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Old Nov 3, 2014, 11:32 AM   #1
kingdf
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Buying refurbished vs new

I'm trying to recommend a Macbook Air to my mom after using my Pro for the last 9 months but the only issue seems to be the price. I checked Apple's website for refurb models and they're considerably cheaper than the new ones. How much different are refurbs compared to new-in-box models? The only refurbished Apple product I've ever bought was an iPad 2 a couple years ago and it looked/felt brand new.

She also prefers the Air to the Pro because of its lighter weight and the screen on the Air seems nice enough for her uses which would be mainly for work purposes (emailing, word docs, messaging etc.) and multimedia (streaming Netflix, Facebook, and TV shows).

This is the model I'm looking at. For her uses, what do you all think? She intends to keep the laptop for as long as possible. She's coming from a standard Windows desktop PC from at least 6-8 years ago that's pretty much on its last leg and slow to a crawl.
http://store.apple.com/us-hed/produc...-intel-core-i5
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 11:33 AM   #2
GGJstudios
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Apple refurbished products are considered by most to be a very good deal, as they're pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box.
Quote:
Apple Certified Refurbished Products are pre-owned Apple products that undergo Apple's stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale. While only some units are returned due to technical issues, all units undergo Apple's stringent quality refurbishment process.
Click the link in that quote for more details on the refurbishment process.
  • Apple Certified Refurbished Products are available online from the Apple Refurb Store and are not sold in local Apple stores
  • Educational discounts do not apply to refurb products.
  • Refurb products come with the same warranty as new products, and qualify for AppleCare
  • Refurb products have a changed serial number that identifies them as refurbished
  • Refurb products come with whatever OS version and software they originally shipped with as new
  • Refurb products come with the same items in the box as new products, only the box is a plain one, not the new box.
  • A refurb product could have some cosmetic signs of prior use, but rarely do
  • A refurb Mac notebook may have some cycles on the battery, but not a significant enough amount to affect usable life
  • The refurb store inventory changes frequently, sometimes several times a day, and doesn't have any direct relation to upcoming product releases. What's available in the refurb store is determined by what has been returned to Apple.
  • If you're looking for a particular item, refurb.me can alert you when it becomes available.
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 11:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Apple refurbished products are considered by most to be a very good deal, as they're pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box. Click the link in that quote for more details on the refurbishment process.
  • Apple Certified Refurbished Products are available online from the Apple Refurb Store and are not sold in local Apple stores
  • Educational discounts do not apply to refurb products.
  • Refurb products come with the same warranty as new products, and qualify for AppleCare
  • Refurb products have a changed serial number that identifies them as refurbished
  • Refurb products come with whatever OS version and software they originally shipped with as new
  • Refurb products come with the same items in the box as new products, only the box is a plain one, not the new box.
  • A refurb product could have some cosmetic signs of prior use, but rarely do
  • A refurb Mac notebook may have some cycles on the battery, but not a significant enough amount to affect usable life
  • The refurb store inventory changes frequently, sometimes several times a day, and doesn't have any direct relation to upcoming product releases. What's available in the refurb store is determined by what has been returned to Apple.
  • If you're looking for a particular item, refurb.me can alert you when it becomes available.
Thx. And would you recommend the base 13" Air to someone with her uses? Strictly for work purposes and multimedia (emails, word docs, messaging, Facebook, streaming shows/movies)? She plans to keep it for as long as possible (I'm guessing at least 5-6 years should be ideal?). I think pictures would be the main thing that uses up space.

And do you know what kind of deals Apple and Best Buy have for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? And if they offer those deals for those who prefer to order online rather than shop in store on those days?
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Thx. And would you recommend the base 13" Air to someone with her uses?
Yes, it should easily meet her performance needs.
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kingdf View Post
This is the model I'm looking at. For her uses, what do you all think? She intends to keep the laptop for as long as possible. She's coming from a standard Windows desktop PC from at least 6-8 years ago that's pretty much on its last leg and slow to a crawl.
GGJStudios knows what he's talking about. Let me add my personal experience -- I've bought 7 refurbished Macs and they have all been good as new, perhaps even better than new. Only three differences I've noticed -- they come in a plain box, the serial numbers are different, and credit cards don't give an extra year warranty on refurbs. Frankly it's the only way I'll buy unless I can't find what I want.

