New MPB or refurbished model?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ddraig, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Ddraig macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #1
    I am looking at becoming a first time Mac user but I am unsure what to buy. I am looking at either the new 13" MBP or a good deal on a refurbished 15" laptop. What I don't know is how to make sure I am getting the best overall deal for my buck w/o going overboard for what I need. The 13" MBP I have been looking at is the 2.26 GHz model with an upgrade to its Ram/HD after purchase. An example of the 15" refurbished I have seen in the past was the 2.53 GHz model with the 9600/9400 video cards.

    Longevity
    -I am looking for my product to last at least +2 years. (Ie: Software released one to two years from now should run on current Mac within reason.)

    Portability
    -I am a full-time college student in a non-dorm setting. Looking for easier ability to take to and from school w/o being a complete nuisance in a classroom and/or library.

    Gaming
    I am not looking for a gaming laptop but I'm not dead either. If anything I am looking for something that could play Starcraft 2 and/or Diablo 3 depending on release dates.

    In the end I have no urge to spend more than what I need, but I am just not sure the limitations if any that Mac hardware/software designs may bring over an extended period of time.
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    Go for the 15" refurbished. It has all the features of the latest 13", but it has a larger display, expresscard slot instead of SD slot, and a removable battery. Larger screen real estate is absolutely an advantage. Both laptops weigh (for all practical purposes) the same. The 15" is more powerful, and gets the same AppleCare coverage of a new 13" (1 year standard, upgradeable to 3 years).
     
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    That is pretty much my view as well. Refurbished computers are a great way to go, as you get a machine which is as new, has been individually tested,a nd comes with all of Apple's guarantees and warranties (with the option of adding Applecare to the mix before the end of the first year of purchase). The 15" MBP is a better computer, better spec, is more powerful and has a better screen. I have a 15" MBP and will say that it is easily the best computer I have had.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    I'm a fan of battery life. If you are, get the 13" MBP.
     
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    In practical use, I doubt you would see much more of an increase over an hour in battery.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Yeah, I thought this too when I had my old MBP- but the new batteries are significantly longer-lasting than the removable ones. The other day I got 9 hours out of mine with "normal" use- internet, music through headphones, Mail. 9 hours!
     
  7. Ddraig thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the replies and feedback. I have yet to decide but I think I lean more towards the 15" than the 13". Although battery life is something most notebook users desire I feel the later model of notebooks offer more for the money than the recent additions to the Apple family.
     
  8. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    #8
    Refurbished is the way to go!

    Save a ton and get a more computer for the money. I got the 15" MBP 2.8 4GB 320HD for $1699! Now those are long gone and the 2.66 is that price now.

    You have to get the Refurbs while they are available.
     
  9. AppleTecFan macrumors 6502

    AppleTecFan

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    #9
    I would get the Macbook pro 13" because it has more portability than the 15" macbook pro
     
  10. Ddraig thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #10
    Two additional questions...

    1. How can you tell what release a particular refurbish Apple machine is (late 2008, early 2009, etc)?

    Example: http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB471LL/A?mco=MjE0NjE5MA

    2. How good is the integrated 9400 video card on the 13" MBP? Could it possibly handle something like Starcraft 2? (Yes, I know specs haven't been released, just wishful guessing).
     
  11. Ddraig thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #11
    I might have been able to already answer my own question. I caught some videos on YouTube with demos of WoW, GTA and Battlefield 2 being played all showing good video and gameplay. Even with some of this games running via boot camp there shouldn't be that much of a difference between the OS performance on the card right?
     
  12. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

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    #12
    While the 9400M isn't a gaming beast, it does offer decent performance. I personally play COD4, Sims 2, Sims 3, and Guitar Hero III on my MBP 13" and they all run decent on low-med settings. OpenCL in Snow Leopard will utilize the video card to speed up every day tasks, but there are no benchmarks yet that show a huge difference between the 9400M and the 9600M GT. Remember, they will both be able to make use of OpenCL.
     
  13. chris7777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #13
    I had all but decided on the 13 when they upgraded the line and offered the super good deals on the older pros.

    I took the bait, and I am having semi remorse, I like the laptop, but it is strange how much heavier that 1 pound makes it feel, plus the battery thing would be nice on the 13.

    I am torn, my return window is quickly closing, and I keep going in circles.

    On one hand I think the 13 is a much more portable option, but on the other I think that this one has all of the bells and whistles, yeah its 2.53 processor is no longer cutting edge, but everything else is.

    I am just trying to decide if it is worth it to keep it, or If I should take the 10% restocking hit and return it, and either get the 13, or save some more to see if the mythical tablet is better suited for me.
     
  14. oregon2 macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #14
    NOTHING in either of the Mac's is cutting edge... that being said, I was in the same situation as you are (I actually really wanted the 2.53 but thought it was gone for good, so I got the 2.4 15"). I did prefer the smaller size just because it's more portable and slightly nice looking, and it is comparable in most ways. However, I decided the graphics card in the 15" is more important than the better battery life. Most of the time I will be able to plug it in, and for the times when I am not able to, I'm pretty sure the battery will be sufficient in my refurb 15". And I think in the future, it will be much more advantageous to have the graphics card than to have the better battery, especially from a resale point of view.
     
  15. zorz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #15

    1- check out the sd card slot, that is the new thing for 2009 macbook pros...if it doesnt have one it is prob 2008.

    2- i have no idea.
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
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    Colorado
    #16
    I just got my daughter the 2.26 13" MBP for when she starts college next month. I fully expect it to get her through 4 years of undergrad work.
     
  17. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    1. That's a late 2008 MBP. It was replaced with a 2.66 MBP in January.

    2. It will probably handle Starcraft 2 very nicely. But not nearly as nicely as the 9600.

    If you play games at all: Get the 15". You won't regret it one bit.
     
  18. Ddraig thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2009
    #18
    I went ahead and pulled the trigger on getting the 13" MBP. In the end, college is my priority and with very demanding network classes which including attending night school along with my day classes, ability to game will be slim to none for the next 1.5 years. So I choose battery life and easier portability over the need to game and within a few days I will be able to join the Mac family. Thanks for all the feedback and advice.
     
  19. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

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    #19
    Congrats on your purchase, enjoy it :D
     
  20. canes960 macrumors 6502

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    Alabama
    #20
    does a refurb come with everything like a new 1

    like box and everything
     
  21. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

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    #21
    Only difference is it comes in a brown box. The warranty is the same and it comes with all the same stuff (charger, manuals, etc).
     
  22. mls64 macrumors member

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #22
    I have two MacBooks (white) that were purchased refurb from Apple, and they come with all the accessories, disks, etc, like new but not the same packaging and box. Same with the iPods that I've bought refurb - they've been in a generic brown box that I think said Apple refurbished product, IIRC.
     
  23. canes960 macrumors 6502

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    Alabama
    #23
    is the awesomeness of the box worth $200 :)
     
  24. mls64 macrumors member

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #24
    I don't think so. But the opening of a new Mac is a different experience than the opening of a refurb Mac, I have to admit, all because of the awesome packaging.
     
  25. IBradMac macrumors 68000

    IBradMac

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #25
    great deal, I highly recommend their refurbs. ;)
     

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