Best MacBook/Air/Pro to buy second hand for?

16
Found 24th Jun
Any input would be appreciated. I have alerts setup on eBay but these laptops are hard to come by second hand without any third party tampering.

Usage: Home use. Web browsing, heavy Microsoft excel usage, occasional YouTube and other video streaming services either on the laptop itself or to an external HD monitor.

In terms of following priority.

  • Battery
  • weight
  • Display
  • thickness
  • performance

It is going to be always used in house, that is not going to be used for travel purposes.

Thank you.
Community Updates
16 Comments
The more recent MacBooks are having issues with their keyboards so it might be worth researching/avoiding those for a start.
coys6713 m ago

The more recent MacBooks are having issues with their keyboards so it …The more recent MacBooks are having issues with their keyboards so it might be worth researching/avoiding those for a start.


Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard servicing offered by Apple. Shambles.
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People suggested me to go for 2013 Retina MacBook Pro for better value for money. They are still around £750 on eBay!
Our budget is much much lower than that. Around £350 Mark and can/may stretch a bit if the device can last a good 5 years (2023-2025) without any hiccups.
coys672 h, 22 m ago

The more recent MacBooks are having issues with their keyboards so it …The more recent MacBooks are having issues with their keyboards so it might be worth researching/avoiding those for a start.



And the older ones have logic board and gfx failures.

Much as I quite like the macbook pro I cant see me buying another one - too many failures and apple don't have a good track record on admitting to problems. Sure they might eventually agree to fix stuff if they have to, but you only need to look at the forums to see how many issues get ignored for so long.
xtreemneo2 h, 8 m ago

Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard …Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard servicing offered by Apple. Shambles..People suggested me to go for 2013 Retina MacBook Pro for better value for money. They are still around £750 on eBay! Our budget is much much lower than that. Around £350 Mark and can/may stretch a bit if the device can last a good 5 years (2023-2025) without any hiccups.


xtreemneo2 h, 8 m ago

Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard …Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard servicing offered by Apple. Shambles..People suggested me to go for 2013 Retina MacBook Pro for better value for money. They are still around £750 on eBay! Our budget is much much lower than that. Around £350 Mark and can/may stretch a bit if the device can last a good 5 years (2023-2025) without any hiccups.


I would say go for 2011 MacBook Pro, I still have mine and it’s full customisable and parts are easy to come by. I’ve never had a problem with mine
With your budget you would have to buy a very old model... Not sure it is a good idea to buy a model from 2011 when you can easily buy a really decent new Windows laptop for £350. You'd need to save up more for a Macbook Pro or make do with an ancient model and that would be really silly IMO.
Battery on such an old model is gonna be shot etc. and not last as long as on newer models even if replaced.
Ram is gonna be upgradeable to 4GB max (maybe even less. I would need to check), no retina display and a processor that old will have trouble with high resolution videos.

My boyfriend is using a HP Elitebook from that era and with full HD on YouTube it lags.

I have a Macbook Pro 2017 so not discouraging you because I don't like Apple! I just don't recommend you spending money for ancient tech.
Edited by: "hearts22" 24th Jun
With such a low budget I wouldn’t invest on a Mac laptop. You’d have to get a laptop that is several years old (= no warranty, short battery life, no OS upgrades after a while) and will therefore not be likely to last you a long time. I would expect a new Mac to last me 5 years, but not an old used model I bought from someone else without knowing how it had been cared for.

If you really want a Mac, my advice would be to wait for the new updates (likely) coming soon and see if a new Mac Mini is announced. The Mac Mini starts at £479 at the Apple Store (or £399 certified refurbished, also on Apple’s website).

The current one is from 2014 so I wouldn’t buy it now. But waiting for new ones (hopefully they’ll announce them soon) and saving a bit more money in the meantime to buy new or Apple refurbished (with warranty) would be a good strategy, especially since you mention it’s just for home use and you’d be likely to plug the computer to an external monitor anyway.
xtreemneo8 h, 20 m ago

Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard …Thanks. Oh yes. I can see a thread live right now for keyboard servicing offered by Apple. Shambles..People suggested me to go for 2013 Retina MacBook Pro for better value for money. They are still around £750 on eBay! Our budget is much much lower than that. Around £350 Mark and can/may stretch a bit if the device can last a good 5 years (2023-2025) without any hiccups.


The current release of Mac OS runs on macbooks from 2010 and newer and will likely receive software updates to 2020.

Assuming Apple follows the same pattern in future you'd need a 2013 model at a minimum to get support to 2023, and 2014-2015 is a safer bet.

The new ones are a reasonable price for a luxury product but the older second hand ones are grossly overpriced. You'll pay less for a comparable laptop from another brand. I'd probably go for a higher end business model if battery is a priority as they're often easier to swap batteries.
EndlessWaves8 m ago

The current release of Mac OS runs on macbooks from 2010 and newer and …The current release of Mac OS runs on macbooks from 2010 and newer and will likely receive software updates to 2020.Assuming Apple follows the same pattern in future you'd need a 2013 model at a minimum to get support to 2023, and 2014-2015 is a safer bet.The new ones are a reasonable price for a luxury product but the older second hand ones are grossly overpriced. You'll pay less for a comparable laptop from another brand. I'd probably go for a higher end business model if battery is a priority as they're often easier to swap batteries.


