Refurb vs. New Air

shallisy6

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
2
0
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!
 

rygamble

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2012
130
0
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!
Not if you don't need those things.
 

jameswdmb

macrumors member
Jun 4, 2012
82
0
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
 

shallisy6

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
2
0
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.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,711
593
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.
 

yourtoys7

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2007
572
35
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.
 

farmermac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2009
775
2
Iowa
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
 

jgc

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2012
202
0
Canada
Do you think the $250 price difference is worth basically a processor/graphics/USB 3.0 upgrade? Thanks!
Yes.

  • 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.
 

Kungshi

macrumors member
May 11, 2011
47
0
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.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,552
3,103
Do refurb models typically go down in price with time?
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.
 

scarred

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
516
1
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...
 

JimmyTheKnife

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2010
68
0
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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