Which used older Macbook to purchase for just using Quicken

Ps56k2
Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
For the Macbook crowd ....
Would like to buy an used Macbook to just have around and see how the Mac works, along with installing a testing version of Quicken and a few other programs.
What would be your suggestion to find.... what year, model, size, memory, disk, OS future, and any other tidbit of info to look for .... like on eBay or other websites of used/refurbs
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Comments

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited August 29
    @Ps56k2 There are a few considerations. You should get a Mac recent enough to run the latest Mac operating system (Monterey), or at least its predecessor (Big Sur). Officially, Quicken supports only the current and two prior operating systems, so when Apple does its next annual release in October (Ventura), Quicken will officially support only Big Sur, Monterey and Ventura. In practice, the Quicken Mac team sometimes add features which need a recent OS, but the program actually still runs on several prior operating systems. But if you're buying a Mac to run Quicken Mac, you might as well get one new enough to run Quicken releases for the next few years at least.

    This is Apple's list of models which can run Monterey. Generally, it's Macs from late 2015 or 2016 and later, but that link has a detailed list. (This is a list of models which can run the older Big Sur.)

    I've focused on the OS you'll get with the computer or install yourself (you can download any macOS installer for free from Apple); for Quicken Mac, there are no particular hardware requirements. If you're just running Quicken, then any Mac with 8 GB of RAM will be fine. Hard disk size isn't important; any disk will give you tons of space. Since Quicken is quite disk intensive, a Mac with a solid state hard drive will run Quicken faster than a Mac with a spinning hard drive. 

    You'll have to decide if you want a desktop machine (iMac) or a laptop (MacBook Air or MacBook Pro). the iMac is an all-in-one design with a monitor. If you have a spare monitor and keyboard, or want to get a keyboard monitor switch to use with your existing Windows keyboard and monitor, then you could also choose a Mac Mini. A 13" laptop is okay for testing Quicken, but it's a little hard to use for more than that because Quicken windows tend to be large and a 13" screen limits what you can see and requires more horizontal scrolling. Otherwise, the hardware choice isn't critical from a Quicken perspective. 

    Because Macs generally last for a long time and are well-built, you'll find that they hold their value pretty well — which means it can be hard to find inexpensive used Macs except really old ones — which you don't want for the reasons discussed above. 

    Does that help? Ask more questions as you have 'em…
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    tnx - any comment on the "keyboards" ?
    from our son....
    Go to the Apple Store and take a look at them.
    I don’t like the keyboard but otherwise they’re fine.
    Also the newer ones have limited plugs but that’s not a huge deal for your usage.

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Ps56k2 said:
    tnx - any comment on the "keyboards" ?
    I'm not sure why you have keyboards in quotes? Are you looking for a used laptop? Some people didn't like the built-in "butterfly" keyboards Apple used for MacBook Pros for about 3 years from 2016-2018 because keys could get stuck. Many people didn't have any problems with them, but Apple eventually changed back to the older "scissor" keyboard to resolve complaints. Here's a list of MacBooks which came with the butterfly keyboard. 

    But if the used Mac you'd be buying isn't a laptop and doesn't come with a keyboard (or mouse), you just have to make sure the ones you get are compatible with the older Mac you get. I personally love the Apple wireless keyboards: slim, light (but they don't jump around the desk), good key action. they paid automatically via Bluetooth, and they hold a charge for a month or more before needing to be plugged into the Mac for an hour or two to recharge.

    Apple really just sells two: a standard wireless keyboard and a larger one with a full numeric keypad. If this were to be your primary machine for Quicken, the numeric keypad might be useful, but if this is just for experimenting, a standard keyboard is likely fine. Unless you're getting a one year-old Mac with an M1 processor, you have to get the older model keyboards, which are (a little) cheaper and compatible with iMacs and Mac Minis going back about 8 years; the newest, current model keyboards, with a Touch ID sensor, are only compatible with the Apple silicon Macs (M1 or M2). I'm not sure I understand your son's comment about the newer keyboards having "limited plugs"; in fact, they have only a single USB port for a charging cable; you can't connect other devices (mouse, peripheral) to a wireless keyboard as you could with older wired keyboards. 

    Depending how old a Mac you get, you could also probably get a used, cheap, wired (USB) keyboard for $25-$30. there are also third-party keyboards; you need to hunt a little to find ones built specifically for a Mac with Apple's Command and Option keys, but some third-party PC keyboards may work as well. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 31
    Bought a MacBook Air 13” 2015 
    8gb / 256gb SSD / Monterey 

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Ps56k2 said:
    Bought a MacBook Air 13” 2015 
    8gb / 256gb SSD / Monterey 
    Woo hoo! Welcome to the Mac world. ;)

    As far as Quicken, don't go into it getting frustrated at every turn that things are different than Quicken Windows; approach it as a learning curve you need to work your way up. Eventually, you'll likely find there are some things which are better in Quicken Mac, and some things which are worse — or non-existent. Depending what features of Quicken you use, you may find on balance that Quicken Mac is pretty good, or you might find it frustratingly-limited; everyone's use is different, so opinions from Windows-to-Mac switchers run the entire gamut.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    One thing I always disliked about mac laptops is the lack of a number keypad, especially for Quicken. If  you are like me, you might want to invest in an external one for Quicken usage.
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    (Canadian
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  • RobGonzalez
    RobGonzalez Member ✭✭
    FYI, I have an older Late 2010 Macbook Air that will only run High Sierra. Quicken will install, but I get a blank white screen after clicking on "Get Started". Oh well, I guess not worth getting support since it is so old.