I read somewhere that Apple doesn’t say it, but they do design their machines to last ten years. That’s pretty incredible in an age where a phone is obsolete in two years. I have to say that it does feel like it is true. I’m typing this right now on a MacBook Pro 2010 using an iMac 2009 as the display device. We upgraded the MacBook Pro with an SSD by opening the case and it is fine for the internet and so forth.
The only other really needed utility is Shades which is donationware that turns down the brightness of an iMac used this way. And yes, I wish I could use the IMac directly, but the 1TB (gigantic back then!) drive is just too slow to use anymore and impossible to dig out as well.
My current notebook is an even older MacBook 2008 that is just for email. I’m kind of waiting for Skylake to arrive and so forth, but I have to say that they really aren’t too bad for just email and internet.
So while these should probably all become paperweights, I’m amazed that the various components like the display and body are holding up!