Worst time for MacBook to die. Help me choose a new laptop.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jenga1891, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. jenga1891, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

    jenga1891 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    #1
    My old MacBook Pro died, and along went all my files. It was a 7 year old laptop anyway, but I was seriously expecting it to last another couple years. I’m a grad student, and my board studying is placed on hold until I can find a laptop replacement quickly.

    I am trying to decide between the older 2015 15 inch base model($1800 out the door including tax) and the 2017 13 inch 8gb ram, 256gb SSD model ($1430). I don’t have a real need for either of those models in terms of processing power and speed, because I’ll likely only use it for excels, watching videos, Powerpoints, and some Photoshop. But I don’t want the MacBook Air since it doesn’t have a retina screen, and I don’t want the macbook because the screen is just too small—I like the option of reading documents on the couch, so I wouldn’t be getting an external monitor either. Price is a consideration, as the difference in price is about $400.

    Does it still make sense to get the 2015 15 inch model in 2018? I know this is a very commonly asked question in the past. I was actually looking into this exactly 12 months ago, when it was the consensus that the 2015 model is the one to go with. Now that it is 2018, I have seen people posting that it just doesn’t make sense to purchase 3 year old technology for these high prices.

    I was about to pull the trigger on a factory refurbished 2015 15’’ exactly a year ago for about $1400 on eBay (it was a front page Slickdeal). I wish I had done it, because it looks like that was the cheapest it has ever been. I’m guessing that the demand for this is still big enough that the price never went down to that level again.

    I don’t mind carrying a small USB-C to USB-A dongle. The lack of MagSafe does worry me a little since I am using my laptop at Starbucks often. I would prefer the 13 inch, but all this chatter of the keyboards crapping out worries me. If I go with the 2017 model, it would be without AppleCare. Purchasing AppleCare almost negates the $400 savings in purchasing the 2017 model. I’ll probably use my Chase credit card for the extra year of warranty.

    You guys have any thoughts? Leaning towards the 2017, especially since I have no real need for the quad core, but don’t want this to crap out on me during another crucial study time.
     
  2. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2017
    #2
    I think the 2017 is a better purchase. It's risky without AC though but hopefully if you have an issue with the keyboard you'll still be under the warranty or Apple will have started to address this issue officially.
     
  3. jenga1891 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for your input!
    If you factor in the cost of AppleCare, that almost brings the cost to a whopping $1700. I would be a LOT less worried about the lack of AppleCare with the 2015 model purchase.

    If you compare the 2017 + AppleCare for $1700 vs 2015 MacBook Pro without AppleCare for $1800, I think I would be leaning a little more towards the 2015 model for the 16gb ram (although I highly doubt I’ll need it).
    --- Post Merged, Mar 15, 2018 ---
    And yes, I do realize this is a first world problem...
     
  4. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #4
    Yep, tough choice. Too bad you can't wait a few months for WWDC...

    There are advantages to both. 16gb of RAM is nice to have and so is the 15" screen.

    I personally hate buying older hardware for the price of new one so I'd probably go with the 2017 13" and AC+ (also very useful if your new MBP gets knocked down at Starbucks!).
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Personally, I have a hard time dropping nearly 2k on a 3 year old computer, that's just me.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    "My old MacBook Pro died, and along went all my files. It was a 7 year old laptop anyway, but I was seriously expecting it to last another couple years. I’m a grad student, and my board studying is placed on hold until I can find a laptop replacement quickly."

    Gee, it would sure help if you gave us some idea of what went wrong with it...?

    OP also asked:
    "Does it still make sense to get the 2015 15 inch model in 2018?"

    Yes, it makes VERY GOOD sense.
    Reason: the 2016/17 design seems to have a high incidence of keyboard failures. When a single key sticks, it becomes a VERY expensive repair (the entire top case must be replaced). And more than a few users are experiencing failures again, after the "first repair".
    The 2015 design is much more "robust". The keyboards won't fail. This is why that model is still sought-after.
     
  7. jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #7
    It sounds like you you are mostly doing consumption of media for your studying. If so, have you thought about getting an iPad? For reading in general they are very comfortable. And for reading or watching videos on a couch they are perfect since you hold them close to your face. And they are relatively cheap especially something like a used 9.7 or 9.7 Pro (in case you need to mark up documents).

