Night_Ink

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2020
31
9
It depends, right?
My most recent Mac is from 2009. I need a new machine, I’m an illustrator, designer, and musician. Therefor, I cannot afford a new MBP😂

Eyeing refurb MBPs, which seem to sell before I can even input my payment info.

Is it a colossal waste of money for me to by a refurb 2019 model? Quad core i5, 8gb ram, 128gb hd fits my budget. Also, is 8gb ram really enough?

Age-old questions, no easy answer.
 
Last edited:

ultrakyo

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2015
88
44
Refurb mac comes with standard one year warranty like brand new mac, just that it comes with plain refurb box.

8Gb RAM is good enough for casual use while 128Gb might be too small unless you don’t install a lot of apps and keep most data on external storage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Night_Ink

ctjack

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2020
421
313
Is it a colossal waste of money for me to by a refurb 2019 model? Quad core i5, 8gb ram, 128gb hd fits my budget. Also, is 8gb ram really enough?

Age-old questions, no easy answer.
So if you are eyeing base MBP 2019 for under $1000, then you are on the price range of MBA 2020 and u need extra $300 to get the base MBP 2020.
But Air has less power and MBP 2020 is only different with 256gb storage and keyboard, but internally it is equal to 2019 model.
================================
In total, if you live in a country with Apple Store then buy refurbished 2019 and in case of failure you can always send it to Apple for 4 years. If they will fix it for more than 3 times, you might be offered new MBP, which will be current at that moment.
In worst case you can use external KB and external display.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Night_Ink

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
DON'T BUY a 2019 13" or 15" MacBook Pro. It has the "butterfly" keyboard that has caused so many users' problems over the last 4 years.

DO buy a 2019 16" MacBook Pro if they have them for a good price. The Apple refurbished store is a good source -- very happy with my purchase of a 2018 Mini last year. Same 1-year warranty as if you bought new, and you can get AppleCare for these, just as "if new".
 

Biscotti

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2008
159
22
I have a 2017 12" MacBook for personal use and just purchased a 16" MBP for work - and the scissor keyboard on the 16" is SO FRIGGIN NICE compared to the 12" Butterfly... it's night and day, my fingers thank me so much...to the point where I barely use the 12" anymore, and I'll probably sell it and get a 12" ARM Mac with scissor if that comes out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Night_Ink

Night_Ink

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2020
31
9
My last laptop was a 2007 MBP, how different is the “bad” keyboard on the 2019?
 

NT1440

Contributor
May 18, 2008
12,790
16,599
I buy refurbs for work to save a little cash. There’s no downside if you go with the Apple Care. Some people are just a bit uptight about not being the first person to open the box from a brand new product.
 

nburwell

macrumors 603
May 6, 2008
5,052
1,957
DE
I purchased a refurb'd 2019 13" MBP (prior to Apple releasing the 2020 models). Sure the butterfly keyboard isn't ideal, but I'm mainly using the machine for Lightroom and Photoshop to process my RAW files on. I'm not doing much typing and when I do, I don't mind the butterfly keyboard (I know there aren't very many people who like the keyboard). It doesn't hurt that I have AC+ on my MBP too in the event something goes wrong with the keyboard or the laptop in general.

My wife has a 2020 MBA and I definitely prefer the new keyboard over my 2019 MBP, but she uses her laptop for work, so she's using the keyboard much more than I.

So no, I don't think it's stupid to purchase a 2019 MBP, especially if you want to save money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Night_Ink

ilikewhey

macrumors 68010
May 14, 2014
2,001
2,375
nyc upper east
My last laptop was a 2007 MBP, how different is the “bad” keyboard on the 2019?
It’s pretty bad, they got no travel so you feel like your tapping your finger tips on wood constantly, and then there is the reliability issue, a lot of apple fanboys in here defend the crap out of it but at the end of the day even Apple realize how crap they are in reliability. After several lawsuit Apple put in place a 4 year keyboard coverage to calm the crowd down. But why risk it especially if you keep your Mac for longer than 4 years
 
  • Like
Reactions: Night_Ink

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
OP wrote:
"how different is the “bad” keyboard on the 2019?"

Many, many problems with them.
If one key goes bad, THE ENTIRE TOP CASE has to be replaced.
It's a $700+ repair when out-of-warranty.
Some users had multiple failures.

Consider yourself as having been "duly warned" about this issue.
They are not worth the trouble.
If you want 13", spend a little more and get the 2020 model (which has the proven "scissors" keyboard).
If you want a larger display, get the 16" MacBook Pro, which also has the scissors keyboard.

