Mac Users - New or used?

22 replies
I have been on the fence for a couple of years about purchasing a Mac laptop. Now that I am out of work and needing to generate some income quickly, I am considering writing articles and need to purchase a cheap, used Mac laptop. My only requirements are
(1) Microsoft Word
(2) Wireless internet connection (I do not have reliable connection at home but I can access for free at the library and Barnes & Noble.)

Do any of you recommend purchasing a used Mac laptop? Can I get one from eBay? If so, do you any of you recommend a particular seller?

Any and all help is appreciated.
#mac #users
  • Profile picture of the author Noah Fleming
    If you can afford it, Apple Refurbs are a great way to save money and get a near perfect system direct from Apple.

    I've bought many macs used. Just because you can sometimes save tons of money and get perfectly working machines.

    Look for machines with Applecare or still under Applecare warranty that way if something goes wrong you'll be covered.

    MacMini is a great choice.
    iMac is still my favorite mac for most bang for your buck.

    EDIT

    Missed the part about wireless. If you're looking for a laptop, even a macbook a year or two old will still hold it's value well. Even more in this case I'd look for a machine still covered under warranty. Let's say you get a macbook for $500 bucks and then your logic board goes. Well you're screwed, the repair will cost more then a new system.

    My vote is for Apple Refurbs

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...mco=NzcwNjg0Ng

    Refurb Aluminum Macbook for $899 - comes with standard 1 year apple warranty and you can add applecare.

    Great deal and better than buying used.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Originally Posted by uncle randy 71 View Post

    I have been on the fence for a couple of years about purchasing a Mac laptop. Now that I am out of work and needing to generate some income quickly, I am considering writing articles and need to purchase a cheap, used Mac laptop. My only requirements are
    (1) Microsoft Word
    (2) Wireless internet connection (I do not have reliable connection at home but I can access for free at the library and Barnes & Noble.)

    Do any of you recommend purchasing a used Mac laptop? Can I get one from eBay? If so, do you any of you recommend a particular seller?

    Any and all help is appreciated.
    I got my first mac laptop and this thing is a toy, fun, safe and very helpful. You can find tons of used mac laptops on ebay, just look at the feedback of the seller, make sure they are trustworthy.

    You can download openoffice for free, it has basically has the same suite of applications that ms office has. I'm sure the used mac laptops will have a built-in wifi card, if not you can purchase one.

    Cheers,
    Magic
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    " You can either give a man a fish and feed him for a day OR teach him how to catch a fish and it will feed him for a lifetime"

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  • Profile picture of the author JordanFrancis
    In all honesty, if you're after low-cost computing, Apple is probably not the route to go.

    However, if you simply must, and you only want to write articles and do basic surfing, surely the older generation pre-Intel Macs will do the job? They *should* be cheap...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    I own 6 Mac computers, all purchased brand new. I have never purchased a used system and especially now that MacOS 9 is no longer supported you have to be careful on what used system you do purchase.

    If it is not a Intel Based system then chances are you are going to be limited ( I know I own 5 PC Powered Macs). My eMac is Mac OSX but it is limited to 10.4 as it can not be upgraded to 10.5 because that is only intel based.

    So really depends upon what you are wanting to do just be careful with what system you purchase..

    As for writing articles I use MacSpeech Dictate but the cost is $150 - $200

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      If it is not a Intel Based system then chances are you are going to be limited ( I know I own 5 PC Powered Macs). My eMac is Mac OSX but it is limited to 10.4 as it can not be upgraded to 10.5 because that is only intel based.
      10.4 is still very usable, for the time being anyway. It's just that it'll be a dead-end, meaning a newer Mac will need to be purchased at some point in the future if the OP would want to move past 10.4, as you eventually would.

      If there's a big difference in price between a pre-Intel and an Intel MacBook, it may be worthwhile for the OP to buy the cheaper machine. For writing articles and such, 10.4 is going to be more than adequate.

      Still, if the OP's budget allows, getting an Intel MacBook would be preferable, because then you won't be stuck at a known dead-end indefinitely.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        10.4 is still very usable, for the time being anyway. It's just that it'll be a dead-end, meaning a newer Mac will need to be purchased at some point in the future if the OP would want to move past 10.4, as you eventually would.

        If there's a big difference in price between a pre-Intel and an Intel MacBook, it may be worthwhile for the OP to buy the cheaper machine. For writing articles and such, 10.4 is going to be more than adequate.

