Resolved What's a good, portable Mac for cheap?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dlimes13, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. dlimes13, Jun 20, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011

    dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    Okay so I'm in a pickle right now. I am wanting a smaller portable computer to go with my 17 inch MBP. I only want to spend around $700 or less. I do not want a 10 or 11 inch screen, must be 12-14 inches (because of screen resolution, needs to be 1280x800 or 1366x768 or greater). Here's what I'm considering:

    A used MacBook (Any model) /MacBook Pro 13 (if cheap enough)
    A netbook capable of Hackintosh (most cost effective)

    What would be the best option in your guys' opinion? I just want to be able to have a smaller computer to take on quick trips and things of that nature w/ out having to whip out a huge 17 inch machine. Basic computing tasks, but the ability to run OS X obviously is the main part.

    Let me know what you all think. What are your opinions on an old MacBook, MacBook Pro, Hackintosh, etc. Thank you in advance!

    FYI: Tried the iPad thing, didn't like it. I have an iPhone 4 for my iOS needs.

    I would get a 13 inch Air, on next refresh or even current gen, but I have two problems w/ the MBA's:

    The RAM has been soddered on since Day 1, and you can't change the HDD/SDD in the current one. Lack of customization. Plus a new one is pricey when you own a MBP already, I'm in IT, so that kind of customization is important to me. I buy 3rd party components for upgrades all the time, instead of expensive manufacturer upgrades.
  2. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    You have a number of options here. Personal preference will have a factor in your decision I suspect.

    1. White MB that is 1 year old. You'll get it for less than $700 and is more than adequate

    2. Rev B/C MBA. Whilst you have no expansion capability (for RAM at least) it is a VERY lovely portable. I have a Rev A and I just can't bring myself to sell it for a newer version.... It is just too wonderful :eek:

    3. 13" MBP last gen. Again, more than adequate and just the same as the white MB but in silver !!!!

    If ultra-portable is your thing, then Rev C MBA would be the way to go.
    If similar but smaller is your thing, then MBP is you way to go
    If cheapest is your thing then White MB is the way to go.
  3. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    Sounds like you're in for a second hand or refurb MacBook. $700 for what you ask can only get you so far
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Since you mentioned "netbook", I'd suggest a Dell Mini 10v (no longer sold new, as far as I know).

    These can run Snow Leopard (10.6.7), but _WILL NOT_ be upgradeable to Lion due to their processor architecture. But, if Snow Leopard will "work for you", they can be had very inexpensively.

    They are also VERY easy to get SL up and running on, and finding online discussion boards for support is also easy.

    One downside is the trackpad -- it works, but clunky. Better to use a small mouse instead, when possible.
  5. briansolomon macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2005
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Apple occasionally has 2 year old refurb White Macbooks for 759. I would say the extra $100 or so you'd have to spend is worth getting a 'new' machine and warranty.

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