Regarding adequate power, my wife has a 4 year old 11" MBA, bought when they first came out. Base model, with half the RAM, SSD capacity, and about 1/3 the CPU power of the current base model. It still works absolutely fine with the latest OS (Yosemite) and software. It's used for browsing and the built-in and iLife/iWork apps.
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 12:42 PM   #6
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credit cards don't give an extra year warranty on refurbs.
I didn't know this. Thank you for the info!
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Old Nov 3, 2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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I don't think it's "fair" since Apple warrants them the same as new, but it is what it is.
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Old Nov 4, 2014, 06:34 PM   #8
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Thx for the responses. One more question tho. Can you buy Apple Care for refurbished MacBooks? And if you don't want to buy Apple Care right away can you buy it within the year of purchasing the MacBook?
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Old Nov 4, 2014, 06:45 PM   #9
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Thx for the responses. One more question tho. Can you buy Apple Care for refurbished MacBooks? And if you don't want to buy Apple Care right away can you buy it within the year of purchasing the MacBook?
Yes and yes.
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Old Nov 4, 2014, 07:17 PM   #10
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Refurbs are fine, I have bought a few including an I Mac, 2 weeks ago, it is fine.
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Old Nov 4, 2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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Actually it's cheaper here, brand new:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...291+4294948826

Because there's NO Sales Tax!

Lou
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Old Nov 5, 2014, 11:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by flowrider View Post
Because there's NO Sales Tax!
Best not to compare with tax considerations because it varies depending on where you live, and in most cases you still owe the tax even if the vendor doesn't collect it for your state.
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Old Nov 5, 2014, 11:23 AM   #13
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^^^^Maybe you still owe the sales taxes if you report it on you state income tax form. But how many of us do?

Most of my Internet Purchases avoid Sales Tax. I use Amazon a lot less now because of this.

Lou
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Old Nov 5, 2014, 01:34 PM   #14
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^^^^Maybe you still owe the sales taxes if you report it on you state income tax form. But how many of us do?

Most of my Internet Purchases avoid Sales Tax. I use Amazon a lot less now because of this.

Lou
Eventually the states will figure this all out and tax will be collected. Meanwhile an individuals tax situation will depend on location and can't be generalized. And as to making price claims presuming breaking the law, well you can get the best price on a new Mac by stealing it.

Note that B&H doesn't offer a better deal than the refurbished store for everyone. I know it doesn't for me (Oregon has no sales tax), residents of New York (who would have to pay NY sales tax to B&H), or businesses (more likely to obey the tax laws if for no other reason than they are more likely to get caught if they break them).
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Old Nov 5, 2014, 08:27 PM   #15
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^ ^ ^ ^Only 5 sates have no Sales Tax:

1. Alaska - But they can have a local Sales Tax

2. Montana

3. Delaware

4. Oregon - (Your favorite)

5. New Hampshire

So, for most of us the lack of being charged Sales Tax matters.

Lou
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 10:56 AM   #16
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The only thing I'm worried about on the base model is the 128GB SSD storage space. I keep reading on here about how many people regret buying the 128GB and would've preferred to buy the 256GB.

How much storage space is actually available for the user when buying the 128GB? If it's less than 90GB, I'd think that would be a little too small and the 256GB would be a much better way to go since she wants to keep the laptop for as long as possible.

For her uses, I think the 4GB RAM will be fine though. She's not a heavy user.

Last edited by kingdf; Nov 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 11:34 AM   #17
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The only thing I'm worried about on the base model is the 128GB SSD storage space. I keep reading on here about how many people regret buying the 128GB and would've preferred to buy the 256GB.

How much storage space is actually available for the user when buying the 128GB? If it's less than 90GB, I'd think that would be a little too small and the 256GB would be a much better way to go since she wants to keep the laptop for as long as possible.

For her uses, I think the 4GB RAM will be fine though. She's not a heavy user.
A new Mac with the iLife and iWorks apps installed will use about 20GB of disk space. So would have about 100GB free with the 128GB model.

It really depends on what you plan to store on there. I have the 128GB and it is more than enough space for me with about half the disk still free.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 11:51 AM   #18
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A new Mac with the iLife and iWorks apps installed will use about 20GB of disk space. So would have about 100GB free with the 128GB model.

It really depends on what you plan to store on there. I have the 128GB and it is more than enough space for me with about half the disk still free.
It would be mainly documents and pictures being stored on there. Not really many apps. If there's still 100GB free I think that would be enough.

