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I am planning to buy a MacBook because I want to learn OSX and iPhone programming. I checked the stores and to be frank, I cant afford them.

So I am considering buying a refurbished notebook. What is your opinion about buying a used book from Mac store or other online stores? Have you or your friend bought one before? Did you face any problem?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Tog, harrymc, Excellll, Scott, Kevin Panko May 9 '14 at 2:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've purchased a MacBook Black refurb about 3 years back from Apple online store itself - and it arrived as though it was spanking new. However, a couple of nitpicks to relate to that experience.

  1. The refurbed MacBook Black came not in the original box, but a box with the word "Refurbished" labeled prominently.
  2. The resale value of a refurbed Mac drops when you eBay it or put it on the second-hand site for sale, especially if the buyer knows its a refurbished. It's more about perceptions than anything else.
  3. There was a small, teeny, eeny, weenie hairline scratch on the top of that MacBook Black.

All-in-all, YMMV. However, I'd say for the savings you enjoy, it is definitely worth it getting a refurb unit. Just make sure you get it from Apple Store, and not some other 3rd party reseller or channels.

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I'd second that, refurbs are a good way to get Apple kit - I bought an iMac and it was immaculate. If you're worried the Applecare is expensive but covers you for the three years. My HD has failed however - but I think that this model is prone to overheating generally (I know at least one other person who had the same fault in a non-refurb unit). – alimack Feb 23 '10 at 10:25

as with all refurbished laptops (Macbooks are not so different after all :), make sure the battery is new. you don't want to spend another 120 dollar for a battery.

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How can I make sure? Do they mention that somewhere in the store? – Tomas Andrle Aug 10 '10 at 23:11

I haven't bought a MacBook from the Apple Refurbished hardware store, but I did buy a Mac Mini from them. It was immaculate and just like new. If you're buying from the Apple Refurbished Mac store I doubt you'll encounter any issues, if you're buying from a third party then your mileage may vary and I'd read the warranty conditions very carefully.

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I didn't buy a refurbished mac book, but considered it. From this experience, I would recommend to pay a thorough attention to exact spec vs. price and what you can get from the main apple store wiith only few dollars more. Some old hardware is, in my opinion, too expensive.

With that in mind, I think that buying a refurbished mac book is an option worth considering.

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Yes, Apple often compare against the old price/ spec rather than the current one - so a bit of research is a good idea. – alimack Feb 23 '10 at 10:22

Another possibility may be to buy hardware which is Hackintosh compatible. This would give you OSX and iPhone development capability at a non-Apple price. OSX86Project has a compatibility listing for hardware.

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That's kind of off-topic for that question. – Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Sep 29 '09 at 11:57
Yes, possible solution but off topic. – ymasood Sep 29 '09 at 12:05
+1 That may not be the exact answer but it sure is an option. – Hemant Sep 29 '09 at 13:01

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