New vs. Refurbished iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thomashw, May 25, 2010.

  1. thomashw macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    I just ordered a refurbished iMac for $1799 yesterday. Today there is the 'buy a new one, get a free iPod' deal.

    I don't mind paying extra now for a new iMac if it means I'll get a free iPod. But I also don't really need the free iPod. I could just sell it and I'd end up paying about $50 extra for a new vs. refurbished iMac.

    My question is... would you return the refurbished one and pay the little bit extra for a new one, or would a refurbished one be even better since it has been checked over by Apple, etc.?

    What would you do?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Just keep the one you're getting. Returning is a pain.
  3. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Returning won't be a big deal. Apple will pay for it and all I do is take it back to the UPS store.

    I guess what I want to know... what would you be happier with? A refurbished one or a new one?

    It may sound silly, but I think refurbished could be better because they've been checked over. I just want to see what other people think. It's a lot of money for me and I want to be confident with my decision.
  4. ColeUK macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Keep the Refurb!

    My refurbished iMac is nearly a year old, It arrived as good as new and has never had any problems. I am looking to buy a new MBP and although I will probably buy brand new, (since none are listed currently under refurb) I would opt for refurb every time if I could. I also think a bit of human interaction isn't a bad thing and can only enhance the feeling of a decent bit of nurtured kit!

    If i was you I would keep the refurb, if its in your possession then its your baby now, so enjoy! :D

    BTW, My refurb came with the ATI Graphics card and not the nVidia, which users here even said was a nice added bonus! Have you checked yours out?
  5. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    It hasn't arrived yet, but I have heard that sometimes you get free upgrades (RAM, HDD's, etc.)

    I'm kind of leaning towards keeping the refurbished one.

    Any more opinions?
  6. EasyJW macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    refurbs are usually in better condition then new ones, as they have been looked at with human hands carefully [​IMG] the only difference really is the box you'll get it in
  7. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Don't really mind not having the nice box. I'd rather have a nice computer. :)

    How often do they come with an upgrade do you guys think? I think they just list the base model on the refurbished site, and then they don't check whether the actual unit has been upgraded or not when they ship them out.
  8. ColeUK macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Yeh my brown box was quickly put to one side and has been banished to my mum's loft!

    As for coming with an upgrade, unusual I gather but can happen. I selected a high end iMac that was listed on the refurb store, the only difference is it ended up coming with the alternative graphics card an ATI 512mb then the anticipated nVidia at 512mb.
  9. ctucci macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    Yer Mom's basement.
    Refurbs are hit or miss, in my experience. I'd pony up the extra and sell the new ipod if you don't need it, but only if you're paying cash.

  10. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Thanks for your opinions.

    Still looking for more!
  11. Rendergroup macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2009
    Perú (South America)
    I got a 7200 rpm hard drive in my refurbished in march :)
  12. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Is this from past experience? What makes you say they're hit or miss?
  13. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    I have not been lucky with the three refurb purchases I made. The only problems I have had with apple products have all come from the refurb products (iMac, MacBook, and MBP) . I would go with a new one... that is just me.
  14. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    I have been a big fan of refurbished Apple products (2 iMacs and 3 or 4 iPods) but I recently replaced the hard drive in my white iMac ( and saw some things that disturbed me.

    The EMI shielding around the bottom of the computer was stuck down very well (ifixit steps 8 & 9) but the shield along the sides (ifixit step 11) was not very sticky. I suspect it was opened during the refurbishment and the glue "used up".

    The big issue was that the wide connector at the top of the inverter (ifixit step 15) was not pushed all the way in on the right. When I unplugged it I noticed that the white plastic on the end pin was browned from heat (but not the rest of the connector). I cleaned the contacts as best I could with my Deoxit pen and I'm hoping for the best.

    Now it's possible that the connector was never plugged in from the factory, but given the non-sticky EMI shielding I suspect they removed or replaced the LCD during the refurbishment and didn't plug the connector all the way back in.

    I still think I'd buy another refurb iMac, but I no longer believe the "better than new" theory you often hear here.

  15. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    I'd keep the refurb

    Especially if you don't need the iPod.

    I've returned 2 dud iMacs (new) and 1 refurb (only because the 24" screen was far too overwhelming on my eyes). My 20" refurb is just fine save for the broken memory plate screw (no RAM upgrades).

    I've had 2 new iMacs that were perfect too.

    No matter what you buy (new or refurb) it can be hit or miss. I will say this about refurbs, they have been my best experiences with Apple customer service - no hassles, no attitude, fast refund etc. So that along with saving $ means I will probably go refurb down the road whenever I'm ready to replace the desktop.
  16. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    My 15" MacBook Pro was a refurb. I didn't like the direction they went with the black glass front and the buttonless trackpad, so I bought one of the outgoing models in the refurb store. Of course since it was a generation or two behind, it was much cheaper ($1349 or so?). Yeah, brown box instead of white glossy one, but everything else was in perfect shape and indistinguishable from new.

    The only thing is that it does carry a refurb part number, and I don't know how this will affect resale value (if at all) should I choose to sell it.
  17. thomashw thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Thanks for all the opinions guys. :)

    My iMac should get here tomorrow so I'll have 14 days from then to decide. So if anyone has any more opinions please share!

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