Which used MacBook Should I buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Big Ron, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Big Ron macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi

    A general question: I have an inclination to purchase a second hand MacBook.
    I fancy a black one (but white would be nice) but I can't quite pick my way through the mryiad of offers out there in the UK, mostly on ebay. They all come with various marks, scratches, broken hinges etc. Some list non functioning batteries, some state only 1Gbyte of Ram.:)

    Could someone suggest what I should be looking for when buying one of these second hand. I would like someones personal point of view as to what cosmetic marks can be lived with and ideally what I should worry about.:eek:

    Finally: Can these still be upgraded today, ie Ram, batteries hard drives etc?

    I only want it word word processing, web surfing and to play my music.

    Any thought would be appreciated.
     
  2. domemvs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    GER
    #2
    Get an aluminium version, Late 2008. Durable as hell and I can tell you first hand it is upgradable with regard to RAM, HDD/SSD and even the battery!
     
  3. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    domemvs

    You wouldn't advocate a white or black one then?:confused:
     
  4. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #4
    I like the black one and I ended up purchasing one. For what you intend to do any Macbook would be fine.

    The original Macbooks were limited to 2GB (official) and 3GB (unofficial) with later one's being able to support more memory. Video also improved as the model line aged. Hard disks can easily be upgraded to any modern drive.

    As for aesthetics the non-aluminum variants were subject to cracking around the edges. Nothing major but something to look out for. IMO the largest problem with the Macbooks is the trackpad. As shipped the trackpad had a bit of texture to it. This texture made it easy to use. As time progresses the texture wears smooth thus movement isn't as good as it once was.
     
  5. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #5
    And will run Mavericks and the upcoming Yosemite.
     
  6. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Thanks reco2011

    I've seen a lot of posts and I'm quite keen to crack on and get one. I don't mind a bit of light tinkering i.e replacing hard drive with SSD & upgrading RAM etc. :)

    I now will be hampered with indecision just waiting for the perfect one to come up. E-bay in the UK seems to be the main place to get one, they do command higer prices though:mad:

    If I could only "Hackintosh" my old Toshiba NB305, that would be worth a go I'm sure:D
     
  7. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #7
    I bought an Early 2008 Black MacBook (MB404LL/A) off Ebay for $300 USD a few months back (no cracks). It's been a great secondary machine that I take everywhere.

    [​IMG]

    It came with the stock 2GB RAM/250GB HDD config with Lion. First thing I did was order a 6GB RAM kit from OWC, then I put in a spare 500GB HDD I had around, and installed Snow Leopard for stability and smoothness. I still need a new battery though.

    [​IMG]

    After that, I went and modified the Apple logo to make it red just for fun, makes it more personal, and turns heads when it's out :cool:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I previously had a Late '08 MacBook with the backlit keyboard, but sold it. And got a 2010 15" MBP.

    But I missed having a smaller laptop to take around, plus if it got damaged, it wouldn't be as bad as my nicer MBP.
     
  8. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    BrettApple

    That is a beautiful machine my friend, I wish you lived in the UK, I would make you a serious offer to sell it, nevertheless:

    Thanks for your kind words, I shal lhave to keep looking.:eek:

    I think that's the problem in the UK, $300 macbooks get listed for £180 which equates to a macbook that is a little worse for wear and is much lower specced. :eek:

    I think on your side of the pound you have the advantages of supply and demand in your favour.:D
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    I remember watching a video where some guy recommended Scrumpy Macs in the UK. I am in the US so I don't know the price conversion.

    Essentially, what are you trying to do with the machine?
     
  10. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    Thanks Altemose, I haven't heard of "Scrumpy Macs"

    Essentially I'm looking to buy as late as possible macbook, preferably black but white would do.

    I don't mind doing the basic upgrades but definately don't want a macbook that is cosmetically knackered.:rolleyes:
     
  11. XoFu macrumors regular

    XoFu

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    #11
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    If you want a plastic model, if you can afford it, I recommend getting one of the Unibody white plastic models from Late 2009 or Mid 2010. The 2010 models can get 16 GB of RAM, where as the 2009 can only do 8 GB.
     
  13. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    Altemose

    Thanks for the advice, it looks as if buying a 2009/10 unibody white plastic model would give me decent performance without too much cosmetic damage.

    I checked out http://stores.ebay.co.uk/CK-IT-Computers
    and they seem ok, approx £370 for what you suggest seems resonable.:)
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14

    Those machines run Mavericks and can be upgraded fairly well with more RAM (8GB 2009, 16GB 2010) and retain the plastic body. Is there a reason you want a MacBook rather than an Air or a cMBP (Classic MacBook Pro)?
     
  15. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Encino, CA
    #15
    You can always get the most recent model which is this one. It doesn't have the backlite keyboard or anything like that but it's pretty durable. Keep in mine, I believe that majority of the MacBooks won't have Applecare (too old), so if something happens to it and you can't repair it yourself, you're pretty much SOL.
     
  16. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    Excellent advice AppleFanatic10, ill look out for one on a UK site. Thanks:eek:

    ----------

    Altemose its just aquestion of price, I can't quite justify a whole lot of cash to what will efectivelly be a expreiment/hack machine. I would however like to get something usefull & working out of it and have "ringfenced" additional funds for a SSD & memory upgrade. Thats the main reason I'm trying to keep costs down:apple:
     
  17. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #17
    I just scored one of these for $175.00. Thing was in pristine condition.
     
  18. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    FedEX it to me then, ill pay COD:):)
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19

    A Pro from the same era won't be much more money than the white MacBooks. That being said, I am very fond of the white MacBooks. It really depends on what you can find.
     
  20. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #20
    I ended up flipping it...sold it the next day for $300.
     
  21. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #21
    If you see another one - remember me:):p
     
  22. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #22
    I don't know what they go for in the UK. However, you may even be able to snag a Unibody Aluminum MacBook pretty cheaply. They were later changed and rebranded the 13" MacBook Pro! Some also come equipped with the built in keyboard backlighting, but if I recall correctly, that was limited to the faster 2.4 GHz model.
     
  23. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #23
    Altemose I shall keep my digital eyes open. What I wan't is the equivalent of "one careful lady driver" to pop up on ebay.:D

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #24

    I don't know the values in the UK, so whatever I say goes off of the market in the US. Though I can't imagine it could be that far off.
     
  25. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #25
    I wonder if I could put my MR avatar behind the Apple logo. That would be fun.
     

Share This Page