rMB vs 13" 2015 MBA vs 13" 2014 MBP each 8gb/256gb or 13" MBA 2014 refurb

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ezmolaw, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. ezmolaw macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    #1
    So I've been trying to decide which laptop to get considering my old Dell school laptop from when I was in college is starting to go on me. I've been on windows, computer-wise, my whole life but I'm looking to pick up a mac next round and have been trying to decide which laptop to get. My use is primarily for web browsing, music, photos, with the possible chance of light video editing but nothing too serious.

    According to B&H prices with 3 years of AppleCare are:
    rMB: $1468, The lightest of all three with a gorgeous retina display and 8-9 hour battery life, but lacks the processing power and ports require an adapter

    2015 MBA: $1453, The best of both worlds laptop that has ports and excellent portability and 12 hours battery; yet seems to have lost its wow factor plus still no retina display

    2014 rMBP: $1478, The best processing power in class with a beautiful retina display and 9 hour battery life, yet still last years version and slightly heavier than the rest

    While the 2014 MBA refurb 4gb/256gb on apples website is $1260 with 3 years applecare total.

    Considering each is relatively close in price, besides the refurb, what would you guys consider is the best deal at this specific point in time. The 8gb/256gb in my opinion is a safe zone to keep it as future proof as possible, as I wouldn't plan to upgrade for at least 3 years, but I was interested in what others thought.

    Much appreciated.
     
  2. vanimal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #2

    Just a heads up, Best Buy has the "2015" base model with the new track pad 128GB Macbook PRO Retina for $1099 right now, $200 off. Combine that with a 10% movers coupon via the post office, that is another $100 off. Pretty good deal if you could deal with the 128GB SSD :)
     
  3. Y So Jelly, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

    Y So Jelly macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2013
    #3
    I'm biased but I would take the Air. Best battery life, no scroll lag, extremely comfortable, still fast & useful. I like Retina but I wouldn't sacrifice the above for it. You can't run Windows 7 on the 2015 Air FYI.

    It's had the same case since 2010, so not much status factor if you care about that.
     
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #4
    You can get a base model 11" MBA from Best Buy for $800 or $850 now depending on if you buy the 2015 model or the 2014 model.

    So you are looking at paying almost double for some "futureproofing" and an extended warranty, both of which have questionable value to me.
     
  5. djippy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca.
    #5
    The question is what do you want/need to do with your laptop...

    When you know that, you will be able to do a decision.

    Portability vs power. (the mbp 13 is very portable too btw)

    I chose the portability (I do have a mba 11) and am happy with it. BUT this is not a beast computer... I do some sound mix on it and if recorded on Hi resolution (96khz 24bits), at about 16 tracks and some fx on it, it reaches his cpu limits.

    For that, I would be better served with a MBP. BUT I record at another local (not home) so I am really pleased that it is so portable.

    If you like to run recent games, do video editing or stuff that require lots of power, I don't say that the rMB or MBA will not be able to do the job, but you probably like to have a more powerful machine.
     
  6. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #6
    If you're concerned about future-proofing I'd go with one of the retina screen machines as Apple has taken the OS in a direction where it looks much better on a retina machine than a non-retina machine (Yosemite has made my MBA difficult to read text on, even with font tweaks).

    You can if you use a VM, which IMO is a better experience anyway, unless you're doing processor-intensive work.
     
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #7
    I don't know that a MBP would be more than a few percent faster at doing this than a MBA.
     
  8. ezmolaw thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2013
    #8
    Appreciate the feedback thus far. I wouldn’t say my use would fall in the category of professional but not necessarily couch casual. The light video editing would entail light sports video editing once a month but nothing crazy as stated earlier. I prefer 256 ssd as I like being able to save all files on my laptop for reliable access on the go. I do have an external hard drive for music photos etc as backup. The 11 inch seems too small in my opinion as I already have an ipad air 2 64gb.

    What’s everyones thoughts on 4gb vs 8gb memory, does it make much of a difference and is worth the price hike? I thought it was best to go for 8gb to keep the computer snappy over the years. My thoughts is to keep this computer until late 2018 and then resell and upgrade then.
     
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #9
    4GB will be more than enough for casual use for several years to come.

    The only question is, would 8GB make your video editing significantly faster.

    Maybe you can go to an Apple Store and try editing some video on a machine with 4GB. Make sure the scenario is as close as possible to what you would actually be doing with the machine. If this isn't convenient, maybe you know somebody with a 4GB MacBook that you could borrow and try out for this scenario?
     
  10. ezmolaw thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2013
    #10
    unfortunately I dont know anyone who'd let me borrow their macbook. Maybe I'll just go to an apple store. Anyone think applecare is worth the extra money? Dont you have a timeframe after purchase to buy applecare separately? If I dont get applecare prices those prices would definitely look more appealing.
     
  11. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #11
    IMO extended warranties like Apple Care are not worth the money in general.

    If you never buy extended warranties for anything, you will save enough money to fix or replace the one thing that does end up breaking and would have been covered.
     