Can you delete preinstalled apps to create more storage space?
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 12:02 PM   #19
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It would be mainly documents and pictures being stored on there. Not really many apps. If there's still 100GB free I think that would be enough.

Can you delete preinstalled apps to create more storage space?
You can delete some of them, but the system is tied in to others. You can dump Garageband and all its support/sample files to free up a lot of space. The others don't really use that much space.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 12:05 PM   #20
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Can you delete preinstalled apps to create more storage space?
This may be useful: Freeing up drive space in Mac OS X
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 01:24 PM   #21
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Come to think of it now, I think the 256GB would be a better option since she intends to keep it for as long as possible and with future OS updates and other things downloaded and installed, it would probably be smart to have double the storage now and not regret it later.

4GB of RAM should be sufficient though right? Or should we just go with 8GB? She wants to keep this thing for years and years.

And how different are the 2013/2014 Macbook Airs? I read there's almost no difference between them but I'd like more info like difference between speed, battery life screen clarity and overall performance.

Thanks everyone.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 01:31 PM   #22
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Come to think of it now, I think the 256GB would be a better option since she intends to keep it for as long as possible and with future OS updates and other things downloaded and installed, it would probably be smart to have double the storage now and not regret it later.
Your mother has light computer usage -- no video, music, or photos mentioned. Our 64GB 2010 MBA with similar usage still has room after going from Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion to Mavericks to Yosemite, all as updates (no fresh installs). The 128GB model would have plenty of room.

RAM might actually be more of a concern, although, again, ours runs fine with 2GB.

She seems to be a perfect customer for the base model.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 01:50 PM   #23
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Your mother has light computer usage -- no video, music, or photos mentioned. Our 64GB 2010 MBA with similar usage still has room after going from Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion to Mavericks to Yosemite, all as updates (no fresh installs). The 128GB model would have plenty of room.

RAM might actually be more of a concern, although, again, ours runs fine with 2GB.

She seems to be a perfect customer for the base model.
She'll have some music (100-300 songs) and lots of photos (at least 500 pics) but besides those, word documents will be the only other thing she'll be using up memory with on it. And assuming the 128GB comes with ~100GB for usable space (probably less), I feel she should just get double the memory since she'll have it for years down the road. People continue to use memory over time, and I don't think she'll want to be deleting things much. For a $200 difference, I think it may be worth it.

So while the 128GB might be enough, it still makes me wonder because usually down the line with more OS updates being installed and more music/photos being downloaded, memory will only decrease.
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 02:00 PM   #24
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She'll have some music (100-300 songs) and lots of photos (at least 500 pics) but besides those, word documents will be the only other thing she'll be using up memory with on it. And assuming the 128GB comes with ~100GB for usable space (probably less), I feel she should just get double the memory since she'll have it for years down the road. People continue to use memory over time, and I don't think she'll want to be deleting things much. For a $200 difference, I think it may be worth it.

So while the 128GB might be enough, it still makes me wonder because usually down the line with more OS updates being installed and more music/photos being downloaded, memory will only decrease.
Her storage requirements are a joke compared to 128GB. Songs take up maybe 5MB each, so for 300 songs that's 1.5 gigabytes. Photos take up maybe 3MB each (closer to 2.5MB for iPhone 5S photos but let's round up) so that's another 1.5 gigabytes. The size of a typical Word document is basically negligible.

So she's looking at using around 3% of the available space on a base model MBA and you think she might need to upgrade?
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Old Nov 6, 2014, 02:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kingdf View Post
She'll have some music (100-300 songs) and lots of photos (at least 500 pics) but besides those, word documents will be the only other thing she'll be using up memory with on it. And assuming the 128GB comes with ~100GB for usable space (probably less), I feel she should just get double the memory since she'll have it for years down the road. People continue to use memory over time, and I don't think she'll want to be deleting things much. For a $200 difference, I think it may be worth it.

So while the 128GB might be enough, it still makes me wonder because usually down the line with more OS updates being installed and more music/photos being downloaded, memory will only decrease.
I must concur with Motrek. This is still minor use of available space in the minimum model. And the OS updates won't really matter either -- as I said, I've upgraded through 4 OS X releases (and all the steps in-between) on our 64GB MBA and have had no problems.

Save that $200 for other things like flowers on Mothers Days.
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