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  1. #1
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    OK so I recently order a 15" refurbished 2.0 ghz i7 macbook pro (hi-res) and it had some serious issues so I returned it and got a refund. With the taxes and applecare it came out to around 1500$

    While I had this MBP I realized that it was actually way too heavy for my needs and that if I ever need computing power, I could just upgrade my wonderful modular desktop at home. The heavy 15" MPB was killing my back everyday and the only reason I bring the laptop to school anyways is to look at PDFs of textbooks (which I only do to save on the weight of carrying the books, themselves, in the first place) so it totally ruined my laptop strategy.

    My friend showed me his 11" MBA and I actually fell in love with it. I decided that I don't actually need the computing power as much as I need the lightness, and the matte screen with silver background (I REALLY hate glossy black background screens, which are unfortunately the only option on the new MPB retina's).

    I decided that I will get my 1500$'s back, spend some of it on an 11" MBA and put the rest towards buying a new digital piano.

    I want to save money so I want to go with a refurbished so I looked at the current list and saw these two that match what I am interested in:
    Refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    and

    Refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    The first one, of course, looks like an infinitely better deal. You get the 1.8ghz, the 256gb, the i7 and only 900 bucks. But it's two years older than the other one.

    What I want to know is: how do these two compare? The first one is cheaper and has way better specs, but the second one is newer. I know macs stand up to time better than most computers, so I am leaning towards getting the first one. Is this a mistake? What Should I do?

    Or should I just ditch apple and get one of those new lenovo ultrabooks?
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  2. #2
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    The heavy 15" MPB was killing my back everyday and the only reason I bring the laptop to school anyways is to look at PDFs of textbooks (which I only do to save on the weight of carrying the books, themselves, in the first place) so it totally ruined my laptop strategy.
    Just wanted to comment on this. What do you think all of us that went to college before laptops became so common & affordable?? We all carried 3, 4, 5 or more of those heavy 500+ page college textbooks, plus thick spiral bound notebooks, plus all the other college student necessities.

    Our backpacks probably weighed 25, 30, or more pounds. Does this make me sound old??...not a bit. Why you may ask. Because both my wife & I have worked for very large consumer products companies for the past 20+ years...and our backpacks still weigh 25, 30, or more pounds. There practically is no such thing as a "paper-less office"...at least not yet!

    Now I'm not saying that given the opportunity I wouldn't like to lighten the backpack load...it just always seems to be next to impossible.

    The difference in weight between a 15" MBP and an 11" MBA is about 2 pounds...which is quite a bit on a percent basis. But in terms of "backpack weight" (for a backpack that weighs 25 or 30 pounds)...those 2 pounds really isn't a whole lot. Plus a 15" MBP does have some advantages.

    My basic message is. College classes or after graduation when you're working...that backpack (for the foreseeable future) is going to remain pretty heavy. So you might as well get used to the weight now!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    chscag's Avatar
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    Both machines are new - refurbished. The only difference is one was originally released in 2011, the other 2013. Buy Apple Care and they'll both be warranted for 3 years.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy either one because I do not consider 4 GB of memory to be adequate for the future; now OK, but you also have to think several years ahead. And as you know, the MacBook Air can not be upgraded. But if I had to make a choice, I would probably go for the 2013 model because it has better graphics and better CPU.

    Yeah, I know... you're thinking in terms of the CPU speed. Look both of the CPUs up on the Intel site and you'll see what I mean.

    And, in case you forgot out forum guidelines, we do not talk about a Hackintosh...

  4. #4
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    My other message was. If you really did like the 15" MBP (power or display size)...I would have kept it. 2 pounds on a really heavy backpack isn't a big reduction.

    Just my 2 cents,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Just wanted to comment on this. What do you think all of us that went to college before laptops became so common & affordable?? We all carried 3, 4, 5 or more of those heavy 500+ page college textbooks, plus thick spiral bound notebooks, plus all the other college student necessities.

    Our backpacks probably weighed 25, 30, or more pounds. Does this make me sound old??...not a bit. Why you may ask. Because both my wife & I have worked for very large consumer products companies for the past 20+ years...and our backpacks still weigh 25, 30, or more pounds. There practically is no such thing as a "paper-less office"...at least not yet!

    Now I'm not saying that given the opportunity I wouldn't like to lighten the backpack load...it just always seems to be next to impossible.

    The difference in weight between a 15" MBP and an 11" MBA is about 2 pounds...which is quite a bit on a percent basis. But in terms of "backpack weight" (for a backpack that weighs 25 or 30 pounds)...those 2 pounds really isn't a whole lot. Plus a 15" MBP does have some advantages.

