HELP: Refurbished 17" or New High End 15"?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TH3D4RKKN1GH7, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Okay guys I need a bit of your advice. I'm buying my first Apple computer in all my 17 (almost 18, Oct 2nd) years of existence (such a shame) and I'm on a bit of a budget. If I had it my way I'd get a brand new low end 17" Macbook Pro and call it a day, but that will cost me north of 2500 even with student discount and that's over my budget. So immediately I figured I must go 15" but then I discovered that the same base 17" model I was gonna buy on discount for 2,299.99 can be bought refurbished for 200 dollars less!

    Now what's my reason for the 17" you might ask, I'm a director/photog, added screen real estate is useful for editing in both art forms, Express Card slot is great for adapters for SXS and Compact Flash (But could use firewire) and the extra USB port is a nice edition.

    So what I hope you guys can help me with is giving me your take on what I should do and even more so, have any of you bought Macbook pro refurbs? If so how's the quality both cosmetic and internal. I hear of people having issues with refurb iMacs but not really MBP but I just want to check with you guys.

    Many thanks in advance, hope I have not been a burden with this thread.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I mean you could search for people's experiences with refurbs, in general it seems that the same number of issues exist with those that buy new. Some prefer to buy refurbs because the computers are checked over by hand, etc. I'd say go with the 17", most people on here highly recommend the refurb option.
  3. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Yeah I'm leaning that way but everyone keeps telling me, "it's a refurb! It was broken!" or "for 2K you should buy something brand new" or "dead pixel prone" ACK!
  4. be-b0p macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2009
  5. Regulator72 macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2009
    Refurb is a good way to go...

    I have purchased 4 mac's in the past few years, 3 of them were refurbs.

    Bought a NEW 13" Macbook, had HDD failure, also palmrest/track pad issues as well as the screen casing crack issue. all repaired under Applecare

    Bought Refurb 15" Macbook Pro - no issues so far, only had it a few months tho..

    Bought Refurb Imac for my wife, been over a year, no issues at all

    Bought Refurb Mac Mini for my media center, saved money, also no issues at all..

    not saying the refurbs were better, but on my purchases of the Imac, and MBP, i saved enough to buy the mini...

    all refurbs that i purchased were in like new condition, no scratches, dents, dings, dead pixels, aside from the packaging, no telling it was a refurb..

    Get the applecare, it's well worth the price, search the forums on where to get good prices on applecare..
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Before deciding refurb vs. new, I'd detail your requirements first.

    For instance, you want the 17" because of the larger screen real estate. However will the laptop be on a desk for much of the time, if so, would the 15" with a larger monitor fit the bill?

    Also portability, while the 17" has more screen space, its a larger computer to lug around, would it be too cumbersome for you?

    Both are great computers but you need to see how you'll be using it, and which model fits your needs the best.
  7. klee1987 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    a lot of refurbs were probably returned by those who can actually find a needle in a haystack - they spend 3 hours looking for a very small scratch or something similar, finds it, screams like it's the end of the world, complaints on this forum asking whether s/he should return it to apple, and regardless of the outcome , s/he returns it apple.

    That's why they're in such good condition.

    just my 2 cents. :eek:
  8. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    The top end 15" MBP, aka the 15" Badboy Pro is Apples sweet spot with regards to value-added technology. In other words more bang for your buck.
  9. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    Go with the 17" indefinitely. It has all of the best features of the newer 15" (minus the SD card slot) and will be a better choice for you if you are willing to consider a 17" in the first place.
  10. SymX macrumors newbie


    Sep 15, 2009
    Little Silver, NJ
    The refurb MBP I got a couple weeks back had some dead pixel issues. Sent it in for repair only to get it back untouched, citing that the thing was "within specifications" for acceptable appearance/performance. It seems that there are slightly different guidelines for refurbs, and yes, meticulous people will end up returning them if they find something wrong. I didn't pay $2000+ for a defective computer.

    It's up to you to determine whether it's worth the risk!
  11. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    ACK! Just as I was like "Wow look at all this good refurb response" Symx comes with a dead pixel horror story. I appreciate all the advice guys.

    To the gentlemen that asked about requirements; I always wanted the 17" because I figured it would be cheaper than buying a 15" and an additional 1080p capable TV (which it is, can't buy monitor I'm at college and still need TV/Console Game ports, monitor with only PC inputs is of no use to me). The 15 is certainly the best bang for your buck, but its the lack of an express card slot that's really killing me here.

    Stupid consumer SD card slot, I need Express Card for things like SxS/P2/Compact Flash recording systems. I'm a Director/DP/Editor I need these tools you know. And of course the screen real estate for when it comes to editing footage, then again most editors have a ginormous monitor they hook it up to like the 30" Cinema Display. Does anyone know of like fire-wire adapters for those kind of connections? Agh I just don't know folks, thanks for all the help though.
  12. OceanView macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2005
    Buy the 17!
    I was thinking about getting the refub 17 but bought the 13" instead and now I regret big time.
    It's really not that much bigger to me and the screen real estate is worth it.
  13. spike8585 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2009
    I just bought the new 17 uMBP. It is beautiful. It isnt really that heavy either. The higher resolution is a must for the kind of work you are doing.

    Also, I am assuming the 17" refurb is 2.66 Ghz version?
    I was trying to decide which one I wanted, and the 2.66 look pretty good, and I hear that it runs cooler with a lower TDP on that processor.

    I went by Bestbuy the other day and saw the 13" and 15" and was so surprised how small they were after getting used to the 17.
    Definitely go for the 17. You wont regret it.
  14. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I personally have dealt with a number of refurbs for employees, and in my experience they work quite well, and in most cases you can't tell there's anything "refurbished" about them. I would do it.

    The only reason I got a new MBP 13" is that when I got mine there wasn't anything that fit my needs there, plus I did get the student discount.
  15. Salty Pirate macrumors 6502

    Salty Pirate

    Oct 5, 2005
    kansas city
  16. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Naw spike its the 2.8GHZ version which is why this is such a hard decision.
  17. hobes270 macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    I am kinda in the same situation, as I do design work. In your case I would go with the 17" refurb. That would be a given. I am trying to decide over a 13 or 17 as I do travel every so often with it. I think I am also going to do the 17 also though.
  18. oregon2 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    refurb + applecare = equal to new for less money.

    the only "risk" is that it will be more likely to have issues, but applecare negates this. i got a refurb 15" back in july and have been very happy with it... essentially new EXCEPT for a bluetooth pairing issue. i have since taken it into the genius bar, had it diagnosed, and could have had it replaced, but i am waiting for a time when i won't need my computer. i haven't bought applecare yet, but I am planning on it.

    though i have had an issue, it's definitely not representative of the refurb "population". my brother and also my friend (as well as a ton of users on this site) got exactly the same refurb 15" and have had 0 problems, so I don't think you should let refurbished scare you at all.
  19. spike8585 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2009
    Well, that seems a lot easier now. They are both 2.8Ghz, but one is 17inch refurb and the other is a 15" new? If that is the case, then 17 for sure. It really is a beautiful machine.
  20. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I guess I'm just gonna give the refurb a shot, hopefully I don't end up with dead pixels or a laptop that looks like a cat's had its way with it. Thanks for all the kind words of advice folks.
  21. Mike Macintosh macrumors regular

    Mike Macintosh

    Sep 20, 2009
    Washington State
    I say go refurb, for starters it's checked out alot and tested more then new, go with that 17", buy Applecare, and your good for 3 years.

Share This Page