Macbook 12" still decent buy?

MrMister111

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Jan 28, 2009
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Son who's starting 6th form soon, and then maybe uni after, asking for MacBook. The 12" is on special at moment in UK for £800, it's still on Apple for £1250, so a good deal. This is the basic spec one.

I presume it's getting replaced very soon, just wondered if a good time to buy though at this deal price?

I know the CPU isn't the best, and it's only the basic spec on sale, but it's for a college laptop really so no games etc.

What can it do/can't it do? Anything specifically. Only has 1 port I know but probably only use WiFi anyway, maybe connect to monitor when home.

If at this price would you buy it? Knowing a new one (which I know always happens anyway, but must be very soon)

Thanks
 
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SmackBookPro

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Jan 11, 2018
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I'm planning to buy the exact same one in the UK (either from Currys or John Lewis, but JL has a two year guarantee).

At that price, hell yes! It's a steal as far as Apple tech goes.

When I was a sixth form student doing ICT / Science / Business Studies yes even the most basic laptops for 300GBP will do the job.

What your son will get with the MacBook is a product that's a pleasure to use, feels sturdy, looks good, works reliably all of the time (no Windows issues!) and has killer battery life. If he has an iPhone it'll play well together, as you can take calls and texts etc on it. The way they work together has really helped me at work, it'll help him work better too if he's really into getting the most from a Mac.

It probably will be replaced this year, and I can't see it dropping much in price. For now, the model you mention is what I'm doing as soon as my eBay stuff sells and I get the cash to.

The next question is... which colour?
 

MrMister111

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Yes would get at JL as 2 years, and probably get their £80 accident as well as cheaper than AppleCare at £229 and then covered for 2 years total for breakdown and accident. Think no excess as well.

It is cheap definitely, in relative Apple world!! Just wondered on spec with the m3 CPU.

Also is the MacBook air 2017 model as well for same price, I'm presuming the 12" is better though?
 
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SteveJUAE

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Son who's starting 6th form soon, and then maybe uni after asking for MacBook. The 12" is on special at moment in UK for £800, it's still on Apple for £1250, so a good deal. This is the basic spec one.

I presume it's getting replaced very soon, just wondered if a good time to buy though at this deal price?

I know the CPU isn't the best, and it's only the baud spec on sale, but it's for a college laptop really so no games etc.

What can it do/can't it do? Anything specifically. Only has 1 port I know but probably only use WiFi anyway, maybe connect to monitor when home.

If at this price would you buy it? Knowing a new one (which I know always happens anyway, but must be very soon)

Thanks
Absolutely no issues for Uni my son finished his PHD on one :) buy as large as possible SSD as it's also best to cater for bootcamp W10 partition so he can run any software, he should be able to get W10 on student discount along with Office 365

My kids even played WOW on their MB's all be it on low settings

I agree JL all the way
 

MrMister111

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Wonder if worth the extra accidental cover for £80 from JL.

Says doesn't cover mechanical, but presume the JL 2 year standard would anyway?

Think all the extra £80 does is for accidental dropping, and suppose as transporting it maybe a good idea? No excess on JL as well.

Can't see difference on AppleCare and JL. £80 extra almost gives what JL does with their standard 2 year doesn't it?
Yes, you should absolutely get one.
I've had mine for two years and the only issue I've had is the keyboard.
What happened? Is this the dreaded butterfly issue? You get replaced under warranty?
 

SmackBookPro

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Wonder if worth the extra accidental cover for £80 from JL.

Says doesn't cover mechanical, but presume the JL 2 year standard would anyway?

Think all the extra £80 does is for accidental dropping, and suppose as transporting it maybe a good idea? No excess on JL as well.

Can't see difference on AppleCare and JL. £80 extra almost gives what JL does with their standard 2 year doesn't it?


What happened? Is this the dreaded butterfly issue? You get replaced under warranty?
I'd like to know this too about the John Lewis Accidental Damage cover.

I suppose the obvious disadvantage vs Apple Care is not being able to walk into the Apple Store and have it sorted. But the ability to wreck the thing and have it replaced even if it is your own fault seems to still outweigh that convenience. Think I might add that to mines. Much cheaper than Apple Care
 

balticgreen

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Sep 8, 2004
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I have a 2017 12" MacBook and have been happy with it. It's not my main computer (my iMac is) and my needs for it aren't very demanding but it works well and I have not had any keyboard problems.

At this point, the MacBook has not been updated in two years and I'd lean towards the Air if comparing retail price to retail price. However, with a big price cut on the 12" MacBook to account for the fact that it's two-year-old tech, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
 
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Neodym

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I would add an inexpensive multi port adapter (e.g. Ethernet, HDMI, USB-A) to allow convenient working when wireless just won’t cut it.
 
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aajeevlin

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Mar 25, 2010
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I have a 2017 12" MacBook and have been happy with it. It's not my main computer (my iMac is) and my needs for it aren't very demanding but it works well and I have not had any keyboard problems.