        Still, if the OP's budget allows, getting an Intel MacBook would be preferable, because then you won't be stuck at a known dead-end indefinitely.
        Hi Dan,
        Oh trust me I still use MacOS 9, MacOS X (power PC), and MacOSX.6 Snow Leopard (Intel-Mac).

        It may be limited but I will never give up my MacOS 9 nor my PowerPC Computers.

        James
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

          It may be limited but I will never give up my MacOS 9 nor my PowerPC Computers.
          I have a 14 year old dual-boot (Mac OS 8 & Mac OS 9) PowerMac that I still occasionally use, though not on a daily basis anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanBoettcher
    A little unrelated... but I finally made the swap to a Mac (MacBook Pro 13") a couple months ago, and although the switch has been gradual I'm getting up to speed and liking it.

    And I sat on the fence for about 3 yrs... lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author netcatapult
    Although the PC are cheaper, I would definately go with a Mac... you'll be way happier in the long run. I have used both platforms extensively and Mac has always been the best choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pat Ordenes
    I still have a pre intel chip laptop (power PC), and it really well still...
    Thats the beuty of macs in my opinion.
    In 4 and a half years, not one upgrade and it still holds its own... and yes, its got wireless...
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    • Profile picture of the author uncle randy 71
      wow, lots of great information folks, thanks so much.

      I will take all of this into consideration and let you know my decision.

      Best of luck to all of you in the Internet game!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I have an imac available but if you do not need the software on it, it will not be a deal for you.

    You can see the specs at Brand New Aluminum IMac Pro Plus Software Loaded

    Email me if you need help.

    Mo
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Morgan
      You can get a used mac on ebay or craigslist dirt cheap, and they're great machines. Last year's mac is still faster than this year's PC. Just make sure and get a macbook (intel CPU).

      The PPC machines are awesome (i have one and do most of my web work with it) but newer software going forward is requiring an intel chip. Might as well start out with it so you don't have to upgrade later.

      Oh, and another vote for Open Office. It's all I use, and works great!
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  • Profile picture of the author thenextlevel
    I was looking for a used mac a while back, but after lots of searching I couldn't justify the prices they were bringing. Where I live I couldn't touch a G4 macbook for less than $350-400. Thats alot of money for a used computer that is several years old. And lots of them had problems like cd drives not working or cracked screens. I ended up buying a new Acer labtop and promising myself a new mac when I start to actually make money online!
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    • Profile picture of the author uncle randy 71
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      10.4 is still very usable, for the time being anyway. It's just that it'll be a dead-end, meaning a newer Mac will need to be purchased at some point in the future if the OP would want to move past 10.4, as you eventually would.

      If there's a big difference in price between a pre-Intel and an Intel MacBook, it may be worthwhile for the OP to buy the cheaper machine. For writing articles and such, 10.4 is going to be more than adequate.

      Still, if the OP's budget allows, getting an Intel MacBook would be preferable, because then you won't be stuck at a known dead-end indefinitely.
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Morgan View Post

      You can get a used mac on ebay or craigslist dirt cheap, and they're great machines. Last year's mac is still faster than this year's PC. Just make sure and get a macbook (intel CPU).

      The PPC machines are awesome (i have one and do most of my web work with it) but newer software going forward is requiring an intel chip. Might as well start out with it so you don't have to upgrade later.

      Oh, and another vote for Open Office. It's all I use, and works great!
      thanks to each of you for adding these comments. I am out of work and can only access the internet via the public library (hence the reason for my question) I really appreciate everyone's input.
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  • Profile picture of the author uncle randy 71
    For those of you that are fans of buying a computer from ebay, would this listing suit my needs until I could upgrade to a newer laptop? Will this unit be able to run Open Office?
    F33 Apple iBook A1007 900MHz G3 256MB 40GB DVD WiFi - eBay (item 350249817209 end time Oct-07-09 07:45:16 PDT)
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by uncle randy 71 View Post

      For those of you that are fans of buying a computer from ebay, would this listing suit my needs until I could upgrade to a newer laptop? Will this unit be able to run Open Office?
      F33 Apple iBook A1007 900MHz G3 256MB 40GB DVD WiFi - eBay (item 350249817209 end time Oct-07-09 07:45:16 PDT)
      That's a PPC (not Intel) Mac, but, according to the Open Office website, there is a PPC version, so it looks like it should run. But, I have no firsthand knowledge or experience on that, so I can't say that with absolute certainty.

