Owning an Apple MacBook should feel great but may not be within your budget. However, there is always plenty of exciting offers available for them on many e-commerce sites, sure to allure you! The trouble is, when you are buying your MacBook online, you can hardly know their actual condition.
So, no matter if you are opting for a new, refurbished, or a second-hand one, you need to check it personally before buying it. To ensure a really good deal, here are a number of things you must inquire into:
1. Choose Your MacBook Wisely
Don’t buy just any MacBook! Each of its models has its own significance that is suitable for different purposes. Buy one that is best for the application you need and ensures your convenience. If you are buying your device for light usage, like internet browsing, emailing, or playing simple games, buying a MacBook would be just fancy for you.
If you are into making audiovisuals or photo editing or heavy gaming, you should buy one that can handle the stress of the load. If portability is your main concern, you can think of one that is foldable.
2. Prefer buying a refurbished one
Refurbished MacBooks are those pre-owned or display-models that have been restored as a new device with full working conditions. So, it is almost like buying a brand new one but at a much cheaper price. You can compare refurbished MacBooks with RefurbMe. Fully tested and cleaned, they not only look very close to a new one but function like one, too!
3. Know The MacBook You Are Buying
Every Mac comes with a specific serial number that allows you to avail several benefits as a customer, such as warranty service. Finding out the serial number is easy:
- Click on the Apple icon on the screen.
- Go to the ‘About This Mac’ option.
- Once open, click on the grey OS X version string.
- Find your system’s serial number upon your second click.
If, for any reason, your Macbook doesn’t start, find it on the box, and note down to verify on the respective website. Cross-check both numbers once you start the device. You can also find the serial printed on the bottom of the device; turn it upside-down to see it.
Remember, the website addresses are different for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Air. Also, take note of the model of your MacBook. To ensure the model:
- Highlight and copy your serial number.
- Go to the Apple Check Coverage page and past the serial number.
- Click ‘Continue’ to see the model and other important details.
This way, you can also guarantee the authenticity of the Macbook you are buying.
4. Consider The Age Of the Model And Warranty Details
Your MacBook’s age is not decided by the time when your seller bought it. The actual age refers to the age of the model you are buying. Usually, twice a year, Apple brings a new generation of Macbook. So, even if you buy the exact same one only 10 months apart, it would be quite a different device.
Therefore, knowing the actual age is important. You will find the age written just beside the name of the model. Use it to find the specifications of that particular product. This page also allows you to find out the current warranty coverage situation.
5. Beware Of Stolen Or Locked Devices
Buying a stolen MacBook can get you into serious trouble, even if you buy it unknowingly. So, make sure you are not falling into that trap.
Ask for the serial number first before buying an old or second hand one. If the seller refuses to provide the serial number, don’t give it a second thought.
If the second-hand device is locked, don’t buy it either, as it can be a stolen one, too. Buy your MacBook unlocked and fresh to start with.
6. Check The Condition Of The Battery
Laptop batteries, in general, don’t last very long. So it is very important to find out how much battery is left to use. Especially, if the MacBook that you are going to buy is an old model one, you must check it and here is how:
First, check the authenticity.
- Open the system information.
- On the left, browse down and click on the power option.
- Note the battery serial number and capacity from the battery information to check if the battery is fake.
Second, know the life of the battery.
- Find the Health Information section in the battery information.
- Note the Cycle Count of the Battery. It needs to be a value of less than 500.
- Finally, compare that cycle count with the maximum cycle count of any Macbook model.
Signs That You Need To Change Battery Of Your Mac
When your MacBook informs you that it needs a battery replacement. (At the top of the menu, you’ll find the TL; DR version of your battery’s current condition.)
- When you experience a low battery run-time.
- When it is shutting down unexpectedly.
- When it overheats in no time while doing minor work.
You can replace your battery by an authorized Apple store. But that would cost you something around 200$ excluding the taxes. So, think twice before buying a laptop that may need a battery replacement soon.
7. Make Sure All Keys Are Working Well
If your keyboard is not comfortable, it becomes disgusting to work with. So, check the Keyboard thoroughly before buying your Macbook. Usually, Apple keyboards and touchpads are very pleasant to use. If that feeling is missing, don’t buy it. And don’t think of replacing it either as it would be expensive.
Press each and every key while checking the Keyboard. Make sure whenever you press the key, there are that desired visible changes on the screen. While checking the space key, make sure the whole bar is functioning well.
Also, check out if there is dirt under the keys. Cleaning that dirt can be very expensive, too!
8. Run Apple’s Hardware Test “AHT”
You must run this test when purchasing your MacBook to avoid further tension. It’s a very advanced built-in hardware testing application that comes with every MacBook. On top of that, it is very simple to run and will let you know about the exact condition of that device within 15 minutes to 1 hour of time.
Besides informing you about the broken parts inside, it also indicates the health condition of your computer’s disk drive, battery, and other components that get damaged over time.
To run the test:
- Shut down the computer. And then, turn it on again.
- Press and hold the D key before the gray startup screen appears.
- AHT will take a while to start and examine your hardware configuration.
- Once the loading is done, select the language.
- Now, click the Test-button.
- You can choose to do the extended test if you have time or stick to the basic one. To learn more, go to the Apple website.
9. Ask For A Receipt
Always ask for a receipt; keep the proof as you are buying something expensive. Even if you are buying it online, there should be a digital copy option. If the seller refuses to give it, it’s not a good sign; don’t buy it.
10. Other Aspects To Consider
When Buying A Second-Hand MacBook
- Make sure it does not look that used or has no visible sign of damage.
- Make sure there are no firmware passwords.
- Check if the disk is wiped.
- Check if they have the original box.
- Make sure that everything is present in the box.
- Check if all the connectivity ports are in good condition.
- Verify the tracking speed to check the response of the trackpad.
- Check for any dead pixels by downloading and opening four-color images on full screen on by one.
- Check if the hard drive is running healthy. To do this:
- Search and open the Disk Utility app
- Run a first aid scan to know the result. Here you will also find the information about the extra storage.
When It Is An Old MacBook
- Check the condition of the optical drive.
- Check if the charger is original or not and if it works properly.
- Check if the webcam is fully functioning or not.
Regardless of being new or refurbished or second-hand, a MacBook always costs you a good dough when you buy it. So, spend your money smartly and purchase your perfect MacBook following these 10 advises.