Which short-term MBP <£1300 for 2020?


macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2019
So I'm looking at a short-term fix to see me through until the new 13/14" or revised 16" start dropping. Options appear to be:

1) 2019 13" quad i5 1.4, 8Gb, 256Gb (new to 6 months old) @ £1000-1300
Decent processing power benching around 16000+. Capable of 1080 video prod in FCX. Will run an external display above 2k nicely. Only real limitation is the 8Gb.
2) Above with 16Gb, but much harder to source secondhand/refurb without jumping to the 2.4 chip @ £1550-£2000
Naturally the 16Gb ramps up overall performance, so I might even be able to dabble again with Win 10 via Parallels or Fusion or make better use of FCX. But the 1.4 versions are super rare meaning an unjustifiable jump in price to the 2.4.
3) 2018 13" with 16Gb with similar gains but potential keyboard issue ... which could result in upgrade to 2019 version @ £1300-£1600
4) 2015 15" i7 2.5 16Gb, 512Gb refurbed independently (very well respected Mac reseller) @ £950 with 1yr RTB warranty
I've found a very reputable store an hour away who carry out a very thorough refurb on all ex-corporate stock they pick up. The main engineer has replied to all my questions will solid answers. As for the model, well it's an ancient chipset and GPU but, but will probably serve me well for a year or so. Only really advantage over option 1 is the 16Gb.

Psychologically I don't want to go higher than £1300 as it then becomes possible to pick up a 2018 15" for £1400+ and even a 2019 15" for less than £2000.

FTR, I currently run a 2015 MBA 8Gb and it handles most of the Mac side of my workflow surprisingly well. However, the 1440x900 screen is limiting, hooking up to external display is okay, but I'd like more raw power and RAM. The beefier tasks get done on my Surface Pro 3, namely video prod and Win-specific stuff.

Any ideas? Cheers
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macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2019
The advantage of the 2015 is that the keyboard is much more reliable, and tends not to overheat as much as the newer models. In real world usage, a 2017 won’t be any faster than a 2015 15”.


macrumors member
Oct 5, 2017
An upgraded 13 is likely only a couple of months away. Any 'stopgap' purchase now would represent really poor value as it would effectively cost you hundreds of GBP in depreciation for the sake of a couple of months wait (assuming you're going to buy a 2020 shortly after they drop).

If it were me, I'd just eek out the current MBA for that short time. As you said, your actual current needs are met with the MBA & the SP3; its just a question of 'nice-to-have'. You can put that several hundred quid towards bumping the spec on the new 2020, for instance.
Then again, your financial situation might be such that these amounts aren't a concern, in which case your original dilemma is moot and you should buy whatever most floats your boat :)
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