Macbook Pro – Upsizing with Downgrading


I am a full-time student, and I am trying to be smarter in my expenditures. The fact that I am relatively challenged when it comes with understanding the true meaning of numbers, I get anxious about spending on big ticket item.

When it was Small and Nifty

I bought my first macbook pro when I was planning a 3 months winter vacation to the States and Europe. I had a 27″ iMac at home, and it was more than sufficient to cater to my work needs, but I needed a machine to work with since I was on the move for 3 months. I chose 13″ Macbook Pro Retina, as I thought it would be lighter, and it would only be used more intensively during the 3 months vacation. True enough, it was nearly untouched for nearly a year after the trip – I rarely left home, so I had no real need to use the laptop.

When it Became Too Small

Then, I decided to relocate to Australia to further my higher education in Psychology. I sold my 27″ iMac because I may be moving from apartment to apartment; and I had in plan to travel to colder continent during summer break, so it’s quite bulking to lug a 27″ iMac around.

I was left with this cute little 13″ machine to work with. It was painfully challenging to work with tiny screen when using design/photo editing software like illustrator, photoshop, pixelmator, and InDesign. It never got better, it was just sheer pain.

When Enough is Enough

After a year in Perth, when I am more attuned to the environment and whatever stress from school and whatnot, I decided enough is enough! I cannot do small screen any longer! I don’t want to spend too much on a machine though, especially that the one I had was working very well.

When Upsizing Might Actually be Downgrading


Living abroad independently means I need to assess my needs more rigorously when it comes to expenditures. I need a bigger screen macbook pro, but I don’t need faster or fancier configuration. Who am I going to impress? It’s almost permanently sitting at home.

With that, I looked for cheaper alternative – Macbook Pro Refurbished units. Not everyone knows that Apple store actually has a section for refurbished units.


Just go to and search under ‘refurbish’ and you will see the dropdown options for the available categories.

Now, let’s take a look at the specs of my old 13″ MBP and the refurbished 15″ MBP.



Aside from the bigger screen, my refurbished 15″ MBP is actually sort of a ‘downgrade’ from the 13″ MBP specs. My 13″ MBP graphic card was upgrade to NVIDIA Geforce when I bought it, the 15″ MBP is Intel Iris Pro. It is noteworthy that 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz is a negligible difference for the work I do, so it’s no biggie.

If I were to buy a brand new 15″ MBP with latest configurations, it would have cost me AUD3,099; I paid AUD2,239 for the refurbished set. To be honest, I struggled with the numbers and I did not think it was a huge savings, and by paying AUD2,239, I am getting an outdated machine. I truly struggled, but, I really have no need for a new faster machine! Good thinking there, I thought, if I had dwelled further, I would have gotten the new machine – I get distracted easily!

Selling the Old MacBook Pro

So, I really do not need a new machine, but every single fibre in my body was dying chunk by chunk whenever I have to do graphic work using the tiny 13″ machine – of course I exaggerated! I need to minimise the cost as much as I could, so I decided to sell the 13″ MBP.

I have explored several options and decided to sell it to mResell. Many other websites are offering much lower prices; I might be able to get a higher price if I were to sell it as private transaction through ebay or gumtree, but I really don’t want to have to meet up with people and deal with price haggling or whatnot. I also don’t feel safe to meet people privately.


It was an easy decision because the price offered by mResell is very reasonable and the process was quite a breeze. (I am not affiliated to them in anyway, and this is not a sponsored post or whatsoever).

Step 1: Go to their website at
(They have companies in 10 countries over Europe and Australia)

Step 2: Enter your macbook pro serial number and hit ‘Estimate’
(go to apple icon on the top left corner of your screen -> About this Mac -> Overview tab, you will find the serial number there)

Step 3: Select the condition of your machine accordingly, it’s very important that you select the condition truthfully, because it will affect the value of the machine. mResell_offer

Once you have accepted to sell the unit, you will receive emails confirming it. Soon, you will received a prepaid waybill from mResell that you can print and attach to your parcel.

REMEMBER! Go through the steps suggested here: before packing and sending off your machine. Although mResell committed that they will assist to wipe the data clean, I will not take that chance – exercise caution with privacy and personal data. 

Your unit is insured for and and postage is paid for; however, you MUST make sure that you pack it well so that it remains intact when it reaches mResell. (I used padding and bubble wraps) You can track the item using AusPost tracking. Once the item is received in their warehouse, they will send you an email to notify you of the receipt of the item, and they will start to assess and process the unit. They processed my unit very promptly, and payment was made to me quite quickly too.

I am quite happy with the ‘downgrade’ with an upsized screen. I was working on a few crochetpatterns on this machine, what a difference! Having more space to move the frames around make work so much easier. I still miss my 27″ iMac all the time, but for now, 15″ is good enoug

I hope this is informative for you when considering getting a new macbook pro with a smer budget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a refurb, because it is still under uncompromising warranty and eligible for apple care – but I am not getting apple care this time, as Australian Consumer Law would have covered the machine just as apple care would. (search for it) I would however prefer to get the refurb from Apple directly; refurb sets elsewhere are really 2nd-hand sets that come with very short warranty (like 3 months or so) but they are unbeatably cheaper. Refurb sets on apple store however, is rigorously tested to work and parts are being replaced before selling off, it is as good as new.


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