Thinking of switching and getting a used macbook. Need advice!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mgsquared, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. mgsquared macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #1
    Hello dear Mac people!

    I am considering getting an iLife (he he) and buying a used macbook. My budget isn't very big and I don't see the sense it it being very big because I wouldn't do SO much on it. This laptop would sit in the living room and be what I use to browse, write (I have a 30 page paper coming up in a year.. and I guess more will follow), download (here's where my little netbook holds up a white flag), and that's it! I'm not sure I would even watch many tv shows or movies on it because my boyfriend will set it up so that I can watch stuff from my laptop on the TV (through a media center.. I have no clue how he does any of it! Just that he can. :p). I wouldn't even carry it around.

    Anyways, my awesome Windows tablet laptop died last year. Died. It had a faulty NVDIA chipset and will not even boot. I didn't buy it in the US, wasn't able to take part in the recall and now I have a very expensive paperweight. :/ I got a cheap netbook that is now a year old and... not a laptop! It's painfully slow. Battery is terrible. Etc. etc.

    I have an Iphone 4 I love and am thinking that maybe a mac is a good idea.

    This seems to be the best deal I have found and want opinions on it from people who know!

    It's a Macbook bought in 2009 (still has six months of warranty) and I get it with the receipt, Silver unibody case (I saw pictures, it seems to be in perfect condition), and these are the specs:

    > 2,4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
    > 2GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM
    > 500GB Harddrive with7200 u/min
    > GeForce 9400M
    > 13" screen

    He would upgrade it to 4gb ram (the Harddrive was upgraded from 250 to 500) before giving it to me and is selling it because he upgraded to a Macbook pro. I have to replace the battery.

    How much longer do you guys think this laptop will live?
    What kind of battery would I need to buy?
    Will it be able to run Lion?
    Will it meet my needs?

    He wants 450 euros (I live in Austria) which seems like a fair deal. Is it?

    I also saw an ad for an 11 inch 64 gb macbook air for 400 but it seems like that would be using a netbook again! right?


    sorry this is so long but I know nothing about these things and could really use some advice!

    Thank you so so much in advance!
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    Ultimately what matters is whether it's worth it to you. There are several things you can do to decide. Take a look at "completed listings" in ebay to see what the exact models are actually selling for, including shipping. If yours is anywhere near the "middle of the pack" pricing. Since you are dealing with somebody in person, the likelihood of being scammed is reduced.

    Ask him to let you run geekbench on the thing and compare the score to the scores listed on primate labs' web site. I was looking at used iMacs at a local store and ran geekbench on them and it scored about 1/2 to 1/5 what it should score. Obviously those guys tampered with the machines somehow. The low scores, coupled with a "no returns" policy made me decide I'd rather wait and buy from Apple.
     
  3. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Finer stores everywhere.
    #3
    You may not be interested, but if you're going to be upgrading it, at least be aware that that model MacBook can use up to 8GB of RAM, and can hold a 1TB hard disk (the unibodies can accommodate the 12.5mm-tall laptop drives).

    I'm still using a late 2008 unibody MacBook, and previously I used a white iBook bought in 2002 until 2008. My guess is that it will be a fine machine and last for a good while.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    I've got one of those Aluminum MacBooks and it is a fine machine. I do some pretty heavy stuff on it (video production and running engineering CAD programs in a Windows virtual machine). Looks like new even though it over two years old. It's been upgraded with a 500GB drive and 4GB RAM, and I intend to keep it for another year before upgrading.

    It should be just fine for your light use.

    My wife has the 11" MacBook Air, which would also be fine for you if you can live with the smaller screen. It does have an advantage of being lighter, smaller and much greater battery life. You may think of it as a netbook, but it doesn't feel like one as it is sturdy and has a good keyboard and trackpad.

    Either of these will run Lion. Buy the replacement battery from Apple, but like every Lithium Ion battery, they aren't cheap. $129 (US) I believe. Could easily make the Air a better deal.
     
  5. mgsquared thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    #5
    Thank you so much! I decided to go for it! Just hope he hasn't sold it to anyone else yet. :) Now I'm just nervous about making the switch from a PC to a Mac!
    But thank you again for your advice! It was all very reassuring. :
     

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