$700 MacBook Pro - To Buy Or Not To Buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jasphair, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. jasphair macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Greetings all!

    I've been looking to acquire a MacBook Pro (I've had the older 1st gens in the past) and have had a hard time deciding wether or not to get the early '08 or late '08 MBP's, mainly as I'm not sure if I like the glossy screen, the trackpad/mouse combo, and if I want to pay the full $2,000, whereas an early '08 MBP can be obtained for $1500 or less, depending on where you look.

    I found the following auction on eBay:


    The guy has 10 of them, the original Core Duo with X1600 video. He wants $700 a piece. If I were to obtain one, would I be able to get AppleCare on top of it? The systems *appear* to be in good condition from the pictures, but I'd want additional warranty coverage beyond the 30 days, of course.

    I'm trying to decide if I should spend the $700 and try and be content with that for the next year or more, while putting the rest of my money towards other things (needs, not wants!) or if I should buckle down, take my tax return (in January, of course) and get on the the early or late '08's.

    Of course, I'd prefer the 8600M GT or 9600M GT over the X1600, but the price would seem to be a steal. I'd probably do a little BootCamp here and there, and would like to have the ability to play some games at 1024x768, medium textures/quality, etc, (CoD, Crysis, Fallout 3...)

    What would you do, if you had no MBP, and were on a tight budget?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It's a scam. He doesn't have ten of them. I've seen things like this before. Just walk away.
  3. liquidh2o macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2004
    I wouldn't say it's a scam, check the sellers feedback, he sells a lot of laptops.

    Only thing that would worry me is that there's no Applecare warranty left, just the 30 day warranty by them. I'm fickle and always like to have my computers under warranty, but if $700 is worth the risk, then it is definitely a good buy.
  4. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008

    Well, since it's the older MBP, would I not be able to buy it, and then buy a 3-year AppleCare from there or directly from Apple, and put it back under warranty?
  5. Fidgetyrat macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    No, once the original 1 year warranty from apple expires you can not buy apple care..

    Think of apple care as a warranty extension, not as a separate thing.. So you have until the very last day of your first year to buy.

    Since we're talking about an early 08, it is possible you might *just* hit that theshold and be lucky, but either way it feel shady. 700 is just way too low for that model, there has to be something going on.
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    The seller has a 99.9% positive feedback rating on 11,000 transactions. That's as legit as a seller gets on Ebay.

    I would aim for a Core 2 Duo-based machine. Intel substantially revamped the design of their multi-core chips with the C2D generation and they are considerably improved over the CD processors.
  7. naid macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    I don't think it's a scam, this looks like a legitimate seller. Can't be wrong with 11,000 feedback and 99.9% approval rate.

    That being said, you won't be able to buy Applecare for it. More than likely, you'll also have to buy a new battery. IMO, it's better to buy a refurb early 2008 MBP directly from Apple for $1,350.
  8. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    That's not an early '08, though. It's the original 1.83 CD X1600 from '06. The early '08's are going for anywhere between $1200-$1500, the latter being new in box.

    Yeah, not having ANY warranty coverage is a bit of a turn-off. I'd probably get some kind of insurance on any MBP I buy, in case of accidental damage and or theft... so that could take the place of the no-warranty no-Apple Care on this one... but I dunno...
  9. DrWho macrumors member


    Dec 11, 2008
    for $700 maybe, it is still only 80gig. I once missed out on an opportunity to own a MacBook for $100 American and still regret it to this day. Think really hard about it, but I would say get it.
  10. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yeah, it's 80GB... I'd probably swap it out for a 500GB, which you can get for $100 or so.

    I'd also bump the ram to 4GB... with RAM being so cheap, getting it for under $100 should also be not too difficult.

    That would raise the overall price to about $900, give or take a little... which is still a bargain over the early or late '08's, though as already pointed out, no warranty and OLD video.

    It's too bad the video can't be swapped out...
  11. therealdt macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2008
    northeast region
    I say no. They're probably all returns, with some type of damage, defects, etc. I would rather save up and get a refurb MBP, at least you can get AppleCare.
  12. richorlin macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    RE: $700 Macbook Pro

    Stay away! These were discontinued 5/06, so at best, it's 2.5 years old, most likely older than that. Your best bet would be to try to snag a new 2.4 previous-gen MBP for $1299 (after rebate) from MacMall.
  13. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    So so far, we have:

    NO: 7
    YES: 1

    Hmmm... I think I'm starting to lean towards not... :rolleyes:
  14. maccompaq macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    NOT would be a very good choice. $700 is too cheap for a good MBP.
  15. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Agree with the last post. The core duo is out of warranty and ran hot. For a third more, I'd get the last gen.
  16. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Well, it seems I could get a warranty through SquareTrade. I've never had any experience with them, but a quick search would show that most people haven't had a problem getting their things replaced, or the full price refunded.

    I could get 2 years of coverage for $125, taking effect after ther 30 day seller window ends.

    That brings the price from $700 to $800-$850 + RAM + HDD so around 1G.
  17. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    I don't think those MBP support 4GB but I could be wrong..
  18. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    No, you are correct. I just looked on Apple's site, and that generation only supports a max of 2GB, whereas the early '08 supports 4GB.


    Sigh, it's so hard to resist Apple stuff... but I must!
  19. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    If your looking to save some coins and get a decent deal , call Powermax in Oregon, he's got MBPS for I think he told me 1200 there last years and he has refurbish. I saw a listing on Ebay this morning for MBP 17 inch systems dirt cheap but read the reviews of the guy and said its too good to be true. Besides January is right around the corner and WHO knows for sure what Apple has up its sleeve.
  20. naid macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    You'll be saving yourself a lot of frustration by purchasing a refurb with a full warranty straight from Apple.
  21. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Yeah, I've done business with them before. I had a nice sales rep, and no tax in Oregon is great! He's got the same system this guy is selling for $1200, except it's a 120GB drive. Same GPU, though.

    I want to travel with the laptop a bit, though, and though I'm not one to throw laptops across the room, I've felt paranoid transporting around brand new mac stuff before.

    I'd be upset if my $700 MBP was stolen. If my $2000+ MBP was stolen, I'd cry hysterically.
  22. steamed.hams macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2008
    Miami, FL
    People who say things like ^this^ are obviously missing the point of ebay.

    I've bought $50 books for $1 and $200 guitar pedals for $50.

    I was ripped off once and what happened...? I got my money back through paypal!!! **GASP**
  23. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

    Feb 11, 2008
    wait... you've had the 1st gen MBP before, but you're looking to buy another 1st gen MBP? Huh?:confused:
  24. therealdt macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2008
    northeast region

    There's precautions one can take to stop this from happening, but we all know if someone wants to take something from you, there's little one can do. Don't let the fear stop you from getting something you need or want.

    I say no go on this and shop the refurb shop.

  25. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008

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