But stay away from the butterfly keyboard MBP's...
 

Night_Ink

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2020
31
9
Thanks for
OP wrote:
"how different is the “bad” keyboard on the 2019?"

Many, many problems with them.
If one key goes bad, THE ENTIRE TOP CASE has to be replaced.
It's a $700+ repair when out-of-warranty.
Some users had multiple failures.

Consider yourself as having been "duly warned" about this issue.
They are not worth the trouble.
If you want 13", spend a little more and get the 2020 model (which has the proven "scissors" keyboard).
If you want a larger display, get the 16" MacBook Pro, which also has the scissors keyboard.

But stay away from the butterfly keyboard MBP's...

Thanks for the heads up! I’ve read so much about how people hate it, and it can break, but never the (super useful) details of what happens when it breaks!

I have a dumb question about the Apple refurbished store-

When they list a machine, and in the description it says “introduced in 2019”, does that mean that this machine is from 2019? Seems like some sort of Apple code language for “this is an old machine”. I’ve seen MBA’s up there that say introduced in 2019 and some that say 2020.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 68010
May 14, 2014
2,001
2,375
nyc upper east
Thanks for


Thanks for the heads up! I’ve read so much about how people hate it, and it can break, but never the (super useful) details of what happens when it breaks!

I have a dumb question about the Apple refurbished store-

When they list a machine, and in the description it says “introduced in 2019”, does that mean that this machine is from 2019? Seems like some sort of Apple code language for “this is an old machine”
yes

when it breaks, it breaks? key will constantly double tap, or not register, not able to fully compress like the rest of the keys, etc. its not like if your careful no dust will get underneath it, the keys are also going back from the heat coming from the cpu gpu area. this is what happened to mine.
 

WildSky

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
4,097
3,570
East of the sun, west of the moon
I have a dumb question about the Apple refurbished store-

When they list a machine, and in the description it says “introduced in 2019”, does that mean that this machine is from 2019? Seems like some sort of Apple code language for “this is an old machine”. I’ve seen MBA’s up there that say introduced in 2019 and some that say 2020.

Yes, the date in the description means its release date. A refurb store tip is to tap on 2020 in the Release Date filter on the left. Right now that’s only the MBAs, although there aren’t any in the store at the moment. I’ve been checking daily to see when the 2020 MBP 13” show up.

1596631862121.png
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
3,480
4,589
It depends, right?
My most recent Mac is from 2009. I need a new machine, I’m an illustrator, designer, and musician. Therefor, I cannot afford a new MBP😂

Eyeing refurb MBPs, which seem to sell before I can even input my payment info.

Is it a colossal waste of money for me to by a refurb 2019 model? Quad core i5, 8gb ram, 128gb hd fits my budget. Also, is 8gb ram really enough?

Age-old questions, no easy answer.
It sort of is an easy answer, but mostly because you're looking at a really low spec model. You seem to keep your Apple gear for many, many years. An i5/8G/128GB will NOT service you for that long. The SSD WILL fill up and you cannot upgrade it.

Yes, in the older models, you could upgrade your own drives to bigger sizes, or add more memory as the years go by, but no longer with these new models (since like 2015).

If you do illustration and design for a living (not just a hobby every now and then), I would suggest a minimum of i7/16GB/512GB as a starting point if you plan on keeping this for 5-10 years.

Also, look for deals on used, older models. I just got an A+ grade MBP 2015 i7/16/256GB for $400! Literally looks like new and has 1 battery cycle count! I was able to pop off the back and install a 2TB SSD for $170. I'm good-to-go for as long as Apple supports the mid-2015 MBP.

Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ilikewhey

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,178
8,227
OP asked:
"I have a dumb question about the Apple refurbished store-
When they list a machine, and in the description it says “introduced in 2019”, does that mean that this machine is from 2019?"


Simple answer:
Yes.

More complicated answer:
DO NOT buy any MacBook Pro from 2016, 2017, 2018.
DO NOT buy MacBook Pros 13" and 15" from 2019.

DO consider MacBook Pro 16" from 2019 (see above).
DO consider MacBook Pro 13" from 2020 (see above).
 
