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If you're like me and usually balk at the words "used" and "refurbished" because you want an FOF fresh out of the factory device, you may be pleasantly surprised by Apple's refurbished devices. For one, the devices are refurbished by Apple itself, which instills more confidence than if you were to buy a refurbished device from a site like eBay. If the refurbished inch MacBook Pro I bought is anything to go by, Apple's process is excellent; my MacBook Pro in perfect working order, and there's no visible sign of use or wear.
Buying from Apple's Refurbished store also affords a degree of separation from you and the previous owner. In my eyes, my refurbished MacBook Pro came from Apple, not the original owner, which makes me feel like I bought it brand-new. This, too, adds to my confidence in the condition of my refurbished MacBook Pro: If I had bought it from someone on eBay, the feeling that it's a used device that hadn't gone through a rigorous refurbishment process like Apple's would be far more prominent.
In some cases, you can even get mint-condition devices on eBay for a little less money than from Apple's Refurbished Mac store. Yet after a quick search on eBay for the same MacBook Pro model, I found that the prices didn't stray too far from the ones from Apple's Refurbished Mac store, and some were even more expensive. At the same time, Apple's Refurbished Mac store isn't the best place for some older devices.
For example, you won't find the iPhone 6S, released in For some devices, eBay or another third-party site is your only option. But for others, especially older Mac computers, I'd recommend checking out Apple's Refurbished Mac store before buying a used unit from a third party or a brand-new model from Apple's main site.
There are also limited quantities of Apple's refurbished devices, so it's not a guarantee that you'll get the model you want. Keep reading. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Antonio Villas-Boas. Apple has a special Certified Refurbished store where you can find discounted devices. It's worth a look if you're in the market for a new Apple device. It was certainly the best decision I made when looking for a new laptop. That said, you need to do a certain amount of OS calculus.
If that's the case, be warned: Apple's support for Mojave ended on October 22, This means that while you can still use your MacBook or iMac for everyday tasks, you won't be able to receive software, firmware, or security updates. Big Sur supports MacBooks and iMacs going as far back as , so if you're ok with using a slightly older version of macOS, you can pick up an older Mac on-the-cheap and still get regular software and security updates.
If you aren't sure which version your Mac is running, Apple has a handy support page with step-by-step instructions for finding not only what OS the device is running, but also the version number handy for keeping track of updates and what hardware it's using which is great for confirming the seller is being truthful about the build they're trying to get you to buy.
While Apple has never officially published their timetable policy for ending support for older Mac devices, the general rule has been a maximum lifespan of about 7 years post-release. So, you can assume that certain models will drop off the OS support list each year. You can check if the used Mac you've got your eye on is supported with the Big Sur and Monterey compatibility lists. This way, you can get a better idea of how long you'll be able to use your older Mac and plan for when you'll need to buy another one.
For example, I own one machine, which I couldn't upgrade when Mojave came out last year. There are hacky ways to bypass Apple's OS limitation, but they're still hacks. And then there's the newest elephant in the room: Apple's move off of Intel x86 processors to Arm or what Apple calls " Apple Silicon ". If you haven't been following along, Macs running Intel processors are going to be phased out over the next two years, and Macs based on Apple's own chips will replace them.
That puts an obsolescence countdown clock on every Intel-based Mac. That said, Apple will be supporting Intel Macs for a long time, and if you got a kid in school, they're not going to want to wait years for Apple to fully test out a brand new architecture. Get an Intel Mac now-- but get the latest and with the fastest processor and most amount of memory you can afford.
See: Which Mac to buy? I reached out to OWC , which sells refurbs, and it told me a lot of folks are running somewhat older OS versions. But beware. It's not just the OS that obsoletes. I got hit with Chrome not upgrading on a too-old machine. Even when using other browsers, Gmail wouldn't work. Apparently, Gmail also checks the OS version. One of the problems with Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook sellers is they often won't specify the year of the machine you're buying.
I spoke to several sellers who claimed they had no idea. If you encounter a seller who claims no knowledge of the model, ask for a serial number it's available on the unit or in the About this Mac dialog under the Apple menu , and then run the number through Apple's Check Coverage page. It will generally give you model year information as well as some other details. So, let's say you decide to ignore my advice and buy a machine from a local seller. You're going to want to do some hands-on testing.
