Buying a MacBook w/crack in casing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Millionin20s, May 10, 2010.

  1. Millionin20s macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #1
    I've been in the market for a MacBook for a couple months now (actually, since about January), mostly checking local listings/sites for a good deal on a used one. Since I'm not terribly familiar with using Mac OS X on a daily basis, I wanted to make sure that I didn't end up paying upwards of $1000 just to find out that I disliked it, no matter what the resale value on a Mac computer is.

    At any rate, I found what I consider to be a steal of a deal, an early 2008 MacBook (white) with 2 GB of RAM, a 2.4 ghz Intel Core Duo 2 processor, and 250 GB of storage. I even looked on one of the Mac Appraiser sites I've found through Google, and at $550 it's actually cheaper than the suggested price for a Mac with these specs. (Also, it doesn't have AppleCare on it, and it's obviously out of warranty.)

    My only qualm about the entire thing is the crack along the lip of the palmrest. Admittedly, it's not even a bad crack, just unsightly in the clean design that MacBooks are known for. My question is twofold: Will this crack develop into something more than just a cosmetic flaw, and is this deal really as good as it seems? I bought a used computer about 8 months ago during leaner times, and that computer in particular gave me one month of great operation, and 7 months of slowdowns, shutdowns, and all around screw ups before the OS decided that it no longer wanted to load up. (For those scoring at home, it was a Dell.)

    Edit: If/When I do purchase it, I'll be upgrading it to Snow Leopard and mostly using it for school, word processing, and plenty of interweb surfing, with photo organizing and video editing coming into the picture as well. This MacBook in particular appeals to me because with a couple of small upgrades, like installing SL and 2 more GB of RAM, it will be a beast of a computer, and a lot better than the Macbook Apple currently has available, if not older.
     
  2. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    The Iron Throne
    #2
    If you buy this MacBook you can have the palm rest crack repaired by Apple free of charge, even though the computer is not under warranty. It's a known issue and they have extended coverage on any MacBook affected by this. Just bring it to the Genius Bar and they can usually do a same day replacement (make sure to change ownership of the MacBook over as well).

    People that frequent these forums know about the quality control replacement for it, but most regular joes do not. The plus side is you can usually get a good deal on an older MacBook with a cracked palm rest, and then have it repaired free.

    I'd say $550 is a good deal for that MacBook, so long as everything works as it should. Take your time testing it out. A friend of mine got screwed on a MacBook purchase off of craigslist, and I've been wary ever since.

    Good luck.
     
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #3
    I think it's a great price for that model. A lot of people in Seattle are selling their 2.0's for around $700.

    The crack is very common due to a design flaw, but it is only a cosmetic issue. If it bothers you that much, you could always get Apple to do a topcase replacement, or you could buy the part (ifixit.com, < $180) and do it yourself.

    EDIT: Didn't know that it was covered under an extended warranty.
     
  4. Millionin20s thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the advice.

    I'm probably going to take it to a local Apple store and get it fixed, just for s+g. And I do plan on taking it for a test drive, testing the iSight, mike, and Super Drive before I buy it.
     
  5. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Really? Microcenter sells new MacBooks for $799 for the last 3 months.

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0321997
     
  6. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    The Iron Throne
    #6
    With tax those are over $800. A great deal, to be sure, but that comp he's looking at is $250+ cheaper. The thing with Macbooks is they have a cellar price they rarely drop below. I'd say it's right around $500 unless there's something wrong with it.

    I would spend the extra and get a new model for $800, but the OP may not want to spend more, and the price he's paying is very fair for that MacBook. You're not going to see C2D MacBooks for like $300.
     
  7. Millionin20s thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #7

    After taxes here in Philly that would be $850, and I like the non-unibody MacBooks better for whatever odd reason. I'm comfortable with the price, and now that I know the crack is something that can be lived with I don't have any qualms about this purchase. If I grow to like Mac OS, chances are I'll be unloading this computer and moving up to a MBP in a year's time.

    Once again, thanks for the advice guys. I appreciate the answers :)
     

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