Rev A: Apple refurb vs Best Buy open box

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hammer97e, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Hammer97e macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Long time lurker, first time poster:

    I had a unibody MB 2.4 and it was way to much overkill for my laptop needs. Decided to get rid of it and go with a MBA and 24" iMac combo for my computing needs. I wanted a MBA in the first place. I am in the market for a MBA and prefer to get the Rev A, 1.6/HDD.

    Anyways, my local Best Buy has an open box that has been there for a couple months and has been marked down a few times and now sits at $950. Granted I will pay taxes, but I can walk out with MBA in hand instead of waiting for shipping and have the ease of Best Buy's 30 day return policy and their rewards program.

    I am curious if you guys think as far as long term reliability is concerned if it would be better to get the $999 refurb from Apple. I understand Apple did some minor changes half way through Rev A to make it more stable and in line with the refurbs. Is there anyway I can tell if the Best Buy one would have these minor upgrades by looking at the box? I assume I would get a full year of warranty, though who knows what was done to it before it was returned.

    Just looking for your opinions. Thanks.
  2. DPA macrumors 65816


    I'd say go with the opened box MBA from Best Buy. You'll have a full year warranty so if anything goes wrong, you are covered. It's $50 and some that you are saving because of shipping and handling. The changes that Apple made to the MBA weren't that minor. They upgraded quite a few things. Presumably, Best Buy would have the latest generation of a product for sale. You could check this by asking for the specs of the MBA. They should look the same to these, with the exception of the amount of RAM, processor speed, and hard drive capacity.

  3. Hammer97e thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Thanks for your comment David. The one at Best Buy is definitely a Rev A, 80gb HDD. It's in the Black Box with the leopard style graphics on it. I know they made the major changes with Rev B, but I saw somewhere on here they made some minor changes half way through the Rev A duration, maybe that was in regards to the hinge problems.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If it's an open box at BB, do you still get a full 1 yr warranty from Apple? I thought, if it was bought and returned to BB, that the warranty might start with the first buyer? I'm not sure, though. I think that if you buy open boxes at the Apple Store, they give you a full warranty, but that's because you bought it directly from Apple. I'm just bringing it up, since if it's been sitting around open box for some time, it may not have that much warranty time left on it.

    As for the rev. A vs. rev. B, they made a variety of changes on it, some fairly noteworthy. There are tons of threads on the topic of buying Rev A refurbs in general, and there's a lot of argument on it, but it seems like the general consensus is that it's potentially fine, although there may be some compromises and people generally recommend that one should use an app called CoolBook that alters some of the thermal management functions, and that the computer may have serious issues (it has a tendency to overheat and then shutdown one of the processor cores, and sometimes shut down altogether, even with relatively nominal tasks like Youtube) if you do not use Coolbook.

    Here's a representative thread that talks about this.

    These threads are incredibly heated, and we do ask, that since there have been many of them, that if this topic needs further discussion, an existing thread be used.
  5. Hammer97e thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
    I completely understand the Rev A vs Rev B debate, and it's certainly not my intention to open that can of worms here. I am confident a Rev A will serve my needs perfectly.

    As far as the warranty, I suppose I could take the serial number off the box and look it up on Apple's website from Best Buy's display models. If it's less than a year, than I won't even bother with the Best Buy MBA. As far as long term reliability I have read lots of good things about Apple latest Rev A refurbs and wonder if it's worth saving $50 ($70 with BB Rewards) and getting the open box at Best Buy (If it has a year warranty).
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I see what you're saying. If it does have the year warranty, I guess the main difference would be that the Apple Refurb has been inspected for functionality and repackaged to make sure, e.g., it's not missing any accessories. So if it seems to have all its stuff with it, then it sounds like, based on your concerns, it's a good deal.
  7. mshaf macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2009
    I would argue for the refurb from apple. I just received one and I don't have any of the heating issues and poor performance that others have suggested. Some folks here believe speculate that some minor alterations were done (thermal paste correction) to fix issues that early Rev A owners had. No way to tell really. My refurb from apple looks and performs like new. I couldnt be happier and I get a 1 year warranty as well.
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    That's what I was thinking. What I would do is go to BB and see if you can snag the Serial number off the box. Go here to see if it still is under warranty.

    If so, I'd say go for the BB Open Box.

    Alternatively, you could call Apple and see what they say.
  9. Pupator macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2008
    North Carolina
    The Best Buy one will have a full 1 year warranty from the date of your purchase. No serial number lookup is necessary.
  10. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Please stay away from BestBuy. I looked into an open box and it's a crap shoot. They had it listed as "open box" in their system but the battery had 350 cycles which means it was probably a display model. And they only knock off 10% from original unless you buy the warranty.

    The problem with the MBA is that the screen is thin and the aluminum can bend with BestBuy consumers who couldn't care less.

    An apple refurb is as close to new as you can get with a battery at about ~1-2 cycles. Flawless no scratches or smudges.

    Did I mention stay away from BestBuy?

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