Buying my first MBP

Volume

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I've always been a PC gamer and always will be, but at the same time I've wanted a MBP to use for my mobile needs. I'm just starting to seriously look at the pricing and options, and I've narrowed it down to a 13" model with 2.9GHz for $1500 (I don't care about the Retina display for what they're charging and think it's overkill for such a small screen).

When I went on macrumors.com I see that they're possibly looking to refresh the line of MBP's in Q3. How accurate do you think this is? They are speculating that the Retina will come standard at a lower price... I'm just not sure if I will have buyer's remorse if I go with a MBP right now rather than later, but maybe that's just unavoidable when buying expensive technology? Thoughts?
 

xBanzai89

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Typically thats the time Apple refreshes their laptops, so sounds about right to me especially with Haswell coming around then. I have been using a MBA 11.6 inch and have been loving it so far. My first Apple laptop that I ever had.

In terms of speculation on new pricing structure in regards to retina displays no idea. Could go either way.
 

Volume

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Typically thats the time Apple refreshes their laptops, so sounds about right to me especially with Haswell coming around then. I have been using a MBA 11.6 inch and have been loving it so far. My first Apple laptop that I ever had.

In terms of speculation on new pricing structure in regards to retina displays no idea. Could go either way.

Do you think it's worth holding out to grab a brand new model as it's released? I'm starting to think so.
 

StryderxX

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Do you think it's worth holding out to grab a brand new model as it's released? I'm starting to think so.

You're not looking to buy a 13" Macbook Air so I say buy now. The Retina 13" was just released so you shouldn't run into any buyers remorse since I highly doubt that Apple is going to refresh that model this year.
 

xBanzai89

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Do you think it's worth holding out to grab a brand new model as it's released? I'm starting to think so.

Just keep in mind that maybe 4-6 months away. During that time you could use the machine. Do you have anything between now and then to hold you over? Don't forget Apple products hold their value quite high compared to regular hardware. Worse case get it now and take a several hundred dollar loss and buy the newer model come this summer. TBH I doubt you are really going to notice any difference between the machines running if Haswell is in it.

Have you given any thought from buying the "Like New" model from Amazon Warehouse. I always hear people buying these and they are just about brand new (not even open) and the warranty still isn't registered. Even it was registered sometimes Apple gives you the warranty. Its probably worth even checking local Best Buys for open box for savings. If you are saving now you probably won't mind as much come next refresh you got it now.
 
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Volume

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You're not looking to buy a 13" Macbook Air so I say buy now. The Retina 13" was just released so you shouldn't run into any buyers remorse since I highly doubt that Apple is going to refresh that model this year.

I don't care about the Retina model, so I would be buying the non-Retina if I were to buy now. I'm only thinking that I may have buyer's remorse if Apple offers a Retina model in Q3 for a similar price of the current non-Retina.

But the fact that Apple products hold their value means that I may not be so inclined to wait until Q3.
 

Haiku214

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It really is up to you. Do you need a laptop NOW? If I were to buy now, I would go with retina. For $200 more you will have SSD, way better screen, and other exclusive features that the retina models have, although you will only get an i5.

Apple has a return policy so you can try them out.
 

Serpico

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It really is up to you. Do you need a laptop NOW? If I were to buy now, I would go with retina. For $200 more you will have SSD, way better screen, and other exclusive features that the retina models have, although you will only get an i5.

Apple has a return policy so you can try them out.

I agree. The Fatbooks are the worst value in the Macbook lineup IMHO. The MBA or rMBP both make more sense. One is very light, one has an incredible screen, both have SSDs and are blazing fast.
 

Zinn

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I love my 13" Retina MBP. I'd honestly take a Macbook Air over the non-retina 13" MBP. Macbook Air is 1440x900 where the 13" MBP is 1280x800 which is downright awful.

If you wait for the refresh, it's looking like all MBPs will have quad core, which may tip the scales in the favor of the fat Macbook, assuming it still even exists by then.
 

TESLA

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I would get an air or a rMBP. Forget about the non-retina MBPs.

You can consider refurbished rMBPs if you want to save some of your budget.

Apple is rumored to be discontinuing the non-retina MBPs this year, and the retina MBPs are rumored to be brought down to the current non-retina pricing. As such, despite past MBPs holding their value quite well, this may not be true for the current generation of non-retina MBPs.

And even if the rumors prove false, the air is currently a better machine than the non-retina MBP.
 

Lilballa786

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Have you considered buying a nice used machine for now and then upgrading this summer when the new line comes out? You can probable save a few bucks going that route.
 

ultraman7k

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I bought my 13" MBP from the refurb section this past November, and it came without any problems whatsoever.

All said and done, you are essentially getting a new machine that comes with the full year of applecare (extendable anytime within the year of your warranty).

I bought the base model, and threw in 16gb of ram and an ssd. It's just a solid machine, and it flies along nicely.

If Haswell is as great as it sounds, you can, as has been mentioned above re-sell the MBP when Haswell is released for a little hit.
 

Saint001

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The refurb section can have some great values and I'll second never having an issue with a product from there (they even have a warranty). You may even be able to find a 13" rMBP or a MBA there if you decide to take that advice.
 

daveop

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I echo what everyone above posted. Go refurb, and grab either an Air or Retina. I got the 13" air and only returned it for a 15" retina because I got an amazing deal. Had a 13" 2011 MBP before, and both machines I tried out were way nicer. Either amazing form factor in the Air, or total bad-ass powerhouse in the 15" retina, and in a surprisingly light and thin form factor.
 

AcidBurn

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Just remember that there is no upgrading parts in the retina macbooks except the ssd.
 

Deinos

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Just remember that there is no upgrading parts in the retina macbooks except the ssd.

