Help! Refurb MacBook for $749 or MacBook Pro for $999

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lorib, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. lorib macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi all, my first post, so go easy on me!

    Ok, here's my dilemma. I am typing this from an Ibook G4, purchased in 2003 or 2004 (?) and though usable, very slow.....something like 1.3 processor and 1.25 ram. Needless to say, it's time for an upgrade. is tight. Was all set to buy a refurb Macbook on apple's site for $749. Bonus is -it's tax-free weekend in MA so there will be no additional costs. Maybe I can sell my iBook for $200, so that would help too. I've read good things (on this forum and elsewhere) about refurbs, so that's great.

    However, just looked at Microcenter's site and they are offering a MacBook Pro with the 2.4 processor AND 4G ram, + 250 Hard drive for just $999. I know that's a great deal, esp 'cause the regular MacBooks are going for that same price on Apple's site.

    HOWEVER, that additional $250 is a big deal to me. Is it worth it? I'd like this computer to last for a while (like this one has)....I also see that sometimes when you order a refurb you get a like-new computer, perhaps with more upgrades than you thought, so that could be worth the gamble? Tho I know I shouldn't expect that.

    I mainly use the computer for emailing, surfing the web, all that regular stuff...but in addition I do voice work so will need to use Garage Tools and/or Audacity (both recording software) so I'll have to edit, produce mp3s, etc. Not sure this really matters much, I'm sure a MacBook would be fine...but am just wondering if maybe the larger processor, 4G ram will last me longer in the long-term.

    I know I could buy the MacBook and just upgrade to the higher ram if/when i need it. But I have to say I do like the aluminum casing and sd slot and the backlit keyboard, etc. All little things though, and not sure they are worth the extra $$.

    Thoughts???? Help!!! I have to make a quick decision, tax free weekend is over tomorrow so it's my last day.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, is the 250$ worth it for the extras you get? MBP has 10-hour battery too, it pretty nice. The MacBook is just fine for you so I would save the 250$, that can be spent on something else
  3. Jayomat macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2009
    Backlit keyboard, Alu-Unibody (may or may not be more durable), 4GB RAM, SD-Slot, slightly better CPU and longer lasting battery... is that worth 250 to you (+ higher resell value)? you should be able to answer that yourself, you know your usage best...

    good luck!
  4. Peterson8765 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2010
    Yeah it really just depends on what you want and need. The refurbed MacBook is $250 less, but the MacBook Pro your looking at has a little better processor, double the RAM, bigger hard drive, 10 hour battery which is 3 hours better than the refurbed MacBook, backlit keyboard, better video card, and an aluminum unibody casing that doesn't scratch as easily as the polycarbonate unibody casing thats on the MacBook. If I had the choice between the two, I would pick the MacBook Pro, it just has a lot of more features than the refurbed MacBook and because it just looks better and more sturdier. My advice: get the MacBook Pro
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If those extras would be worth it to you, go for the MBP, but if you're worried about money, the MacBook should do you just fine.

    Just for reference, the extra memory would run you about a hundred bucks, and it sounds like that would be helpful for recording stuff. Not sure I can really put a dollar amount on the rest of the extras, but in terms of resale, you could probably make up at least 150-200 of the extra 250 you would spend on the pro
  6. JodyK macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2010
    Northern Atlanta suburbs
    I personally would invest in the MB Pro as pointed out the resell value even far down the road will help. I think all the extras are well worth it as well.

    You had today as a dead line and wandering if you could update us and let us know what you ended up getting.
  7. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    The MacBook runs hotter and has a mono speaker (AFAIK).
  8. blunderboy macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    I personally just paid the extra money for the Pro, because I prefer the aluminium casing to the polycarbonate, the colour gamut is wider, and it's got twice as much RAM. Mine's new, but still, the same argument still applies because the price difference is still there. I think it was worth it for me to spend the extra $250, but it depends on what you're using your MacBook for. I use Photoshop enough to want more RAM, especially since the graphics card on 13" MBs/MBPs shares its memory with the main RAM.
  9. lorib thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi guys.
    Thanks for all the advice. For the $250, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the better computer. Wow. What a difference 6 yrs makes ;)

    Now I am trying to figure out the best way to transfer my data. Migration Asst doesn't seem to be working (i am trying to do it wirelessly but it just keeps saying 'searching for computer') ...i don't have a firewire cord i don't think.

    I guess i can transfer most of my stuff on a flash drive...

    But does anyone know how I might be able to transfer over my safari bookmarks and sync up my calendar info to the new phone? i don't really have contacts since i don't use .mac email so i think it's just these two that are most important.

    When I plug in my iphone would it automatically sync that stuff? Or will everything erase since it is a new computer?

    thanks so much guys....
  10. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Migration Assistant will also work over an ethernet cable (waaaay better than trying to do it wirelessly). Just plug the cable directly between the 2 computers. No need for a switch or hub.
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    The ethernet cable method usually works smoothly, and you probably have at least one laying around that you can borrow (for example, one that came with your router or modem, or even the one currently connecting them if that's all you've got).

    You already said you didn't have a firewire cable available, so target disk mode won't work, but if you have an external drive big enough to hold all the data on the computer, an easy alternative is to download Carbon Copy Cloner (free) and clone the internal drive on the old computer to the external. Then hook the external to the new computer, and point Migration Assistant to it; it should recognize it and import pretty much everything.

    And, if you don't have an external drive that can hold all your data, I'm assuming that means you don't have a backup drive... in which case BUY ONE RIGHT NOW. Not having a backup means its only a matter of when, not if, you will lose data. Whatever it costs it's worth it, but you can get a drive plenty large enough for the amount of stuff it sounds like you have for well under $100. Heck, you could probably get by with a cheap, large-capacity flash drive, although that's going to be slow and limited if you get more data in the future.

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