Buying a 2010 unibody MacBook in 2014

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by repentix, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. repentix macrumors regular

    May 26, 2013
    Hi, a few days ago my old windows laptop died and I will be needing a new laptop next year for school presentations and for typing in classes. So I checked up on the internet what options there would be for a new laptop. I saw some really crappy windows laptops (pentium celeron etc. crappy design) for about 400 pounds and thought of saving up for the cheapest macbook air which is 849 here in the uk. But when I was checking up on other macs, I found these old 2010 unibody macbooks which seemed really capable (up to 16 gbs of ram, 2 hdds with datadoubler etc.). These machines can even run mavericks and play 1080p smoothly. Looking at prices on ( and ebay ( it seemed like the best bang for the buck. But I need a laptop that will last me up to 5 years like may old laptop did and a quiet one for that matter. I don't want the macbook's logicboard to fry up after a year or two. So do these unibody 2010 macbooks last?, are they quiet?, what games can you play with them?,are these machines going to get coming updates of OSX like 10.10-11-12-13? and what is a normal price for one of these machines?What are common problems?

    I hope that you can help me :)

    Thanks in advance

  2. allthingsapple macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2013
    From my own experience. I can say they are reliable. I've had my Mid 2010 Macbook from launch day in April 2010 and I haven't had any problems from it at all. In the rare event of the Macbook casing developing hairline cracks around the hinges, apple will replace the top case and screen assembly completely free. If you have a limited budget then I'd say yes, you've nothing to lose and you can also run windows on it too without any issues.
  3. HIMAN1998 macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    They are quiet, durable, and they last. I have friends who use them for class. I'm still using my Late '08, look at the 2.4GHz model of these.
  4. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010

    I have a late-2009 (unibody white) working flawlessly. It was upgraded with 8GB RAM and 250GB SSD, running Mavericks smooth. The only thing you may take care is its rubberish bottom cover which unglues pretty easily in warm countries. If you'll use your laptop under a 35+ ºC temperature, it will probably unglue. Fortunately, Apple replaces it for free, but I don't know if they will keep exchanging it for free after 2014. I exchanged mine in 2013, but recently this year I saw a guy taking one to the assistance and it seems it'll be replaced for free.
  5. weezin macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    I just picked up a mid 2010 unibody white macbook for relatively cheap. I also have a 2011 27" iMac and a 2011 13" Air.

    I have to say...I'm seriously impressed with the white macbook. It is completely stock...4gb ram, 250gb 5400rpm hd, etc. It is performing really well for me so far. It seems as fast as my Air, and that's saying something considering the processor is a C2D and it doesn't have an SSD.

    Super impressed so far! I can't say anything about longevity, but I did buy the computer used from a place that used to lease them out to it has probably been used :)
  6. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    I'd also take a little look at the aluminium MacBooks (circa. late 08/early 09).

    Spec wise they are very similar;
    - Both run on later gen. Core 2 Duos
    - Both run DDR3 RAM (8GB vs 16GB)
    - Both have 13" LED backlit displays @1280x800
    - Both run Mavericks
    - And both have pretty similar GPU's (9400M vs 320M)

    Although the plastic MacBook is a little newer in my opinion the aluminium feels a lot more solid. Not to say the plastic MacBook isn't solid - it's just a more premium feeling product.

    Note if you pick up the 2.4 GHz '08 alu MacBook you'll get a gorgeous backlit keyboard as well.

    Here's one I just found. You can find them cheaper than this (sub £300) via auction;
  7. HarCees macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2013
    I'd say its a pretty good idea. I bought a Macbook Unibody 2010 in 2013, replacing my 2007 Macbook that I had until then. Funny thing, the Macbook pro 13" from 2010 with EXCACT same hardware, is a lot more expensive. I guess ppl don't understand that. :rolleyes:

    The most positive about this Macbook is the Nvidia 320m. It's better than Intel HD 3000, integrated in MacBooks from 2011, it's even discussable if its not better than HD 4000 from 2012, at least when it comes to gameplay, according to a lot of people.
    So basically, if you want a 13" Mac laptop with a "good" graphic card, you have to buy the 2013 Macbook air, or Retina Macbook.....or the Macbook/Macbook pro from 2010. If you are on a budget the choice is obvious. :D;)

    It's SATA-2, of course SATA-3 would be preferred, but it do indeed get a nice boost with a SSD.

    The "bad" thing with this laptop is of course the rather weak CPU:(.
  8. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    That would be fine if you can keep it at a low price point.

    Although you did mention gaming, and while the NVIDIA 320M is very capable of playing games at 1280 by 800, it will get crushed by the next up coming titles.

    But since you seem to mainly use it for school, id say its a good deal to start your first Mac experience. :)

    Good luck
  9. repentix thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2013
    Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it :)

    I will be getting the late 2010 model in summer when I get the money. I really love these machines, their feel is just fantastic and I definetly prefer this look to the aluminium macbooks. I plan to upgrade this thing to 16gbs of ram and get 2 drives in there. I'm really looking forward to that. Again thanks for all your help.

  10. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    As someone who replaces his MBP every 6 years and upgrades every 3 years, this is totally doable. Expect the HD and battery to die inside the 3-6 window, so just include that in your budget.

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