Might as well say the SSD is non-upgradable too, considering the only route at this point is OWC whose prices are similar to just upgrading at Apple.com in the first place.
 

Gavinni

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Air or Retina for sure... 1280x800 is terrible. The useable workspace of that resolution makes it much more difficult when working with code or excel spreadsheets, or pretty much anything really. I am also a hardcore gamer, and whenever I'm at home I'm on my desktop. But the Macbook Air has been great for school over the past couple years because the resolution is great, the battery life is great, and it's so portable.
 

Zinn

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Wow, Apple just significantly dropped the price of the rMBP. That should make your decision easier.
 

xBanzai89

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Wow, Apple just significantly dropped the price of the rMBP. That should make your decision easier.

Makes me wonder if its true that we may see retina totally replacing the regular non retina macbook pros now. If Apple is already willing to drop the price with this gen.
 

Deinos

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Makes sense. One good thing is it seems to have significantly dropped the price of the same models in the refurb section. Some good deals in there now.
 

mope54

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I recommend checking out craigslist ads. You could conceivably find a gently used MBP anywhere from $700-1000 dollars. You would have no trouble reselling it at or near the price you pay for it 6 months from now.
 

illogitech

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I recommend checking out craigslist ads. You could conceivably find a gently used MBP anywhere from $700-1000 dollars. You would have no trouble reselling it at or near the price you pay for it 6 months from now.

Absolutely, and you can take the serial number and call apple for all the service history / warranty status.
 

BigJayDogg3

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Air or Retina for sure... 1280x800 is terrible. The useable workspace of that resolution makes it much more difficult when working with code or excel spreadsheets, or pretty much anything really. I am also a hardcore gamer, and whenever I'm at home I'm on my desktop. But the Macbook Air has been great for school over the past couple years because the resolution is great, the battery life is great, and it's so portable.

I'll echo this. I just upgraded from my old dell laptop to a new Dell laptop. Even 1366 feels much larger. 1280 is just too low of a resolution.

I just wish I could have 1080 on <17 inches again.
 

Roman79

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I love my 13" Retina MBP. I'd honestly take a Macbook Air over the non-retina 13" MBP. Macbook Air is 1440x900 where the 13" MBP is 1280x800 which is downright awful.

If you wait for the refresh, it's looking like all MBPs will have quad core, which may tip the scales in the favor of the fat Macbook, assuming it still even exists by then.

I'm in the same boat as the OP and I've come to the same conclusion. By the time to add the extra money to put an SSD in a non-retina MBP it's not worth it, especially since you're stuck with the 1280x800 screen. MBA has a better screen and is an excellent machine by all accounts.


Wow, Apple just significantly dropped the price of the rMBP. That should make your decision easier.

Yep they sure did, details are here.
 

Adreneline

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MBA has a better screen and is an excellent machine by all accounts.

I went through quite a few MBA's, and they're all different on the quality spectrum. One had an off-centre lid, dents out of box and more minor stuff that disappointed me on a $1300 machine.

The worst was the keyboard. It was fantastic on 1 out of 4. The other three felt so cheap and fisher price-like.

Not sure how the rMBP stacks up.
 

swatbat

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Just remember that there is no upgrading parts in the retina macbooks except the ssd.

Yea this is my problem. I have the 13 inch 2.9 mbp right now and have had it since mid 2012 when it came out. I do wish it had a better res screen(typing on it now). That being said I wouldn't buy the current gen rmbp. Can't upgrade the memory to 16 gigs like you can on mine. Doesn't have a removable battery(mine doesn't either but you can replace it yourself), no real options for upgrading the hard drive. You also loose the optical drive which I still like.

Every notebook I can think of that I've owned that I bought new I think I've done some upgrade to it. From my old g3 and g4 powerbooks(memory, hd, added wireless to the g3s), older pc notebooks(upgraded memory, hd, and wireless to g in my first pentium m), etc.

Usually memory at least gets done and for the 13 inch you can't even special order it with 16 gigs like the 15 unless they fixed that. If it came with 16 it wouldn't be as big of a deal. The HD space is a kinda big deal for me though. Same with the battery thing. Sure apple can replace it for you but I don't like having to go to them for it.
 

xBanzai89

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Just curious what are you guys doing that you need 16GB on a macbook or is it just to have it?
 

swatbat

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Just curious what are you guys doing that you need 16GB on a macbook or is it just to have it?

Multiple VM's most likely.

Pretty much. In my case and one of my friends(who has the 2.8 i7 that came before the current gen) we both run windows vm's for work stuff as well. I also run a mac os vm for test stuff.

Right now for most people the 8 gigs of ram they come with is more than enough. My concern with the rmbp is that it is capped at 8 gigs. When I bought my mbp over the summer I planned on keeping it 3 to 4 years if possible. I'd rather have the option of 16 gigs. On the 15 inch rmbp it is like 100 dollar upgrade so it is worth it to be safe in my mind. The 13 inch rmbp is just maxed out at 8. It may or may not be a problem but I don't like not having the option.
 

blackhand1001

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I've always been a PC gamer and always will be, but at the same time I've wanted a MBP to use for my mobile needs. I'm just starting to seriously look at the pricing and options, and I've narrowed it down to a 13" model with 2.9GHz for $1500 (I don't care about the Retina display for what they're charging and think it's overkill for such a small screen).

When I went on macrumors.com I see that they're possibly looking to refresh the line of MBP's in Q3. How accurate do you think this is? They are speculating that the Retina will come standard at a lower price... I'm just not sure if I will have buyer's remorse if I go with a MBP right now rather than later, but maybe that's just unavoidable when buying expensive technology? Thoughts?

Gonna be honest with you. Get the air, its a much better machine than the regular 13 inch pro. The only apple portable I actually like.
 
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