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WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
I have one option to buy a used 2017 base model. m3, 8 GB, 256 GB.

2016 is in the vintage list now. Next year will be obsolete. So 2017 should have another year of parts and services from Apple.

I am a bit concerned about battery and keyboard. So will ask and try. Anything else to be cautious about this particular model used by someone else I don’t know?

Thanks for sharing.
 

drrich2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2005
214
117
M3?

Some years back I bought a 2017 12" MacBook (Intel processor, of course), 8 gig RAM, 512 gig SSD, on sale for about a grand from B&H Photo and Video, to either hook to an external monitor during down time away from home, or use when traveling. It's been pretty good. I often use an external bluetooth keyboard to save wear & tear on the keyboard; I believe it has the notorious 'butterfly keyboard' Apple was criticized for, though mine so far has been fine.

It only has one USB-C port, so figure you'll be buying a multiport dongle, and of course if the USB-C port ever stops working for some reason, seeing as how that's the charger port, you may be out of luck. I think it doesn't run the latest MacOS version; my 2017 iMac doesn't.

I like the little rascal; very portable and light. The screen is small enough I wouldn't want to rely on it heavily. In a nutshell, for the right person it can be a nice supplemental Mac, for for an undemanding user with a nice external display it could be an only Mac.

But I'd really look at my options. Some M1 MacBook Airs get sold pretty cheap when sales run. Is the 2017 MacBook cheaper enough to be worth taking a chance on something many generations removed?
 

WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
MacBook Air M1 is big and heavy. I could buy one brand new for the equivalent of less than 800 euro. Intel m3 is fast. I would prefer iPad 12” with macOS booting capability. MacBook 12” 2017 is the best available option for me.

My concern is only about hardware reliability. Not much the butterfly keyboard. I am gentle with my wares. And own a BT Magic already.

With 2nd hand Apple items the big unknown is always if components are genuine or not. Replaced by some lower quality, cheaper items or not. Plus have no previous experience with this particular model.

So what I am really asking here is what I should care to ask to the seller for this particular model. Thanks.
 
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StoneJack

macrumors 68020
Dec 19, 2009
2,420
1,495
MacBook Air M1 is big and heavy. I could buy one brand new for the equivalent of less than 800 euro. Intel m3 is fast. I would prefer iPad 12” with macOS booting capability. MacBook 12” 2017 is the best available option for me.

My concern is only about hardware reliability. Not much the butterfly keyboard. I am gentle with my wares. And own a BT Magic already.

With 2nd hand Apple items the big unknown is always if components are genuine or not. Replaced by some lower quality, cheaper items or not. Plus have no previous experience with this particular model.

So what I am really asking here is what I should care to ask to the seller for this particular model. Thanks.
I purchased Macbook Air m1 and then sold it, before buying MBA M2. In between, I used and then sold Macbook 2017 m3, 256/8, on which I installed Monterey.
My impressions:
Pros:
1. for the office work and casual coffeeshop work, the machine was fine.
2. Screen is definitely small but it is light and easy to carry.
3. I did not find any problems with keyboard and touchpad.
Cons:
1. battery life is not greatest, especially if you add the battery wear from 2017. A new battery obviously would be great.
2. The m3 is not optimized for latest software (of course). Microsoft Teams would really slow down the system.
3. Single USB-C port makes it a bit more difficult to use with external display (but it is doable).

I bought M2 and has been very happy with battery life, screen and processor power YMMV. I'd invest in M2/M3/M1 and have longer OS support if I was you. Pricewise, they are not so different.
 
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WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
Unfortunately Apple doesn’t offer 1 kg laptops with macOS anymore. So I have no other choice. Speed doesn’t matter to me.

What’s the most failure, or damage, prone component of MB 12” 2017 in your experience? Keyboard excluded.

I am factoring in a battery replacement at Apple already.
 

StoneJack

macrumors 68020
Dec 19, 2009
2,420
1,495
Unfortunately Apple doesn’t offer 1 kg laptops with macOS anymore. So I have no other choice. Speed doesn’t matter to me.

What’s the most failure, or damage, prone component of MB 12” 2017 in your experience? Keyboard excluded.