  • Like
Reactions: WildSky

involuntarheely

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2019
116
135
I think reality is more complicated than "butterfly keyboard bad, magic keyboard good"

first of all, Apple covers butterfly keyboard laptops for 4 years after the date of purchase, so if your keyboard breaks you don't have to pay $700 at all. so if your keyboard breaks at year 3 you also get a new battery. which is cool even just in terms of resale value.

second, 2019 keyboards seemed to have received a lot fewer complaints. I've used one for almost a year before selling my 13" due to the small storage space (128gb)

third, some people like myself don't mind the butterfly keyboard at all. I quite liked it actually. I'm now typing on the magic keyboard of the 2020 but to be honest I was just as happy as with the 2019.
the butterfly keyboard issues are related to its unreliability in its first 2 or 3 generations.

fourth, refurbished 4-port 2019s go for 1359+tax which is about $250 the lowest price for the 2020 4-ports. so a refurbished 4-port 2019 currently sits in between the base 2020 and the 4-port 2020. I'd argue that the differnece with the 4-port 2020 is largely based on the specs (8g vs 16g ram and 256g vs 512g storage). but if your budget is not $1599 or higher, then $1359 for the refurbished 2019 4-port is much better IMO than the base model 2019 or 2020 at whatever price, because you get a much better cooling system which means that the system will run cooler and more silent most of the time.

so if you don't mind the butterfly keyboard, get the refurbished 2019. if you have tried it and know for sure you hate it, then choose whatever 2020 fits your budget.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 68010
May 14, 2014
2,001
2,375
nyc upper east
I think reality is more complicated than "butterfly keyboard bad, magic keyboard good"

first of all, Apple covers butterfly keyboard laptops for 4 years after the date of purchase, so if your keyboard breaks you don't have to pay $700 at all. so if your keyboard breaks at year 3 you also get a new battery. which is cool even just in terms of resale value.

second, 2019 keyboards seemed to have received a lot fewer complaints. I've used one for almost a year before selling my 13" due to the small storage space (128gb)

third, some people like myself don't mind the butterfly keyboard at all. I quite liked it actually. I'm now typing on the magic keyboard of the 2020 but to be honest I was just as happy as with the 2019.
the butterfly keyboard issues are related to its unreliability in its first 2 or 3 generations.

fourth, refurbished 4-port 2019s go for 1359+tax which is about $250 the lowest price for the 2020 4-ports. so a refurbished 4-port 2019 currently sits in between the base 2020 and the 4-port 2020. I'd argue that the differnece with the 4-port 2020 is largely based on the specs (8g vs 16g ram and 256g vs 512g storage). but if your budget is not $1599 or higher, then $1359 for the refurbished 2019 4-port is much better IMO than the base model 2019 or 2020 at whatever price, because you get a much better cooling system which means that the system will run cooler and more silent most of the time.

so if you don't mind the butterfly keyboard, get the refurbished 2019. if you have tried it and know for sure you hate it, then choose whatever 2020 fits your budget.
If you intend on keeping it past 4 years, it’s also a no go
 

AmazinApple

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2019
13
77
New York, NY
OP wrote:
"how different is the “bad” keyboard on the 2019?"

Many, many problems with them.
If one key goes bad, THE ENTIRE TOP CASE has to be replaced.
It's a $700+ repair when out-of-warranty.
Some users had multiple failures.

Consider yourself as having been "duly warned" about this issue.
They are not worth the trouble.
If you want 13", spend a little more and get the 2020 model (which has the proven "scissors" keyboard).
If you want a larger display, get the 16" MacBook Pro, which also has the scissors keyboard.

But stay away from the butterfly keyboard MBP's...
The keyboard was tweaked again in 2019 and there have been no reports of anyone having issues with the 2019 models' keyboards. I have a 2019 15inch and love it. I personally like the keyboard and have no issues with it despite constant use for more than a year now. If you can find one for a great price I say why not?
 

involuntarheely

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2019
116
135
haha, heat is always a factor with mbp, i find replacing the thermal paste every 2 years keeps it going
but that's not for everyone. and again, the base model only has 1 fan which is going to exacerbate heat issues.

I've seen a base model 2020 stay at 6000rpm and 90celsius by just video calling via Zoom.
or watching youtube on an external display (not even 4K).

my experience with the 2019 was similar and I was very happy to not have any of those issues on the 2020 4-port.
since the 2020 4-port runs a little bit warmer than the 2019 4-port, I don't see why the 2019 should be avoided at all costs.
the keyboard experience is completely subjective and the 4-year Apple program offsets some of the negatives.
I'm not going to suggest pretending to have keyboard issues just to get battery replacements of course, but 4 years is a long time especially considering ARM is coming.
4 years from now I'd expect a lot more progress in terms of power than the last 4 years have been with Intel.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.