10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 16, 2009 6:39 PM by chipperz
Jimmy Kats Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
To anyone that has purchased a refurbished iMac or MacBook Pro,

Do they still function as if they were new? What all does "refurbished" mean? And finally, is it worth it?

Apple Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • stedman1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,705 points)
    Hi Jimmy: I purchased a MacBook Pro over 3 years ago. It has worked flawlessly since then. The only cosmetic flaw I could see was that the letters "a & c" were missing from the bezel at the bottom of the display. For a saving of a few hundred dollars I can live with that.

    Hope this helps
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)
    My white iMac is a refurb - I could not tell the difference between it and a new one. So far, there's only been a minor problem with the airport card (quickly replaced during an in home service call because I have Applecare) and the Macbook was a refurb as well - looked absolutely brand spanking new when I took it out of the box. These are my 4th and 5th refurbs. I actually think buying a refurb may be a better idea because whatever problem there was initially, the part or parts will have been replaced in the USA and the units tested thoroughly and, let's not forget the substantial savings.
  • lynn117 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    the only difference i found was it came in a plain brown box so if the apple box is worth a few hundred dollars buy new!
  • musashi88 Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)
    My MacBook was like new. I could not tell that it was refurbished. AppleCare warranty exactly the same as a new one too. One year and a bit later still going strong as I use it everyday for teaching purposes.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    I think the refurbs may actually be more reliable on average than new. The new ones roll off the factory assembly line and go into a box for shipping. The assumption is that they work. For the refurbs, a problem was identified and it was repaired. Then the Mac as a whole is fully tested. I doubt the new ones receive that type of attention per unit.

    The inside parts may be slightly used, but the outside looks brand new. My white +late 2006+ iMac has been perfect. And it came with the same warranty and eligibility for AppleCare. Since I got it for $849, I did not even bother with AppleCare this time. I fully expect that it will serve me well for at least another three years, which would make it a six-year-old design by that time.

    Software is one difference. The pre-installed software is exactly off the included installation discs that originally came with that model. So if it shipped with Leopard, Leopard will be the pre-installed OS. You will also get a separate disc that allows you to upgrade the installation to Snow Leopard. For other bundled software, you get what was bundled with it originally. So if you get an iMac from 2008 that came with iLife 2008, it will come with that version instead of the current iLife 2009. At least, that's the way to was for my iMac. I bought the +late 2006+ model after Leopard was already out for a few months. It came with Tiger and iLife 2006 pre-installed, but had a +CPU Drop-In+ disc for upgrading to Leopard. However, I had to purchase iLife 2008 separately.
  • Jimmy Kats Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thank you all for your help! I will be looking forward to owning my first refurbished machine in the near future!
  • DougDolde Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    A salesperson at an Apple store told me they are mostly returns that people decided not to keep under Apple's 14 day return policy. They are inspected and repackaged but can't be sold as new.
  • Sunny's mommy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)
    Abut 3 and a half years ago I bought my daughter a refurbished G4 iBook and never had any problems with it until shortly before the Apple Care was about to expire.
  • LogicalVue Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've bought two refurbished Macs in the past few years. Both came with additional "stuff". My iMac came with a larger hard drive and more RAM in the video card (based on what was listed on the refurb page). It's now 2.5 years old and hasn't had any problems.

    My MacBook Pro (now 1.5 years old) arrived with a 7200rpm drive instead of the 5400rpm one. It's NVIDIA card died in September, but that's a fairly common problem because of an NVIDIA chip defect. Apple fixed it under the NVIDIA warranty extension. Otherwise it's been flawless.

    Like others have said, the only difference I've noticed is that it comes in a plain brown box instead of the shiny box.

    I always recommend people get a refurbished model first.
  • chipperz Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    I haven't had a new iMac, or any other Mac, for years. My first G4 iMac was new, but every Mac since then has been a refurbished unit. Aside from the plain brown wrapper (sort of makes you feel you're getting something illegal), these refurbs are great. I have never had a problem with any of them, especially y G4 Power Book.