Apple.com offers Certified Refurbished Macs, iPods, iPads, and accessories. Apple’s refurbished pricing is usually about 15% off of the regular price of the product.
The products you are getting are completely checked out and certified by Apple professionals. As with every Mac, you get a one year included AppleCare warranty with the option of purchasing additional AppleCare.
A refurbished unit is tested and certified to work as a new machine. A refurbished Mac might even be less likely to fail then a new unit as it has been worked in and manually tested by professionals.
Some people purchase Macs and then return them for no good reason. Apple can’t resell these as new so they test them, fix them up, and then sell them as refurbished. Apple does the same with overstock products and older models of Macs.
I recently purchased a refurbished MacBook Pro from Apple.com. I happened to get a customized model. This means someone didn’t buy one of the base models. Before they purchased, they told Apple to upgrade certain components. I was lucky enough to get one of the SSD MacBook Pros before they went out of stock. In my experience, refurbished Macs go fast because you don’t know how many are available. If you want something you see, act fast.
To be completely honest, I got a great MacBook in great, brand-new condition for about 20% off regular price. By the way, this is the current generation MBP.
I have not had any problems with my MacBook and have loved it since the second I pulled it out of the box. I have no regrets for purchasing a refurbished Apple product.
Buying a New Mac
Buying new seems reasonable if you would like the experience of original packaging or you would like a custom configuration. (ex. multiple video cards, RAM pre-installed, etc)
Refurbished From Other Retailers
I have heard some bad reviews about buying a refurbished Mac from a retailer other then Apple so be careful and be sure to look around online before making any purchases.
In conclusion, if you would like to save some some money, refurbished from Apple is a great no-risk purchase. If you have the extra cash and love to get a custom configured Mac, purchase brand new from Apple.