To refurb or not refurb? Opinion for first time mac owner please!

finallyAmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
3
0
I have always wanted a mac, but PC was always cheaper. Now I'm tired of my HP laptop and its issues, finally going to get what I want. Now this is the first Mac I will be purchasing and my computer needs are not substantial. Here is what I do on my computer:

Surf the web
Keep and share photos
Edit iPhone and camcorder videos
Limited word processing

As you see I won't be asking it to do a lot. I'm leaning towards a MacBook Pro 15" but am open to opinions there as well. The main question is should I go for the latest release and pay the student price of $1699 or get Feb 11 version and pay $1359? Are the differences worth the extra $340? That can pay for apple care right there...???

Or am I going the wrong direction and should be thinking about the air? I'm also wondering why the refurb page says it is 15% off and a savings of $250 as that would make original price $1599 and not 1799???

Thanks! :)
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
i have a refurb, looks brand new, i honestly cant find a mark on it.

Plus you still get the 1 year warranty, unless there is a spec you want not on the refurb it makes no sense to not buy it
 

warvanov

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2011
504
7
Based on the opinions of users on this forum I opted to go the refurbished route. The Apple refurbs generally have a pretty good reputation and they carry the same 1 year warranty as the new Apple hardware. It arrived in great condition and so far I have had no problems.

I bought an early 2011 13" MBP 2.3GHz for $929 rather than paying $1199 for the late 2011 2.4GHz model. The extra $270 wasn't worth it for 0.1GHz and 180GB of hard drive space (especially since I intend to upgrade the internal drive to 1TB anyway).
 

acastic

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
122
37
I have always wanted a mac, but PC was always cheaper. Now I'm tired of my HP laptop and its issues, finally going to get what I want. Now this is the first Mac I will be purchasing and my computer needs are not substantial. Here is what I do on my computer:

Surf the web
Keep and share photos
Edit iPhone and camcorder videos
Limited word processing

As you see I won't be asking it to do a lot. I'm leaning towards a MacBook Pro 15" but am open to opinions there as well. The main question is should I go for the latest release and pay the student price of $1699 or get Feb 11 version and pay $1359? Are the differences worth the extra $340? That can pay for apple care right there...???

Or am I going the wrong direction and should be thinking about the air? I'm also wondering why the refurb page says it is 15% off and a savings of $250 as that would make original price $1599 and not 1799???

Thanks! :)

I usually buy refurb Macs from Apple. They look brand new and come with the standard one year warranty just like if you purchased it new off the shelf. I highly recommend going refurb, its a great way to save some $$$.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I have always wanted a mac, but PC was always cheaper. Now I'm tired of my HP laptop and its issues, finally going to get what I want. Now this is the first Mac I will be purchasing and my computer needs are not substantial. Here is what I do on my computer:

Surf the web
Keep and share photos
Edit iPhone and camcorder videos
Limited word processing

As you see I won't be asking it to do a lot. I'm leaning towards a MacBook Pro 15" but am open to opinions there as well. The main question is should I go for the latest release and pay the student price of $1699 or get Feb 11 version and pay $1359? Are the differences worth the extra $340? That can pay for apple care right there...???

Or am I going the wrong direction and should be thinking about the air? I'm also wondering why the refurb page says it is 15% off and a savings of $250 as that would make original price $1599 and not 1799???

Thanks! :)
A refurb is a great way to save money, especially since the warranty is exactly the same.


Though for your needs, you could get by with an 11" air as far as processing power goes.
 

lichi0323

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2011
9
0
Miami
I have always wanted a mac, but PC was always cheaper. Now I'm tired of my HP laptop and its issues, finally going to get what I want. Now this is the first Mac I will be purchasing and my computer needs are not substantial. Here is what I do on my computer:

Surf the web
Keep and share photos
Edit iPhone and camcorder videos
Limited word processing

As you see I won't be asking it to do a lot. I'm leaning towards a MacBook Pro 15" but am open to opinions there as well. The main question is should I go for the latest release and pay the student price of $1699 or get Feb 11 version and pay $1359? Are the differences worth the extra $340? That can pay for apple care right there...???