I am factoring in a battery replacement at Apple already.
battery replacements is top priority if keyboard works fine.
 

StoneJack

macrumors 68020
Dec 19, 2009
2,420
1,495
Unfortunately Apple doesn’t offer 1 kg laptops with macOS anymore. So I have no other choice. Speed doesn’t matter to me.

What’s the most failure, or damage, prone component of MB 12” 2017 in your experience? Keyboard excluded.

I am factoring in a battery replacement at Apple already.
Mba is 1.3 kg so difference is 300 grams fyi
 

WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
300g absolutely make a noticeable difference while in your knapsack. Also handling it around. And it’s larger and deeper.

I have been looking at few more options and with my surprise two of them have a deep mark exactly in correspondence of the USB port. Is that the corner most likely to bump in to for some reason?
 

WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
By the way does Apple actually replace the battery of 12” MacBook? Or more simply swap the entire laptop with another one if available in storage? Asking because this is what they offered with iPad Air 2 at the time.
 

maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,400
2,285
By the way does Apple actually replace the battery of 12” MacBook? Or more simply swap the entire laptop with another one if available in storage? Asking because this is what they offered with iPad Air 2 at the time.
They will replace the battery.

As others said go for a M1 Air. i had the 12” for 5 years and believe me you will adapt quite easily to the different size. the faster computing experience and longer battery life is a much bigger win than saving a few hundred grams
 

WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
From the appreciation thread discovered Apple replaces the bottom assembly.

In the same thread also the answer, and my answer to that answer, to your point of view. Popular but different than mine and to that of other users.

Wannabe sellers failing to understand the consumable and aging value of a battery are surprising. Trying to sell me a six years old laptop without factoring in battery replacement. I may be forced to buy MBA M1 not because I want, or need, it. But because it makes economic sense. We will see.
 

Eric#8

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2023
6
2
From the appreciation thread discovered Apple replaces the bottom assembly.

In the same thread also the answer, and my answer to that answer, to your point of view. Popular but different than mine and to that of other users.

Wannabe sellers failing to understand the consumable and aging value of a battery are surprising. Trying to sell me a six years old laptop without factoring in battery replacement. I may be forced to buy MBA M1 not because I want, or need, it. But because it makes economic sense. We will see.
Obviously, the genuine value is in M1, new or used, matters not-- no argument about it.

With that said, I am an idiot. Presently, I have located a couple of still-sealed 2017 MacBooks (new) and I plan to pick one up. I am gonna pay all the money. I already have a 2017 MacBook i5-16gb, 256gb and I keep my gear a long time. My advice, accounting for the traveling you hinted at and the MacBook 12 Inch; the alloy housing is subject to damage and it will damage easily. It is not hard to pick up a dent while in a backpack, covered or uncovered, it will get dented with daily traveling.

I dropped my 2017 last week and put a considerable dent in the corner. And as a result the USB-C port and internal DC jack now have an apparent alignment issue. I am having trouble charging the MacBook. The cable has to sit perfect in the port. Again, I could buy an M1, M2, or whatever but for me and my needs the Retina MacBook is a near perfect machine. Dollar for dollar it has been one the greatest devices I have ever owned. I run Apple Pages for income, utilise Safari for media consumption and email, that's about it. The speaker performance is a huge bonus btw.

Of note, the keyboard on the 2017s are unique to the model year but I am not so sure I agree with those who claim that the keyboard on the 2017's have been reengineered from the 2015/2016 offerings. As best as I can tell, only the iconography on the key caps has been changed. Further, with the 2017's the font on the display ('MacBook' is done in an old school apple font) has been changed and is slightly different from the font present at the bottom of the display on the 2015/2016 models.

Batteries are a genuine concern with the MB. My overnight battery drain (sleep) since Monterey has been insane. I blame Apple. Again, I don't run third party but there is a definite drain when in sleep. Apple has been a little sneaky about that sort of thing in their history before when trying to assist consumers out of old gear.

