How to Get a Cheap MacBook

Let's talk about how to find a great deal on a cheap MacBook

Find a good yet cheap MacBook

Refurbished MacBooks are the best kind of cheap MacBook, keep reading to find out why

We all love MacBooks, but I don’t know if I can say the same about their prices :/ If you ever had a MacBook, you probably fell in love with it. They’re slick, easy to use, and sexy. Now let’s just talk about how you can find a cheap MacBook that costs a lot less than a new one but still works just as well and will last you just as long.

Reading tip: here are some tips for buying a refurbished MacBook Pro.

How to look for a cheap MacBook: age

Just like with any tech product, you shouldn’t buy one that’s too old, but MacBooks tend to hold up well over time. I would not hesitate about buying one refurbished from 2-3 years ago with minimal wear; it’ll feel and perform just like a new one. If you want to spend less money, you can buy an even older one, but if it’s over 3 years old it may struggle with complex tasks such as video editing and gaming—but if those aren’t your cup of tea you can go ahead and buy a cheap MacBook that’s 3-5 years old. At this point it probably won’t feel as snappy as a new one, but it will still serve you well as a laptop.

If you aren't planning on running any intense software programs on your computer, a cheap MacBook Air will probably be good enough for your needs. But if you are a geek that is planning to really give his/her laptop the pedal-to-the-metal, you may want to opt for a cheap MacBook Pro.

Technical stuff to think about when shopping for a cheap MacBook

There’s a lot of technical specs that we can get into (i.e. i3, i5, and i7 processors) but let’s stick to the basics. A general rule of thumb is that the newer the MacBook, the faster its processors. If you’re an average user, you really don’t need to worry about this.

One important—and often forgotten—technical aspect which I think deserves more attention than it usually gets is screen resolution. If you’re planning to just plug your MacBook up to a larger monitor, then maybe you don’t need to worry about this, but if you do plan on using your laptop’s built-in screen, then listen to the following words: GET A MACBOOK WITH A RETINA DISPLAY.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, if you’re planning on staring at that little screen for over 8 hours a day, you want it to be as sharp as possible. Trust me, it makes a difference with workflow. The 2012 MacBook Pro was the first in the Pro series with a Retina display—now all of them have it as a standard—but watch out when buying a MacBook Air. The Air series only started coming equipped with a Retina display in 2018.

So, remember, if you plan to spend long hours staring at your MacBook, the Retina display is for you.

One last technical detail: think about what kind of ports you need in your laptop. The MacBook Pro comes with the most ports, but if you’re the average user, you really shouldn’t be too worried about ports. The MacBook Air doesn’t have as many ports, but it’s much thinner and better for carrying around. And if you buy some adaptor dongles, you can connect almost anything to it.

Reading tip: Here are our favorite tips for buying a used & refurbished MacBook Air.

Our cheap MacBooks come with a 1-year warranty

Now that you have a better idea of what MacBook is right for you, let’s just talk about why a refurbished MacBook is probably a better buy than a used MacBook. Refurbished MacBooks offer better peace-of-mind because they are checked by professionals before being shipped to you, and don’t forget that all our products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year warranty :)

Is it worth buying an older cheap MacBook?

If you're not planning on running any especially heavy software applications, then an older MacBook may be good enough for your needs! Also, keep in mind that older cheap MacBooks may not feel as snappy as newer models.

Is it worth buying a second hand MacBook?

Yes! But if you want a reliable cheap MacBook, we suggest getting one that's refurbished so that it comes with an official 1-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee.

Is MacBook Air or Pro better?

It really depends on what kind of user you are. The Air is better suited for the casual user who needs something light and mobile, while the Pro is better for a user that is planning on pushing their laptop to the limits.

Andre from Back Market
By Andre Kopacki, Content Manager

The kind of guy that likes technology a little too much and can't stop talking about it. Good thing I work at Back Market :D

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