What kind of Macbook does my mom need?
July 13, 2021 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm not up to speed on current Macbook offerings, and my mom called me for a recommendation. What keywords should I be looking for?

My 60-something year old mother is looking to buy a laptop. She is prone to malware infections on her cheap-as-dirt Windows laptops, so wants something that will last and she can use for basic tasks like editing word docs, checking email, facebooking, google searches, etc. She is comfortable with her iphone and has decided she wants a Macbook.

She also wants to spend as little as possible. From this question, it looks like she should be going for a refurbished M1 Macbook Air, basic model. Something like this Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 7‑Core GPU.... Right??

Can she get a refurbished Macbook at a store? Will they have better prices? Are there other retailers that she might be able to get a better deal with?
posted by DoubleLune to Shopping (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: That's a good one. For sure get the AppleCare for her.
posted by dum spiro spero at 9:49 AM on July 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, that’s the best choice. You won’t be able to beat that price and also get a good warranty. You’ll have to buy online but refurb should arrive in a few days.
posted by michaelh at 9:54 AM on July 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Thirded.
posted by primethyme at 9:56 AM on July 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fourthed. Well done! Yeah to AppleCare.
posted by spitbull at 10:01 AM on July 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A basic MacBook Air 13" should be perfect.

It's worth considering getting her an iPad too, since that sounds as if it would also suit her needs. An iPad Air 4 plus a keyboard (either the Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard). If she knows the iPhone, there will be very little learning curve.

Refurbed Apple products are only sold online. Occasionally you can find discounts at Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers.
posted by vitout at 10:13 AM on July 13, 2021

I’d also hop on the iPad train - although there is a bit of a wrinkle in that the multitasking in iPadOS is not particularly intuitive. I’ve had refurb Macs (purchased from Apple) last years, can wholeheartedly recommend. My wife has the M1 MacBook Air and it’s fantastic for pretty much everything a graduate nursing student can do, so your mother will be more than happy!
posted by bxvr at 12:20 PM on July 13, 2021

Yes, AppleCare is the only product warranty worth the price.
posted by SPrintF at 1:30 PM on July 13, 2021

Buying refurbed from Apple gets you an automatic 1-year warranty just like a new machine. Other online stores can't offer that.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

The MacBook Air or an iPad with keyboard should be perfect for her!
posted by Ostara at 4:05 PM on July 13, 2021

If for some reason she'd like to mildly switch specs, recent updates have made the beautiful old I Mac desktops (with huge monitors and access to most recent software) silly inexpensive in sites like craigslist ($4-700). If she'd like to get an air mac and add mirroring to an I Mac later, she may be able to create a significantly inexpensive and surprisingly nice set up. (the very large monitors are so good for reading/tv uses)
posted by firstdaffodils at 5:59 PM on July 13, 2021

Nthing Refurbished.

My last three Macs have been from their refurbished store; I haven't had a bad experience with any of them. Definitely get the AppleCare warranty.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2021

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