If it wasn't for you needing to be on the go I would say the 12 inch MacBook is a tremendous value on the used market but if your contacts or your work is linked to the machine and you're on foot -- get something with a more durable and thicker alloy body because the MacBook is paper thin. I dig it though. By this time next week a new 2017 should be sitting on the couch next to me. I am an idiot. hahhahahaa.

Cheers
 
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WuMing2

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 16, 2023
52
18
Obviously, the genuine value is in M1, new or used, matters not-- no argument about it.

With that said, I am an idiot. Presently, I have located a couple of still-sealed 2017 MacBooks (new) and I plan to pick one up. I am gonna pay all the money. I already have a 2017 MacBook i5-16gb, 256gb and I keep my gear a long time. My advice, accounting for the traveling you hinted at and the MacBook 12 Inch; the alloy housing is subject to damage and it will damage easily. It is not hard to pick up a dent while in a backpack, covered or uncovered, it will get dented with daily traveling.

I dropped my 2017 last week and put a considerable dent in the corner. And as a result the USB-C port and internal DC jack now have an apparent alignment issue. I am having trouble charging the MacBook. The cable has to sit perfect in the port. Again, I could buy an M1, M2, or whatever but for me and my needs the Retina MacBook is a near perfect machine. Dollar for dollar it has been one the greatest devices I have ever owned. I run Apple Pages for income, utilise Safari for media consumption and email, that's about it. The speaker performance is a huge bonus btw.

Of note, the keyboard on the 2017s are unique to the model year but I am not so sure I agree with those who claim that the keyboard on the 2017's have been reengineered from the 2015/2016 offerings. As best as I can tell, only the iconography on the key caps has been changed. Further, with the 2017's the font on the display ('MacBook' is done in an old school apple font) has been changed and is slightly different from the font present at the bottom of the display on the 2015/2016 models.

Batteries are a genuine concern with the MB. My overnight battery drain (sleep) since Monterey has been insane. I blame Apple. Again, I don't run third party but there is a definite drain when in sleep. Apple has been a little sneaky about that sort of thing in their history before when trying to assist consumers out of old gear.

If it wasn't for you needing to be on the go I would say the 12 inch MacBook is a tremendous value on the used market but if your contacts or your work is linked to the machine and you're on foot -- get something with a more durable and thicker alloy body because the MacBook is paper thin. I dig it though. By this time next week a new 2017 should be sitting on the couch next to me. I am an idiot. hahhahahaa.

Cheers
Doesn’t happen often I obtain exactly what I was asking for. Your reply is detailed and informative. Thank you.

My options for a reasonably priced MB 12” 2017 are currently nil. I have been looking at it for a long time. Awaiting my current MBA 11” to give up or become too slow. None of it actually happened yet. Surprisingly.

I feel the window of opportunity to buy one is about to close. Next year will enter the vintage list. Or become obsolete right away. Will wait a little more and then be forced to make a decision.
 
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Eric#8

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2023
6
2
Doesn’t happen often I obtain exactly what I was asking for. Your reply is detailed and informative. Thank you.

My options for a reasonably priced MB 12” 2017 are currently nil. I have been looking at it for a long time. Awaiting my current MBA 11” to give up or become too slow. None of it actually happened yet. Surprisingly.

I feel the window of opportunity to buy one is about to close. Next year will enter the vintage list. Or become obsolete right away. Will wait a little more and then be forced to make a decision.
Hahahah, my first laptop was an A1465! Oh man, that machine is hard to beat among legends and I have been on MacOS since Apple II. I still have my MBA 11-inch! I might restore it; I got through college on it, all the paint on the key caps wore off, wow, good times. WuMing2; Be Well. Cheers -- legends live forever.
 

Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,045
955
MacBook Air M1 is big and heavy. I could buy one brand new for the equivalent of less than 800 euro. Intel m3 is fast. I would prefer iPad 12” with macOS booting capability. MacBook 12” 2017 is the best available option for me.

My concern is only about hardware reliability. Not much the butterfly keyboard. I am gentle with my wares. And own a BT Magic already.

With 2nd hand Apple items the big unknown is always if components are genuine or not. Replaced by some lower quality, cheaper items or not. Plus have no previous experience with this particular model.

