View Full Version : need some help and opinions on Macbook purchase
Jun 12th, 2012, 09:56 AM
I am debating on purchasing either this refurbished macbook air (july 2011 edition) or a new one and need some help deciding if it is worth it to spend the extra money on the newest one that was announced yesturday.
refurbished for $1239
Refurbished MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
Originally released July 2011
13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
256GB flash storage
Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
Intel HD Graphics 3000
this one for $1479 (edu pricing)
13-inch : 256GB
1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz
256GB flash storage1
Intel HD Graphics 4000
thanks for your help
Jun 12th, 2012, 10:17 AM
The newly released model is substantially improved. Why would anyone buy old technology?
Mulder and Scully
Jun 12th, 2012, 10:20 AM
- Do you really need a 256GB of harddrive space? Because SSDs still cost a premium (and obviously money is a factor if you're even asking about price comparisons). I just ordered a 2012 MacBook Air with the base 128GB SSD and will buy a 1TB external drive later.
- The 2012 MBAs are $100 less than their 2011 new counterparts. I used this saving to upgrade to 8GB RAM (which is a $100 upgrade).
But otherwise it's all dependent on whether you really want that 256GB SSD over the stock 128GB SSD.
Jun 12th, 2012, 10:20 AM
that's what i was wondering, except i am not that well versed on the technology to determine on my own if the new one is that much better to justify the price difference. can you elaborate a bit on what exactly is substantially better?
Jun 12th, 2012, 10:43 AM
i hadn't considered getting the 128gb SSD and bumping up the ram to 8gb, i might look into that.
Jun 12th, 2012, 11:01 AM
I would guess that if money is an issue go with 128gb refurbished. I haven't tested my theory but i'm pretty sure the practical differences are very slim.
Jun 12th, 2012, 01:56 PM
If you do some gaming, the new Intel HD 4000 is a big improvement over the 3000.
Mulder and Scully
Jun 16th, 2012, 11:02 AM
Follow up on my own post.
I recently received my 2012 MacBook Air 13" (upgraded to 8GB RAM). After downloading the latest OS X updates, I ran Boot Camp and installed Windows 7. It requires 1.) A Windows 7 ISO saved on your Mac; and 2.) an 8GB USB stick (you can format the drive later and reuse it). I split the partitions to 32GB for OS X and 96GB for Windows (in reality only 88GB gets saved for Windows). The process took about an hour.
Battery life in Windows 7 is a little over 5 hours which is pretty bad compared to other 2011/2012 laptops but better than the 2011 MacBook Air in Boot Camp. I also bought the Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter which I had to plug in and out a few times before Windows recognized it and the drivers installed. I also have a MiniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter which works perfect for both video and sound to my TV without changing any settings in Windows. I don't have any recent games to test out gaming performance.
Jun 16th, 2012, 02:21 PM
I have a 2011 13" i5 Air but would definitely recommend the 2012.
According to this benchmark test (http://osxdaily.com/2012/06/12/macbook-pro-macbook-air-2012-benchmarks/) the 2012 i5 macbook air is slightly faster than the 2011 i7 and has better graphics. I'd like to see more real world results, but it sounds like the upgraded graphics are quite an improvement, especially if you'll be doing some light gaming.
Beside the small speed boost, I think being able to upgrade to 8gb of ram is important and would also love to have USB 3.0 ports. The built in webcam has also been bumped up to 720p which may or may not be important to you.
In you post you also don't mention the $100 iTunes gift card with the purchase of a MacBook (I assume this doesn't apply to refurbs?). If you are eligible for edu pricing you would also receive this bonus which narrows the gap between the 2011 refurb and a new model.
With the 2012 model, you'll also get a free upgrade to Mountain Lion, another $20 saving. There are a few nice updates in Mountain Lion and I'll definitely be upgrading once it's available.
Overall, if it was me, I'd definitely be going with the 2012 model. As a 2011 model owner though, it isn't enough to make me think I need to upgrade. There hasn't been much I couldn't do with my current model. So really, either one would work but the 2012 may last a little bit longer on the other end.