Best place to buy a refurbished Macbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zoebaggins, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. zoebaggins macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #1
    I'm going to get a Macbook as my first Mac to get the hang of it before upgrading to an iMac later this year/early next year. What's the best site to buy a refurbished Macbook? A website besides the obvious eBay or Amazon. Most of the "refurbished" products there are just used with tons of scratches on it. I don't exactly consider that refurbished. Any help would be appreciated! :)
     
  2. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #3
    I looked already but they no longer offer the Macbook, only the Macbook Pro and Air. I read that they still offer it but they don't market it; it's only available to schools in bulks or something via special order. :confused:
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    located
    #4
    Sorry, totally misread the MacBook part. Yeah, then Amazon and others are your only choice I guess. Since I don't reside in the OS, I can't really help any further. Good luck.
     
  4. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Price range? Are you going to be using this for intensive tasks or just as a starter laptop until you get your iMac? PowerMax has some good ones.
     
  5. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #6
    Something affordable would be nice. I'm willing to pay up to $600. Considering they're going for $300 or so on eBay, I figure I could find something that's authentically manufacture refurbished for $600 or so. I'd be mainly using it for school... internet browsing, essays, and potentially a bit of designing/programming (I'm a computer science major). My current laptop has a core duo 2 processor as well so I know it's more than capable given my needs.

    I'd get the Air but I don't know, there's something classy and elegant about the Macbook that I love. :)
     
  6. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Oh, well if you want to do designing and programming, you may want to think about a different computer in that price range!:eek:
    Those laptops on PowerMax are authentically refurbished, but the even the most expensive ones can't to programming.
     

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  7. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #8
    Hrm, really? Okay what would you recommend instead? Mind you, I probably won't do any more than Photoshop as far as designing goes - I use CS2/CS3 anyway. I really would like to get a Mac product so I can get used to the interface. I don't want to just get the iMac because I'll probably feel overwhelmed all at once.
     
  8. mlmwalt macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2010
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    Philadelphia, Pa, USA
    #9
    These guys are pretty good. I get my parts from them. I haven't price checked them in over a year but they're normally quite competitive.

    http://www.welovemacs.com/
     
  9. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

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    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #10
    The Apple Store refurb site is still selling the Macbook. I just picked one up for the wife for $799...

    You gotta check every morning, they go fast.

    Coachingguy
     
  10. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for the tip - I'll keep that in mind.
     
  11. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #12
    That's news to me. What kind of programming are you talking about?

    I do a fair bit of programming (Java, Python, Perl, etc) on my C2D MacBook.
    I also know some very experienced and successful developers that use MacBooks.

    I'd be more nervous about the design work. The integrated graphics cards are great for daily usage, but trying to play games, or 3d intensive work will grind them to a halt.
     
  12. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The C2D Macbook can be used for programming, but for $600, you can only get a 2006-2007 MacBook with 512MB or 1GB of RAM. I don't do programming, but that doesn't sound like enough power to me.
     
  13. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #14
    The 2006-2007 Mac Book can hold 3.4 GB of ram. Mine has 2GB of ram and that's been plenty for what i do on it.

    As for how ram much you need for programming, that's going to depend on a few things.
    The biggest usage of ram will probably be from the editor you're using to write the code. The more features an editor includes, the more ram it wants.

    Computer programs are just text and you can fit a LOT of text in 512 MB of ram.

    Again, photoshop is going to use more ram than any IDE i'm aware of.



    But to the original question: PowerMax is supposed to be good, but will be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. I bought my MacBook from my local MicroCenter. It was refurbished and came with a 14 day warranty (I could have paid for a 1 year).

    I'm not sure why you're afraid of being overwhelmed by an iMac. The OS is going to be OS X regardless of the hardware.

    Another suggestion is to consider the Mac Mini. You can get a new or Apple refurb well within your price range. And it will outperform a MacBook that is a few years old. The only drawback is it isn't portable and you need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
     
  14. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #15
    I fully intend on maxing out the ram. I believe it can be upgrade-able to 4 or 3GB? Either one is fine since my current laptop is running on 3GB and I still have 2.70 left available - shows how much I actually use. I don't mind paying the extra $60 or whatever for it either.


    Well I'm going to be getting the 27" and given the price, I know I won't want to touch it for awhile because it's so "shiny"; also because I'll be paranoid it might fall it breaks or something, aha. I want an entry-level Mac to get used to so I can just jump right in, if that makes sense? I fully intend on having it at least four - five years minimum so I want something a bit stronger than the Mac Mini. At the moment, I've only used a Mac twice.
     
  15. Ariii macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    Chicago
    #16
    wegenermedia.com is amazing. I saw some of the upgrades still available on there for older systems, though I've found some even cheaper on eBay. Actually, they look like a better low-end priced place. And if you're looking for great warranty, support, and other things as if it was a completely new Apple product, then yes, the Apple refurbished store is perfect.
     
