on October 6, 2016
Before I get tons of objections on how i can say it's the best Macbook ever made -- first we need to consider who this macbook would be best for. If you are a road warrior -- you should probably get an Macbook Air or one of the latest new thin Macbook laptops. However, if this is for the family or your grandmother and you just want it to last a long time.. This is the Macbook for you.. but it will likely be discontinued fairly soon since this model has been in production since 2008!

Who should get one?
1 - If you need lots of HDD space (e.g 1TB) since it's fairly easy to install a replaceable HDD drive. Most Macbook these days take SSD modules which are hard to replace. This macbook takes standard SATA drives which keep coming down in price.
2- Upgradable RAM. It comes with 4GB of RAM but for less than $100, you can get 4x the amount installed (16GB) which is more than enough for any application
3- You have lots of photos or music to store. As stated above, the ability to just keep upgrading the HDD to something large is really valuable. Our laptops have been upgraded several times but they are about 8 years old and still running quite well.
4- It actually has a DVD player.. for those who have kids or grandparents-- it's great to be able to burn some CDs or photos
5- Durable. My family has a tendency to kill laptops but even they have not been successful to kill these things yet. thank god..
6- Upgradability - It's best feature is the ability upgrade the HDD and RAM which allows you to get a mac with more storage than most new macbooks today in a cost effective way.

Who should NOT get this laptop:
1- You are going to use it for gaming
2- You need to tons of battery life and need something really light
3- You do not need that much storage space for photos

In summary: it's a fantastic laptop and i'll be sad when Apple stops selling it. It is getting long in the tooth in performance so that day is coming soon but this is the only machine i've had for 8 years and have been able to get more life out of it with some simple upgrades in RAM, Battery, or HDD.
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on January 23, 2015
My son LOVES it! The only places I could find that sold these are directly through Apple (which wanted WAY too much for their "AppleCare warranty"-it doesn't even cover drops,spills, etc...just a warranty to talk to to their technical support-what a joke), Best Buy (their "Geek Squad" warranty covers basically everything, including drops, spills, etc...but is approx. $350 for 2 yrs or $510 for 3 yrs and it's not like it's fixed right at the store- they still send it out, so you still have a wait time until you get it back), eBay (no warranties you can add-just a transferable warranty IF the person selling added it at time of purchase), and Amazon. Amazon, by far, beat the others in price AND you can add your own warranty for a very reasonable price ( I think I paid around $150 for 3 yrs) and it covers spills, drops, cracked screen, etc. I know this model is from 2012 and is not the newer one, but in my opinion is was a way better choice. I guess it just depends on what you're looking for & what is important to you. I didn't want the new MacBook Air because I was told by several sales associates at Best Buy that they have junky processors (compared to any of the MacBook Pro models, not in general), their storage/ memory options suck, and that any of the Pro models would be MUCH better for what my son would be using on it the most-Photoshop. I was told the Air models are best for people that needed easy portability, like traveling on business trips & needing to check emails & such. The new Pro models are very nice, but they have less storage & you end up paying so much extra for the retina display. If having retina display is super important to you, then go with the new models. It wasn't to me. Plus, this MacBook Pro, in my opinion, has GREAT image quality....if you put it beside one with retina, then yes-you WILL see an obvious difference between them....but, for me, the difference wasn't worth the difference in price, especially beings that the image quality on this model, while not as nice as the retina, still is amazing and far better than the quality of any other laptop I compared it to of similar price. Also, a HUGE selling feature for me is that this one comes with the DVD SuperDrive built into it, which none of the newer MacBook AIrs or Pros do....for the newer models, you can buy a SuperDrive (they were $80 at Best Buy), but you connect them with a USB cable and then you're stuck with a laptop, SuperDrive, and a wire attaching them and that's not very ideal if your traveling & want your kid to be able to watch a DVD. Also, with this model, you can upgrade the 500 GB to a higher one, if you need to. That's always a nice option, which again, the newer models do not come with and are not capable of. Do your research & pick what's best for your personal needs. This model, while SLIGHTLY heavier than the new ones, is still very lightweight (and remember-this one has the SuperDrive built into it, so that compensates for the little bit of extra weight, which is only like 1lb.). I'm so happy with this MacBook Pro....and thrilled with the additional warranty options....and, most important of all, my 13 yr. old son LOVES it...he got it for Christmas and definitely wasn't expecting it and the pure look of shock and happiness on his face when he opened it was absolutely PRICELESS. (He wanted & asked for a laptop and, even though he has an iPhone, an iPod touch, and a iPad with retina, he didn't bother asking for a MacBook because, as he said, "I would love a MacBook, but I know they're basically the most expensive laptops out there, so it doesn't matter-I'm fine with a any laptop-it doesn't have to be super expensive". Through my research, I was told over & over again that Apple products are pricier because the quality & durability far exceeds any other brand, which is why they can charge more. So I made the decision to get him a MacBook...plus he can, and has, synced it to all his other Apple devices, so all his songs and apps are all there w/o the need to spend additional money. Boy-was he surprised!) He spends hours every day making "edits" (sports pics) with PhotoShop (which is now sold by subscription, which I also bought on Amazon-it arrives & looks like a gift card, which is super nice if you're giving it as a gift). Really, truly, honestly a great buy and a great product.
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on November 30, 2015
Item name is wrong. This is the early 2011 model not the summer 2012 model.
Intel HD graphics 3000 not 4000.
When I turned it on and plugged in my flashdrive the USB port was not working.
review image
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on August 29, 2017
COMPLETE HONEST REVIEW

