It is possible to find an Apple Laptop for under $500 — you can get a used iBook, MacBook or Powerbook in this price range.
Note that you won’t find a new Apple laptop for under $500. If you want a new Mac laptop — the least expensive option is to purchase a Apple MacBook Air MC506LL/A, which was released in 2010, and currently sells for $849 at Amazon.
The Best Apple Laptops Under $500
Let’s take a look at the used Apple laptops you can get for under $500.
When buying a used or refurbished laptop, pay attention to the seller’s rating and return policy. In most cases you’ll want to avoid “newly launched” sellers, or sellers with ratings under 90%. When your used laptop arrives, you’ll know pretty soon if it works as advertised. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to be able to return the machine within 30 days. I’d also try to find a buyer who mentions that the laptop has a battery that “still holds a charge”. Many laptop batteries need to be replaced after 4-5 years. If you do find the battery unacceptable, it’s possible to buy a replacement Macbook batteries separately for about $40.
Apple MacBook MB403LL/A ($470-$500)
For just under $500, the best Macbook you can buy is an Apple MacBook MB403LL/A. This Macbook came out in Late 2008, and it has 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 13.3 inch screen. Although it was released 4 years ago, this is a perfectly acceptable laptop for 2012. It can run Apple’s latest operating system, OS X 10.7 “Lion”. I’d advise you to try to get this Macbook with 2 GB of memory installed — there’s not much price difference between a 1GB and 2GB machine, but the extra memory makes a difference.
Apple G4 iBook M9627LL/A ($250-$300)
If you really looking to save some money, you can get an Apple G4 iBook for under $300. These machines came out between 2003 and 2004. They have 1.33 gHZ processors and can run the OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system. While they are not speedy by today’s standards, these laptops work fine for web browsing and running other applications, though watching videos online can be frustrating. But overall, a quality computer from Apple.
The Apple G4 iBook is available from Amazon for $250-$300.
Apple G4 Powerbook M9110LL ($470-$500)
If you’re looking for laptop with a 17″ screen, you can get a used Powerbook G4 M9110LL for under $500. Note, however that this machine was released in 2003, and only has an 1.33-GHz PowerPC G4 processor. The MacBook mention above is an faster Intel processor and more memory for the same price.