new vs. refurbished

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Quick question: does anyone have any feelings about new vs. refurbished machines?

My old (dead as of Monday night!) iMac was a Summer 2000 500 DVSE. Ironically, I was one of the first to have the 'pixellation' issue that a number of the DVSE's had, and I ended up with a replacement machine less than a week out of the box. Well after 3.5 good solid years (minus the internal battery dying a year ago) of use, I'm now without a machine. (Ok not entirely true, but my school has agreed to let me use my classroom laptop temporarily so that I can still get work done at home.)

Needless to say, to repair the iMac would be 500$, to replace with same machine would be about 550$ because of this I'm looking at upgrading to a new machine.

I've been reading the posts on desktop vs. laptop and I'm still deciding, but I really like the portability of the laptop. For what I do, email, word processing, internet, presentations, grades, a bit of graphic work with Quark, Photoshop, etc, I dont think that the hit in speed from desktop to laptop is that big of an issue. Especially since I am going up from 500mhz.

**My biggest question is the whole new vs. refurbished issue. As money is an issue, I would like to go with the refurbished, being able to get a bit more for my dollar. After my issues with the iMac I would definitely go with the extended APP.

Anyone have any thoughts on this issue? Or can recommend an idea for a solution that I haven't thought of?

Thanks for your help.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    My brother put it best to me(he has some refurb gear, and I was considering getting some too)

    generally with refurbished gear, if there is going to be a problem you'll know about it in the first month of usage, As far as I know, all refurbished machines come with a year full coverage warranty, so if something would be wrong, you'd know right off the bat. is a great place to look for used mac products is a great place to look for refurbished mac products
  • Reply 2 of 12
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Go for a refurb with a 1 year warranty if you can find one. Apple's got 'em and the others that were mentioned above also have them. For all intents and purposes, they'll be good as new.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    first off, i second your laptop decision. if youre doing presentations, keynote is the answer, and you gotta have a mac. go ahead and get a refurb... thats what i'll be doing in about a year.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Unless you can get an edu discount that is greater than the money saved from refurb(you can't get discounts on refurbished can you?!) that is.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Bought my original 5 gig iPod from Apple's refurbished section about a year and a half ago...still no problems and it looked absolutely brand new when it arrived.

    I think the major difference in Powerbooks is that it may come in a brown box vs. the full photoed snazzy boxes.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I always try buy the referbs, I got the G4 and now the G5 that way. The only tiny down side of the issue is that your usually buying after a producs been out for a while and is usually near to the release of the bigger and better. If you dont buy in or fit into the bigger and better syndrome, Buy a referb and save the cash. (the G5 2GHz is worth it) The only exception, to this theory, is into those wonderful, gorgeous, flat LCD monitors. I'm not sure but they could or may have an exceptionally high rate of missing pixels. Just a precautionary note for the referb LCD buyer.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    I'll add one NEGATIVE refurb experience. I bought a G3 iMac 700 refurb with a one year warranty, and thank god it had one. New hard drive on the second day, new PAV board a week later, another new PAV board a couple weeks after that... in 3 times to have the display "adjusted" because it looked like shite.

    Also had to have the bottom RAM door cover replaced because it was missing a hard rubber foot. Wobbled like a drunk old hag when you used it. They wanted $100 for it because it's not a warrantied part, if you can believe it. Talked them down from their drug high on that one, though.

    And the case was also marred up a fair bit, like it was rubbed along a desktop or something.

    First and last refurb purchase.

  • Reply 8 of 12

    Originally posted by torifile

    Go for a refurb with a 1 year warranty if you can find one. Apple's got 'em and the others that were mentioned above also have them. For all intents and purposes, they'll be good as new.

    my thoughts exactly
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Best of both worlds - Previous Generation - Apple store < Special Deals

    Power Mac G5

    These products are new and unopened units.

    Power Mac G5 1.8GHz/512MB/160G/SuperDrive/PCI/GeFr5200 -- $2,099.00

    (although not much less than the dual 2GHz referb)

    Previous Generation iBook G3 (Dual boot, OS X/OS 9 configurations) These products are new and unopened units.

    "Previous Generation and Refurbished Products:

    Listed below are great deals on Previous Generation iBook G3 and eMac products as well as quality Refurbished products. These Previous Generation and Refurbished Products are covered by Apple's One-Year Limited Warranty, and the AppleCare Protection Plan can be purchased for these products.

    Supplies are limited, and these products are offered "While Supplies Last"."
  • Reply 10 of 12
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    you mentioned that you work at a school, get the educational discount and go new
  • Reply 11 of 12
    I used to be the senior mac tech way back when, and part of my job was "refurbishing" computers. When I was working, it was around the time of the multicoloured iMacs. Most of the units I refurbished had been turned on maybe once, if at all. These units were returned because they were, wait for it, the wrong colour.

    Anyhow, most refurbished hardware are returns. Most of the time there isn't anything wrong with the kit being returned, but we still have to verify all the hardware components, and restore the hard drive. That process is, essentially, "refurbishing".

    Sometimes machines get returned that had, say, a bad logic board. Customer gets a replacement immediately, we order the new logic board, install it, "refurbish" it, and put it out for sale again.

    There generally isn't anything wrong with refurbs, and the bad experience people have with refurbished systems is just the "lemon factor" in action. Admittedly, it may be slightly higher for refurbished machines. Having actually done this for a while though, I have no qualms about buying refurbished.

    We've also discussed this a couple of times before in the past. Don't forget AppleInsider's super-1337 search function
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Sorry for the delay on the 'thanks' for the advice. Its not easy being on an nt network and having to 'share' log ins capabilities with a friend since the server doesn't recognize my 'profile' and our IT folks don't know why this is. I keep telling them, make the switch, life would be soooo much easier!

    I think I'm going to go with new, because of the edu discount, and the fact that where I live there is no tax on hardware for educators. (A BIG plus!) The other side being that I haven't seen any 14" iBooks on the refurb sites.

    I'm pretty much going between the 14" iBook (with added Ram and 60 gig HD), and the 15" PB. I want to see if the price drops any in the next few months, I hear there is an expo (Paris?) coming up soon.

    Thanks again for the help.
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