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Deals to be found at the Apple refurb store…

If you know me at all, you know how I feel about glossy screens, especially on laptops. As nice as the new MacBook and MacBook Pros are (and they are very nice, based on some early hands-on time with the new MacBook at the local store), the glossy screens are a deal breaker for me. I tried to use a MacBook for six months or so, but in the end, the glossy screen was too much for me, so I went up to the MacBook Pro and its nice matte display.

With the lack of a matte option on the new MacBook Pro line, I won’t be buying another Mac laptop (of the 15″ variety) until Apple comes out with some form of non-glossy screen–whether that’s a true matte screen, or just an effective anti-glare coating, I don’t really care. But until there’s a solution, I’m going to use what I have for as long as I possibly can.

My current machine is a two-year-old 15″ 2.33GHz MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM–and it’s a very nice machine. However, it’s already two years old, and I want to get at least five more years out of my matte screened laptop…so I figured I’d go look on eBay for used last-gen 2.6GHz MacBook Pros–the fastest 15″ machine with a matte screen available, basically.

On my way to eBay, though, I got sidetracked by the Special Deals section of the Apple Store–otherwise known as the Refurb Store.

This is where Apple puts its refurbished hardware–machines that have been returned from the field for some reason, repaired and cleaned up, then resold again (with a new 12-month warranty). It turns out that Apple’s got some pretty amazing specials going on right now, to try to clear out the old inventory–if you’re a fan of matte screens, these are some nice deals:

  • 2.33GHz 2GB RAM/120GB HD — $1,499. This is my two-year old MacBook Pro, exactly, at $1,000 off the original list price. It’s got the fast ATI video card in it, too, and is quite a bargain at only $1,500.
  • 2.4GHz 2GB RAM/250GB HD — $1,349. You can save $150 and get a faster machine with a larger hard drive and faster SuperDrive — but with the GeForce 8600 instead of the ATI card. A very tempting bargain at $600 off its original price.
  • 2.6GHz 2GB RAM/200GB HD (7200rpm) — $1,799. This machine originally sold for $2,799, and was (best as I can recall) the top of the line 15″ MacBook Pro. It’s got a 7200rpm hard drive, and the graphics card (the GeForce 8600M GT again) has 512MB of RAM.

Given these prices–and full factory warranty and AppleCare coverage (if you want it)–I decided it was time to upgrade to the $1,799 2.6GHz model, and sell my old one.

I figure this is as much matte-screen coverage time as I can buy myself for maybe $800 or so (based on selling the old one for $1,000)–I think I’ll be able to get at least five years out of a 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (it will easily handle Snow Leopard next year). Hopefully before this machine approaches its end of days, Apple will have seen the light and brought back a matte screen option for those of us who just can’t stand glossy displays.

Oh, and if you’re thinking about a MacBook Air, you can now buy one of the first generation machines for $1,349 (1.6GHz/80GB drive), $1,499 (1.8GHz/80GB drive), or $1,799 (1.8GHz/65GB SSD). Those are discounts of $450, $600, and a whopping $1,299 (or 42%!) off those machines’ original prices.

Shop early, as these machines tend to move pretty quickly–many of these prices are close to what you’ll see on eBay for a used machine without a warranty.


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  1. I’m actually interested in writing about how well those films do — or do not — work on the new MBPs. If it goes forward, I’ll make sure to follow up here.


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