For those looking to buy a MacBook Air, the new 2014 models look intriguing, but you could save a little money by opting for the older model. Here’s what you need to know before you buy a MacBook Air.
For the first time since mid-2013, Apple updated its MacBook Air line back in April with a slightly faster processor at a lower cost. It’s certainly not a big upgrade by any means, but it’s on par with what Apple usually does between bigger MacBook updates.
This time around, the processor in the entry-level MacBook Air is seeing a slightly modest upgrade, with the usual 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 boosted to 1.4GHz. Memory and storage has stayed the same, though, keeping the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage as the standard.
However, what’s perhaps the most impressive is that all MacBook Airs have received a generous and permanent $100 price cut, which means that the entry-level MacBook Air costs only $899 instead of $999. This is also means that you can get the larger 13-inch entry level MacBook Air for $999. This model comes with the faster 1.4GHz Core i5 processor as well, along with the usual 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
If you’re thinking about getting one of these new MacBook Airs, there is no better time than right now, but don’t walk right past the mid-2013 models just yet. They still pack quite a punch and are a bit cheaper in the refurbished department, allowing you to save some cash without losing out on a lot of performance, if any.
A new 2014 13-inch MacBook Air will cost you at least $999, as aforementioned. However, buying the mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air refurbished is only $799, which is a sweet $200 off. This will get you last year’s entry-level model with a 1.3GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage.
By opting for the older 2013 model, all you’re losing out on is 100MHz of processor speed, which is extremely negligible and we practically guarantee that you won’t notice the difference.
Of course, there are always pros and cons when buying used electronics. You usually save a ton of money, but it’s at the expense of functionality or looks. There might be a dent in the case or just some general wear and tear, but you can buy it at a discount compared to the price tag of a brand-new one.
However, Apple’s own online refurbished store where it sells used Macs, iPads, iPods, etc. is one of the best places to look for a deal on an Apple product. Apple simply takes used products that were once returned by customers in the past because they were at one point defective. However, the company fixes them up and puts a new coat of paint on them before re-selling them at a discounted price.
Essentially, Apple’s refurbished products practically feel like brand new. That’s because when Apple receives a defective item, they fix what’s wrong with it, and then replace the battery with a brand new one, as well as replace the entire aluminum shell with a brand new one. This means that you’re pretty much getting a brand-new product from Apple at a decent discount. Granted, the hardware at one point was defective in some way, but Apple fixes that, so you’re left with a fully functional, good-as-new device.
However, if you want a brand-new MacBook Pro right now, the only choice is to buy it brand-new from the Apple Store and skipping the refurbished products.
You definitely have to have some patience if you want to buy only refurbished products from Apple, as it takes a few months for newly-released Apple products to show up in the refurbished store, and even then, different models come and go very quickly, so there are times where you’ll be waiting for a specific model to become available. But of course, patience is definitely a good virtue to have anyway when you want to save money in the first place.
In the end, it merely comes down to how much money you really want to spend versus how new of a MacBook you want. In all honesty, the boost to 1.4GHz from 1.3GHz will barely be a noticeable difference, so what you need to ask yourself is if the extra 100MHz in processor speed is worth paying an extra $200.
It really just depends what you’ll do with your MacBook Air in the long run. Many people like to buy the latest MacBook so that it’ll be future proof for the next few years, rather than buying an older used model and having it crap out earlier on in your ownership stage.
Regardless, the MacBook Air is one of the best thin-and-light laptops on the market, making it perfect for those who travel a lot.