Buying a used macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maxiime223, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. maxiime223 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012

    I am currently looking to buy a more portable laptop than what I have right now.
    I own a 15.6" Asus laptop, which I bought mostly because it had a good graphic card for video games.

    My priorities right now are switching, I'm not really interested in playing video games, I want a working device. I will use my laptop mostly for university and also for art, digital painting and some photo editing. Therefore I need a decent screen resolution, and high portability (13" or under).

    I've been looking at various laptops and ultrabooks and I'd like to have some info about macbooks. My budget definitely won't allow me to buy a new macbook pro, but there are plenty of used/refurbished macs out there.
    Would buying a 2009-2010 macbook pro be a good option? Are they still good enough, performance wise?
    I want to be using this laptop for at least 3 years, so I want to make sure it will last.

    Looking forward for your opinion and advice!
    Don't hesitate if you have other suggestions.

    Thank you!
  2. blaake macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2012
    Depending on what processor, what size HD and RAM will determine that on its own. I'm not sure what your budget is, but there are plenty of used/refurbished 2010's on eBay anywhere from 450-750
  3. SantaRosa2.2 macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2012
    Somewhere in Florida
    I tell you I have never purchased a macbook new, I have either purchased used or refurbished. As long as Macbook Pros are not water damaged, they are incredibly robust machines that usually only require a simple clean install of OS X to bring them to "like new" working order. They are probably the only machine that I would recommend to purchase second hand...
  4. markus843 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    North america
    If you're looking to get a laptop that would last you for atleast 3 years, (probably more), my opinion is probably to just spend the extra on a new mac. :apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:
  5. maxiime223 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012
    my budget would be about 600-700 so that sounds pretty good.. I'm going to check those out.
    But honestly, would I be better to buy a brand new PC, considering my budget?
  6. cocacolakid, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    If you buy a PC, don't buy the lowest priced one you can find. Look for a PC with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, those are significantly faster than anything else on the market. The drawback of an older MacBook like you're talking about is they are all Core 2 Duo's, which are fine machines, but obviously not as fast as any of the Core i-series CPU's of the last couple of years, which are head and shoulders faster than anything released before (even the AMD stuff, which was a nice value a few years ago but not currently in the same ballpark as raw computing power). But also be aware that you are also buying into the Windows or Mac OS, which are startlingly different experiences. While Windows 7 is a far better, more stable OS than previous Windows, it's still a more hands on OS for maintenance, installing drivers, etc. than OS X. If you want a computer that works very well without the constant headaches of maintenance, malware, etc., then buy a Mac, even if it's a slower CPU than the latest PC you can afford.

    As for Macs, be very aware of the eBay seller. Look their feedback over carefully. If they have any negative feedback or even neutral feedback, read it and see what the complaints are. If anyone is saying the seller lied or misrepresented the condition of anything, or the seller kept giving reasons an item didn't ship, don't buy from them. I also look at the seller's follow up feedback, if they post any, to negative feedback. That will tell you a lot about a seller. If they are insulting the buyer and blaming the buyer for the negative feedback, don't buy from them. An honest, courteous seller will respond with something along the lines of, "I'm sorry you're unhappy, contact me so I can make it right." Look for a seller who has been on eBay for years, has at least 100 feedback, the more the better, and hopefully offers a return policy if you're unhappy with the purchase. A return policy on a used computer can be hard to find and isn't a requirement, but it does offer peace of mind and tells you the seller stands behind their product (another sign of an honest seller). But read everything carefully before buying. Make sure you are completely aware of what the seller is offering. If you have any questions, ask the seller, or post here and people will help you.

    You should also look at many of the well respected online Mac dealers who offer used Macs. Mac Of All Trades is one of them, but there are many others.

    Here is MoAT's laptop section:

    Low End Mac also keeps an updated list of used MacBook prices from several dealers (avoid Gainsavers)...

    Low End Mac also has some nice reference material for looking up the specs of used Macs, as does
  7. maxiime223 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012
    thank you very much for this detailed reply, I will take all that info into consideration!
  8. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    This is absolutely unnecessary for your purposes. A 2010-2011 cMBP-13 will be in your price range and should perform just fine for at least 3 years to come as long as you don't plan on playing any games. If you can I would wait for an early 2011 model to show up on CL in your price range. It's rare, but occasionally they do. That way you'll get Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt as well as an SDXC card slot, which will help make it through 3-4 years without becoming obsolete. Should you need more than the 4GB RAM and 320GB HDs that are standard on those model years, or should you want more speed, an 8GB RAM upgrade costs less than $50 and hybrid or SSD drives can be had for as little as $150.
  9. blaake macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2012
    If you would like a new mbp, plenty of places have the newest model before the retina for 999
  10. maxiime223 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012
    I can still wait for about 6 months, so I'll wait for cheaper 2011 models to be out.
    I'll also definitely invest in a 8GB upgrade.

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