Buying an iMac: Refurbished vs. New

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Has anyone bought an iMac (or any other computer) as refurbished from Apple?

Is this an astoundingly bad idea? Did it arrive with any cosmetic defects?

Do refurbished CPUs come with the original box?




  • Reply 1 of 8
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    I have purchased two refurbished Apple computers and I love them both. The first was a 17" 1.9 Ghz iMac G5. Refurbished products come in plain brown boxes. Other than the box it was just like a new out-of-box iMac.

    I think buying refurbished Macs is a great idea. Unlike production Macs, each refurbished Mac should have been thoroughly tested before heading on its way to you.

    That being said, my second refurbished Mac, a 17" 1.8 Ghz core-duo iMac, still had the drive partitioned from the previous owner, as well as some of their development software already installed. I thought it rather odd that Apple would release it like that, but I wiped the drive, did a clean install of OSX from the supplied discs, and went on my merry way. Other than that, my core-duo iMac is also perfect.

    edit: I also want to add that I bought Applecare for both machines as they're for work and I depend on them. It was very easy to enroll them and I have not had to use the Applecare.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Decisions, decisions. A new Core 2 MBP (MacBook?) or a refurb 2 ghz MBP? Their prices are getting very attractive.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    It's not hard to imagine that refurb equipment has actually undergone more hands-on testing than new units. I've bought a few cinema displays refurb because I believe they're less likely to exhibit Apple's far-too-common display anomalies than new units. So far, every time, I've been right.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    my ibook g4 is a refurb unit. never had any problems with it at all. it also had a surprise 60gb hard drive instead of the 30gb expected.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    sthiedesthiede Posts: 307member
    Originally Posted by progmac

    my ibook g4 is a refurb unit. never had any problems with it at all. it also had a surprise 60gb hard drive instead of the 30gb expected.

    did you have any cosmetic issues?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Originally Posted by sthiede

    did you have any cosmetic issues?

    when i received the machine it looked absolutely brand-new. being a refurbed unti, i looked over it especially carefully for any slight scratches, bumps, or bruises. i couldn't find anything.

    however, after about 6 months of use, the frame in on the left side of the screen frame bulged a bit and developed two small cracks. it's like they didn't fit the screen frame in quite right. had i not been out of the country for the entirety of its warranty period, i'm sure it would have been repaired under warranty. now, it's a minor cosmetic issue. i'm not sure if this would have happened to any ibook or if something about it being a refurb made it happen. tough to say.

    in '02, my wife (then girlfriend) bought a refurbished imac from smalldog electronics. it came in an original imac box (not the brown box), so perhaps they refurbed it rather than apple. it was also in perfect condition without a scratched and served her extremely well during its two years of use (she then sold it, two years later, for $200 less than she paid for it)
  • Reply 7 of 8
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    I have bought three refurbished Macs.

    They have not had reliability problems.

    Two of them were indistinguishable from new save for the change in serial number stickers and the plain shipping box with the Apple logo and something to the effect of "reconditioned product".

    One out of the three, an iMac G5, had its original box but had odd speckles on the lower, outer curve of the stand. In normal use, they weren't very noticeable.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    I bought a 17" Intel iMac refurbished. It came in a plain brown box, but included all the software, documentation, and accessories. My iMac did have a stuck pixel, but it also came with an upgraded hard drive and upgraded memory. Considering that I can barely see the stuck pixel when I'm using the computer, it doesn't bother me at all and I managed to save a lot of money in the process. It was worth buying, and I'd recommend everyone to try and go the refurb route if they want a good computer at a lower price.
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