Bought this for college. Scratches all across the top cover. Didn't come in a box (don't care as much because I paid for a laptop not a box). The computer seemed to work fine. I had issues syncing my iPhone. It took me a few hours to resolve this issue. The first few hours of receiving this laptop gave me more problems than I thought. Upon further inspection I realized that 3 keys were unresponsive ( 4, F4, & R). This frustrated me so much because my wifi password required some of the faulty keys. It's a shame that I am returning this product because I thought it would last me a while. Do not trust most of the reviews you see please do your research.
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While I'm new to this particular device and OS I do find that this laptop functions wonderfully for my daily needs. The design is pretty solid and of prior laptops or netbooks I've used in the past, I find that the trackpad is very responsive and makes me feel less awkward at falling back on my failsafe of connecting a wireless USB mouse. Normally I find my ability to navigate highlighting and selecting options within pages, programs or web browsers difficult on most laptop trackpads, but this one is very responsive to allow ease of use. Also the spacing is good to prevent the issues I've normally found at my wrists occasionally hitting the pad and moving my cursor to areas outside of the normal workspace while typing for long periods. As I'm still feeling my way around the applications that are available from the initial OS after it's turned on and set-up, it appears to come with many of the basic programs I need to get to work. The first-time set-up feels a bit intrusive to me about wanting me to set up accounts with logins (at least in my opinion) but that appears to be standard for the Apple OS and outside of that sets itself up for standard use reasonably quick after a couple reboots. I'm not too keen with the constant updates I've seen as of late, however even Linux had regular updates which I got used to over time and with the Mac OS being based from a UNIX build, it will likely have the same regular updates. At least I can elect when I'm doing them versus the machine OS (usually I've found the Windows OS to have this characteristic) constantly popping up with a notification to the point of intruding upon work and forcing me to forego finishing the last of a current project to update. I'm pleased and a bit in awe at how the battery holds a charge for a long period of time and charges up very quickly. Overall this laptop build is solid and reliable from what I've experienced so far and hope that this continues to be for many years to come. So if one is in the market for a laptop I would recommend this one for consideration, even if it's not the latest and greatest model, it's a pretty solid machine. It was initially a bit more than I was hoping to spend, but considering that this unit contains a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Memory, and Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB -- this functions for my basic use and more. It might even be able to handle some minor music and visual work, but I would consider one of their Apple drives in the future for something along this line. The laptop is slim and easy to fit on the go which is another feature I do enjoy and will even conserve the battery charge without shutting off the machine when relocating to another work area. The battery use drains slower when the lid is closed versus letting the device go into standby with the top up and I appreciate the attention to this detail as it responds differently depending on which method the laptop goes to sleep. If the laptop top is up when it goes to sleep, it runs a bit of processing resources in the background to allow you to log back into the machine a bit more quickly upon hitting the power key. When waking the machine up from a closed top position, the unit has to recognize and restart a bit of the processing before you are allowed to log back into the device but it does not consume as much if any of the battery while in this mode. I noticed this when traveling from home to the library and not wanting to fully shut down the unit for the drive an exit away -- I was concerned that I would need to plug in the charger upon arriving but found that the laptop held the charge without dropping in percentage of use. Often with other laptop or netbooks I've used in the past there would be a reasonable amount of drain to the battery in the same distance of that trip, so that was a pleasant surprise. The Mac OS (El Capitan on this machine) seems to manage its energy resources very well as I often have multiple tabs open in browsers for research while writing and only when the laptop gets to about 5% will it pop up a warning to charge the unit. I've even found that it will still manage the drain of energy use on the battery that I don't see a risk of saving and backing up my work when it gets to that level. Like I said, I'm new to this device and OS type, but it has impressed me and I'm very pleased with this laptop.
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on July 26, 2016
Already had one but I'm going to give my niece, bought myself a new one and 2 months later or less bought another one as a spare as they are getting harder to find in this particular makeup like them much better than the new Macbook I like having the DVD built-in and a regular USB guess I'm getting old great computer just don't like it when people take advantage and spikes the price but I got under $1000.00 brand new and that's about right would have liked it with more RAM but will ask later
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on September 2, 2017
Works just like a new Apple. I bought this for my daughter at college. It was a great value to save us hundreds over buying new.

