Limp along until MBP refresh or buy refurb or ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macrominnie, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    My recent vintage Macbook 13-inch died today, out of warranty. The hard drive tests okay in another enclosure. The Macbook, as it was failing, could not stay on long enough to run a hardware test.

    This is the third consecutive Macbook (13-inch not Pro) that has had a motherboard failure shortly out of warranty. (The previous two had verified motherboard failures-it seems like the same case here.) I have not gotten Apple Care previously, due to my tendency to upgrade to a newer model. I thought I would put the funds toward a newer model. However, the Macbooks have died shortly before the model refresh cycle.

    This time, as well, a new generation of MBP is expected soon. (Yes, I know about the Sandy Bridge delays.) I would prefer the MBP to the plastic Macbook, since the last 3 have all had cracking plastic edges, apparently due to aging rather than impacts.

    Having no intact recent backup, I am limping along with an early model iBook with limited capability (PowerPC G3, limited specs). Need the laptop for docs, swift web access, some audio, and a tiny amount of video. Do I go for a refurb to get by until the refresh?

    Should I consider indulging in a MacBook Air, since they have been updated more recently? Is it back to alternating between desktop at home and portable, with less certain laptop reliability?

    I have been discouraged to have previously had to buy right before product refreshes, due to poor product reliability.
  2. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    I was in a situation similar to yours, and ended up buying the MacBook Air. I recommend that you do the same, but you have to take into consideration that this is biased by my own choice.

    The MBA is light, snappy, and has more pixels (1440x900) on a better, non-mirror-like screen.
  3. yukio macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2008
    With the Sandy Bridge kinks worked out - I personally would recommend waiting a week or two, so that you would have a choice of a new vs old model.

    Depending on where you are, there might be a repair option or two - even depot-based - that could tide you over.

    I've been a customer of Keane (formerly Powerbook Guy) for awhile - and they have online ballpark estimates that might be of some use to you -
  4. PeterQVenkman macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2005
    limp along. If you're going to spend the money anyway, at least get the latest model or the current one at a discount when the new one comes out.
  5. SlamJam12 macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2010

    I was just wondering how long does a Macbook or Macbook Pro would last. It would probably vary. However, I have a black macbook that will be 4 years old in November. It still runs nice. I use it every day for web surf, email, Microsoft Office (all except entourage) and iTunes.
    I am just wondering the typical duration of Macbooks.
  6. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    You could go with a refurb 11" Air for the time being, then sell that to buy a new MBP when they come out. No one knows for sure if "two weeks" is really the timespan for it to come out or not. You obviously need some form of a computer, and who knows, you may end up liking the 11" enough to keep it instead. I dont see a point to limping along with the iBook G3 if you need something with decent speed. I've used many iBook G4s and they're awfully slow. I can't imagine how painful it would be to use a G3 with even a fairly recent version of OS X.

    It's not like the Air's are bad machines. In fact, why not just get a loaded 13"? Unless you do very intensive tasks regularly, which by your description of your use you do not, you don't really need anything faster. It almost sounds like that 13" Air is built for you. Not too slow for light video editing, light enough for great portability, perfectly fast for docs and internet, and can run Snow Leopard.
  7. macrominnie thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    I am going to look at the MBA 11", as a netbook/faux iPad as an interim measure. Hopefully, in a few weeks, there will be Sandy Bridge MBP specs to compare with the 13" MBA.
  8. Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I would try and handle my daily tasks with the iBook. If it proves to be too frustrating then go ahead with a MBA 13". Otherwise, wait if you can. I am personally hoping that the MBP's will be slimmed down a bit.
  9. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    that little black beauty could last for another 4-5 years or more ...

    to the OP, I would limp along for the next 2 months
  10. macrominnie thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    I have seen some (polycarbonate) Macbooks still doing fine at 4 years. Others (including mine) experience is major problems in little over a year.

    Over several years or more, either battery or hard disc replacement or both are likely issues, but have inexpensive and fairly easy fixes.
  11. plumosa macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    why don't you contact apple and see if there's anything they can do for you even though its out of warranty. I would stress that this is the third different computer you've had this happen to and you are thinking about taking your business elsewhere.
  12. dubztar macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2010
    limp along?

    I'm almost in the same boat with an Oct 2006 15" MBP that is dying having a bent chassis due to an early drop that put the DVD out of order and then having the machine run over by a car - don't ask. It still goes but is making louder noises every day and one third of the screen is 'modern art'.

    This machine was supplied as a replacement to the very first Intel MBP that gave me so much grief that I will NEVER EVER buy first gen tech again so I would not hold your breath for the first Sandy Bridge batch - wait for a proven version or risk a 'bag o' hurt'

    My advice is to keep nursing like me till you can make an informed decision or go for the 13" Air which my friend swears by.
  13. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I have a MBP, same year & model. It's starting to reach the end of its life.. it's working almost perfectly, bar the fan. I think it doesn't work correctly at higher speeds, makes weird noises and the machine starts overheating. With a cooling pad, it works great. If that was replaced, I reckon it could go for another few years!
  14. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    A bad fan does not mean end of life. That would be wasteful. Get the fan fixed and you should be good to go for awhile.
  15. zoman504 macrumors regular

    May 10, 2010
    I decided not to wait for the refresh, and picked up a 13" MBP refurb from Microcenter for $899. Couldn't be happier! Also, today I ordered 8GB of ram and a Scorpio Black 750GB HD for it, both for $200 total.
  16. 7thMac macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2010
    I think that's pretty smart. You may find that this has all the power you need. If not, you will retain a high percentage of your purchase price when you sell.
  17. ms.annette macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2009
    Same boat!

    I'm still using a late 2006 white Macbook. I've been wanting to upgrade since last year. I finally have the funds but I want to go all out and get a 13'' Macbook Pro. I want to use my mac for web, music, photos, word processing, and some small home videos from a flip cam. I also want to be able to play Sims 3; my current mac can't.

    I'm trying to wait as long as possible until refresh but I'm starting to get impatient and wonder if it will be a big difference later on.

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