Keep Refurb MBP or return for a new Alu MB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by agrocall, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. agrocall macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    Hi there,

    A couple days ago, I bought a refurb 2.4 Ghz Penryn MBP on the Apple website.

    The product has shipped already, but I'm having second thoughts about whether or not I made the right choice. Specifically, I'm thinking about getting the new 2.0 Ghz MB.

    I will using the computer for standard university activities: web, email, writing papers, preparing presentations, for using SPSS (via Bootcamp) and occasionally watching movies. I don't ever game and FW is not an issue.

    Mobility and durability are both most important as I will be taking it to and from the school almost everyday. Also, as the primary (and sole) machine I will have for 3 years or longer, I need this system to be reliable.

    A few remarks on the more finer personal tastes:
    - I prefer the design of the new MB - the unibody design is quite remarkable; the refurb MBP feels weaker and looks dated in comparison.
    - I prefer a 15" screen, since I will have no external monitor, but I could live with 13". (size is a relatively minor issue)
    - I prefer the matte screen on the old MBP. The new MB screen seems a little too reflective, but this may be just because of the lighting in the Apple Store. (Thoughts?)
    - A backlit keyboard on the old MBP is definitely something that could be helpful in the lecture room.

    The old MBP is about $100 more expensive, but this is a minor concern.

    I had originally chosen the old MBP because I thought I would benefit from having a larger, matte screen, since I can't afford an external monitor. I have had second thoughts because I think the old MBP may not be mobile enough. Also, I have read reviews from AppleInsider that question how durable the old MBP is (vulnerable to denting, lid not closing completely) and also just read some threads about possible problems with the 8600 GT GPUs.

    This all said, a few specific questions that I could use some help on, especially from students who own (or have owned) either or both machine(s):

    How durable is the refurb MBP?
    How reliable is the refurb MBP, how big an issue is the nVidia faulty chips?
    How portable is the refurb MBP to carry to classes/libraries - I anticipate being able to put my laptop into my bag along with 3 or 4 other binders and textbooks?
    How reflective is the glossy MB screen in the class setting?
    How "future-proof" (in the next 2-4 yrs) is the 2.0 Ghz MB for my needs - another issue: I want Snow Leopard and I hear that it will be more GPU intensive?
    Given all stated above, which laptop do you think is the better choice for me?

    Any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated :)
  2. lamadude macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2006
    Brussels, BE
    The refurbs are just as reliable as new units. I think for taing notes in class the MB would be better but for all other tasks the mbp is the way to go. It's a faster computer, with a better screen better graphics and no hassle of returning it since you already have it.
    I can see why the MB would appeal to you but I would stick with the mbp.
  3. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    Yeah, the refurbs are as good as new. The MBPs are really pretty sturdy machines. It's not that much heavier than an MB, and you like the screen better.

    Because of the restocking fee, I personally think you'd be wasting your money to switch to the new MB.
  4. agrocall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    I should have added that I haven't actually received the refurb MBP yet, so I'm able to get a full refund without being charged the restocking fee as long as I don't open the box.
  5. circuitry macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2008
    Beijing, China
    I have a old 12' powerbook since 2004. Everything of it is quite well except the size fo screen. While you are doing something like preparing presentations, writing papers; a larger screen will be helpful.
  6. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA

    1.) About the same as the new MB's
    2.) Just as good as a new one. Buy AppleCare and you won't have to worry about nVidia.
    3.) Very, the MacBook is only .5" thinner. you most likely wouldn't notice the difference.
    4.) It is extrememly reflective.
    5.) The MBP will most likely be able to run Snow Leopard, or Leopard for that matter, better.
    6.) The MBP
  7. agrocall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    Hi all,

    I took a quick trip to my local BB soon after I wrote this post, and despite all the kind recommendations to the contrary (above), I'm going with the 2.0 ghz MB rather than the old MBP that I previously ordered.

    Perhaps I am a little bit vain (aren't most new mac owners?), but it turns out design is the most important to me, not performance. The BB I went to had the new MB and old 15" MBP on display (new MBPs ones not in yet) and compared the two.

    For the light activities that I will be using it for, the speed differences between the two are barely noticeable. The extra horsepower of the refurb MBP will go unused.

    What was very noticeable was the superior design of the new MB, not only aesthetically, but also in terms of build quality. The sales rep even let me try to "flex" the aluminum chassis and there was absolutely no give, while the old MBP felt like a tin can by comparison. The screen definitely is very reflective, but it is nothing that I can't deal with.

    I'm not sure if you can quantify the wonderful feeling I got when I held the new MB in my hands. It was such a pleasure.

    Subconsciously, I think I knew what I wanted all along, and my rather verbose OP was completely unnecessary. But, I think I tricked myself into wanting the refurb MBP because it is the better money value of the two.

    Thanks to all those who responded :)

    Edit: I will be using that $100 I saved to invest in a new 19" Samsung monitor, which goes for about $150 in the Asian computer stores.
  8. Etrain macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2005
    Land of Cleve
    Glad you decided and got a good machine. Both would be excellent. I faced the same dilemma and choose the MBP Classic. I love the new design, but after reading about problems with the new ones and playing around with both I decided on the MBP. The screen alone is worth it to me. Plus, I got this for $1300 total shipped due to the discount. I couldn't say no! :D
  9. kockgunner macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    congrats on your choice. although the mbp is more powerful, i think you will benefit more from having a smaller and more durable computer. i hate when i more my macbook pro and hear it creak and warp.

Share This Page