Or am I going the wrong direction and should be thinking about the air? I'm also wondering why the refurb page says it is 15% off and a savings of $250 as that would make original price $1599 and not 1799???

Thanks! :)
Check open box items at Best Buy, I got my Macbook Pro 13 inch early 2011 for $750 after tax and for $50 more I added it the Best Buy waranty, so for $800 I got a really good computer with waranty! :)

I had a $100 off on any apple device but I think the promotion ended yesterday
 

samcolson4

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2011
53
0
This is my second refurb Mac.

First one - 2008 Uni-body MacBook. Flawless until the day I sold it on again.

Current one - 2011 15" MBP. Again, flawless.
 

mgartner0622

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2010
1,018
0
Colorado, USA
I've bought two refurbished MacBooks, an 21.5" iMac, and a 27" Cinema Display and they all have been perfect. As I like to say, the only difference between refurb and new is the price. (and refurb comes in a plain white box of course, but that does not matter to most people)
 

finallyAmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 16, 2011
3
0
I wish I had a best buy, open box sounds good nearesr one is 45 mins away.

Just wondering if anyone can tell me why the newer model is worth the price difference, so I can have both sides of info.

Does sound good to get a refurb and apple care for the price of a new model.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
It doesn't sound like the newer model is worth the price difference for your usage requirements. I mean, sure, you could pay the extra to have a brand new unit with all the pretty packaging etc, plus the latest technology inside, but it's not going to affect how you actually use the machine.

I've always bought new as I get BTO to boost the specs up where I want them without tinkering later, but if you're price-conscious and there's a refurb you like the look of then go for it I say.
 

Ant.honey

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
190
1
New York City
Apple refurbs are the a very nice way to go to save a few bucks. Hard to save a few bucks on a Mac otherwise. Going that route can almost guarantee a second quality control which generally isn't ever a bad thing.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Just wondering if anyone can tell me why the newer model is worth the price difference, so I can have both sides of info.
Ok, I'll give it a try.

I just recently ordered the new 15'' base model. It is a very powerful machine and a big upgrade from the previous model. The main improvement is the upgrade of the GPU to the Radeon HD 6750 model with 512 MB video ram. This is a big upgrade from the previous HD 6490 with 256 MB vram, and will help with playing some current games.
The upgrade to 2.2 GHZ CPU puts the new low end model (almost) on par with the previous generation high end model, and the gap to the high end model is much smaller than in previous generations.

All this makes the current low end model a very good and future proof investment. With the upcoming redesign, who knows, maybe this is the last macbook pro that's actually a "pro".


Ok, commercial over.
My main motivation to go for the current model was that I could get the AG screen and a 128 GB SSD built in. The refurb AG model costs a bit more than my customized new model (edu discount), and I still would have to buy an SSD on top of that. So for me, this was the best value for money, and I get exactly what I want (minus the overpriced ram upgrade of course).
 

trikky

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
225
1
Definitely refurb from Apple. You save a few hundred bucks and get a perfectly good computer with full warranty.

My trick is to wait until the new model is released, then wait a day or two for the prices on the recently superseded model to drop, then I pounce on a refurb. This is my second laptop I've bought that way, and I'd quite willingly purchase a desktop as a refurb too.

As an added bonus, when I was looking at the specs on my particular computer (using the "About this Mac" menu option), I discovered it had an extra 4GB of RAM installed (so, 8GB). That was sweet for me, since I was planning on buying an 8GB RAM kit when I received my new MBP anyways.

When you buy Refurb from Apple, you have no worries.
 

Queen of Spades

macrumors 68030
May 9, 2008
2,637
126
The Iron Throne
Refurbs are the best deal on Apple products, bar none, unless you're willing to take your chances buying used. They come with the same 1-year warranty as new systems, and they look brand new.

