Is 2011 too old in MacBook Years?

Feb 3, 2019
Should I buy this MacBook Pro 13" early 2011 for $203 in 2019?

Product Information
The MacBook Pro MC700LL/A boasts a 13.3 inches LED-backlit display that offers wide-angle viewing with exceptional clarity and detail. Powered by the Intel Core i5 dual core processor, this Apple MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13.3 inch laptop delivers high-speed performance, great media-management, and enhanced multi-tasking efficiencies. This Apple notebook comes equipped with Intel HD graphics processor that accelerates the graphical performance of videos and games. The high speed RAM built in this Apple 13.3 inch laptop facilitates speedy performance and faster data access. Further, the spacious hard drive in this Apple notebook allows you to store maximum amount of data inside. You can also take advantage of the FaceTime HD camera in the MacBook Pro MC700LL/A to indulge in video calling.
Product Identifiers
eBay Product ID (ePID)99741550
Product Key Features
Release Year2011
Product FamilyMacBook Pro
Additional Product Features
Exterior ColorAluminum, Silver
Networking TypeNetwork Adapter, Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card, Bluetooth, Integrated Wireless LAN
Installed Caché Memory3072KB
Battery TechnologyLithium Polymer
Battery Run TimeUp to 7hr.
MAX Supported RAM8GB
Dmi (Direct Media Interface)5 Gt/S
Optical Drive Rewrite SPEED4X (DVD+RW), 10x (CD-RW), 4X (DVD-RW)
Optical Drive TypeDvd±R Dl/Dvd±Rw/CD-RW
Storage Controller TypeSerial ATA
Model NumberA1278
Security FeaturesKensington Lock Slot
Screen Size13.3in.
Data Link ProtocolEthernet, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + Edr, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11A, IEEE 802.11g
Expandability1X SDXC Card Slot
Installed Video Memory384MB
Display MAX. Resolution1280x800
Special FeaturesIntegrated Video Camera, Magsafe Power Adapter Port
Expansion PortsDvi (Digital Video Interface), 1X IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800), FireWire 800, RJ-45 (Nic), Hdmi, 2X USB 2.0, VGA Out
Release DateFebruary, 2011
Model IdahoMacbookpro81
Optical Drive Write SPEED24x (CD), 8X (DVD+R), 4X (DVD+R Dual Layer), 4X (DVD-R Dual Layer), 8X (DVD-R)
Audio Input TypeMicrophone, Optical Digital In, Line-in (3.5mm), S/PDIF Indiana, Integrated Microphone
Processor TypeIntel Core i5
RAM TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Audio Output TypeOptical Digital, Line Out, Speaker(s), Headphones, Speakers
Graphic ProcessorIntel HD Graphics 3000
Optical Drive Read SPEED6X (DVD-R DL), 24x (CD), 8X (DVD+R), 6X (DVD+R DL), 8X (DVD-R), 8X (Dvd)
Input MethodTouchPad, Trackpad, Remote Control, Keyboard
Number of CoresDual-Core
Hard Drive Capacity320GB
Processor Speed2.30GHz
Display TechnologyLed
Hard Drive Rotation SPEED5400RPM
Apple's product specs read like an advertising blurb instead of giving actual specifics. Try EveryMac.

The 2011 Macbook Pros are the oldest Macs I consider "modern". They feature a Sandy Bridge processor, which is the first time Intel took reducing power consumption seriously. It runs hot by modern standards, but nowhere near as bad as the previous gen Westmere (which frequently idled at 70-90 C). It also represents about the time where improvements in processor performance stalled. Each subsequent generation only improved performance about 5%-10% at the same clock speed. So a modern Coffee Lake processor really isn't that much faster.

The main drawbacks are that, contrary to popular belief, Apple is frequently behind the rest of the industry in adopting state-of-the-art components. This MBP only has USB 2.0 ports, despite USB 3.0 being introduced with Sandy Bridge. The HDD interface is SATA 3, but the optical bay interface is only SATA 2 despite the Intel chipset supporting two SATA 3 ports. So replacing the HDD with a SSD is an option, but replacing the optical drive with a SSD will not give as much performance as it could. Best move if you don't need the ODD is probably to replace the HDD with a SSD, and move the HDD to the optical bay. It's also a dual core, while most laptop processors in 2019 are now quad core.

The lesser drawbacks which come to mind are that the 1280x800 screen resolution will be painful - the pixels will be obvious (OS X does not support subpixel rendering, so fonts will look considerably worse than on Windows at the same resolution), the integrated GPU is 3D-capable but very slow by modern standards, and I believe the max RAM is only 8 GB. The AC adapter has a reputation for failing frequently (Apple charges $79 for a replacement; lots of 3rd party adapters available for cheaper).

It is supported by OS X High Sierra (10.13), but is not supported by the newest version Mojave (10.14). So expect support (security updates) to be phased out in the next 3-7 years. You can of course continue to use it with High Sierra at your own risk.

Is $203 a good price? I'd say yes. It's overpriced if you just want a laptop, but not by much. And if you need a color-calibrated screen which supports 100% sRGB for art, photo, or video work, then $203 is cheap. Pop a SSD in it and it shouldn't be much worse than modern laptops. Just bigger and heavier with worse battery life.
You gotta be just budget-poor and no more than $200 to spend to get something this old.

Now any old laptop and you gotta ask how many cycles to this battery?. Apple OEM batteries last ~1,000 cycles, third-party much less. ASK.

Good cosmetic condition? Don't buy sight unseen, going by spec only.

The Jump to 2012 increased battery range by a lot.

Personally, unless paragraph#1 is true I wouldn't buy any laptop with HD, having used SSD-only, I can't go back to "I feel the vibration HD" not mentioning the smoothness and speed of SSD, but that's just me.

There are stolen laptops out there, do all u can to ascertain this is legit, don't want you to bring it home just to have the original owner remotely disable your purchase.
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