So what I am really asking here is what I should care to ask to the seller for this particular model. Thanks.
Your information is totally inaccurate. Just a few:
- there is no intel M3
- MacBook Air M1 is not big & heavy at all
- MacBook components is hardly to replace, so your concern on genuine component is unlikely valid
- In 2017 Apple still hasn’t release M3 yet, hence, 2017 M3 model is never existed

I’m concerned you deal with scam seller. Be very careful.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,045
955
I purchased Macbook Air m1 and then sold it, before buying MBA M2. In between, I used and then sold Macbook 2017 m3, 256/8, on which I installed Monterey.
My impressions:
Pros:
1. for the office work and casual coffeeshop work, the machine was fine.
2. Screen is definitely small but it is light and easy to carry.
3. I did not find any problems with keyboard and touchpad.
Cons:
1. battery life is not greatest, especially if you add the battery wear from 2017. A new battery obviously would be great.
2. The m3 is not optimized for latest software (of course). Microsoft Teams would really slow down the system.
3. Single USB-C port makes it a bit more difficult to use with external display (but it is doable).

I bought M2 and has been very happy with battery life, screen and processor power YMMV. I'd invest in M2/M3/M1 and have longer OS support if I was you. Pricewise, they are not so different.
What are you talking about? Any reference that 2017 MacBook M3 is ever existed?

To OP, you may find this article helpful.
 

Eric#8

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2023
6
2
Your information is totally inaccurate. Just a few:
- there is no intel M3
- MacBook Air M1 is not big & heavy at all
- MacBook components is hardly to replace, so your concern on genuine component is unlikely valid
- In 2017 Apple still hasn’t release M3 yet, hence, 2017 M3 model is never existed

I’m concerned you deal with scam seller. Be very careful.

Just my 2 cents.
The M3 is (mobile) the base chip in every 12 Inch MacBook Retina manufactured between 2015-2019. Apple put mobile chips in the A1534 MacBook (2015-2017) and that is in fact why there is chipset designated M3 long before Apple silicone was released. They went with tablet M-Series Intel processors for their passive cooling design, thus no fan in the 2015-2017 MacBooks. They are not the full size desktop replacement chips found in other laptops such as the MBA and MBP. They are chipsets designed for phones and tablets.
 
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Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,045
955
The M3 is the (mobile) variant of the base chip in every 12 Inch MacBook Retina manufactured between 2015-2017. Apple put mobile chips in the A1534 MacBook (2015-2017) and that is in fact why there is chipset designated M3 long before Apple silicone was released.
Thanks! Assuming you’re correct, but the term M3 for MacBook is commonly refer to M-series Apple Silicone.
 
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Eric#8

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2023
6
2
Thanks! Assuming you’re correct, but the term M3 for MacBook is commonly refer to M-series Apple Silicone.
Yeah, M3 has been commonly known since 2015. M-series silicone didn't even exist a few years ago. You're new to Apple, I can tell. There is in fact an Intel M3 chip, so you're wrong there. No assumption about it. Secondly, the MBA M1, M2 is in fact a larger and heavier machine than the 12-Inch MacBook; I dunno how you can't concede that, puzzling indeed. And further, today I can order non branded parts for the/any MacBook straight from Shenzhen and pay pennies on the dollar and that is concerning when replacing components. More than that, Apple hasn't ever produced a battery and there is no shortage of inferior replacement parts/batteries for the MacBook out in the market place today. The 41.41 battery that shipped in my MacBook from the factory is hard to get ahold of. Twice I had to send batteries back to vendors because they sent the lower rated battery for the 2015 MacBook, which has an absolutely horrible battery life, factory part or not. You're new to Apple, Ismailis -- good luck to you because you're all wrong here in this thread.
 
