When I was studying in college and money was tight, I spent a year using an iPad 2 with the classic keyboard dock as my ‘laptop’. However, there came a point where I simply had to upgrade to a suitable laptop in order to work efficiently.
What I really wanted was a MacBook, but I couldn’t buy even the cheapest new model—and there were no Prime Day deals at the time. I ended up buying one of Apple Store Renovated (opens in new tab)and I wasn’t disappointed – and if you’re a hard-pressed student like I was, or you just want an Apple laptop without spending the full price, I recommend you follow suit.
good as new
When some people see the word ‘refurbished laptop’, they imagine a second-hand machine with a few scratches on the lid, maybe some dead pixels on the screen, and keys that urgently need cleaning. But that couldn’t be further from the reality if you buy an Apple Certified Refurbished product.
Apple has a page that explains in detail (opens in new tab) how each refurbished product is cleaned, tested and given a new battery. Certified refurbished devices also come with a one-year warranty.
He explains that the product may be running an older version of macOS, iOS, or iPadOS, as was the case with the MacBook I bought, but you just need to log in. System Preferences > Software Update to download the latest version.
I remember in 2011 my refurbished 13-inch MacBook Pro arrived in a white box with the supplied cables and it looked like new – it was hard for me to tell the difference between it and a brand new model. It was loaded with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and was £300 cheaper than the latest MacBook at the time; and while I had an older Intel processor, I was happy to be back on macOS again, having owned an iMac when I was younger.
The MacBook served me well for three years until I was able to buy a new MacBook Air, and I had no problems with it during that time. It was a nimble machine that did everything I needed to do – and that helped me get a degree.
So don’t be put off by the ‘refurbished’ label – it’s not a taboo, and you’re likely to end up with a new device and pocket a considerable savings.
If you can’t find anything suitable in Apple’s Refurbished store – or if I haven’t convinced you, and you simply need to own a brand-new MacBook – we’ve found some deals for you below.
Looking for a Prime Day bargain? We’ve got you covered with our roundup of all the best deals.