Will a Macbook last for several years?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by RUBIS, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. RUBIS macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    Hi! I need honest opinion and insight from Mac guru here.

    I've been using a MBP 2011 (13" 2.3 GHz Corei5 ram 4Gb HDD 512G) until today. It's my first mac and has been sturdy and reliable all along. Sure it's been quite slow these past few years, which is very understandable. It still works okay. I plan to use it for as long as it has me but I think I should buy a new MAC as a backup, in case my old MBP faces a sudden death or something.

    At first, I'm looking unhurriedly for Macbook Air (prolly the secondhand 11" or something - my current MBP is kinda heavy) but then I found a secondhand Macbook 2016 on sale at around 1000$ (I live in an Asian country where there's no official Apple store) and the seller is someone I know so no worry abt the scam.
    The specs are: Macbook 12 early 2016 core M5 ram8 SSD512 (warranty already ran out, i think)
    I know that on paper, Macbook's spec seems paler in comparison with other models but someone told me that it manages the resources very well and they found no difference (with Air etc) during real usage. But I'm not sure if it stays true on the long run...? Please weigh in!

    Do you think I should invest in this one?
    or should I rather buy the cheapest model of Macbook Air 2017 OR splurge a bit more (approx. 250$ more) for the cheapest model of MBP 2017?

    I'm hoping to find a model that is sturdy and would last for several years. Mac products are generally expensive for me even though I think it's worth the price and a good investment for work. I simply can't afford a new one as often as other Apple fans.

    I usually use laptop for office work (keynote, pages and my MBP has Office for MAC. I guess that still works on new models?), internet surfing, movie watching. Quite the basic stuff. I don't use Photoshop/Adobe or image/video editor programs (I even rarely use iPhoto). I don't play games at all (not even Solitaire or minesweeper)
    - retina display or not : not a deal breaker for me. I can't even distinguish the two..
    - portability is a plus
    - still undecided with single USB-C port. I think I could survive that (with a hub, of course) but need real users' opinion on this.

    Thank you so much in advance for your help!
  2. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I am biased because I really wanted the media advantages of the 2017 MacBook over the 2016 model, but it should also be noted that the 2017 has a very much improved keyboard. As some reviews have stated, while the 2017 model keyboard is just OK (and not awesome), the 2016 feels like a pizza box with a keyboard drawn on it. Obviously that's an exaggeration, but you get the picture.

    Also, it should be noted that the 2017 m3 is either as fast or faster than the 2016 m5, so you should factor that into your decision.

    The 2017 also gives you the option of 16 GB RAM. However, by the sounds of it, you won't need 16 GB or even 12 GB any time soon, so that's probably not a big consideration for you.

    IMO, you should NOT get an 11" MacBook Air. The screen sucks in comparison.

    I bought a 2017 MacBook m3 / 16 GB RAM / 256 GB. If you went with a 2017, it sounds like you might be happy with an m3 / 8 GB RAM / 256 GB, which luckily happens to be the cheapest 2017. If 256 GB is not enough though, then you'd have to go with the i5 / 8 GB RAM / 512 GB, but that's more expensive.
  3. Mighuel macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2008
    I’d say definitely get Macbook over Air. Macbook will handle your use case with ease for years to come.
  4. RUBIS thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    Thank you very much for your kind advices!
    I didn't even think about the keyboard at all. Thanks EugW for reminding me.
    Thank you Mighuel for your vote of confidence for the Macbook. :)
  5. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Another 12" MacBook fan here, too! If you're interested in portability, the 12" rMB is outstanding, and with reasonable care should certainly last several years. In comparison with the MacBook Air it has the advantage of a beautiful easy-to-read retina screen and current hardware (2017 model). I've just received my 2017 one (Space Grey, i7 512 GB, 16 GB RAM) and the keyboard on this one definitely is improved over the 2015 or 2016 models. I'm loving this beautiful little speed demon!
  6. RUBIS thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    Thank you for your input Clix Pix !
    Your new Macbook sounds terrific. Just reading the word "RAM 16Gb" makes me go starry eyes haha
    I can't afford them for now (that's why I prolly have to buy the secondhand and older version) but it seems like I should save up money very soon.
  7. elyrly macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    how much is your friend asking for the macbook? Just wondering what the used market price
  8. JPH675 macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2016
    I have and use daily an early, original 2015 rMB 1.1/256, which I use to respond to this post. No issues and I drive a LG 4k monitor off of it fabulously; ultimate portability and desk top applications this way.
  9. RUBIS thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    around 1000$ (but I live in an Asian country where there's no official Apple physical store and the sale price of Apple products are already higher than in the US. If my memory serves me right, the price of the newest model of rMB is probably equivalent to 2000USD)

