Buying a refurbished Mac book. Yes or no?

I have always had Mac's. I have a desktop and am now finding that I need a laptop. Refurbished is okay. I will be using it for research and the writing of a book. I also will need Microsoft office for presentations, etc. What is best for me? Macbook Pro or MAcbook Air?

39 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I ordered a refurbished Macbook Pro online and picked it up at the Apple store yesterday. Within 15 minutes of turning it on at home, the screen started flickering, the colors faded out and vertical pink lines covered the screen. I tried restarting it but it only got worse. I am returning it to Apple tomorrow to get a replacement or a refund. Apple has great customer service, and I realize that the vast majority of refurbished Macs are in perfect condition, but I wanted to share my experience to say that not all of them are. Just something to consider when buying a refurbished product.

    • Answered by Julia S from Dayton
    • Jun 26, 2014
  • I'd recommend an Air for you. It doesn't sound like your need the power of a Macbook Pro, considering the Air is plenty powerful as it is, and the Air has amazing battery life and portability. If you're going to be writing on it, you should definitely get the 13" (the extra real estate is nice). I'd also recommend 256 GB of storage (so you don't run out!) and 8GB of RAM (for smooth multitasking), though 4GB RAM might be enough if you want to save a little money.
    For the question of refurbished, I can help you make an informed decision. You don't have to worry about the condition of refurbished Macs, they're really like new. The main issue is that they're older, and technology has been moving forward fast. For instance, any Macbook Air that was made before summer 2013 gets about 7 hours of battery life, while any that are summer 2013 or newer gets 12 or more, thanks to the new processors that are used! So, if getting a laptop that will be amazing for years to come is worth the money to you, get a new one. If it's not that big of a deal and you're more open to upgrading again sooner and want to save some money now, refurbished is a great option.
    I do not recommend buying refurbished or used from anywhere besides the Apple Store unless it's a person whose computer care and knowledge you trust.

    • Answered by Wesley L from Lapeer
    • Jun 24, 2014
  • I purchased a refurbished macbook pro, I have used it for 1.5 years now and it hasn't given me any trouble whatsoever.

    • Answered by Deborah H from Clinton
    • Aug 10, 2014
  • I have been buying nothing but refurbished MacBooks and iMacs for over 10 years, not just for myself but for the startup technology companies I have been involved in. Never an issue out of the box and you can also purchase Apple Care. The only thing you don't get is a pretty box. Highly recommended. I buy nothing but refurb Macs.

    • Answered by Lance W from Atlanta
    • Oct 23, 2014
  • I bought a refurbished 15" macbook retina last September for a great price and I am very happy with it.

    I personally went with macbook pro because of screen size. I don't enjoy writing on 11" or 13" screens, but I think a Mac Air will do fine as long as you are not a power user.

    Also if you or someone in your family qualifies for educational discounts you might want to go that route, because the edu price can be close to a refurb price depending on your upgrade options.

    • Answered by Eric M from Kanata
    • Aug 1, 2014
  • In the last 15 years I have picked up 4 refurbished Mac products, a laptop, 2 i-Macs and a i Pad and I have been happy with all 4. I did have a problem with the screen on one of the iPads but Apple fixed it quickly and I was not charges anything.

    • Answered by Daniel E from Tucson
    • Sep 29, 2014
  • Simple answer on Refurbs: In ten years of buying only refurbs, they've never disappointed, nor has Apple.

    Mind you, I also buy AppleCare unfailingly — but wow. Recently had one Option key malfunction on my MacBook Pro.

    Apple not only replaced the keyboard, but computer came back with a new logic board and new hard drive! Things I never suspected were in trouble. So I've essentially got a new machine, several years of rugged use after purchase.

    Now that's service, above and beyond!

    • Answered by Connie S from Berkeley
    • Nov 16, 2014
  • I have bought several refurbished over the years and have been very satisfied. Either will work fine for your needs but I think the Macbook Pro gives you more power and value for your money.

    • Answered by Richard M from Fort Lee
    • Sep 12, 2014
  • for research and writing the biggest difference in the macbook pro and macbook air is the size and weight. In the refurbished department at Apple you can find them configured almost identically, but the newer MacbookAir comes with microsoft office already on it. So I would look for the newer refurbished model if you really want a refurbished machine. I gor my refurbished Mackbook pro 17 in 2010 and it is great, but a bit large to carry with me on trips, but I manage easy enough.