  12. Radarflem macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #12
    I just bought the 2.9GHz 8GB/512GB 13" rMBP. Apple price only $50 more than 2.2GHz 8GB/512GB MBA, with comparable benchmarks, and only 0.5 lb heavier, but with Retina display and lots more ports. MacMall with Apple Insider has a price for that rMBP that's actually $75 less than the MBA. Maybe a little outside of your price range, but I'm very happy with the machine so far. I'm a long time MBA user, so didn't make the switch lightly, but am very glad I did.
     
  13. flur macrumors 68000

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #13
    Based on this, I recommend the MBPr, with the 8gb memory. The extra memory will likely help speed up the video editing, and will help futureproof the laptop (and get you a bit more when you sell it later on). And I suspect that by 2018 everything that Apple is making will be retina, which will make the computer seem more current than an MBA (and get you more on resale). And of course you'll get to enjoy that great screen.

    Best Buy is having some great deals right now too.

    ETA: I see you mention B&H in your original post. Just an FYI (and I say this with love for B&H, I just bought my MBP from them), their return policy is sealed packaging or defective product only. If you get it, open it, and then change your mind, you can't return. So if you're going to order from them, you'll need to be 100% sure of what you want.
     
  14. vanimal macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2014
    #14
    Best Buy has the 2015 MBA 13" on sale today for $799. It's cheaper than the 2014 leftovers lol.
     
  15. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #15
    The 2014 rMBP is what I would get. The screen on the Air is unacceptable.
     
  16. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #16
    Plenty of people accept it.
     
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #17
    I have an early-2013 15" rMBP while my wife just got a base 2015 13" MBA. At the first moment, I found the TN screen a bit outdated to 2015 standards. It's not even a nice TN panel, it's just a so-so one like those found in most cheap laptops. At the store, I compared it with the still sold 13" MBP and the latter looked a bit better for a TN panel.

    After a day configuring it to my wife usage and watching some netflix I think it's not a big deal. The screen is fine most of the time. Now, the good things:

    1. SSD speed. This beast is damn fast, reaching 700MB/s write and nearly 1000MB/s read according to Blackmagic SpeedTest. That is, it's more than twice as fast as my SATAIII SSD.

    2. Heating. Watching Netflix for about two hours doesn't mean nothing in terms of heating. The laptop felt like it was turned off.

    Battery life is not really 12 hours, but it's way better than my 15" rMBP. Lastly, the SD card slot can be later filled with a Transcend JetDrive Lite for media and stuff that remains unaltered most of the time.

    BUT, I like the future proof argument... I don't like migrating my apps, data and having another laptop to find a buyer or giving it to a parent just for the sake of freeing up the shelf. I would try getting the 13" rMBP/256GB/8GB. Seems to be the sweet spot when ~300 bucks is not an issue.
     
  18. motrek macrumors 68020

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    Sep 14, 2012
    #18
    Anandtech has done good objective reviews of the MBA's screens and they are quantitatively quite good vs. similar PC competition.
     
  19. vanimal macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2014
    #19
    Most people don't know the MBA screen does NOT come calibrated from the factory. I highly recommend you to follow this and it will GREATLY improve your screens contrast and color. Worked for my 2015 like a dream!

    http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/macbook-air-hack-screen/
     
  20. ezmolaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    #20
    Appreciate the help fellas. Just scooped up a rMBP from best buy for $1300. It was on sale and used a 10% movers coupon. Wish I could of used the $50 off Mac but apparently theres a disclosure that it cannot be combined with other offers on my print out. Nonetheless, its a beautiful machine. Having been on windows my whole life I really can't compare this computer to others I've owned. Portability, elegance, coupled with reliability and efficiency make this machine. You just don't get the same experience on a dell or hp, in my opinion. Now the question is do I purchase BB warranty service for 1,2, or 3 years which the associate told me can range up to $400, but covers accidental. My thoughts are probably not.

    By the way, apparently the sales associates haven't heard much positive news about the rMB. Granted we know as much as them if not more majority of the time, I do think it's worth mentioning if you're on the fence. Its a gorgeous machine, but in my opinion id wait and see what comes next; but then again I'm biased :cool:
     
  21. vanimal macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2014
    #21
    Man you missed the BIG sale on them by like 1-2 days. The 2015 MBPR was $1099 on Saturday till midnight. And than you could use the 10% movers. Could have saved another $200 plus. Keep a eye out in the next 14 days to see if they drop again.
     
  22. ezmolaw thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2013
    #22
    I thought that was for the base configuration? I got 8gb 256 ssd. Was told I have 14 days to return.
     
  23. vanimal macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2014
    #23
    Oh yes sorry about that. It was the 128gb base. My fault :)
     
  24. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
  25. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #25
    Good deal. I did the same thing a few weeks ago. Got mine for ~$1370 after movers coupon.

    Did you really pay $1300, or was the rounded down? I guess with no sales tax I could have been around that price.
     

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