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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Advice needed on which MacBook should I choose


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emporiky

 
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Hey guys, I really need an advice on which mac should I choose. Two weeks ago I bought a MacBook Air 13'' - the most basic model (i5 1.3GHz; 4gb ram; 128 SSD). However I was not really satisfied with the display and even getting worried that the 4 gigs of RAM are not very future proof. So I started looking to change for a MacBook Pro.

Now I have an offer for this MacBook Pro Retina Late 2012 - battery is just 70 cycles, 8gb RAM; Core i5 (I5-3210M) 2.5, HD 4000; 256 SSD (C02JGF91DR53 - Apple MacBook Pro Core i5 2.5 13 Retina 2012 Specs) for exchange of my Air + some small amount I will additionally pay. What would you guys recommend. Do you think I should agree?
It is one year older, but still I think its a good offer- better screen, more ram, more SSD.

Last edited by emporiky; 03-20-2014 at 02:30 PM.
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pigoo3

 
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It's kind of hard to say if this a good deal or not. We don't know what you paid for the 13" MacBook Air...and we don't know how much additional money you have to pay to get the MacBook Pro.

If this "grand total" is:

- more than the MacBook Pro is worth...then it's not a good deal.
- exactly what the MacBook Pro is worth...then it's an ok deal.
- less than the MacBook Pro is worth...then it's a good deal.

* Nick

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emporiky

 
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It's hard to say how much do they worth, because in Europe the market for Apple products varies a lot.
My main point interest is do you think the performance of the Pro is much better? Its Geekbench results does not look spectacular, but still it has double the size SSD and RAM.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
It's hard to say how much do they worth, because in Europe the market for Apple products varies a lot.
If this is the case...how do you know that you're not paying way too much for the MacBook Pro??

I think that there's always a way to determine how much a computer is worth. You just may not know how to do it. Which of course it different than it can't be done.

This website for estimating used Mac values (Mac2sell.net) has many many European countries in it's database. Even if your country is not listed...maybe the values from a nearly country (and using a currency convertor)...you can come up with a close estimate. You may also have eBay in your country...so you can check eBay as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
My main point interest is do you think the performance of the Pro is much better? Its Geekbench results does not look spectacular, but still it has double the size SSD and RAM.
If this MacBook Pro has a better display (in your estimation), more ram, and a larger SSD...these all could be good things (even if cpu performance is not better than the MacBook Air). But it still comes down to how much more do you need to pay to get these improvements. Over-paying is not a good thing.

Since your MacBook Air is only 2 weeks old...do you still have the option of returning it to the place you purchased it (or returning it & exchanging it for a better model + more cash)?

- Nick

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

 
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Unfortunately no, I can't return it, because its not bought from an authorised reseller, nobody does it, because they are crazy expensive here, and that is why it is hard to say how much do they cost. I bought mine for about 900 euro (about 1200$). The website you gave me says that the PRO is two times more expensive. He asks from me about 200$ additionally.
But something that you mentioned - do you think that the cpu of the Air ( Haswell 1.3 i5) is better than the Pro's ( Ivy bridge 2.5 ghz I5-3210M)?
Also something important, I think I should consider is that the Pro is one year old, while my Air is brand new.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
Unfortunately no, I can't return it, because its not bought by an authorised reseller, nobody does it here, because they are crazy expensive here, and that is why it is hard to say how much do they cost. I bough mine for about 900 euro (about 1200$). The website you gave me says that the PRO is two times more expensive. He asks from me about 200$ additionally.
Yes...I do understand that in some countries...it is difficult to figure out the value of used items (Apple computers in this case). But folks must somehow be able to put a value on used items...otherwise...how does the person selling the MacBook Pro you are considering know how much to sell it for?

Probably mostly an academic discussion...I'm just thinking "out-loud".

Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
But something that you mentioned - do you think that the cpu of the Air ( Haswell 1.3 i5) is better than the Pro's (Ivy bridge 2.5 ghz I5-3210M)?
You mentioned that the Geekbench scores were similar between these two computers. This is the same method that I would use to determine if one computer is faster/better than another (regardless of the cpu type).

As you may know...speed/performance is more than just the cpu. It's also the design of the logic board, speed & type of ram, type of storage, etc. But if the Geekbench scores are similar...this is usually the best measure we can use when researching the purchase of another computer.


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Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
Also something important, I think I should consider is that the Pro is one year old, while my Air is brand new.
If the older computer is in good shape (no dents, dings, scratches, etc)...and you mentioned 70 cycles on the battery...then I really wouldn't be overly concerned about it being 1 year-old.

Sure...you could keep your brand new MacBook Air...but then you would still have your concerns about the 4gig of ram & 128gig SSD.

You should also consider what graphics hardware each computer has. This can also be important if there's a large performance difference.

Overall...if almost everything about these two computers is similar from a performance point of view...but the MacBook Pro has a better display, more ram, and larger SSD. I would think that paying $200 extra would be reasonable.

- Nick

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

 
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Thank you very much for your answers! I will think about it and post what I have decided
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Frankly I think you would be pretty happy with the MBP, it is in every way except weight a better option.