    My basic message is. College classes or after graduation when you're working...that backpack (for the foreseeable future) is going to remain pretty heavy. So you might as well get used to the weight now!

    - Nick
    I have carried a lot of textbooks around too. I only recently found pdf copies of all my textbooks and it really improved my life. But I found that even the difference between carrying my 13" MBP unibody and the 15" MBP I (briefly) had changed a lot. I know it's not significantly heavier, but the 15 was slightly hard to fit in my bag, and just that little weight difference, though in reality not very much, seemed to make it feel so much heavier. Like even if its realistically only 2 pounds difference, I've tried putting an MBA in my bag and then switching to a 15" MBP and I really feel the difference. Though maybe 13" MBA is something to consider as well... but I like the idea of 11. It reminds me of the old 12" powerbook. That was my favourite laptop ever and I'd love to have something similar.

    Also, I certainly know about carrying things on the back. I am a treeplanter during the summer and I have to carry a 50-60 pound load of baby trees on my back for 10 hours a day while climbing over rough terrain everyday, so I really need to do everything I can to minimize further back injury.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    My other message was. If you really did like the 15" MBP (power or display size)...I would have kept it. 2 pounds on a really heavy backpack isn't a big reduction.

    Just my 2 cents,

    - Nick
    When I got the 15" MBP I realized that I liked the feel of my 13" MBP better. I actually really disliked it. I returned it because the 2012 15 2.0x4 ghz mbp lagged 100x more and was wayy more slow than my 2008 2.26x2 ghz 13 mbp. It was the worst computer I've ever used. IT lagged scrolling through PDF documents and couldn't handle a browser with more than 4 tabs open. That might've also jsut been OSX 10.8 though. I'm used to 10.6 and it seems a lot smoother.

    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Just wanted to comment on this. What do you think all of us that went to college before laptops became so common & affordable?? We all carried 3, 4, 5 or more of those heavy 500+ page college textbooks, plus thick spiral bound notebooks, plus all the other college student necessities.

    Our backpacks probably weighed 25, 30, or more pounds. Does this make me sound old??...not a bit. Why you may ask. Because both my wife & I have worked for very large consumer products companies for the past 20+ years...and our backpacks still weigh 25, 30, or more pounds. There practically is no such thing as a "paper-less office"...at least not yet!

    Now I'm not saying that given the opportunity I wouldn't like to lighten the backpack load...it just always seems to be next to impossible.

    The difference in weight between a 15" MBP and an 11" MBA is about 2 pounds...which is quite a bit on a percent basis. But in terms of "backpack weight" (for a backpack that weighs 25 or 30 pounds)...those 2 pounds really isn't a whole lot. Plus a 15" MBP does have some advantages.

    My basic message is. College classes or after graduation when you're working...that backpack (for the foreseeable future) is going to remain pretty heavy. So you might as well get used to the weight now!

    - Nick
    e: fix'd sorry about that.


    I know the 2013 CPU is "better" but I find it surprising that the i5 could beat an i7.

    I was really hoping to buy a small, light, cheap macbook, but it seems like MBA just doesn't offer anything powerful enough for me, does it?

    What I'd really want would be a 13" retina, but they only make it with glossy screen with black background and I just can't have that. Screen's gotta be matte with silver.

    I really want to stick with apple but it just seems like they are no longer making any products that fit my needs.

    I want something as small and light as a macbook air but with a little better performance (but not quite as fancy and expensive as a retina mbp). This is really making me think of waiting till lenovo comes out with the carbon x3 and just running linux. If someone could show me an apple product that would convince me otherwise, I'd really appreciate it.
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  6. #6
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    It reminds me of the old 12" powerbook. That was my favourite laptop ever and I'd love to have something similar.
    Yes I really liked these as well. I have a couple of them laying around. "Footprintwise"...they're even better than the 13" MBP's...but of course not nearly as powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    I really want to stick with apple but it just seems like they are no longer making any products that fit my needs.
    Yes...it is possible sometimes that someone has needs that a company cannot meet. I bet that if you looked at things closely...a 13" MBP or 13" MBA would fit your needs.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Yes I really liked these as well. I have a couple of them laying around. "Footprintwise"...they're even better than the 13" MBP's...but of course not nearly as powerful.



