Despite the low-resolution screen, slow hard drives, very little RAM, and CPUs that were middling even in 2012, it’s an open secret among Apple employees that the “101” still sells surprisingly well — to a nearly tragic degree, given its age and mediocrity.
I’m right there with everyone else who’d strongly advise against buying this machine for most people who’d ask me. But if someone has a tight budget, needs a lot of disk space, and doesn’t care about the screen, it’s hard to argue against the 101.
Back in 2013 when I was buying my first Mac I was torn between the ‘101’ mentioned here and the latest Retina MacBook Pro. For the same price I could either have a fully maxed out - but non-retina/SSD - MacBook Pro, or the newer Retina model which was thinner and lighter, but at my budget price point was at its lowest spec.
In the end I decided to get the older ‘101’ model. At the beginning I thought this was a wise choice as I was a Computer Science student at the time and assumed that I would have the need for an almost 3 GHz processor and 8 Gb of RAM. In reality, I had little need for the extra processing power, even though the RAM came in handy. I also wanted the 750 Gb hard drive the older model offered, which was the same price as a 128 Gb SSD on the Retina. (I could have just got an external hard drive for all those movies and TV shows.)
So while I agree with Marco that there is still a place in Apple’s lineup for this now outdated machine, I can’t say for sure that I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to buy a Mac today. The 101 has served me well for the last two odd years, but recently it has started to show its age. I never use the optical drive or the ethernet port, the disk seems to the be getting slower by the month, and I can’t bear to see a Retina screen on any other MacBook as it only highlights how bad the screen is on this laptop. This is not a 2016 MacBook.