  16. Magrathea, Mar 20, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012

    Magrathea macrumors regular

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    Aug 21, 2008
    #17
    Doubt it

    I doubt if you're going to get anything decent for $600. I just sold my Mid 2008 MacBook Pro for $899 so all Mac laptops sell at a premium. If you get an older mac you're just asking for trouble without AppleCare.

    Remember all laptops have about a 20% failure rate when bought new, after that I'm sure it goes up and a really old one is bound to fail sooner or later and it's not if but when.

    Get a windoze machine or beg/borrow/ to get more money for one that you can get Applecare on. Refurb apple store is where I buy all my laptops or Craigslist with one that has at lease 2 years of apple care on it.

    And remember if you do take a gamble and get one for $500 you have to get a CORE 2 Duo NOT core duo as you need the former to run Lion on it. My mom has her core 2 duo from 2006 and it runs great on Lion and she's been lucky with no repairs but she don't travel with it so who knows. All laptops MacBOok pros prior to my last one, unibody, were at least in the shop 3 times each - thanks god for Applecare.
     
  17. lichi0323 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2011
    Location:
    Miami
    #18
    You should check the open items at Best Buy. Last september I bought an early 2011 13 inch Macbook Pro for $750 (Price was $850 and I had a coupon for $100 off for any apple product over $500). Check www.bestbuy.com for coupons and good luck.
     
  18. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #19
    Yeah I've been reading other forums about the unibody cracking. They said Apple replaces it out of warranty for free, but I don't think I want to take any chances... maybe I should just get the Air. A little bummed out though. :(

    ----------

    Oh! I just checked out apple.com, they have a refurbished Macbook in stock today! :) It's a little more expensive than desired but it is from Apple themselves... it's the one I want but at that price, I'm wondering if I should spend a little more to get something else. What do you guys think - should I take the plunge and just get it?
     
  19. jetlife2 macrumors regular

    jetlife2

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    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Oh
    #20
    Don't rule out macbook pro

    That macbook is kid of expensive for what it is, in my opinion.

    This past weekend I bought a refurb macbook pro, Feb 2011, 13" i5 for 929 from the Apple site. That is a lot more computer for almost the same money. They are not available right now, but as mentioned, you have to check every day.

    In general the Apple refurbs are the safe bet and good value for money because they come with full 1 year Apple warranty. I consider them like buying new. It is certainly true you can spend less for a used unit, but you will not have warranty unless it comes with Applecare (which transfers with the unit).

    Also, I have been coding for years, and you will have no trouble coding on any of these machines including the macbook. Coding is just not very demanding compared to say, video editing.
     
  20. beeh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #21
    I still use my 6? year old core 2 duo macbook to write iPhone apps, I used it for C++ and python programming less than a year ago. It worked fine. If you have huge builds ( think linux kernel ) it might take a little longer, but for most of the stuff you'll be doing with respect to programming, it should be way more powerful than you'll need and you won't notice the difference - when builds start taking too long, use your browser. :)

    I've used it for illustrator work as well, for some simple ( < 10 layer, 500 x 500 px ) graphics, never had an issue. I think mine has 1GB or 2GB RAM.

    Unless you really need a mac though, you could pick up a netbook to do programming and mail, surf, etc. That would be in your price range. Probably would even do the design stuff fine too - at least as well as my old macbook.
     
  21. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #22
    That's what I'm using right now, an HP Mini notebook. It's pretty good, I just wish the screen was a bit larger (I think the screen is 8 inches). It's kind of annoying having to constantly scroll up and down when you're working on code. I had installed Linux on it since Window Starter was incredibly buggy; I even attempted to install Snow Leopard on it and make a Hackintosh but that failed since I don't even know anybody that owns a Mac. To save myself immense frustration, I decided to see if I could find a cheap Macbook somewhere. It's good to know that you can program on it though. :)
     
  22. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    As minifridge1138 said, it can hold 3.4Gbs of RAM.
     
  23. zoebaggins thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 31, 2011
    #24
    Never mind! One of my friends whom I just conveniently found out, is selling his 2008 Macbook with 6GB of ram (I guess you can use a 4GB and a 2GB stick), and a 160GB hard drive for $400. It also has a new outer and inner casing - it was completely redone. It pretty much looks brand new! He also upgraded it to Lion. Guess I got lucky on that one... nice to know he did all the hard work for me, aha. :D Only reason he's selling it so cheap is because it's just been lying around his house untouched, apparently.
     
  24. MaxinMusicCity macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Nashville
    #25
    _________

    I purchased a good used / refurbished 11" macbook air 2011 on ebay last year and found it to be an excellent starter laptop. Including the 2 yr service contract, the price was about $500. It can even run Windows or linux under Parallels...though 4GB can be a bit tight for that. :)
     

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