Submitted by adoptedlithuanian t3_zi6r99 in BuyItForLife

Hey guys! I'm in desperate need of a new laptop for school. I'm 27 and doing pre-requisites for a career change, and anticipate being a part time student for a couple more semesters and then full time student for 2-4 years after. I have nursed along my 2012 MacBook air for a decade now, and I just hate the idea of purchasing new electronics every 2 years which seems to be the norm. It's the only apple product I've ever owned, and it's held up so well for how long I've had it. For this reason I am leaning towards another apple computer but longevity is the most important thing to me. I could go up to $1800 on this, as long as it will be another decade long investment hopefully. Thanks in advance!



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kosnarf t1_izpva11 wrote

Check r/hardwareswap and r/appleswap for MBP M2 or MBA M2


old-hand-2 t1_izq1jro wrote

Macs will last the longest so you might also want to explore educational discount since you’re taking classes.

Another option is to go windows by looking for a decently spec’d laptop and just looking for deals on it on New Egg. I’ve been shocked at how low prices go sometimes when a vendor receives a batch they want to unload.

My kids are have been using thinkpad x1 carbon gen 1 for 5 years now. They were $2500 in 2014 when released and I bought 3 of them in 2017 for $267 each. They’re super svelte and pretty durable. 1 of the 3 died last year tho…


lakari t1_izqnxei wrote

I came here to say a MacBook. The m1 MacBook Air is found for decent prices right now. Almost every person I know with a MacBook has had it for five years or longer.


50racer t1_izpyzwp wrote

Idk about price as mine was around there and what you need more as far as performance. I've used thinkpad's for a while 540p being the worst one. Currently have L13 yoga thinkpad. I work as a mechanic. Use it daily for 3 years. I have sent it in once for fan making noise. I like lenovo warranty.

Get something with the best warranty. If you like mac.. get a mac.. with apple care or whatever they give these days.

if your fine going pc id get a good warranty because nothing last anymore especially laptops that will have to take some bumps.

Do not buy anything under $200. Id say its not worth it.

Pads with a real keyboard is another option thats worth looking into as most document programs are cloud base these days.


CastaneaDentata7 t1_izpzusl wrote

I like framework laptops. Every part is built to be replaceable/repairable by anybody. Seems super well designed. Planning to upgrade to one myself when my laptop bites the dust.


bahpcb t1_izt8gh8 wrote

Ja, Framework came to mind immediately.


LittleTimmyTheFifth5 t1_izrjm2s wrote

An old ThinkPad with Linux installed is the only true BIFL solution for laptops.

Apple is absolutely horrible for BIFL.


pacochalk t1_izpzmjx wrote

I've had good luck with refurbished laptops off Newegg before. Best of luck to you.


adoptedlithuanian OP t1_izq1jtf wrote

Ok great, I was thinking about used but I'm not sure I have the expertise to pick a good one. I have some more tech savvy friends who could help though. Thank you!!


cjeam t1_izq9bfy wrote

Macs have a good reputation for lasting. The old recommendation for durability and repairability used to be thinkpads. Framework is a new manufacturer that have modularity and repairability as one of their key ethos’s, check ifix-it for reapairability scores, I think some of HPs stuff scores well.


habrasangre t1_izqh4yg wrote

Look for business laptops. I think those are more durable and long lasting.


[deleted] t1_izpv45i wrote



adoptedlithuanian OP t1_izpvevj wrote

My classes will be in person mostly so probably just accessing canvas type sites for homework support, then personal use is pretty limited. Word processing and watching Netflix occasionally, but I have my professional work totally separate on another laptop so I don't use my personal one that much. Also because it's old and slow.


the_journeyman3 t1_izq71ud wrote

My macs last the longest. It's your best option.


emil-sweden t1_izrnhej wrote

As you are used to macs, that is a safe bet.

But keep in mind that the lifetime might not be limitied by the hardware. You do not want to be using a internet connected device that is not getting security updates. Apples policy is to only fully support the current releases with security updates. You can get a feel for expected lifetime by looking at what devices did not get the latest update this year.

I have had to help to many relatives with they old useless windows laptops to recommend going that route.

If you really want to go BIFL, linux is your best option. Ubuntu patches security updates for 10years for each release, and all devices (with some rare exceptions) can get the latest releases. There are also options that are more suitable to really old hardware when your pc can not keep up with the latest features.

If you are going to study anything IT/software/computer science it is a perfect fit. For other fields you will have to check that the software you need will be avaliable. But if you mostly want to browse the web and write essays, a linux laptop will do that for a decade easy.

If you are comfortable with installing the os yourself, is an option very in-line with this sub, they are not tested by time yet though.

Lenovo and Dell sell pre-installed linux. and are dedicated vendors.

