Advice On Used MacBook Pro or Air Purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tenbee, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. tenbee, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

    tenbee macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    My college enforced a mandatory purchase of a specific laptop that does not meet my needs. (It randomly restarted itself during the writing portion of my timed final exam today :).) So I want to sell that puppy and buy a MBP or MBA as a replacement. Looking to spend up to $1K.

    What year and model do you reccomend for someone that's a member of the Broke Phi Broke fraternity?

    I have a 2010 iMac (iOS 10.9.2, 3.06 GHz Intel C2D, 12gb 1067 MHz DDR3) and a 16gb iPad 4. Hopefully that baby doesn't die on me, but I *need* something to get me until July 2017.

    I primarily will use it to watch streaming lectures, for word processing, and to read... heavy internet browsing for studying and research as well. No gaming. Usually 3-5 apps in usage at once: Adobe Reader, OneNote or Word, VLC, Chrome, and a streaming video (lecture). No photo or video editing.
  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Difficult. You should look for a machine that has at least 8 GB of RAM, or is upgradable. Then storage can also be an issue, so ask yourself whether 128 GB (+ external) would be enough or whether you would prefer having more storage in the laptop.

    I would go for refurbished rather than used - that way you at least get a year of warranty. Some options: (this one is upgradable) (this one is not upgradable)

    I couldn't find an affordable 8 GB-RAM Air in the refurb store, but you can keep checking. $1k is really at the lower end of the price range in the refurb store. $1.2k would give you more options.
  3. tenbee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    Thanks for your advice. I'll definitely look for something with 8gb of RAM. 128gb would be okay, but I prefer 256 then I know for sure I won't use my ext HD.

    I'll essentially use it for the things I said earlier about 4-5 hrs/day, 5 days a week. I use my iMac during the other times. I jumped on the idea of buying a MBP or MBA because my laptop restarted on me during the middle of an exam yesterday. And since the school charged $1500 for that computer 8 months ago I gotta make a relatively inexpensive purchase. :( I can't go higher than $1K but I'll keep looking.
  4. perezr10 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2014
    Monroe, Louisiana
    I gotta say, if you are going to be reading on your laptop a lot and not much gaming and don't want to spend over $1000, take a look at the 2012 13" rMBP. For years, I never used to like reading on laptops. I always said because the text was too fuzzy or small that it made my eyes strain. My 13" retina Macbook changed all that. I could literally read a novel on this amazing screen. The text is so sharp and the screen is less reflective than the iPad.

    I have the 2012 rMBP and I love it. With the Mavericks upgrade these 2012's are running smooth and getting close to 8rs of battery life. I've seen the 256GB models going for about $1,000 even on Craigslist and eBay.

    It'll easily last you until 2017. It has 8GB of memory and the I5 is almost as powerful as the current I5. The 2013 processor bump was one of the smallest in history.
  5. tenbee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    Thanks a good point as well.

    The rMBPs and MBAs cannot be upgraded after purchase right? So if I had a problem with the RAM in the future I'd be out of luck right?

    Still weighing my options. I appreciate the feedback!
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Soldered RAM is less likely to fail if I'm not mistaken.

    No, the rMBPs and MBAs can't be upgrade after purchase.
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I wonder why a college forces someone to buy a laptop. If they want money, they could just charge you without offering some kind of cheap "freebie".

    Back to the topic: some MBAs and rMBPs can have the SSD upgraded. I think only 2013 MBAs and late-2013 rMBPs can't be (currently) upgraded. Soldered RAM is presumably safer, but you can still get cold solderings appearing with time. I would get some Mac that accepts contracting Apple Care later (e.g. a brand new or a <1 year old one).
  8. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    University policies on that are often... misunderstood. My dad swore up and down that I had to get a specific model of Thinkpad for the school I went to. Turns out it was just "highly recommended" and the university bookstore will only provide technical support if you buy a laptop there. I don't use tech support, so that didn't really help me at all.
  9. tenbee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    Exactly. $1500 wasted. I don't think it's fiscally responsible for them to have such an enforcement... but they aren't going to change it and my class has already been duked lol.

    I didn't know that about soldered RAM. Thanks!


    True. Many schools have a model that they strongly reccomend. That wasn't the case with us... the computers were billed to our student accounts and waiting for us to pick them up during orientation. There wasn't a way out of it. :(
  10. tenbee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    Update to what I decided to do

    I purchased a used 2012 rMBP w/ 2 years of AppleCare remaining for $920. After I bought it I noticed a relatively minor problem with it, but the genius bar couldn't resolve the issue after dumping like $1500 into the machine... so they replaced it with a brand new mid 2014 rMBP :D

    Stroke of luck for sure. I'm pretty confident I won't have to buy another laptop for a while as long as I don't drop this one. I lost my Office software and my body screen, but that's okay because now I have two chargers and an awesome unit.
  11. Montymitch macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    That's beautiful. Getting a brand new warranty replacement is a sweet deal. How much ram and storage did you end up getting?

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