At this point, the MacBook has not been updated in two years and I'd lean towards the Air if comparing retail price to retail price. However, with a big price cut on the 12" MacBook to account for the fact that it's two-year-old tech, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
I’m struggling with the last point. I know it’s old(er) machine. And it’s not recommended for purchase. But at the discount amount it is also very tempting. Or do I save the money and pay a bit more for the new machine in a couple of month....decision decision.
 

MrMister111

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At this point, the MacBook has not been updated in two years and I'd lean towards the Air if comparing retail price to retail price. However, with a big price cut on the 12" MacBook to account for the fact that it's two-year-old tech, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
It's the 2017 air not the newer one. Think the screen is much better on the MacBook? Also double the SSD, not sure on CPU if it's same compared with newer gen or not? And graphics look about the same?

Or do I save the money and pay a bit more for the new machine in a couple of month....decision decision.
The "...a bit more" will be a BIT more though! It's £1249 on Apple at mo, £799 JL, the replacement will prob be about the same price, so £450 is a BIT more I think.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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It's an INCREDIBLE buy for £799 - not at £1250 but the 799 is less than I paid for my first MacBook way back in 2010.
John Lewis is also selling the 512GB one for £999 - a saving of £550!!!!!!!!!! Simply incredible. That's the one that I use for 8 hours a day 365 days of the year throughout the world for my marketing business :)

At those prices, it's incredible!

PS They are VERY VERY capable. I edit 4K 60fps video every day on it in Final Cut Pro X and do a lot of audio editing in Audacity and Adobe Audition and it's flawless!!!!!!!!!
I've thousands of photos on it in Apple Photos, 200+ surfing vlogs and loads of films and all of my music etc.
Looking forward to having OS X Catalina on it in the Autumn too :)
It's the chicest laptop on the market and one of Apple's nicest designs of all time.

BTW Apple Pages & Keynote are lovely, so much nicer than Microsoft Word & Powerpoint.
 

MrMister111

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It's an INCREDIBLE buy for £799 - not at £1250

At those prices, it's incredibly!
Agree, wouldn't buy even when new for that price tbh.
PS They are VERY VERY capable. I edit 4K 60fps video every day on it in Final Cut Pro X and do a lot of audio editing in Audacity and Adobe Audition and it's flawless!!!!!!!!!
That's great news thanks, sold....and bought!!

I'm tempted to get one for myself tbh to replace my 2012 iMac although not sure if it's any more powerfull.
 
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balticgreen

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Sep 8, 2004
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I’m struggling with the last point. I know it’s old(er) machine. And it’s not recommended for purchase. But at the discount amount it is also very tempting. Or do I save the money and pay a bit more for the new machine in a couple of month....decision decision.
Like MrMister said, it's more than "a bit" more. Assuming the updated one will be the same price as the retail price of the current one, it would cost you half again as much as the older one that's on sale right now. Will you get 150% of the performance/features for paying 150% of the price? Probably not.

It's the 2017 air not the newer one. Think the screen is much better on the MacBook? Also double the SSD, not sure on CPU if it's same compared with newer gen or not? And graphics look about the same?
Sorry, I meant the newest Air if comparing new machines at full price. If comparing the 2017 12" MacBook to the 2017 MacBook Air for about the same price, I'd definitely buy the 12" MacBook mostly because of the retina screen. It's a beautiful screen that makes the old Air just look old. Processors are the last thing I look at when comparing computers because any current-ish processor will meet my needs, so I can't speak to that. Although I initially was upset at the loss of MagSafe on all of the newest Apple laptops, I quickly got over it. USB-C is convenient because it's a standard. Some people complain about the lack of ports on the 12" but I have not found that to be a problem for me. I so rarely plug anything in but the power cord.
 

SteveJUAE

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Aug 14, 2015
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Agree, wouldn't buy even when new for that price tbh.

That's great news thanks, sold....and bought!!

I'm tempted to get one for myself tbh to replace my 2012 iMac although not sure if it's any more powerfull.
Get one for yourself for 2 reasons

You will be amazed how much use you get from the portability

It's a great exercise in understanding how much you have been over spec'ing for years :)
 

radiologyman

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Jul 23, 2011
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It's the ultimate ultraportable and an amazing engineering achievement, still not matched by rivals even after 2 years. Since Intel does not have a newer 5W processor suitable for this MacBook, the potential upgrade is expected to come out not earlier than 2020. And Apple will probably raise the price for it above 1250
 

SmackBookPro

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Jan 11, 2018
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Well, I advised OP to get one and, just to practice what I preach, thought I’d post to let you know I bought one!

12” 2017 MacBook in Silver, 256GB. The same one you can buy right now at Apple, for £799. With a two year guarantee.

Just over ten years ago I bought my first white MacBook for £750. Amazing that ten years later I can do the same for a modern MacBook.

Users are reporting things like 4K editing being fine when reviewers are criticising it. Id trust an owners opinion anyway though.

