Second Class Macs are Macs you should buy with your eyes wide open - if at all. The only ones I would put on the "avoid" list are those with three or four apples. The one and two apple Macs can be very nice computers as long as you are aware of their limitations.
Apple has produced a few computers that could have provided more performance - and should have, based on the CPU they used. However, they were hobbled by other design considerations: keeping costs down.
The 12 Worst Macs
These are Apple's more compromised hardware designs. For the most part, they're not really bad - simply designs unable to work as well as they should have. We divide these models into three categories:
- Limited Macs. These are generally the best of the Second Class Macs and usually have only one or two areas that limit their potential. They usually rate one apple.
- Compromised Macs. These are usually descent Macs where performance has been compromised to keep costs down, prevent competition with a more expensive model, or to meet other design goals. 1-2 apples.
- Road Apples. These are the worst, rating 3 and 4 apples.
The number of apples ranks Second Class Macs from somewhat limited () to those you should avoid at all costs ().
For the best in used Macs, visit our Best Buys page. Models are listed in the order of introduction.
- Mac Portable September 1989
- Mac IIfx March 1990
- Classic October 1990
- Mac IIsi October 1990
- Mac LC October 1990
- Classic II October 1991
- Mac LC II replaced LC in March 1992
- Color Classic February 1993
- Performa 600 and Mac IIvx September 1992
- Mac TV October 1993
- Quadra 800/840av/Power Mac 8100 case February 1993
- Centris (the name) February to October 1993
- PowerBook 150 July 1994
- PowerBook 5300 1995
- 5200-53xx and 6200-6320 several different models sharing the same flawed design, introduced April 1995 and later
- Power Mac 7200, 8200 March 1996
- PowerBook 1400/117 October 1996
- Power Mac 4400 February 1997
- 'MainStreet' PowerBook G3/233, no cache May 1998
- Beige Power Mac G3 (Rev. A) November 1997
- Power Macintosh G4 (Yikes!) August 1999
- 350 MHz G3 iMacs Oct. 1999, July 2000
- Power Mac G4 Cube July 2000
- G4 Mac mini January 2005
- Core Duo Mac mini February 2006
- Core Solo Mac mini February 2006
Other Mac Hardware
- AppleVision 1710 monitor
- PowerBook Express Modem
- GeoPort "Modem"
- Apple Adjustable Keyboard
- Apple USB keyboard
- The Round iMac/G3 Mouse
If you would like to nominate another model as a Second Class Mac, send an email toDan Knight explaining why. Thanks!
Second Class Macs is intended as a good natured look at Macintosh bloopers, not as an indictment of Apple, Inc. I'd rather have the worst of these than a Windows machines.
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