    • Answered by William R from Lakeland
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • I'd echo most of the comments above. I am just "retiring" a refurbished MacBook Pro I got in 2007. It's finally too long in the tooth and the speed and memory are just not enough any more. Also, obviously, the Applecare is long expired. So I just ordered a refurbished MacBook Pro Retina from the Apple Store.

    The only 2 caveats I'd have:

    1) Always get the Applecare with the refurb. That basically makes it as good as a new machine. Apple will fix or exchange anything, just like they would if you bought it new. And with the discounts on the refurb, you basically pay for, or more than pay for, the Applecare.

    2) When you're shopping the refurbs, by all means look for what you need. But pay attention to the release date. All things being equal, I'd want a recent model. For example, the refurb I just ordered was "Released in July 2014". There were others "Released in April 2013" or even 2012, so they obviously aren't the current model. Keep that in mind unless the older model has something special you need.

    All in all, I'd whole heartedly recommend the refurbished machines from Apple.

    Hope that helps.

    • Answered by Joseph P from Slidell
    • Nov 18, 2014
  • I bought a MacBook Air refurbished and I love it! It's almost two years old now and I've never had any issues with it. Got it at a great price and it works very well.

    • Answered by Robert B from Livingston
    • Nov 7, 2014
  • I have bought a number of refurbished Mac products - MacBook Pro 15", iPad and iMac and have been pleased. The first MacBook Pro lasted for 3 years until I started getting problems with the display. I took it back to the Apple store in Covent Garden London and when they checked the serial number they told me that mine was one of a batch that had been flagged up for quality issues (which meant that something might go wrong in the future).

    They replaced the motherboard twice and each time the same problem happened. After the last replacement they said enough is enough, we are going to give you a brand new MacBook Pro and apologise for any annoyance this has caused. I was amazed but next day I picked up my brand new laptop. This has been ok for three years but has just had a hard disk failure which Apple have replaced free of charge and also gave me a pair of Sennheiser Momentum headphones as a gift because of the trouble the failure caused.

    OK things have gone wrong but each time, the service and customer care has been excellent. I would go for the MacBook Pro over the Air for my own requirements but my wife has an Air and is very pleased. So far the iPad and iMac from the refurb store have been great

    • Answered by John H
    • Nov 27, 2014
  • I bought a refurbed macbook air about this time last year, and Ive never had any issue with it.
    I honestly forget that its refurbed, its like new condition.

    • Answered by Hayden F from Sydney
    • Nov 18, 2014
  • Macbook Pro is best for you. Other than weight, it will accomplish everything + what the Macbook Air will do. The MP is more robust and much more powerful in hardware and flexibility when needing to add software.

    • Answered by Antonio M from Wimberley
    • Nov 9, 2014
  • Yes go for it, I got my time capsule for half the price of a new one and it has never failed me

    • Answered by Quinton O from Woods Cross
    • Nov 17, 2014
  • I bought a refurb MacBook Pro and I love it. You can't even tell it isn't brand new. If you want to save some money and don't need a new Mac, then buy refurbished because it's so worth it. I bought my brother a brand new one and right before AppleCare ran out he had to get his screen replaced because it blanked out. My other brother bought his off someone and his was ok, but he had to get it fixed as well, so purchase the AppleCare because it's worth it.

    • Answered by Dorin T from Norcross
    • Dec 2, 2014
  • I my self ordered a Mac Book Pro from the refurbished store and It worked fine the experience truly does differ

    • Answered by Oscar L from Grimsby
    • Dec 1, 2014
  • Yes

    • Answered by Scott D from Dove Canyon
    • Jul 19, 2014
  • A refurbished Air should be perfect.

    I have never bought anything but refurbished: Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iMac. I have always gotten great deals and have never had a single problem. The warranty is the same as new. I will always buy refurbished as as long as I can find the make a model that works for what I need.

    My refurbished Air is simply smashing, for every pace I've but it though so far. It should certainly work for your research. You'd need a Macbook Pro more for video production and other CPU intensive work, for example.

    • Answered by Nan M from Decatur
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • I have a refurb G4 tower I bought in late 2000 and am still using as a server. I have replaced the hard drives to have a larger capacity. A refurb iMac24" which I bought in 2007 is my desktop machine. This summer the hard drive failed and I replaced it in 30 minutes with a new drive that cost less the $100. Both machines are working fine. I am about to buy a refurb 27" to use as my desktop machine.
    A friend has a four year refurb Mac Book Pro 15" and I replaced the hard drive for him with a larger drive two years ago. It works fine but he also is going to upgrade to a refurb 13" Air

    • Answered by John G from Cathedral City
    • Dec 8, 2014