Hello, I am new with posting here and would love your help with my dilemma! I know there are many threads of this type but I would love your advice in deciding which macbook to buy (I'd like to keep it 3-4 years). In all cases, I will be buying a 1TB external hard drive (to store videos- see below). - refurbished 13 inch MBA 4gb/128gb for $929 - such a good price! - MBA 8gb/128gb for $1139 w/ student discount- 8gb RAM is more future-proof - base RMBP (4gb/128gb) for $1199 with student discount - love the retina display! I am a grad student and will be using the computer to write papers, have lots of PDF documents +MS word+ MS office+ refworks all open at the same time, watch Netflix, and for light video editing for my dissertation (I won't be editing much but I will be needing to burn lots of DVDs/transfer lots of videos to the external hard drive). I currently have a 2009 White Macbook with 2gb RAM and 160 memory, and I hate the lag when scrolling through PDF documents with other programs open. My gf has a 2010 Imac with 4gb RAM. Burning videos on her IMac goes pretty well, although I find that the process could go smoother. I'd love to get the mid RMBP (8gb/256gb) but it is a bit more expensive than I can afford, and it might be too much for what I need? I love the idea of getting a retina screen, but like the price of the refurbished MBA. The lack of lag is also really important to me and I heard the 13'' RMBP has lag. Any advice would be greatly appreciated .