I have to help buy a 17" laptop soon for a developer. The whole reason is that his old HP ProBook is a bit flaky and he would like a larger screen. The old machine is an i5-2430M, 8GB RAM, SSD with a 15" screen (1366 x 768). The new machine doesn't have to be faster (but nor noticeably slower). It just has to work fine and have a larger and better screen. It just occurred to me that I could just get an older MacBook Pro 17". Now, there are a few questions here: * is this wise nowadays? The machine would be 5 years old or so already. Would it last another, say, 2-3 years? * are there some specific recommended models? I know the 2011 batch has motherboard problems. Which one would be the ones to search for and which ones to avoid? By elimination I assume only mid-2010? * they don't seem to be particularly cheap in EU. For $500-$700, which seems to be the price for an i5/i7 variant, I could also get a new, with warranty, PC laptop and put Linux on it. What would be a correct price? * any specific old-age signs to look for before buying? So, to reiterate, no other Apple laptop fits the bill. It has to be a 17" laptop.