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Cheap MacBook Pro, Air? You Have Choices

15 February 2013 1,539 views One Comment

When it comes to price, there is very little difference between a cheap MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. However, there are huge differences in specs, usability

When it comes to price, there is very little difference between a cheap MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. However, there are huge differences in specs and usability. Compare four different retailers entry-level MacBook offerings and get the right combination price and performance.

Looking for a light ultraportable that’s cloud ready? Apple’s MacBook Air should be your first choice and the easy picks from our listing are the $849 refurb from the Apple Store and Amazon’s $939 for a new unit.

Entry-level MacBook Air

• [r] 11-inch MacBook Air 1.7GHz, $849 (999)
— 4GB, 64GB SSD, HD Graphics 4000
— Apple Store, free ground

• 11-inch MacBook Air 1.7GHz, $939.98 (999)
— 4GB, 64GB SSD, HD Graphics 4000
— Amazon Prime (free 2nd day air)

• 11-inch MacBook Air 1.7GHz, $999
— 4GB, 64GB SSD, HD Graphics 4000
— MacConnection, free ground shipping

• 11-inch MacBook Air 1.7GHz, $959 (999)
— 4GB, 64GB SSD, HD Graphics 4000
— Abt, free ground shipping

For my Mac buying dollar, there are two big differentiators here — the straight dollar value of refurbished Macs and, for long-term value, Amazon’s Prime’s many attractions, including 2nd day air and video on demand.

Cheap MacBook Pros

Why pay about $100 more for a cheap MacBook Pro? Easy. You about seven times the storage and an optical drive in a much more robust enclosure. The downsides are weight and size.

• [r] 13-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz i5, $1,019 (1199)
— 4GB, 500GB, HD Graphics 4000
— Apple Store, free ground shipping

• 13-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz i5, $1,089 (1199)
— 4GB, 500GB, HD Graphics 4000
— MacConnection, free ground shipping

• 13-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz i5, $1,098.99 (1199)
— 4GB, 500GB, HD Graphics 4000
— Amazon Prime (free 2nd day air)

• 13-inch MacBook Pro 2.5GHz i5, $1,139 (1199)
— 4GB, 500GB, HD Graphics 4000
— Abt, free ground shipping

[r] Apple Certified Factory Refurbished

image JetLib

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— Refurbished iPhone 3GS, $89.99; iPhone 4, $229.99

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