$600 Budget for used MacBook.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by matts290, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. matts290 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Hey guys, well I am taking some courses this upcoming semester than all but require having a Mac, plus I had a old white macbook, but it died on me 4 or 5 months ago and I have been wanting another one since.

    Problem is I am a poor college kid, and loans/funds are all going to classes and books. I can afford to spend about 600 bucks to purchase a Macbook (MBA, MBP, or even OG plastic one will do). Obviously I am looking at used.

    Where is the best place I should be looking to purchase? Obviously I have looked at craigslist and ebay, but I thought there might be other options out there. Also what model/specs should I expect to be getting with my budget?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I wouldn't spend $600 on a white macbook today, but that is me. There are a few things you must consider. Check all ports, optical drive, screen, keyboard, etc. If it shows any signs of flaky behavior don't buy it. If it's one that accepts upgrades of ram or drive, make sure you factor in what those will cost. Keep in mind that much of the time Craigslist can just be an overpriced graveyard for overpriced crap. I've sold a few things on it, but you find a lot of people who try to boost the selling prices by loading them with pirated software. I don't support pirated software, but if I did, why would I pay extra for someone else to install it? You have to keep your eyes open as you should be able to find something cheaper.

    A first generation 15" unibody should be no more than $500~ in good shape. Batteries and things do have to be replaced on occasion, and you must account for that. The same goes with hard drives. They're not immortal. If you spend too much, the savings won't be there.
  3. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Yeah Craigslist does seem a little sketchy. I have seen a couple good deals for ~2010 MBP in good condition, but they all sold before I could get to them.

    I could care less about the software, I don't even factor it in to my search/value.
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    CL is fine if you don't buy something that's obviously stolen
    (I "lost" my charger etc.)

    Refub Apple laptop with full warranty starts at $749 so you can probably find something slightly older for $600.
  5. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Do you have a monitor? If so get a mac mini. If not, good luck.
  6. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    dont like too much CL. Had better experiences with eBay. Or even buying from local sellers, through ads or newspaper ads. Just for anecdote telling, I have bought a fair share of Macs on swap meets, so figure out.....;)....:eek:

    But you have to look over any possible quirk as dents, missing components and so on. And I am positive you cant get too much warranties. So, you can go with very good luck or ending with a lemon....:(

    I realistically would expect to get some Air o MacBook from 2008-2010 at best.

    Good luck in your endeavour. And dont overlook the Mini possibility....right in your budget, to start....:D

  7. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    I have had decent luck on CL, but you have to be super-duper thorough when buying something like a laptop. Come armed with lots of questions and check everything (usb ports, headphone jack, dead pixels, slotdrive, etc.). If the seller is wishy-washy or unwilling to let you test everything, run. If there's nothing to hide, s/he will gladly let you test-drive the machine. It's good to ask if they have ebay feedback as a seller as well.
  8. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Ok so I found a 2011 11" Macbook air (1.6 i5, 4GB, 128SSD) for 600 shipped from a reputable seller online. The notebook is in great condition. Is this a good deal? I was kinda leaning away from the 11" macbook because this is going to be my main computer, but I will have it plugged into an external 90% of the time when at home.

  9. nickprete11 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2012
  10. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Maybe I am missing something but those seem like terrible deals. 600 bucks for Core Duo, 1GB Ram, OS 10.4...

    And nick looks like someone jumped on that deal before I had the chance.

    I think I am going to purchase a 11" macbook air that I mentioned before, its 600 shipped and is 2011 model with i5, 4gb, 128 SSD. Seems about perfect for my needs and right on my budget...

    Only kinda worried about using a 11" MBA as my only computer. I will have it plugged into external 90% while at home. Will the MBA with HD3000 have any troubly pushing 1920x1200? Obviously I won't be playing any games, most GPU intensive thing will probably be netflix HD streaming.
  11. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Most universities have a mac store. you could pay them a visit to see if there are any refurb models as well.
  12. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    See if you can go to $700 for a 2012 MBA, the 2011 MBA's had worse battery life than the 2010 with worse GPU's to boot. The 2012 also run much cooler/quieter.
  13. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Oh really, didn't know that. And 600 is pretty much the ceiling of my budget right now unfortunately:mad:.
  14. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    So I was able to snag an mid 2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 4GB, 500GB) for only 600 on craigslist. It's in pristine condition and has a couple months left on Applecare. Feel like I really got a steal here, most mid 2012 MBP were going for 800+. Thanks for the help/advice guys I am loving this thing so far, even though its older and used it a brand new shiny toy for me.
  15. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Congratz! Smart choice as you'll easily get 5+ years of service considering the ram is upgradable to 16gb and the HD can be easily replaced with a much faster SSD in the future for pennies on the dollar compared to Apple's ridiculous SSD upgrade prices!
  16. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    that's the problem....just get a pc...
  17. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    Good, you shouldn't. I hate when people try to raise the price of a used machine because it has Photoshop, Illustrator, etc, on it. These licenses are non transferable, not sure what people don't get about that.
  18. matts290 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    Well if you read my last price you would know I found a mid 12 Macbook Pro for 600 and its in great condition. I freed up a little more cash this weekend got 16gb RAM for 50 bucks off craigslist and a 128gb SSD for 70 off craigslists as well, so now I have a pretty damn good machine for under 800.

    Also PC was not an option as I require Final Cut
  19. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    I'm so glad you are full of GREAT advice...:rolleyes:
  20. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    thanks :)


    well...you didn't state that on your first post...you just said you looked at craiglist.
  21. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    Man...you know what? That was a great reply, not even being sarcastic. Usually I see very defensive posts coming back at me (hey, let's be honest, for good reason!), and you totally deflected it and just went about your day. +1 for sure :D
  22. chuxdaddy macrumors member


    Jun 11, 2008
    las vegas
  23. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    +1 back at ya! have a great day.

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