Seeking advice on 2018 refurb vs 2019 13” MBP

Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
I ruined my 2012 rMBP a few days ago and have been getting some work done on my 10.5 iPP while I’ve been looking for a laptop replacement. I finally decided to stay with Apple and was set to order a new 2019 13” MBP spec’d with 2.4GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD—$2399 plus state sales tax.

I now see online at the Apple Store a 2018 refurb with the same specs as far as I can tell, except for the insignificant difference of a 2.3GHz processor instead of the bumped up 2.4GHz. The price, though, is $1999.

I think the only difference between the two is that the keyboard is updated on the 2019 and now the 2018 will have only three years of free keyboard repairs, if I understand that right.

I could get either, but $400 is quite a large difference. Ordinarily, I’d take the refurb and put the $400 to something else, but my concern is the keyboard. And, of course, there may be something else I’m not considering.

So . . . what do you think?
 

Valdna

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2017
70
26
I ruined my 2012 rMBP a few days ago and have been getting some work done on my 10.5 iPP while I’ve been looking for a laptop replacement. I finally decided to stay with Apple and was set to order a new 2019 13” MBP spec’d with 2.4GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD—$2399 plus state sales tax.

I now see online at the Apple Store a 2018 refurb with the same specs as far as I can tell, except for the insignificant difference of a 2.3GHz processor instead of the bumped up 2.4GHz. The price, though, is $1999.

I think the only difference between the two is that the keyboard is updated on the 2019 and now the 2018 will have only three years of free keyboard repairs, if I understand that right.

I could get either, but $400 is quite a large difference. Ordinarily, I’d take the refurb and put the $400 to something else, but my concern is the keyboard. And, of course, there may be something else I’m not considering.

So . . . what do you think?
I was in a similar situation and picked 2019..
They possibly could not make the keyboard any worse than it was before...
 
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Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
I was in a similar situation and picked 2019..
They possibly could not make the keyboard any worse than it was before...
Thanks.

What did your 2019 replace? I had a 2012 rMBP but have been relegated to my iPad Pro for the past week. I can adjust to any keyboard as long as it’s reliable. I have not qualms about the iPP’s Smart Keyboard, so key travel is not an issue with me. Again, it’s about reliability.
 

Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
Looking over the threads about the new 1.4 GHz 13-inch MBP’s, perhaps one of those with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD may be a better frugal alternative than the 2018 refurb that has the 2.3GHz processor.
 

psymac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
508
114
Woot is selling the Apple refurbished 2.3 GHz model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD for $1230 (512 SSD is $1430).

Advantage is faster CPU, much faster SSD drive, two fans for most likely quieter operation, and four ports instead of two.

Disadvantage, minimal for me, is refurbished model and second generation keyboard.
 
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Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
Woot is selling the Apple refurbished 2.3 GHz model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD for $1230 (512 SSD is $1430).

Advantage is faster CPU, much faster SSD drive, two fans for most likely quieter operation, and four ports instead of two.

Disadvantage, minimal for me, is refurbished model and second generation keyboard.
I just saw that. The keyboard is a big thing, and the Woots have a Woots 1-year warranty instead of Apple’s, even though they are Apple refurbs.

Your second line (though it was for the 2018 refurb) is what has me leaning back towards the 2019 2.4GHz instead of the new 1.4: especially faster CPU and a likely quieter operation with two fans.
 

psymac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
508
114
YMMV, But most reviews that I’ve seen indicate keyboard is only slightly improved.My thinking was to get the refurbished model now and save some money in case I want to get the anticipated next generation model next year.
 
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Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
YMMV, But most reviews that I’ve seen indicate keyboard is only slightly improved.My thinking was to get the refurbished model now and save some money in case I want to get the anticipated next generation model next year.
I understand. I guess that many of us are trying to strategize our way around this keyboard conundrum. I even thought about Windows machines but much prefer MacOS and Apple device integration.
 

psymac

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
508
114
I was initially going to go your top end route, but decided to get the lower range refurb for now. Did you see the Adorama with Appleinsider discount for your model for $2449 (new, generally no tax, but on back order)?
 

Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
I was initially going to go your top end route, but decided to get the lower range refurb for now. Did you see the Adorama with Appleinsider discount for your model for $2449 (new, generally no tax, but on back order)?
I did, but that is $50 more than Apple’s list price. Apple is $2399 (pre-tax, of course—Adorama is still cheaper due to not charging sales tax). It seems that Adorama hasn’t adjusted its prices to reflect the decrease in cost of storage that Apple put in place when the new 13” models were introduced a earlier this week. Adorama is the same as they were last week on this model.

I keep going back and forth on the 2018 refurb. A friend (a local college physics prof) has a 2018 13” MBP on the order of what I’m looking at and loves it, having had no issues.
 

pcd213

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2019
84
26
From what I've read, the 2018 and 2019 models are very, very similar. Yes, the 2019 has the slightly newer keyboard but having typed on both of them, I can't tell a difference and I believe the 2018 models are much, much more reliable than the 2016-2017 models. My recommendation is to purchase the 2018 refurbished model through Apple's website, but see if you can befriend an employee at the Apple store. They can get you 15% off those refurbished models, saving you quite a bit of money.
 
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Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
From what I've read, the 2018 and 2019 models are very, very similar. Yes, the 2019 has the slightly newer keyboard but having typed on both of them, I can't tell a difference and I believe the 2018 models are much, much more reliable than the 2016-2017 models. My recommendation is to purchase the 2018 refurbished model through Apple's website, but see if you can befriend an employee at the Apple store. They can get you 15% off those refurbished models, saving you quite a bit of money.
Thanks for your insight, especially your having typed on both. I’ll surely keep this in mind. I agree that the 2018’s seem much improved over the 2016-17, at least from what I’ve read.
 

pcd213

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2019
84
26
Thanks for your insight, especially your having typed on both. I’ll surely keep this in mind. I agree that the 2018’s seem much improved over the 2016-17, at least from what I’ve read.
My pleasure. Let us know what you end up with and enjoy it!
 

Broadus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
893
481
Upstate SC
My pleasure. Let us know what you end up with and enjoy it!
I ordered the mid-2018 13” refurb from Apple’s online store. All things being equal, I would prefer a new 2019, but $400 for a bump in the keyboard and processor (2.3GHz to 2.4) was hard to swallow, especially knowing that 2020 will doubtlessly reveal a newer latest and greater model.

If I get as good a service from this one as I did from my 2012 rMBP refurb, it will be money well spent.
 

pcd213

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2019
84
26
I ordered the mid-2018 13” refurb from Apple’s online store. All things being equal, I would prefer a new 2019, but $400 for a bump in the keyboard and processor (2.3GHz to 2.4) was hard to swallow, especially knowing that 2020 will doubtlessly reveal a newer latest and greater model.

If I get as good a service from this one as I did from my 2012 rMBP refurb, it will be money well spent.
I think you made a smart choice! Enjoy it!
 
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