Value of a Late 2010 MacBook Air
December 26, 2018 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a low-cost MacBook replacement. I have the opportunity to purchase a late 2010 MacBook Air

It is in good condition. The owner was about to pass it along to his son. It is not refurbished.

I have done some research on eBay and CraigsList to get an idea of costs. Prices are wildly varied

I would like to make a good offer to the owner. It seems as if he is willing to take a lower price than its current value.

Would appreciate any expert/professional price suggestions on current value and what important questions I can ask the owner

MacBook Air: 11-inch, Late 2010, 1.4Gz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 1067 Mhz DDR3.
posted by goalyeehah to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
I have a 2011 Air that is still going strong. However, I don't think I would be willing to pay a lot of money to replace it like for like. there are just too many better low-cost options available today. Seems like a person could find a decent compact Chromebook or similar for a few hundred dollars.
posted by pingzing at 6:27 PM on December 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Two concerns that may impact your price:

a) with something that old I'd be concerned about the condition of the battery -- how long it will power the laptop on a single charge? The battery is replaceable, but this is $$. If battery life is important to you, consider that a factor in your offer.

b) What versions of OS X can it run? I was a Macbook user about a decade ago, when they released an OS version that was unsupported by my hardware and suddenly a lot of software was simply unobtainable or wouldn't work. If it can't run the most recent OSX, that would push my offer way down.
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:28 PM on December 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

(google found this which answers my question: the late 2010 MBA will not run Mojave, the latest OSX, and you will likely feel some pain from that when trying to install new software on it. IMO that should make your offer go down sharply)
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:33 PM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sending one in good working order to apple’s give back program gets you $90. You also can’t get parts for it anymore so it’s not repairable should something go wrong. Can’t get on the latest OS either.

Unless you’re getting it for free, I’d skip it.
posted by vivzan at 6:38 PM on December 26, 2018 [17 favorites]

I would seriously reconsider this. I have a MacBook 2010 and I wouldn’t recommend getting one at this point. I’ve already replaced the battery once and I’m still having problems even with that.

As Sauce Trough has mentioned, I also couldn’t use the latest OSX and am unable to download new apps/install software.
posted by theappleonatree at 6:40 PM on December 26, 2018 [7 favorites] will only pay $60 for your computer. When you go there to buy a MacBook Air the year selector doesn't even go back to 2010.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:59 PM on December 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I sold a comparable Macbook via Craigslist last year for $60. It had a nonfunctional battery and the I updated the OS as far as was possible. The person who bought it just wanted her kid to be able to use a word processor and watch YouTube videos, and it could do those two things. The buyer and I both thought $60 was a fair price.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:45 PM on December 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

1.4Gz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB

This is very slow in today's terms. If the primary thing you're doing is web browsing, a $150 Chromebook will be as fast if not faster. The battery is also pretty dubious at this point and replacing it would be more than the unit is worth. I wouldn't pay more than $100 (and only if I had Mac specific software I needed to run) and $60 is probably reasonable.
posted by Candleman at 7:59 PM on December 26, 2018

Certainly under $100. 2GB RAM will make any OS wheezy, regardless of whether it's officially supported, and 2010 hardware doesn't have the big power management improvements that have rolled out over this decade. If the battery or keyboard haven't worn out, they probably don't have a huge amount of life in them.

As Candleman says, unless you're very much invested in OS X software, a Chromebook (or a refurb ThinkPad from 2015) would give you a longer lifespan for not much more money.
posted by holgate at 8:51 PM on December 26, 2018

I'm currently using a 2012 MacBook Air and it's fine except the battery is shot (doesn't last long and shuts down when I get below 30%) and I need to get it replaced - I've just been avoiding it because that alone costs $129. You should consider that batteries only have a finite number of cycles and a 2010 MacBook may have a lot under their belt. Also, 2GB of RAM isn't really enough by today's standards to expect it to last - ideally, the minimum you want is 4GB. (My MacBook has 4GB.) So, I won't offer a number but I wouldn't pay a lot. It's still an eight-year-old computer and technology moves fast.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:17 PM on December 26, 2018

I'd go look for a cheap 2012 Macbook Air with 8 GB of Ram - that'd be more future proof (within the Apple universe) and not much more expensive.
posted by mathiu at 4:51 AM on December 27, 2018

A laptop with 9 year old technology and use of around 8 years duration is effectively worthless.
posted by slkinsey at 5:26 AM on December 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have one of these, it has very little value. Of all the Mac laptops I’ve had (many, incl a ~2013 mba) this is the one that lasted the shortest, for various reasons; even maxed the specs of that model didn’t hold up.
posted by advil at 6:58 AM on December 27, 2018

Avoid. 2G of RAM is tiny nowdays, it won't run Mojave (latest OSX), and the entire experience will be painful.
posted by mrbill at 11:55 AM on December 27, 2018

I’ve been doing support for a friend juggling some old MacBooks and Airs and I’d avoid it if you're doing anything more than email and text editing and one tab browsing.
posted by furtive at 9:50 PM on December 27, 2018

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