    Yes...it is possible sometimes that someone has needs that a company cannot meet. I bet that if you looked at things closely...a 13" MBP or 13" MBA would fit your needs.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    a 13" MBP retina would get the job done, but it doesn't have hi-res antiglare display available. Who the hell wants glossy screens? I also kinda don't like the idea of haing HDD and RAM soldered onto the motherboard.. but I'd be willing to settle for that. I just have to have the silver frame and matte screen
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  8. #8
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    Who the hell wants glossy screens?
    Glossy displays have been around in Apple laptops since about 2008...and pretty much has been the only option the past couple years. So this really shouldn't be a surprise.

    If a matte display is absolutely a MUST for this computer purchase...and that option isn't available in any new Apple laptop/notebook model...why are we even having this discussion.??

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    I want to save money so I want to go with a refurbished so I looked at the current list and saw these two that match what I am interested in:
    Refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    and

    Refurbished 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)
    And by the way...the two refurbished 11" MacBook Air models that you linked at the beginning of this thread (which you indicated would be acceptable)...both have glossy displays. If a glossy display is a deal-breaker...why were these two 11" MacBook Air's "in the mix"?

    I don't mind helping folks. But it makes things very difficult when they don't follow their own logic.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    I thought since they had the silver frame that meant they were matte display.

    I guess I was wrong.

    I just really like the silver frame and really dislike glossy displays. That was the one thing that was nice about my 15" MBP hi-res.
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  11. #11
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    I thought since they had the silver frame that meant they were matte display.

    I guess I was wrong.
    Ok I see...no problems.

    I'm thinking that if you absolutely need to have a matte display...and you would like to stick with an Apple laptop...you have two options:

    - Keep checking the Apple refurbished section...and maybe a matte display 13" MBA or 13" MBP will show up.
    - Go with a used Apple laptop...and get the absolute latest model possible with a matte display.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    That was the one thing that was nice about my 15" MBP hi-res.
    Given your strong desire for a matte display. Maybe that 15" MBP wasn't so bad after all. It may have been heavier...but it did have the matte display.

    Good luck with the search,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Ok I see...no problems.

    I'm thinking that if you absolutely need to have a matte display...and you would like to stick with an Apple laptop...you have two options:

    - Keep checking the Apple refurbished section...and maybe a matte display 13" MBA or 13" MBP will show up.
    - Go with a used Apple laptop...and get the absolute latest model possible with a matte display.



    Given your strong desire for a matte display. Maybe that 15" MBP wasn't so bad after all. It may have been heavier...but it did have the matte display.

    Good luck with the search,

    - Nick
    that particular one had problems. I returned it because it was defective.

    yeah I really want to get this one: Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    but its 100$ over my 1500$ budget and I was hoping to save 500$ of that anyways. It's a little out of my price range, but that one has matte display.
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  13. #13
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    yeah I really want to get this one: Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    but its 100$ over my 1500$ budget and I was hoping to save 500$ of that anyways. It's a little out of my price range, but that one has matte display.
    Awe come on. If you're spending $1500...what's another $100! Especially since it meets your needs...and has a matte display (which are about as rare as "Hen's Teeth" in the Apple World today)!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    Wman's Avatar
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    I really can't spend 1600. IT looks like a really nice machine, but I have a desktop at home for when I need that much power and I would like to put that extra 600$ towards a new monitor and digital piano (both of which are equally important compared to a new laptop).

    Also: I do have a 2008 MBP 14" 2.26ghxx2 wit 5gb ram and 500gb hd. It has served me well for many years and is actually much faster and much less laggy than the 15" i7 quad core macbook pro I bought (and returned), but it has a cracked screen. I could also just save my money and spend 500$ fixing the screen on this laptop. I wonder if you can have your screen replaced with a matte one...

    I'm currently watching ebay... and considering this CL post: Macbook Pro Retina 13"

    although CL macbooks kinda do sketch me out..
    are we allowed to discuss ebay and CL here?
    Have no fear. Wman is here!...or something...

  15. #15
    Older i7 MBA vs. newer i5 MBA
    lclev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wman View Post
    yeah I really want to get this one: Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    but its 100$ over my 1500$ budget and I was hoping to save 500$ of that anyways. It's a little out of my price range, but that one has matte display.
    That is almost identical to mine except I have 32GB of memory and a 1T HD. I love the matte hi res screen. I understand the glare issue. I have one Windows 8 laptop that is at work came with a glossy screen and I hate it. So I understand your wanting the matte.

    Keep in mind there is not much out there in any brand of laptop that does not have a glossy screen because the big push is for higher res and vibrant colors and it seems the vast majority of consumers are enamored with shiny objects.

    Lisa

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