As to which model to get, for your uses, the $1359 model will be plenty powerful. With what you plan to do with the computer, any of Apple's current gen laptops (2011, early and late) will perform excellently.

Air vs. Pro is totally up to you and depends on your preferences.
 

Chocolatemilty

macrumors 6502a
May 17, 2009
649
113
Los Angeles, CA
I actually have this very same computer from the Apple Refurb Store. Took delivery of it last thursday. While I must say I absolutely love my computer right now, it wasn't without my (rare) share of troubles. I had a faulty hard drive upon arrival, and didn't notice this until I already had loaded everything on it. This isn't wholly vindictive on the refurbished products themselves, though, as we all know hard drives can fail at any given point in its lifetime.

I am also a student in my last undergrad year with an HP laptop from 07 that was definitely showing its age, so I decided to take the plunge on a MBP that'll take me through grad school and then some. You won't be sorry about your purchase and the money you'll save!
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,712
592
Seattle, WA
Just adding my voice to folks who are happy buying refurbished items. It is a great way to save some money while getting items that are indistinguishable from the brand new ones.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
I have bought a Mini and a Powerbook refurbed, as well as three iPods. All of them have been flawless. All of them looked brand new. Just shop around a bit, though. Sometimes, if you catch a closeout or open box from somewhere that doesn't charge taxes, like Amazon or MacMall, you will end up paying less than or about the same as a refurb. In other case, such as the recent MBP spec bump, you get a good deal. The base 13" MBP is now going for $929 as a refurb, and the only difference is a slightly slower processor and a 320GB hard drive vs. 500GB in the new models. I can live with that difference.
 

kgriffon

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2011
2
0
Hi everyone,

I just bought a brand new macbook pro a week ago. Now that I discovered this thread today, I actually want to go the refurb route instead. From your many opinions here, it seems like a great choice for people like me who need to save some money.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, please direct me if need to. But does anyone know if the apple retail store will make a big fuss if I return my macbook and get another one at the apple refurb store instead? And what about the personal info that I entered when I first started the mac. How can it be erased before returning the macbook?

Thanks for helping this macbook newbie.
 

trikky

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
225
1
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, please direct me if need to. But does anyone know if the apple retail store will make a big fuss if I return my macbook and get another one at the apple refurb store instead? And what about the personal info that I entered when I first started the mac. How can it be erased before returning the macbook?
So...you want to create a refurb unit of the one you have right now, and buy yourself a refurb unit? :)

YOur ability to return your computer is limited by the returns policy, so familiarize yourself (typically on the back of the receipt). You give the impression you bought from the Apple Store - if you did, you can return for (I believe) up to 14 days.

As for your private information, you will need to wipe your drive if you want to get rid of that. My recommendation is to use the 7-pass erase. I ran that process twice, to be double sure. To accomplish this, you'll beed to start up from the startup disk or recovery partition, whichever is applicable.
 

kgriffon

macrumors newbie
Nov 28, 2011
2
0
So...you want to create a refurb unit of the one you have right now, and buy yourself a refurb unit? :)

YOur ability to return your computer is limited by the returns policy, so familiarize yourself (typically on the back of the receipt). You give the impression you bought from the Apple Store - if you did, you can return for (I believe) up to 14 days.

As for your private information, you will need to wipe your drive if you want to get rid of that. My recommendation is to use the 7-pass erase. I ran that process twice, to be double sure. To accomplish this, you'll beed to start up from the startup disk or recovery partition, whichever is applicable.
Thanks for the quick response. Call me paranoid, but due to my lack of knowledge about navigating through macbooks, I'm hesitating on using this 7-pass erase that you mentioned. I still appreciate the advice though. With this in mind, do you think apple would accept the mac with the information that has been entered considering how apple will erase it anyway?
 

lacoste-rocker

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2010
233
1
Atlanta, GA
I bought a refurb and mine is great I have had it since 09 and I have had no problems with it. It was seriously brand new to me i didn't even think it was a refurb when I got it.
 
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