    JPH675 Thank you for sharing your experience. That's assuring :)
  10. darkmatter343, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017

    darkmatter343 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2017
    I’m going to put a vote in for the 2016 your friend has. Have you tried his out? Tried the keyboard? While the 2017 does indeed have a improved keyboard, I don’t think it’s a massive improvement and one that should be the deal breaker. After all, if your friend hasn’t had issues then he’s already done the pre-testing for you.
    As for the speed, I can tell you I have a 2014 Mac Mini with a 1.4ghz i5, only 4gb ram, and a 240gb ssd. That 2016 m3 cpu would probably eat my 2014 1.4ghz for dinner, architectural improvement wise.

    Here is what I currently run on my 2014 mini with no slowdowns.
    • Drive dual 1080p monitors
    • Run one virtual machine, allocating it 2gb of my machines measley 4gb
    • Have safari always open with at least 4-6 Tabs
    • Watch a full 1080p movie or Netflix on the 2nd screen while doing all of the above.
    So, I’m going to place my vote on your friends 2016 MacBook, as the price is right, and it will definitely handle all your needs for years. I would not consider the keyboard the main deciding factor, and knowing what you’ll be using it for, see what I accomplish above with only 4gb ram on a 2014 cpu lol.

    MacOS is exceptionally well at handling resources. And for those curious I’ve never seen my ram pressure exceed light orange. Good luck in your decision!
  11. RUBIS thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    darkmatter343 Thank you for your attentive and detailed input! It really quickened my decision to buy.

    I just bought said rMB today. The keyboard is not ideal but it's not as bas as I imagined lol. Well, there was a time I had to use lousy windows netbook so, comparing with this rMB, I def had worse..
    And to my surprise, the warranty is still going! It will expire on 31 Jan 2018 and I'm thinking if I should buy further Applecare... (I bought 3-year Applecare for my old MBP but I'd had never used it, not even once. But I don't know if new models are as resilient as older models.. Would it worth the price...?)

    Thank you everyone once again for your kind advices. You saved me :D
  12. darkmatter343 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2017
    Glad to assist :D

    The warranty is a gamble really... I've repaired PC laptops for a living for the last 20 years, (mostly HP Elitebooks now) so seeing the cost of repairs for parts and labor, if the LCD goes bad, or the mainboard drops, it could be an expensive repair. In your situation however, your friend has already had it for a year so he's done the pre-testing for you, and honestly if something were to fail, it probably would have failed already within the first 30days.

    That being said, having an extra 2yrs of warranty for peace of mind might be worth it. The LCD above everything would be the first to go *if anything were to fail (from my experience with laptops), but Logic boards/Motherboards do fail from time to time. And lastly the keyboard, if that ever gave you problems, it would probably be the cost of the warranty anyways to fix it (because of labour).

    Short answer, if you can swing it, I'd say yes buy the Apple Care. Since the SSD/RAM are now soldered onto the logicboard, if they fail that would be more than the cost of Applecare, or say in a year if your LCD doesn't turn on. But otherwise don't fret because it's been tested for a year, and most electronics, if they are going to fail, fail within the first 30 days.

    Enjoy the Macbook! :)
  13. RUBIS thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 10, 2017
    Thank you darkmatter343 ! You're a gift that keeps on giving. I truly appreciate your very considerate and thoughtful advice.
  14. Guy Clark Suspended

    Guy Clark

    Nov 28, 2013
    London United Kingdom.
    There really is no need to restrict yourself with USB-C on a modern MacBook. Why not apply some straightforward upgrades to your current MacBook Pro which already has the superb Intel i5 (Sandy Bridge) CPU.

    Replace the Hard Drive with an SSD and max out the RAM to 16GB there will a massive transformation
  15. catportal macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2016
    Watch for deals on the 2016 model. I got the base 2016 for $760 with a Best Buy coupon and it's worked very well for me.
  16. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    I do agree that a MacBook will probably handle your current needs with ease, but I don't agree that it will last for years to come. The latest generation of MacBooks/Macbook Pros don't appear to be built to the same standards as past Apple computers. Just cruise these forums for proof. I say get an Air if you want five to seven years of life out of the thing.

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15 October 11, 2017