    If that would suffice for a few months, you could then wait to see what is announced at WWDC in early June.
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    #8
    Have you considered picking up a well cared for 13" 2014/2015, save yourself the money. Problem with the 2017 is the questionable reliability of the keyboard, although it hopefully only affects a small percent of MBP's the turnaround time is days to weeks.

    I also agree that paying out full price for the 2015 is a no go at this point, personally I'd opt for an Air despite the poor display panel or opt for a Windows notebook as what's most important at this point in time for you is the reliability of the computer not the tricks and bells it offers. If you opt for a 2017 ensure you get Apple care as "if" there is a design issue remaining with the keyboard it's highly likely to cascade in time...

    Q-6
     
  9. chipchen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    #9
    I agree with the above... buying a 2015 laptop today is just wasting money.

    What happened to the old one though, and the files? You know often times the data is still able to be recovered... Maybe someone here could help?
     
  10. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #10
    I personally wouldn't pay full price for a three year old laptop model. If it were me I'd go with the 2017 13" with Apple Care. I have a 2016 nTB 13" (16/512 config) that I bought in November 2016. I use it 6 to 8 hours per day five days a week and haven't had any problems with my keyboard yet. That said, there have been reports of failures so Apple Care is a good idea if you go with the 2017. I have Apple Care so I'm still covered in case anything pops up between now and November 2019 so I'm not worried.
     
  11. PhilMacbook, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018

    PhilMacbook macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2018
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    Britain
    #11
    An alternative would be to buy something cheap and cheerful from eBay or the like to get you through the next few months and then see what is launched in June.

    You could pick up a very old model for a few hundred dollars. It will probably do all that you need and you could probably still sell if for not much cost in June. For example if you bought something for $400 now and sold for $350 in June then you're effectively paying $50 to rent it for 3 months.

    I think that is worth doing just to see what comes around the corner in 10 weeks.
     
  12. BananaX macrumors regular

    BananaX

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    May 24, 2017
    #12
    +1, if you can, wait for the 18 model. Hopefully, Apple is going to make some changes to the MBP's reliability. Since you pointed out you don’t have a real need for either of those models in terms of processing power and speed. Source a cheap MAC on ebay or use an iPad for few weeks. IMO you should spend 1.5k - 2.5k for a brand new 2018 MPB which will last 5-7 years again.
     
  13. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #13
    So do I as there's so much better hardware available now. It also irks me that Apple is trading usability at a ridiculous price point, yet again Apple is gouging it's customers.

    Apple should sell the 2015 MBP at a fair price or update the notebook to the latest hardware and not needlessly make it thinner. Many don't want an anorexic ultrabook, needing a portable powerhouse. My last hope is a new notebook line paralleling the iMac Pro...

    Q-6
     
  14. ParaShot macrumors member

    ParaShot

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    Ankara, Turkey
    #14
    Is there any reliable source for new MBP coming up this year like model 2018 ? Because i'm kind of in this position and i was thinking about buying the 2017 model with no bar. But if there's gonna be another MBP coming up end of this year i'm confused right now :/
     
  15. jerryk macrumors 601

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    SF Bay Area
    #15
    Apple never confirms anything until they make a formal announcement.
     
  16. ParaShot macrumors member

    ParaShot

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    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Ankara, Turkey
    #16
    I know but you know we heard everything about iPhone X before it comes out. Novadays all the rumors are seems on point when Apple presents something. So that's why i asked is there any reliable source to leaked or shared about new pro's.
     
  17. BananaX macrumors regular

    BananaX

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    May 24, 2017
    #17
    Not redesign, but, I am pretty sure they will update the CPU/GPU or maybe keyboard!
     
  18. jerryk macrumors 601

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    Nov 3, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #18
    Just monitor this site's Front Page. Any leaked specs or pending MacBook Pro refresh rumors will appear there within a day of them coming out.
     
  19. esk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2016
    #19
    I would not buy a macbook pro until the keyboard issues are fixed. You could buy a used 2015 macbook pro and this will probably last until the next generation of MBPs
     
  20. comptr macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    I would look on this website: http://prices.appleinsider.com . It shows current deals on Macs and maybe you can find a deal where you can get apple care + too.
     

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19 March 15, 2018