Need Help on Finding a Laptop for Work/Work + Play

Sep 11, 2018
1. What is your budget?
Around $1,000, give or take. Maximum would be $1,500. I know some people will scoff at the price for what I am using it for, but I'm looking for long term + quality. I work in Finance, so the safety of easily accessing my documents and not worrying about crashes is paramount to me.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Preferably 15" but would consider 13"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
No idea, I've used a Late 2011 15" Macbook Pro for the last 7 years and was fine with that screen resolution. So anything from/above 1440 x 900.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

5. How much battery life do you need?
5-7 hours. I'm usually always plugged in though.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? Possibly a java based game, such as Runescape, but that's about it. But I would probably use 2-3 clients at a time.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Mainly would be using it for work - Outlook, Office suite, editing PDF's. I would like to get into photo editing at some point, as I do photography for fun and have transferred pictures to my iPhone and only used iPhone based apps to do crappy quality edits that look good on Instagram, etc.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Around 256-500gb would be the minimum. I have a 2tb external HD that I will most likely offload my pictures onto.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
It really depends on the price. If I'm spending 1-1.5k, I would like it to last 5+ years at the minimum. I got 7 years out of my refurbished late 2011 15" MBP and never had any issues with it until the logic board died on me a few days ago.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc? DVD ROM if I even need one. I think I only used the one on my Mac 3-4 times in the 7 years I had it?

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I would prefer an Apple Macbook Pro but I am open to other brands. I've had an Asus and Dell laptop 10+ years ago and those didn't last long (maybe 2-3 years of life for each). There always seemed to be some Windows based problem/crash even when they were new, which is why I switched to MacOS. I've never had a problem with my Mac until the logic board died. But I got 7 years out of it and never had a software problem or hardware problem. Always been very happy with it. As I've begun to search for a new laptop, I've noticed that my specs were very basic yet lasted/worked for so long, which makes me want to stick with Apple.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
What I've been mainly looking at are used/refurbished Macbook Pro's from the websites I listed above (I bought mine from Apple, but Apple's current refurb selection has been pretty minimal in the past couple weeks). I've never purchased from those sites, so please steer me in the right direction if those aren't as reputable sites as the internet has led me to believe. In terms of the Macbook Pros, what worries me is that it appears that the Retina Macbook's aren't as upgradeable/part replaceable as the Unibody ones are? I'm nervous that if I purchase a 2013/14 refurb/used MBP from one of those sites and I can't fix the problem on my own and have to take it in to Apple for a costly repair job. But on the flip side, a 2012 unibody logic board might be hard to find without going overboard on the budget and there's no guarantee it works.

Also contemplating purchasing something like this: and upgrading the RAM to 8 or 16gb's and possibly the HD and then just using it as a work computer. But I want to get some years out of it and not worry about the logic board failing.