People generally begin their search for a laptop by considering two factors: operating system and price. This means choosing between macOS, Windows, or Chrome OS, while also trying to get the best deal. And then, lots of people simply want to buy a cheap laptop. However, the word “cheap” can be somewhat of a sliding scale based on several factors such as your budget, and which operating system you have decided to purchase.
Not everyone is in a position to label an Apple MacBook as cheap, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deal on a MacBook. In fact, it is relatively easy to find a cheap(er) MacBook, and depending on your personal budget, you should be able to easily find a newish MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Retina in your price range.
Whether you are looking to outfit a new work-from-home setup or trying to prepare your student for their new virtual classroom environment — continue reading to see some of the best MacBook deals that can be found in the Swappa marketplace.
Find a cheap Apple MacBook on Swappa
Compared to most Windows laptops or Chromebooks, the Apple MacBook is generally considered to be a higher-quality computer. Their longevity and durability means that you can use a MacBook as your daily driver for much longer, and Apple keeps the system current with optimized operating system updates. And if you are buying newish, you can also consider the MacBook, which was often referred to as the Retina MacBook or the 12-inch MacBook.
As of August 2020, the current version of macOS is 10.15 Catalina with macOS 11.0 Big Sur expected to arrive in later this year.. Apple has stated that Big Sur will be supported on the following models:
- MacBook Pro: late-2013 and newer
- MacBook Air: mid-2013 and newer
- MacBook (aka Retina MacBook): early-2015 and newer
Essentially, this means you can get a MacBook from 2013 and still be able to run the next version of macOS
$500 and under
At the $500 price point, you are looking at models that are slightly older. But as noted earlier in this post, these models can all run the most recent version of macOS, which is Catalina. They will also be able to run Big Sur once it is released later in the year.
$750 and under
Stepping up to the $750 price point and you are now looking at some newer models. The MacBook Pro at this price point dates to 2016, and you can get also get a 2018 MacBook Air.
$999 and under
This is the price point where some will start to feel like they’ve ventured out of the “cheap” category. But at $999 and under, you’re still getting a great deal on models such as the highly-portable 2017 MacBook Retina, a 12-inch laptop that weighs in at 2.03 pounds. This price point also gives you the option to grab a one-year-old 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a nicely spec’d 2020 MacBook Air.
$1,000+ (But still a really good deal)
Even we can’t argue that $1,000 and over can truly be considered “cheap.” Instead, at this price range, we begin to shift from the MacBook being cheap — to the MacBook being a good deal. And good deals can be found on many 2019 and 2020 MacBooks.
Lots of people agree that the MacBook lineup is higher-quality in terms of the overall build, but Apple also offers some nice perks in terms of ecosystem integration. For example, if you are also using an iPhone you can take a picture, and have that picture automatically appear on your MacBook thanks to iCloud and Apple Photos. You can also easily connect an Apple Homepod to get better sound from your MacBook using AirPlay. The good news is that you can find all kinds of Apple goodies in the Swappa marketplace — and quite often, you will be able to save lots of money when buying newish Apple products.