She bought a brand new Samsung and about 14 months after buying, it got a virus that no one at Best Buy could fix. Now the $700 she spent was thrown away. We will only own apple computers now because they aren't as susceptible to viruses.
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on May 29, 2015
Good review, bought one based a lot on your thoughtful remarks. Will offer this - if you're using Migration Assistant, don't select the include software option because if Yosemite isn't compatible with any one of your old programs you might encounter a 24 hour stall - and never know what the problem was. So after migrating your data and settings bring your apps over one at a time manually to make sure all is cool and stay under control of the situation. This MPB is the one - as me olde eyes can't appreciate Retina - and this is the last upgradable MBP - battery and RAM not glued in, Firewire, DVD drive - yep. As I came from a 2006 MacBook with a 7,200rpm drive this felt a little less responsive - but as OWC has 480GB flash drive for < 200 bucks I'll be visiting them. One other issue - - Safari stalled unmercifully. The fix was to delete a cache database In Finder, Go to Folder and put in ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Cache.db then restart Safari and good to go. So that $2,640 Retina PB on  Store wasn't as useful to me as this one, upgraded, with tax and all for <$1,500. Good luck - and enjoy the very slick new trackpad if your old one was "skiddy."
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on September 24, 2015
I'm actually writing this review on my new MacBook and I love it! The seller was great and I had my computer within 2 days. The computer it self is amazing. It is an older model, so know that upfront, but it is everything I was looking for. I wanted a laptop that had a CD drive, since most new laptops do not have one, a laptop with an actual hard drive, since the new MacBooks do not, and I wanted to get away from PCs. I actually spent $600 on a PC before I bought this MacBook and returned it with 24 hours because it was slow, and I could not stand windows 10. From the moment I received this MacBook it was like a dream come true. It is a little sluggish, which was to be expected with the 4GB ram, but even at its sluggish it is faster than the PC I bought. I know once I upgrade the ram to 8GB it will pick up a lot. As an added bonus I plan on upgraded to 16GB down the road, but 8 will do for now. The price for the ram is about $80 so this lap top is still cheaper than a brand new MacBook. Also, if after reading some reviews and doing some research I found out that this laptop is easily upgradable and easy to work on which is another big plus. So long story short, if you want an oldie but a goodie this is your laptop. I know people were complaining that it isn't the newest model, but it all depends on what you are looking for. It's the perfect size for someone who is using a laptop for school or everyday use, and while it is a little heaver than the MacBook Air, at 5ish pounds, its really not that bad. I highly recommend!!
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on March 4, 2015
I have been thoroughly disappointed with this machine, within just months (2 months) of my purchase I started to face problems with it; such as the computer would completely freeze in the middle of my work, and then shut down. Sometimes programs installed on the machine would completely refuse to take commands from me. I did contact the seller and they gave me a lousy option of taking it to the apple store regardless that it has a year long warranty. I am a masters student and that to international, I don't have that kind of time on my hand to run around given that I also have a toddler to care for. I had purchased this machine in September 2014, and this machine's hard drive crashed on the eve of my paper submission in November, to make a note of; I am an extremely careful user and this machine had never and has never been near my child, so I cannot be accused of negligence. But the apple store fixed it for me, but guess what IT HAS CRASHED YET AGAIN....... Now I'm just going to leave this machine at the Apple store and walk away.....the kind of mental anxiety it has given me, no one and nothing can compensate for it. I again contacted the sellers and they also neglected it saying that they only have a 30-day refund policy... I mean the machine is not working properly so what can be done....Disgraceful indeed...
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