I’ve had the base 13” MacBook Pro from 2017 and the 2018 13” TouchBar with 512GB in the previous year, then a Mac Mini 6 core and ThinkPad but I think this will be the Mac I keep for another 3-4 years.
 

MrMister111

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Well, I advised OP to get one and, just to practice what I preach, thought I’d post to let you know I bought one!

12” 2017 MacBook in Silver, 256GB. The same one you can buy right now at Apple, for £799. With a two year guarantee.
JL I take it? Did you go for the accidenal as well or AppleCare. I bought the JL accidental for £70 so effectively should be converted for breakdown and accidental for 2 years, hope lasts longer than that though!!

Really tempted to get one for myself, or even the £999 one, just wonder if it's any better than my 2012 iMac as I don't need the portability.

It can airplay to Apple TV so could use in living room on big TV as well.....
 
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radiologyman

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Really tempted to get one for myself, or even the £999 one, just wonder if it's any better than my 2012 iMac as I don't need the portability.

It can airplay to Apple TV so could use in living room on big TV as well.....
Well, its silent so additional plus for movie watching. My MacBook connects to all hard drives on home network easily and can stream those movies to AppleTV therefore I don't need big SSD ...
 
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bambooshots

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It’s still a very decent machine and excellent for academic use.

I have been using my 2016 model the last year at university and couldn’t ask for a better machine for toting around campus and keeping quiet in libraries and using in cramped classroom desks.
 
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537635

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I have been using my 2016 model the last year at university and couldn’t ask for a better machine for toting around campus and keeping quiet in libraries and using in cramped classroom desks.
But isn't keyboard rather loud to be used in quiet environments like libraries?
 

aajeevlin

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Mar 25, 2010
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It’s still a very decent machine and excellent for academic use.

I have been using my 2016 model the last year at university and couldn’t ask for a better machine for toting around campus and keeping quiet in libraries and using in cramped classroom desks.
No keyboard issues as of now?
 

JamesTheMac

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Mar 10, 2019
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Great little machine for portability. I have one and it’s brilliant for having a full macOS on the go.

For study, depending what subjects/work is being done, the size of the screen could be a bit limiting for big projects. e.g. Xcode, writing dissertations, while having to reference other documents etc.

So a second screen for home could be an idea. And won’t cost a fortune. The other option you’ll be able to use in September is the new ‘iPad as a second screen’ option. Can’t beat and iPad with GoodReader for building up and having a very fast way of accessing multiple PDF documents.

As far as warranties are concerned. In the UK you effectively have 6 years for any serious hardware failures. After I had to get my keyboard replaced on a 2018 MBP, shortly after buying it, I enquired about a full refund, (I was out the 14 day exchange period). I escalated the issue, saying that it is appalling that a £3k laptop has such a design fault. And that I’m effectively being forced into taking out Apple’s extended warranty (or insurance policy if you think about what it really is). I was told by Apple that under consumer protection law, as long as I’d bought directly from them, I would be good for repairs for a reasonable time into the future. So the insurance was not really necessary.

Apple have already effectively set a precedent for what they consider a reasonable amount of time, with the free extended keyboard replacement scheme of four years. So I would hazard a guess that if something major like the logic board or screen dies within four years, you’d have a good argument for demanding an out of warranty replacement.

There is a reason in the UK and Europe that Apple dropped AppleCare and now only sell AppleCare+. Because the courts found that Apple were selling an insurance policy for protection that was not needed, because it already existed under consumer law. Now AppleCare+ is the only option available to purchase here. Which is sold under the guise of giving accidental damage cover, which of course consumer law does not protect against.

Hope this helps.

James
 
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SmackBookPro

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JL I take it? Did you go for the accidenal as well or AppleCare. I bought the JL accidental for £70 so effectively should be converted for breakdown and accidental for 2 years, hope lasts longer than that though!!

Really tempted to get one for myself, or even the £999 one, just wonder if it's any better than my 2012 iMac as I don't need the portability.

It can airplay to Apple TV so could use in living room on big TV as well.....
Yes, I went for JL due to the guarantee. Though it’ll not be at my N. Ireland address until Tuesday (and I’m out all day as it’s my graduation), but still can’t complain.

I tried PC World in case they had it in stock to buy same day but apparently none of the N.I. stores had it in stock / it was online only and as they didn’t give the guarantee or any faster shipping decided to just go with JL.

I might get it privately insured, but who knows how dependable that’d be!

But isn't keyboard rather loud to be used in quiet environments like libraries?
I used my MBP 13” 2017 in class in my second year of uni in a small class and I’m a pretty quick typist (104wpm Max) and between paragraphs stopped, took a look around and two peers were sort of staring angrily at the noise it was making! Lol

But you can use less ‘smack’ Force on the keys, which initially you tend to overuse as you’re used to normal keyboards. But it’s easy to be gentler on it and quieter through time without feeling you’re making a conscious effort