LowBudget MacBook for Highschool Student

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Leon99, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Leon99 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 15, 2015
    Location:
    Utah, US
    #1
    Hey Forum!

    I'm planning to buy a used MacBook, because my Windows 10 Laptop is not powerful enough for my needs.
    I mostly use it for photo editing and managing my music library. Also for homework, blogging and video calls. (I'm a German exchange student)
    The MacBook should be >$500

    What MacBook would be a good choice? Where is a good place to buy it?
    I found a 2010 MacBook Pro 15' with 2,53GHz i5, 8GB Ram and 500GB HDD for $200 and a 2014 MacBook Air 13' with 1,4GHz i5, 4GB Ram, 256GB SSD and warranty for $400 locally on Craigslist. Are these offers trustworthy or too cheap? Is Craigslist generally a good place to buy?

    Thanks for your advice
    Leon99
     
  2. akadafni macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    #2

    Why not just shop the Apple web site for their clearance and refurbished deals. The great thing is they come with the same 1yr warranty as a regular purchase. Also you don't know what issues you might inherit from a device from Craigslist.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Because their prices are a lot higher:
    $829 for a 2012 MacBook Pro 13'
    $849 for a 2015 MacBook Air 13'
    ($759 for a 2015 MacBook Air 11')

    I'm not sure if it's worth spending that much money on a computer. Otherwise it's probably the better deal.
     
  4. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #4
    Those CL prices sound too good to be true. CL can be good if you are experienced and bad if you aren't experienced.
    My advice is to use ebay instead since you came from another country and probably never used CL before.
     
  5. Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    But I can't see the MacBook sold on eBay, so isn't the danger to get one with a defect higher?
     
  6. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #6
    It is true that you can't see it but yoy can filter the bad ones by looking at seller's ratings, how long they have been buying/selling, how accurate the description is, etc. I have had great luck on ebay. I have bought all my Macs used on ebay. I have never bought a new Mac.
     
  7. Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Okay, thank you!
    Which model would be realistic with my budget?
     
  8. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #8
    $500 could land you a 2011-2012 Air or the 13" MBP.

    Do contact the CL person with the 2014 Air. You never know, it may be legit.
     
  9. Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Utah, US
    #9
    Thanks! Would spending a bit more money make a huge performance difference?
    I want to keep it for some years.

    Okay. I heard Apple Stores could check the computers function and if it's stolen. Is that right? Here's a store nearby.
     
  10. appledefenceforce macrumors 6502

    appledefenceforce

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    #10
    I'd spend a bit more for the Apple's refurb ones with warranty and pierce of mind.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11

    That use case should be perfectly fine on any modern laptop, so why is your current one not powerful enough?? You can perform that usage on a tablet with little trouble I can't see why you woudl need a new computer.
     
  12. Leon99, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    It is just slow, especially when using Lightroom, and often freezes when I have some more programs or tabs open. For browsing/iTunes it's totally fine.
    And, but I haven't tried to fix that, I get errors saying "server couldn't start" when opening media files.

    My Windows Computer has an Intel Celeron U1037 processor and 4GB Ram.
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #13
    Ouch yeah thats the celeron processor they are pretty poor.

    No idea aboput craigs list I'm english but that sounds pretty damn cheap for that 2014 macbook air but that would be a sweet computer for you. A 2012 cMBP or a 2013 macbook air should be around $500 but with the cMBP you'll probably want to add an SSD to it.
     
  14. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Does your current Windows machine have SSD or a spinning HDD? That may turn out to make the biggest difference in performance for you. If your Windows machine has an SSD, then you will likely be unhappy with the 2010 MacBook Pro.

    The 8 GB of RAM in the older MacBook is certainly better than the 4 GB in the MacBook Air (or your current PC), but for most tasks 4 GB is all you'll need, and for those times that you may need more than 4 GB (when the Mac would swap-out to disk), the SSD greatly speeds up that process (approx. 5 times faster than the HDD).

    Another consideration is that the HDD in that 2010 is already five years old. While it could last another two or three years, it's also possible that it won't. Unless you're able to replace the HDD yourself, the repair bill could be $200 or more (about $100 for a 250 GB SSD at current prices, plus labor).

    The display is the same resolution on both machines (1440 x 900), so all you get with the older MacBook Pro is bigger, not better.

    The prices on both computers are low, but I'm not sure I'd pay much more than $200 for that 2010, even though typical selling prices are higher - it just doesn't have that much useful life remaining before you'd have to repair/upgrade.
     
  15. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    #15
  16. Leon99, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

    Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    My Windows machine has a 1TB HDD. Since I'm doing a lot with photography, I need a lot of storage (started in March, ~300GB currently used). But I would be fine with using an external drive or keeping the Windows machine for data.

    It's not only that I want to have a faster machine, I want to switch to OS X too. We're using 2013 iMacs at school and I prefer it over Windows.

    For me it would be cheaper to buy a MacBook here, than back in Germany.

    I don't necessarily need the MacBook right now, if it makes more sense to safe some more money. What would be a good budget and machine to start with?
     
  17. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

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    #17
    Where are you at in Utah? KSL.com is much more popular/reputable than craigslist.com in the SLC valley. Between the U in SLC and BYU in Provo, you should be able to find a used machine pretty easily.

    I just sold a 2013 MBA for $570 to a student at the U. It's definitely possible.
     
  18. Leon99 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 15, 2015
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    Utah, US
    #18
    Thanks, the link is great! I live in Utah county.

    What do you think about these offers?

    KSL:

    2012 MacBook Pro 13´ $415 (i5, 4GB Ram): http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=37297961&cat=554&lpid=&search=pro 2012&ad_cid=2
    2014 MacBook Air 11´ $500 (i5, 4GB Ram): http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=37132047&cat=554&lpid=1&search=air&ad_cid=12
    2013 MacBook Air 13´ $600: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=37086851&cat=554&lpid=2&search=air&ad_cid=10
    2014 MacBook Air 13´ $650 (i5, 4GB Ram, 128GB): http://www.ksl.com/?nid=218&ad=37272220&cat=554&lpid=3&search=air&ad_cid=3

    Or on Craigslist:

    2010 MacBook Pro 15´ $200 (i5, 8GB Ram, 500GB): https://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/syd/5292220368.html
    2014 MacBook Air 13´$350 (i5, 4GB Ram, 128GB): https://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/sys/5262197400.html
    MacBook Pro 13´ $380 (i5, 10GB Ram, 500GB): https://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/sdp/5319608537.html
    2014 MacBook AIr 13´$400 (i5, 4GB Ram, 256GB): https://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/syd/5307784229.html

    eBay:

    2012 MacBook Air 11´ $429 (i5, 8GB Ram, 64GB): http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-6-MacBoo...54c6ba9535331bf67ea48&pid=100391&rk=2&rkt=17&
    2012 MacBook Air 13´ $549 (i5, 4GB Ram, 120GB): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-MacBo...406790b6adce3e98976b&pid=100391&rk=12&rkt=18&
    2012 MacBook Pro 13´ $579 (i5, 4GB Ram, 500GB): http://www.ebay.com/itm/13-3-MacBoo...195969?hash=item1ea69b0481:g:QxoAAOSwo6lWOPop

    Huh, that´s a lot...
    Why is there such a big price difference between KSL, Craigslist and eBay?
    Craigslist are probably fake offers?
     

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