A used ThinkPad is a classic budget friendly choice if you are comfortable installing linux yourself or know someone that can help you.


wired-one t1_izxa55b wrote

Just so you know, hardware support in Linux is not BIFL anymore. The upstream kernel and distribution maintainers are not packaging releases for some older hardware anymore.

This is particularly the case with hardware drivers and the more commercial releases of Linux like RHEL and Ubuntu not shipping support for very old, out of support hardware devices for their certified partners.

We are also starting to see community distributions looks at the oldest hardware they wish to support. Many distributions are now looking at deprecating support for all hardware older than the Intel Core series of processors, in order to improve performance of the kernel.


emil-sweden t1_j0mdt9l wrote

I would still expect to get 20 years of security updates even on Ubuntu right? At least 10 years of major version upgrades and then 10 years of support for that last major release.

Inter Core is pretty old at this point (quick Google got me 2006) and I would expect that it will take quite a while yet before it is hard to find a supported release that have not taken the jump and dropped support.


wired-one t1_j0mfi92 wrote

Ten years of support for each LTS release. And you can update from LTS to LTS, usually.

So the general plan for many distros is to drop core 2 duo and core 2 quad. The oldest supported will be the core I series. I3 i5, i7.

Many distros are also moving to require EFI and will drop legacy bios support.


HeartlessKing13 t1_izus0oz wrote

My go to answer for a long lasting study laptop will always be a used Thinkpad T-series. I bought one for $300 and I'm an IT major.


Alternative-Staff811 t1_izq3s8t wrote

I started off school with an HP laptop and switched to a cheap ASUS Chromebook after the HP started having issues. I did everything through Google's version of Microsoft office. The Chromebook was like $120 and I have never had an issue with it, even 8 years later.


jeffreyd00 t1_izqbqck wrote

I'm not an Apple fan but you should definitely get a MacBook with an M2 chip and the most ram you can afford.

Check into the educational discounts, assuming they still do that.

If you get used, get a MacBook refurb (current generation only) directly from apple.


onion_tacothecat t1_izqwhy6 wrote

Did this--max'd out the ram at time of purchase and my Mac Air is about to have its 10th birthday. Battery doesn't hold a charge anymore, but works great as long as it's connected to wall.


no3l_0815 t1_izqdjbt wrote

Try to look into framework. They try to make a long lasting Laptop you can upgrade


nolanhoff t1_izskkpk wrote

Honestly If you don’t need power or aren’t obsessive over a good screen, go for the M1 MacBook Air. With a student discount it’ll go for $900 base. Incredible value.


LionST1 t1_izu94lz wrote

The m1 MacBooks are very fast, especially compared to similarly priced windows machines.


Chocoholic_maverick t1_izucclj wrote

I don’t have good experience with any windows laptops. MacBook, though expensive, it’s much more peace of mind and I’m using mine for almost 5 years now. No issues !


mooshmc t1_izuq8v7 wrote

Ive had my macbook air m1 for a year and its been absolutely awesome, battery life is great, but im not sure how long it would last considering the cost of repairing this thing.

On the other hand, Framework laptops are designed to be completely self-repairable. It's battery life and overall finish doesnt feel as quality, but it's sure as hell gonna last longer.


dragokatzov t1_izuuwkj wrote

Anything computer related doesn't seem like it belongs in this subreddit.


adoptedlithuanian OP t1_izv3gcm wrote

Fair enough I just figured if anyone could help me not buy another one for as long as possible it would be you guys :)


Dolapevich t1_j020nyi wrote

Have a thinkpad, and drop Linux on it. Check r/thinkpad and r/LinuxOnThinkpad


ratty_mum t1_j09zccl wrote

Joining in on the Lenovo recs. I have seriously abused my Lenovo p51 for the past 5 years. Like running multiple heavy duty programs on it at the same time all day every day. I used to have a MacBook and the Lenovo has definitely stood up to heavy use better and longer.


austinftwxd t1_j1282zf wrote

when it comes to laptops there is obviously no such thing as BIFL but I have 3 recommendations.
1: Framework, they are relatively new, but they already have a pretty good reputation and the entire product is designed to be self repairable and not become Ewaste, you could spec a pretty nice one well under budget.

2: Get the best MacBook you can, and hope it survives as long as your current one, the M2 models are blazing fast and as long as it doesn't have some sort of failure it should still run fine in 10 years. The big catch is that if anything does go wrong you're better off chucking it in the bin because they are designed to be near impossible to repair.

3: save some money and get a lightly used ThinkPad from a business liquidation, they run forever can be had affordably, and replacement parts are readily available just about anywhere, with the money left over you could even build a desktop that could last even longer than 10 years.