With people trying to save money on laptops left-and-right, is it still a good idea today to buy a refurbished MacBook for school? I know that people do the same for Windows laptops, but since this is an Apple-focused website, I am covering just the MacBooks. 

Personally, I think refurbished laptops are a great way to save money on a laptop, but it depends on how it was used previously (if you, the person you’re buying from, or the business you are buying from). If you know it and are still content with making the purchase, by all means, go for it. However, it is still a risk.

One thing that could be seen as a risk, other than buying a computer that was previously used, is the longevity of the computer. For example, if you purchased mid-2012 MacBook Pro in 2015 and expect to use it for another 4-5 years, you may want to think again. Things change, standards change, and products get old no matter what.

I would recommend that if you did buy a refurbished MacBook of any kind, that you make sure that you also purchase some sort of warranty with it too. This will make it so that if something does wrong with it, you still have a way to get it checked out without having to pay more to fix it than what it is worth.

With all of this said, what would be the best refurbished MacBooks to buy out there today?

  • 11-inch MacBook Air (Discontinued): I still love this laptop even though it has been discontinued, it is still a great laptop for blogging, writing papers, and incredibly portable. Depending on what you’re doing, you may want to look into the specs of the laptop itself. If you’re doing video work such as video editing and maybe some Photoshop, then I would recommend the laptop have 8GB of RAM. If you’re just blogging, writing papers, and/or doing simple web surfing and Netflix, then the 4GB version will be perfect for you. As for the SSD space, that is completely up to you. Personally, I am all for the 256GB version. Again, it’s all up to you.
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  • Mid-2012 MacBook Pro (Discontinued): This is the laptop that I have and use every day. It’s good for blogging and writing papers, but with only 4GB of RAM, don’t expect to do much in the video editing department. iMovie no longer runs on it that well. On the bright side, it still has that the DVD drive in it!
    Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 3.12.13 PM
  • 2015/2016 12-inch MacBook: Although this is still a pretty expensive laptop refurbished, you can get one through Apple that is just a little over $1K. Apple sells them at 15 percent off, which is not horrible, but if you’re going to be spending that kind of money on a new laptop, you probably want to get one that is out-of-the-box brand new. Regardless, it is still a great laptop for the price and will be updated for years to come.
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Overall, refurbished laptops are not bad. They are used laptops but are still well worth the money. I still prefer buying something brand new, but if you’re in the market for something that is nice and somewhat cheap, getting a refurbished MacBook is not the worst idea in the world.