Why the 2012 non-retina MacBook Pro still sells

Marco Arment:

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.

And later:

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So while I agree with Marco that there is still a place in Apple’s lineup for this now outdated machine, I can’t say for sure that I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to buy a Mac today.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.