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Jonnod III

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2004
88
48
Yeah, M3 has been commonly known since 2015. M-series silicone didn't even exist a few years ago. You're new to Apple, I can tell. There is in fact an Intel M3 chip, so you're wrong there. No assumption about it. Secondly, the MBA M1, M2 is in fact a larger and heavier machine than the 12-Inch MacBook; I dunno how you can't concede that, puzzling indeed. And further, today I can order non branded parts for the/any MacBook straight from Shenzhen and pay pennies on the dollar and that is concerning when replacing components. More than that, Apple hasn't ever produced a battery and there is no shortage of inferior replacement batteries for the MacBook out in the market place today. The 41.41 battery that shipped in my MacBook from the factory is hard to get ahold of. Twice I had to send batteries back to vendors because they sent the lower rated battery for the 2015 MacBook, which has an absolutely horrible battery life, factory part or not. You're new to Apple, Ismailis -- good luck to you because you're all wrong here in this thread.
Apple silicone, is that some special kind of waterproofing? 😹
 
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throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,817
6,981
Perth, Western Australia
I have one option to buy a used 2017 base model. m3, 8 GB, 256 GB.

2016 is in the vintage list now. Next year will be obsolete. So 2017 should have another year of parts and services from Apple.

I am a bit concerned about battery and keyboard. So will ask and try. Anything else to be cautious about this particular model used by someone else I don’t know?

Thanks for sharing.

Keyboard issues, display cable issues. Friend of mine went through 3 Macbook 12" machines with keyboard failures inside of 3 months before giving up and going to a 2015 13" Macbook Pro (which had zero keyboard issues for him).

Anecdotal, but that was his experience. He loved the form factor but the machine spent more time being broken and being repaired than getting his job done. That was a 2015 model Macbook 12", but i don't believe they ever truly fixed the keyboard on them.
 
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throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,817
6,981
Perth, Western Australia
Your information is totally inaccurate. Just a few:
- there is no intel M3
- MacBook Air M1 is not big & heavy at all
- MacBook components is hardly to replace, so your concern on genuine component is unlikely valid
- In 2017 Apple still hasn’t release M3 yet, hence, 2017 M3 model is never existed

I’m concerned you deal with scam seller. Be very careful.

Just my 2 cents.

There certainly is an intel Core M3. It was used for a while to denominate 5-10 watt low power (both in terms of watts and in terms of performance) intel core series during the time the macbook 12" was around.

It was intels naming for an ultra low power i3 basically.

Base frequency of around 1Ghz (boost to 3.X but don't expect much of that in a fanless design). They're not fast.
 
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kitKAC

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2022
687
654
Yeah, M3 has been commonly known since 2015. M-series silicone didn't even exist a few years ago. You're new to Apple, I can tell. There is in fact an Intel M3 chip, so you're wrong there. No assumption about it. Secondly, the MBA M1, M2 is in fact a larger and heavier machine than the 12-Inch MacBook; I dunno how you can't concede that, puzzling indeed. And further, today I can order non branded parts for the/any MacBook straight from Shenzhen and pay pennies on the dollar and that is concerning when replacing components. More than that, Apple hasn't ever produced a battery and there is no shortage of inferior replacement parts/batteries for the MacBook out in the market place today. The 41.41 battery that shipped in my MacBook from the factory is hard to get ahold of. Twice I had to send batteries back to vendors because they sent the lower rated battery for the 2015 MacBook, which has an absolutely horrible battery life, factory part or not. You're new to Apple, Ismailis -- good luck to you because you're all wrong here in this thread.
If the OP had listed the machine they were referring to clearly, there wouldn't be any confusion. Base Model 12" 2017 MacBook.
 
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Eric#8

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2023
6
2
If the OP had listed the machine they were referring to clearly, there wouldn't be any confusion. Base Model 12" 2017 MacBook.
Tell me precisely where anyone can be confused between the thread heading and the very first line in the OP's comment?

I have 6,000+ books, I read for a living -- English is a difficult language to be sure but tell me, honestly; Are you confused by the OP's otherwise denotative statement in the very first line in his/her post? Lemme cite it verbatim;

"I have one option to buy a used 2017 base model. m3, 8 GB, 256 GB."

...this is not a riddle, are you confused by such a statement as the one found above?
 
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aespana

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2020
123
104
I have base model (m3, 8, 256) and works good.

If you need something light to use, with good screen, very good speakers and small with a good keyboard, go for it.

Just don't install Ventura since the performance is not good in my opinion
 
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