MacBook Pro computers have been the industry standard laptop for many years now. These machines usually cost a small fortune but can be found much cheaper if you’re willing to do a bit of detective work.
We all know Apple products come at a premium, and for some photographers, those price points are just too high. The good news is that with a little bit of Internet sleuthing and some basic computer repair skills, it is possible to get a MacBook Pro laptop for very little money.
This is exactly what technologist Luke Miani does when he hits eBay in search of a working Apple laptop at a rock-bottom price. The laptop he finds is a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) model that he paid just $22 for. The video goes on to show Miani testing the machine, installing a hard drive, and updating the operating system to get the laptop back to life. Minus the odd surface scratch, it really is hard to believe this MacBook has been around for 13 years.
In the second half of this video, Miani shows us how we can personally take advantage of eBay’s search filters to find similar bargains and what exactly we should be looking out for in a listing on the auction site. I really like Miani’s tips for hunting out these machines, and a quick look myself found a few candidates at similar price points.
The video does not shy away from the fact this machine is well over 10 years old and shows that for many applications, it is still more than usable. While such an old machine may struggle with some of the more memory-intensive tasks of a photographer in 2023, I do think you may be surprised by how much a laptop bought for $22 is still capable of. The main take-home here is that there are decent laptops out there that could be bought for very little and added to your arsenal of photo gear. One important point that isn’t mentioned in the video is that these older laptops mostly come with various USB, HDMI, and memory card slots that are often missing from newer machines but are still more than useful for photographers on the go. I personally love the idea of having a cheap dedicated laptop for doing some light editing while on location and at a price point that not only doesn’t break the bank but also wouldn’t be the end of the world if it got damaged or stolen.
Would you consider buying such an old laptop for your photography work? Is anyone still using older tech in this way? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.