Here's what you should do. Remember, safety first. You may try to keep socially distant, but a face-to-face sale is almost always going to reach a point where you have to move inside the 6-foot social distance barrier. Make sure you and your seller are fully protected. As mentioned above and as you should know if you're braving buying a used Mac locally , About This Mac is a small screen located under the Apple menu. Have the seller take a photo of that screen and text it to you.
If any of those specs bother you, stop right here. Knowing the model year of the device your considering will help with this step. You'll want to choose a USB 2. It'll just be too slow. If possible, use an external SSD drive. If you don't have one, you can use a large thumb drive and follow these instructions from Apple. Here's a quick note: If you don't have a Mac already to make this external boot drive, that's OK.
You'll just have fewer backup tests you can run when considering the Mac you're looking at buying. Step 3. You'll want to bring a basic test kit with you when you go to see the device you're considering. First, bring the external drive with a pre-configured version of MacOS. Next, bring a set of headphones preferably with a headphone jack, rather than a USB connection.
This will allow you to test external audio. Pack an SD card to test the internal SD card slot, if one exists. Here's where you're going to do a thorough physical inspection of the machine before booting it up. You want to notice any dents, scratches, and, especially, any obvious damage.
Look at each of the ports to see if any is out of alignment or crushed. Examine the screen for scratches or damage. Some MacBook Pros have visible screws. Check to make sure they're all in place and not stripped or missing. If the machine looks too beaten up, you might want to give it a pass. That said, some scratched up Macs still work great, and the scratches could well save you some bucks. Make sure the power adapter is plugged in and boot the machine. This is a good time to examine the power cable.
Make sure it's not badly kinked, bent, or cracked. Power adapters are available elsewhere to purchase, but they're not inexpensive. If the machine boots on external power, but the adapter looks crappy, ask for a discount.
You should be able to boot into the machine through to the desktop. If the machine won't boot, and you don't have an external startup disk, walk away now. If you do have an external startup disk, start thinking about how much you want the seller to discount the machine.
Then, attach your external drive to the Mac, hold down the Option key and keep holding it until you see the Startup Manager , choose your drive, and see if the machine will boot using your drive. The simplest way to make sure the network is running is to go to YouTube.
Don't worry about running Chrome here. Just launch Safari to make sure you can get to YouTube. If the seller says there's no available network connection or if you're in a public location , try setting up Wi-Fi. If you can't test the network, period, then walk away. If you can test the network, go to this YouTube video. Scale it to full screen and run, looking for stuck pixels or dots on the screen. This test runs through a bunch of basic colors and should help tell you if there's discoloration or missing or stuck pixels.
If you have screen problems, walk away from the deal. I like using the keyboard viewer, but you can also open Notes or TextEdit. Type a lot of text, check caps, caps lock, function keys, and repeating keys. Make sure the keys that repeat stop repeating. Also, check the trackpad to make sure it tracks with your fingers as expected.
If there's an optical drive, take your test disk, insert it to see if it plays. Plug in your SD card to see if the machine reads it. Test your external drive in each of the USB ports. Try your headset to make sure it works. It used to be that you could check the S. I prefer to use Disk Utility to run First Aid on a drive to see if any errors show up. Errors on the drive could be caused by a bad drive which is replaceable or bad drive controller chips which are not.
I'd recommend walking away from any machine that fails the First Aid scan. If the seller doesn't want you to run a scan, run away. Apple details a series of simple steps for making sure the battery still has life in it. This includes a look at the Mac's perception of the battery's condition and its cycle count. Pay attention to the max cycle count listed for each model on this page , and then the cycle count you find on the machine you're considering.
If they're too close, don't buy the machine. You'll need a costly battery replacement sooner rather than later. Depending on how old the machine is you're looking at, you should consider running Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics. I wrote an article on how to do that here. Step Be sure you have an Administrative login, and the Firmware password is disabled. If you made it this far, you're probably considering buying the machine.
Make sure you have an administrative login to the machine.
Refurbished inch MacBook Pro Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU - Space Gray. $1, Was $1, Save $ Our very best refurbished Apple MacBook: 38%. MacBook Pro () inch - Apple M1 8-core and 8-core GPU - 8GB RAM - SSD GB. At Back Market, we've made it our mission to give you used and refurbished MacBooks that have the same great quality as new units coming directly from Apple.