Choosing a new MacBook

I just recently went through the process of choosing and purchasing a new MacBook. In the past 10 years, I’ve used a variety of MacBooks, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pro. Most recently I used a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is a cool feature for sure but I really didn’t use it enough to justify the extra cost.

I was debating between the new MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar) and the MacBook Air. I like the additional ports on the MacBook Air but it lacked a Retina Display which I definitely notice as a huge improvement over the non-Retina displays. The new MacBook Pro has the Retina Display and increased performance but it just has 2 USB-C ports which requires using adapters for almost everything – plugging in a USB drive or connecting to a display via HDMI or Thunderbolt. It’s a small thing but I really value traveling light and I don’t like having to carry 2-3 adapters at all times.

I ultimately made the decision to go with an early 2015 Macbook Pro. I used RefurbTracker to get an alert when the model I was looking for became available on Apple’s Refurbished store. I’ve bought several computers from Apple’s refurb store over the past 10 years and it’s always been a great experience. They always show up looking brand new and carry a full 1-year warranty from Apple.

It really is the best of all possible options. It has the Retina Display and improved performance. It also was the last generation of MacBook Pros to have real ports for USB, HDMI and Thunderbolt without needing any dongles. As a bonus, it uses the same Magsafe charger as my wife’s 11-inch MacBook Air so now we can share chargers again.