Want to get a used MBA but...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by valdano, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. valdano macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2014
    I don't know if it's more an upgrade or a downgrade.

    I got my first apple device a few months ago (iPad 3) and fell in love with it. I then got introduced to the iPhone and again fell in love with it.

    Now, last week my Windows machine crashed (3rd one in the same number of years) and I was wondering if I should take this time to switch to a 2010 or 2011 MacBook Air 11 inch (I travel at least 5 hours each day during the week so the smaller the better). The thing i'm most concerned about is the specs.

    Is it really worth getting the older MacBook air vs the newer Windows that have a decent 4gb RAM, 500HD, 2gb video card, 2.7ghz etc?

    I use my system mainly for graphic designing (Photoshop and Illustrator) and photography (Lightroom)...

    Lastly, I assume some might ask "if you like the specs that the newer windows offer for that budget, why not get one?"
    Quick answer: i've heard so much from friends who use Mac machines talk about build quality and longevity and that really gets me going. I'd also like to have seamless syncing among all my iDevices... For someone who has been with windows for quiet a number of years now I really haven't got that.

  2. DmbShn41 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    Welcome to the forum valdano. If you're looking for a MBA on the cheap, might I suggest going with an Apple Refurbished item. The cost is cheaper and you get the 1 year warranty. Generally can expect to save around 15% off new prices. Being as 2014 models just came out, the 2013 models are discounted slightly more. Great battery life, portability, and price is right.
  3. valdano thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2014
    To be honest, if I was anywhere in the US i'd definitely do that. The thing is, where I live, importation tax alone is 50% of the original cost, i'll have to add shipping and delivery etc.

    So if I got the 2013 for, let's use 1000 for argument sake, then i'll spend an overall of around 1700/1800 to get it to me here. That's really why my budget is the way it is.

    Oh and thanks for welcoming me. Appreciated!
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    If it will cost you that much for a 2011 MBA, especially as a professional machine, I would recommend getting the Windows laptop. The MBA is a great machine, and it is a joy to use, but you will regret paying so much for a Sandybridge machine when you could have bought a much more powerful computer for the same price. I'm a little surprised that a 4GB/500GB HDD notebook would come with a 2GB VRAM GPU because that would be a really unbalanced system. Just by the way, VRAM and CPU clock speed are poor indicators for performance. The model number is really the best measure of performance. For example, a 1.3GHz Haswell processor could be better than a 2.4GHz Ivybridge processor.

    The bottom line is that a 2011 MBA will perform much better for consumer tasks, but will not live up to your professional tasks. I would just upgrade the HDD on the windows notebook to an SSD and you should be good to go. You can pick up a 256GB drive for about 100$ these days.

  5. SmOgER, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    I had pretty similiar dilemma before buying my MBA.

    Now not to go too much into details and theories, I will just say that if you won't be seriously gaming extensively editing videos, MBA is the way to go. You refer to MBA specs as being inferior to windows machines, but actually vast majority of WIN laptops in your budget are using HDD as opposed to SSD, and this fact alone means MBA will feel much faster doing basic tasks. And it has plenty of CPU/GPU power for almost anything other than what I mentioned.

    Another aspect about build quality is pretty crucial. The brand new windows laptop which costs as much as used 2011 MBA, has really terrible build quality/materials in comparison to MBA. The comparable WIN machine to MBA would be ASUS Zenbook UX, but this thing costs as much as MBA itself.

    I definitely suggest you getting 2011 though, as 2010 has vastly outdated C2D processor. Of course there are always risks involved when buying used machine, but that's the price you gotta pay to buy it cheaper, if that even makes sense. :D

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