Kinda confused on what model MacBook to purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Droidrage729, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Droidrage729 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2012
    My daughters school is very into the technology age so much so that she is issued an iPad 2 for diffrent workshops in class. Anyway she has to do a portion of her homework online and the school uses pages mostly and google docs sometimes. I have been looking for an older version MacBook to buy her that obviously won't cost 1000+ bucks. I'm so confused by all of the models that are on eBay. I guess I'll stay what I'm looking for and you can tell me if that exists. She needs a basic machine that runs apple software I was looking for an older model maybe 08-09 version but I want a new enough version that is still supported in terms of software updates. Doesn't need an awesome processor or graphics this is basically for some internet usage for her school sites and Mac apps. What model should I pursue? I'm trying to spend as little as possible and I'm not opposed to an older model if it works. A Mac mini would be ok but she will need to do her work on the move at times. Any help is appreciated thanks!


    Also would a chromebook work? I know she can access pages from the icloud site.
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    A chrome book would work but useless when not near a connection.
  3. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013

    A mid 2009 MacBook Pro is fast enough for basic tasks though it's just that you are paying a lot for outdated technology.

    I also don't think the mid 2009 MacBook Pro gets any more updates.

    Why does your daughter specifically need a Mac laptop? Which Apple software does your daughter need to run?
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I'd suggest something that can comfortably run OS X Mavericks. Here are the minimum requirements. Of course today's minimum may turn into "insufficient" with the next version of OS X, so try to aim a bit higher.

    If installed RAM is on the low end, get the specific model and check to see what kind of RAM upgrades are possible, if any.

    If you're getting a machine that has version 10.6.x or below, be sure it comes with the original system disks, or disaster recovery can be a problem (an upgrade to 10.7.x or better would address that particular issue, however).

    Overall, I'd be concerned about the useful lifespan of the batteries and HDD in an older machine. An original HDD is likely near the end of its useful life, and the cost of a replacement adds substantial additional cost, perhaps at an inopportune moment. Similar can be said for batteries. While nothing is a sure thing (younger HDDs can fail, too, after all), unless you can do the work yourself you may want to spend a bit more on a newer machine.

    After that... Just about any Mac laptop capable of running Mavericks and with at least 4gb RAM should be satisfactory for the stated purpose.
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    HERE is a sub-$1K new model Macbook Air from the refurb store. It would work great for her needs, and adds the ultra-portability.
  6. Droidrage729 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2012
    Kinda confused on what model MacBook to purchase

    It doesn't need to be a pro per say an air would work but they are both a lot of money when it's 800 what's 200 dollar price difference. She just needs to use pages keynote etc she has an iPad mini but the problem is it's not enough of a "computer" experience some of her schools flash based sites don't work right or at all.
  7. kelon111, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014

    kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Microsoft Office suite can replace Pages , Keynote , etc. , so why are you fixated on getting a Mac computer? A cheap Windows based PC is more than enough for word processing. Does your daughter's school have a Mac computer requirement?

    I know that some departments at some universities have a Mac computer requirement because of extra software agreements so I can understand that.
  8. Droidrage729 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2012

    It's not really a requirement but it's kind of implied when she begins projects in school on Mac apps and has to finish at home like keynote etc or her work will be saved of keynote or pages . They use iPads at school.
  9. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2010
    If the only Mac programs she's using are Pages, etc. (and your household is already in the Apple ecosystem), she could really use anything now that those apps are available through Chrome and IE.

    You might save a lot of money by getting her a Chromebook, and then she could use iCloud or Google Docs (which can also be used through an iPad, iPhone, Mac, etc.).

Share This Page