      Hopefully, someone else is around that knows for sure.
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      • Profile picture of the author uncle randy 71
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        That's a PPC (not Intel) Mac, but, according to the Open Office website, there is a PPC version, so it looks like it should run. But, I have no firsthand knowledge or experience on that, so I can't say that with absolute certainty.

        Hopefully, someone else is around that knows for sure.

        Thanks for the advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by uncle randy 71 View Post

      For those of you that are fans of buying a computer from ebay, would this listing suit my needs until I could upgrade to a newer laptop? Will this unit be able to run Open Office?
      F33 Apple iBook A1007 900MHz G3 256MB 40GB DVD WiFi - eBay (item 350249817209 end time Oct-07-09 07:45:16 PDT)
      I personally would not buy a mac from eBay.. I would find a closeout deal on like MacMall.com, Your #1 Apple superstore for MacBook, iPod, iMac or something.

      For those that said a Mac is too expensive, well by the time you pay for all that security software, buy upgrades, new mother boards, and etc for Windows you could have saved $1,000's by just buying a mac to begin with.

      As stated I have 6 Mac computers and not once have I had to buy parts, send it to the shop for repairs, or anything.. My PPC 6116 Performa (built in and purchased in 1994) still runs till this day.

      Now I have never purchased a used computer either, mine have always and will always been purchased brand new. As I said though I have not spent thousands on keeping the computers up either and yes they run 24/7...

      James
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        Now I have never purchased a used computer either, mine have always and will always been purchased brand new. As I said though I have not spent thousands on keeping the computers up either and yes they run 24/7...
        I've bought new and used Macs. I used to have a great source for used computers (Mac and PC), but he retired from the computer business.

        On eBay, I think you run into more problems when you buy newer model Macs rather than the older ones. The newer used Macs go for more money and are more attractive to the unsavory sellers. I've never had a problem buying a used Mac on eBay, but I've always purchased Macs that were a few years old. And I check out the seller as best as I can beforehand.

        Plus, at least on the pre-Intel Macs, I've put together Macs from bits and pieces of other Macs, so a used Mac was never really a problem for me. Plus, it was always kind of fun cleaning them up and making them look reasonably new.
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        • Profile picture of the author angela99
          Re Macs, as OPs have said, a PC may be "cheaper" but by the time you pay for anti-virus software and all the other must-have stuff, they're not.

          I came back to Macs in 2005, and I attribute my online success to MACs. I need a PC too because I write for computer magazines, but there's no comparison between my Mac and PC.

          Just starting up... turn on Mac, start work in less than 60 seconds. Start up PC... boots up in two minutes. Then wait for scans and other rubbish to complete, start working 20 minutes later, maybe.

          My Mac is my primary work machine, and there's no way I'd be able to do everything I do on a PC -- just the sheer aggravation of dealing with all the cr*p on the PC would kill me. :-)

          A big clue to the value of a PC versus a Mac is the resale value. People want Macs, and for very good reasons.
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  • Profile picture of the author JordanFrancis
    If any Mac experts are still checking this thread out, I'd appreciate some input while I continue looking up information on 'the net'.

    A G5 generation iMac can be bought for fair money, and as I understand this would be the last generation of PowerPC before they went Intel.

    So - a G5 can run OS X up to Leopard (10.5) if I understand correctly (?). And that's the end of the road they'll go to Mac OS wise.

    With that in mind, I spend 90% of my time living in a browser. I don't use any exotic software. And I am trying to determine if I could use a G5 Imac as my main machine for the next year or so, before I likely buy something current and relegate the G5 to a 2nd machine.

    For example, can I use the latest version of Firefox along with various extensions I might want? Will support for PowerPC be specifically required for that to work? On the download page at Mozilla Firefox, it has support for OS X - but does that mean ANY version of X? Irrespective of PowerPC or Intel based?

    While I can't see any potential problems, that doesn't mean they don't exist... thus my research. Let's see - I create most of my sites in Wordpress, so that's no problem. And I use GIMP right now for graphic work but I use only the basic feature of it. I write stuff and do basic book keeping in OpenOffice. I use CamStudio for recording videos, but I can probably find an alternative?

    Am I missing anything?
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