Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by azjem, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. azjem macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
    I am converting from desktop to notebook computer, and have decided, after much thought, to not only buy my first notebook but my first Mac. I'm pretty set on the 15" PowerBook, but the $1800 sticker (after my student discount, that is) breaks my heart a little bit, so I'm considering saving $400 and buying refurbished. This will also be my first refurbished computer, so, as I'm sure you can imagine, I'm at a bit of a loss...

    Does anyone have any experience with and/or advice regarding apple certified refurbished computers in general OR the refurbished PowerBook specifically? What are the specific problems/differences I might run into with refurbished versus new?

    I'd be willing to suck it up and just spend the 2 grand on a new one if it makes that much a difference since after all, it is an investment, but I'm a little reluctant (though tempted) to get the new MacBook, as I have trouble trusting anything first generation.

    If I do end up buying the refurbished, should I go with the longer warranty? I've heard from several sources that whatever defects are going to pop up and give you trouble will likely pop up within the first year anyway, but seeing as it's refurbished, would I be better off with three years of protection instead of just the one?

    Thank you so much for any and all advice... I'm slightly lost.
  2. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    Refurb...PB prices very low, way to go!

    I've bought 2 iBooks and a G4 refurb'd the last few years. I've always had good luck. Right now I'm typing on the a Refurb'd G4 iBook 12", 1.33 that I got for $799! If I were in the market for a laptop right now, refurb'd is the only way I'd go. The prices are 30 - 40%+ off. These machines carry the same Apple Care warranty and you could buy the added years if you want. If at the end of the first year, you want to buy the extra 2 years, you still can. They've been checked out and are as good as new. I think a refurbished Powerbook right now, late in the product cycle, for 40% off is quite a bargain. Do it and don't look back.
  3. TsuaSai macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2006
    I ended up just buying a used IB with a 6months still left on warranty. I plan to by the apple care with in the next month or so. I will be able to get my machine and the extended warranty for less than buying it new.

    I am sure that if it was a bad thing they would not be able to sell referbs like they do. If they would have had any iBooks at the time I would have jumped all over one. So I would go for it as well. If anything happens send it in. But something could happen even if you shell out the 2,000.
  4. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Are refurb stock only available in the US? I've checked the Apple store here in Ireland and they never list refurbs.. 30-40% saving would be nice indeed... :D
  5. UberMac macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2005
    I think I just had bad luck. I bought my first mac as a refurb - a Rev A PowerBook (12"). The first apple sent me had a cracked apple logo on the LCD and a broken modem. Returned that and a second was sent, this had a broken modem and a broken LCD latch :mad: anyway, the moral of the story is buy with an education discount for a lower price (thats what I did in the end and Apple were all too happy to facilitate this.

  6. emmawu macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    Wauwatosa, WI
    I've bought refurb twice and have had nothing but good experiences.:)
  7. Daeman macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2005
    North curry/Chester Uni
    i bought a refurb Powerbook 12" G4 1.5 super and have had nothing that joy from it, oh the joys of switching.
  8. alexstein macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2004
    A certified refurbished Mac is a pretty decent buy. If anything goes wrong Apple replaces or repairs these items under warranty and on top of that you are allegeable for Apple Care.
  9. h0e0h macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    if you were even entertaining the idea of a new powerbook, why not the 15" MacBook if you don't mind my asking? I mean, why drop 2K on old technology when you can get the 15.4" MB (? not as nice as PB ?) with dual-core technology for the same price.
  10. azjem thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
    "I guess you missed this thread:"

    eep, yea, sorry about that, but thanks for directing me that way; i never thought of the cosmetic issue... a scratch or two here and there wouldn't be anything to flip out over, but a cracked apple logo... a broken latch... i would not consider those "minor imperfections" and i would not be cool with that. it sounds like if it was something like that, they return it no problem, is that correct?
    i was more thinking along the lines of performance... if it's been taken apart and put back together, will it run more slowly or anything?
    forgive my ignorance

    "why drop 2K on old technology when you can get the 15.4" MB (? not as nice as PB ?) with dual-core technology for the same price."

    i'd most certainly prefer the faster macbook... if it was in the middle or even towards the end of its cycle. brand new car models, brand new computer models, i may sound paranoid, but there are bugs to work out, things to be perfected, etc. and i don't need to be on the cutting edge of technology or anything, i just want something that works and that's preferably slightly more than i actually need :)

    thanks so much for the advice so far, it's looking pretty good for the refurb... excited am i...
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    They won't send a damaged machine, unless by accident, whether it's visible damage or otherwise. I'm sure that Apple don't want to go back and forth any more than their customers do--wasting time costs money.

    I'm concerned about the current MacBook Pro, as well. It's my opinion that the machine is only there as a bridge to the future, just as the original PowerBook G3 was and that the full line of machines is being properly finished. The power is amazing and I'm glad that the machine is available but I wouldn't be buying one soon.

    The PowerBook G4s are a good buy as refurbished equipment, as long as a person can get past the notion that it's a (probably barely) used machine.
  12. discoforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2004
    Vermont, USA
    I purchased my rev B 15" Powerbook as a refurb, and it arrived as if it had never been used: No scratches, no scuffs, and definitely nothing broken. It was in the original box, and I remember being excited :rolleyes: that all the wires were tucked away in their original bags.

    So regarding refurbs vs. new, I would definitely recommend refurb.


    That sounds like good advice, however you should do some research on many of the problems the 15 powerbook has had throughout many of it's revisions. I always bragged to my windows friends that my mac "just worked" but I've run into many hardware problems requiring the screen to be replaced 3 times, and I just found out that my lower ram slot no longer recognizes the ram that's in it. Unfortunately, I'm not alone as evidence by threads here and here.

    I am definitely not trying to dissuade you from getting a refurb, but you may want to research whether the 15" is for you, and please (!!!) purchase Apple Care!
  13. crazytom macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Just got a refurb'd Mini

    My Mom wanted a new computer and I finally talked her into a Mini. She wanted new, but I ordered a refurb. It arrived in like new condition, the only thing that spooked me was there was a tiny screw that came out of the machine. Otherwise, it came with 512Mb more memory than was listed! I'm glad I saw the screw and got it out before turning it on...that could have been disastrous!

    If I order refurb again, I'd be sure to give whatever machine a 'shake test' to hear if there are any loose parts and a burn-in period --- running the machine full tilt (like with protein folding) 24/7 for at least a week...typically if something is going to break, it'll do it within that time under that load.
  14. Sarvis macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2006
    My experience:

    I ordered two refurb 12" powerbooks 5 months ago. One arrived DOA (dead hard drive) with scratches on the top and bottom. It was sent back and they replaced the hard drive. The laptop failed again a month after that, and went back to have a power component replaced (it wouldn't charge batteries.) It's been ok since then, though the scratches are still there.

    The second is heading back now for it's 4th mail-in return in 5 months. One failed screen, one failed drive, one failed power component (same as above), and now another screen.

    I'd recommend _not_ buying a refurb.

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