That’s a lot of insight. Thank you.
melomanias50 m ago

With such a low budget I wouldn’t invest on a Mac laptop. You’d have to get …With such a low budget I wouldn’t invest on a Mac laptop. You’d have to get a laptop that is several years old (= no warranty, short battery life, no OS upgrades after a while) and will therefore not be likely to last you a long time. I would expect a new Mac to last me 5 years, but not an old used model I bought from someone else without knowing how it had been cared for.If you really want a Mac, my advice would be to wait for the new updates (likely) coming soon and see if a new Mac Mini is announced. The Mac Mini starts at £479 at the Apple Store (or £399 certified refurbished, also on Apple’s website).The current one is from 2014 so I wouldn’t buy it now. But waiting for new ones (hopefully they’ll announce them soon) and saving a bit more money in the meantime to buy new or Apple refurbished (with warranty) would be a good strategy, especially since you mention it’s just for home use and you’d be likely to plug the computer to an external monitor anyway.


Ah Apple refurbished! Forgot about that... years ago we used it for an iPod. It was in a pristine condition at that time and we were confused if we had been charged more and immediately logged online to check.
Edited by: "xtreemneo" 24th Jun
hearts221 h, 50 m ago

With your budget you would have to buy a very old model... Not sure it is …With your budget you would have to buy a very old model... Not sure it is a good idea to buy a model from 2011 when you can easily buy a really decent new Windows laptop for £350. You'd need to save up more for a Macbook Pro or make do with an ancient model and that would be really silly IMO. Battery on such an old model is gonna be shot etc. and not last as long as on newer models even if replaced.Ram is gonna be upgradeable to 4GB max (maybe even less. I would need to check), no retina display and a processor that old will have trouble with high resolution videos. My boyfriend is using a HP Elitebook from that era and with full HD on YouTube it lags. I have a Macbook Pro 2017 so not discouraging you because I don't like Apple! I just don't recommend you spending money for ancient tech.


Thanks. ancient tech indeed. Just analysing the market to strategically place our investment on a sweet spot factoring value for money.

New MacBooks are indeed priced with after sales support factored in and tend to be priced slightly higher. Older tech usually gets that depreciated very quickly before determining the second hand price.
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You are right. As another person suggested above me, it seems their current line up is chronically undernourished compared to the competition. An update is long overdue with a current generation kit. It will, I hope, push down price of the previous generations.
Edited by: "xtreemneo" 24th Jun
Cruzey6 h, 36 m ago

I would say go for 2011 MacBook Pro, I still have mine and it’s full c …I would say go for 2011 MacBook Pro, I still have mine and it’s full customisable and parts are easy to come by. I’ve never had a problem with mine


This seems like a good spot considering upgradability.

Is the processor and battery upgradable? I understand RAM and HDD may be upgraded.
Can it drive a 22 HD external display at 1080p maybe?
mas996 h, 38 m ago

And the older ones have logic board and gfx failures.Much as I quite like …And the older ones have logic board and gfx failures.Much as I quite like the macbook pro I cant see me buying another one - too many failures and apple don't have a good track record on admitting to problems. Sure they might eventually agree to fix stuff if they have to, but you only need to look at the forums to see how many issues get ignored for so long.


That’s quite a trap I have to watch out for. Thanks.
Susceptibility to logic boards and graphics card failures.
xtreemneo3 h, 41 m ago

This seems like a good spot considering upgradability.Is the processor and …This seems like a good spot considering upgradability.Is the processor and battery upgradable? I understand RAM and HDD may be upgraded. Can it drive a 22 HD external display at 1080p maybe?


I swapped mine my CD drive out for another hard drive but for a SSD. Upgraded the RAM to 16GB. Pretty much runs as fast a new Macbook and never had problems. Like another person said some older MacBooks do have the problem with internal graphics card but i think they was mainly with the amd versions and earlier pre MacBooks.
xtreemneo4 h, 27 m ago

This seems like a good spot considering upgradability.Is the processor and …This seems like a good spot considering upgradability.Is the processor and battery upgradable? I understand RAM and HDD may be upgraded. Can it drive a 22 HD external display at 1080p maybe?



Processor isnt upgradeable - soldered to the logic board. Memory and hd/ssd are upgradeable. battery is replaceable (all this assuming you're not looking at the macbook air which is pretty much unmodable)

The next version of macos has been announced en.wikipedia.org/wik…ave and support for older kit is mixed. You might be able to beat the rules - there is aguy who has patched high sierra to allow slightly older kit to run it - but with some hardware not working (so no wifi for example)

macOS Mojave requires Macs with Metal API support:[9][10]


One other option if you are keen to have macos but not the cost of the harddware is to go hackintosh and run macos on a pc. have a look here : tonymacx86.com/
Edited by: "mas99" 24th Jun
mas9910 h, 15 m ago

Processor isnt upgradeable - soldered to the logic board. Memory and …Processor isnt upgradeable - soldered to the logic board. Memory and hd/ssd are upgradeable. battery is replaceable (all this assuming you're not looking at the macbook air which is pretty much unmodable)The next version of macos has been announced https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacOS_Mojave and support for older kit is mixed. You might be able to beat the rules - there is aguy who has patched high sierra to allow slightly older kit to run it - but with some hardware not working (so no wifi for example)macOS Mojave requires Macs with Metal API support:[9][10]MacBook: early-2015 or newerMacBook Pro: mid-2012 or newerMacBook Air: mid-2012 or newerMac Mini: late-2012 or neweriMac: late-2012 or neweriMac Pro: late-2017 or newerMac Pro: late-2013 or newer, plus mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with recommended Metal-capable GPUOne other option if you are keen to have macos but not the cost of the harddware is to go hackintosh and run macos on a pc. have a look here : https://www.tonymacx86.com/


Thanks.
This opens up a number of avenues for me to research. Thank you!
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