However, be aware that just like the MacBook Air, a Retina MacBook Pro is all but impossible to upgrade, so be very sure that's what you want.
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emporiky

 
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My main concern is that the MBP has no warranty left (my MBA has 11 months left). This means that a failure is possible at any time, for which I will have to be financially responsible.
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caribiner23

 
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The warranty is one aspect to consider: you need to decide how important that is when you're weighing all the benefits of each model.

I agree with chas: the MBP would be the better option from the performance standpoint.
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emporiky

 
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Well I am student abroad, so my laptop is everything for me - tv,internet, work, Skype... From that point of view performance and display are key aspects for me. As well as the laptop to be future proof. So these are all arguments in favour of the MBP.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
My main concern is that the MBP has no warranty left (my MBA has 11 months left). This means that a failure is possible at any time, for which I will have to be financially responsible.
Sorry to say...but you can't have your cake & eat it too!

As I'm sure you know...the issue with your MacBook Air is the 4gig of ram & 128gig SSD. I'm not saying this IS an issue...it's your "perceived" issue. And obviously since you "perceive" this as a potential issue...this is why you're considering the MacBook Pro with 8gig of ram & 256 SSD.

The sort of obvious answer here is...you should have purchased the 13" MacBook Air with more ram & a larger SSD in the first place. We tell folks all the time (newer MacBook Airs & MacBook Pro's)...in many cases...the ram & storage are NOT ungradeable. So a buyer must purchase as much as they can upfront.

If you REALLY want this 1 year-old MacBook Pro...you're going to have to take some risk. It sounds like you've worked out a deal with someone...who is willing to take your MacBook Air + cash for their MacBook Pro. This is NOT the sort of deal that happens all the time. Most sellers want "all cash" for their computer...so if you want this MacBook Pro...you better decide ASAP...before the seller changes their mind.

Of course you could always "straight-up" sell your MacBook Air for as much cash as you can...then do what should have been done in the first place...and purchase a computer with the amount of ram & storage that you feel comfortable with. Of course (I'm guessing)...you will probably take a financial loss on this.

As my dad used to say..."Crap or get off the pot!" He of course didn't say "crap"!

Either:

- Do the deal...and get this MacBook Pro.
- Sell your current MBA. Then get something else.
- Keep looking (but I bet finding another person willing to trade + cash will be difficult).
- Stick with what you got.

Good luck,

- Nick

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

 
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Just forgot to share my experience when I tried the MBP today - turned out to be 128 SSD (I misunderstood), the screen looks much better to me, the condition looked quite good.
And yes it looks like a good deal and obviously it involves some kind of risk. At the moment I am trying to sell my MBA, and if I succeed I will try to get MBP 2013.
If I still decide to take the 2012 MPB, I will bring it to an authorised reseller for a diagnostics, just to make sure everything is all right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
Just forgot to share my experience when I tried the MBP today - turned out to be 128 SSD (I misunderstood), the screen looks much better to me, the condition looked quite good.
I would think that this makes a BIG difference. More ram, more SSD, and better looking display were the 3 plus's for this computer. If the SSD in this MBP is the same as in your MBA...it doesn't sound as exciting of a deal.

I will say this. To me...8gig of ram is more important than a 256 SSD. You can always "manage" how full the SSD gets (you can delete files, off-load files, etc.). But if you need more than 4gig of ram...not much you can do. So 8gig of ram is a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
And yes it looks like a good deal and obviously it involves some kind of risk.
The risk is really not that high. If the computer wasn't abused (physical damage or liquid spills)...and if it runs & operates fine when you examine it...then it's probably in fine shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
At the moment I am trying to sell my MBA, and if I succeed I will try to get MBP 2013.
Sounds like a good plan. But really a shame that 2 weeks ago when this computer was purchased...more thought was given to the amount of ram, SSD, and display quality before buying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emporiky View Post
If I still decide to take the 2012 MPB, I will bring it to an authorised reseller for a diagnostics, just to make sure everything is all right.
Unless the seller agrees to refund your money & return your MBA...if something is found during this "diagnostic test"...this would be a waste of money (unless the testing is free).

If there is a problem (and the seller does not agree to a return..."all sales final")...then paying for diagnostic testing would only be a waste of money...since if there is a problem...the diagnostic test will not solve it.

And I'm pretty sure if the testing does indicate something is wrong...you're not going to be very happy if you need to spend more money on this MBP right after getting it. And realize...if something is wrong...it probably won't be cheap to fix. There are a lot fewer parts in there than you think...and most of the parts that are in there are expensive.

Unless the seller agrees to a return...you need to rely on your own expertise (eyes, ears, nose, brain, experience, etc.)...that this computer is fine when you examine it. Then do or don't do the trade...and leave a happy camper!

- Nick

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

Last edited by pigoo3; 03-21-2014 at 05:20 PM. Reason: added info
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emporiky

 
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Thank you again for the detailed answers!
Just to clarify I meant I will make the diagnostics (I will pay for it) before making the deal - therefore if they tell me there is a problem, there won't be any deal. If the seller does not agree to these terms, then I will be forced to believe that there is something wrong with his MBP. Oh and yes, I also find the 8 gigs much more important than the SSD
And then again, this is my last option, as you suggested I will first try to sell my MBA and then do what I should have the in the beginning - buy the right configuration for my needs
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