
  10. Kungshi macrumors member

    May 11, 2011
    If you buy a computer until it dies, such as what happened to your last macbook, then you really should consider the "future proof" factor. It may sound funny but to me the USB 3.0 is one of the big "future proof" components because either you have it built into your computer or you don't. Also though I haven't gotten my new MBA yet, it is theoretically so much faster than the previously fast 2011 version.
  11. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    Do refurb models typically go down in price with time?
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Slowly, but yes. The "standard" discount is 15% off original MSRP when they first are released, and then it later creeps up to about 25%, usually when it is more than a generation old. In the case of the MacBook Airs, a lot of the new models received a $100 price drop compared to last year, so perhaps the discount on the older generation will be a little greater.
  13. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    Pros: Better CPU, Better GPU, faster SSD, USB 3, better battery life.

    Cons: Magsafe 2, $250

    The better CPU and SSD might not be noticed depending on what you are doing. The USB 3 and battery life are nothing to sneeze at. The better GPU is really nice.

    Magsafe 2 pisses me off.

    Most people would make the difference $350 and jump to 8 gigs of ram, which makes the new model much more appealing... but now that $ number is getting bigger.

    For $250, you could by a lot of nice apps for your system...
  14. JimmyTheKnife macrumors member


    Mar 1, 2010
    Oregon, USA
    I just purchased the exact refurb the OP is considering.

    This is not going to be my primary machine, so top-notch performance was not an issue for me. I am very happy with the 2011 refurbs performance - it streams NetFlix movies very well and the temperatures don't get excessive. The fans are relatively quiet. It's a good box!

    So my rap to the OP would be: if this is going to be your primary machine, get the 2012. If not, go with a refurb.

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