MacBooks have features that make them a good choice for anyone looking for a used notebook. Although they are more expensive than rival models with similar specifications, Apple laptops are known for their durability. Besides, the brand’s computers come with an operating system that keeps getting updated over time.
A 2015 MacBook Pro, for example, can be found for prices between $645 and $1,100, while the latest model is on sale for prices starting at $2,000 on the store’s official website. Despite the difference in value, some precautions must be taken before venturing into second-hand markets in search of something cheaper. Here are ten things you need to know when buying a used MacBook.
1. Year of manufacture
Check out the year of manufacture immediately when you see a used MacBook ad. The information is important because it not only indicates the possible time of use of the machine but also indicates the time remaining for the product to be considered obsolete.
Also, the data allows you to know if the notebook is on recall lists, as is the case of the MacBook Pro manufactured between September 2015 and February 2017 recently banned on flights throughout the world. The date can be checked on the system, through the menu “About this Mac”, or on the Internet, through the serial number.
2. The year it was purchased
The year the MacBook was purchased indicates the usage time of the product. The information does not necessarily show whether or not a computer is in good condition, but it does help you know if the warranty is still valid. The date of purchase can be seen on the tax document issued by the store, either at Apple or a third-party retailer. The Invoice may be printed or available electronically in the original owner’s email.
3. Is the warranty still valid?
The date of purchase is not the only way to find out if a MacBook is still under warranty. Even if the first owner doesn’t report it – either because they lost their NF or can’t remember it – Apple has an online inquiry tool that can help. Order your Mac serial number and check the support page (https://checkcoverage.apple.com) to see if your computer still has some coverage.
4. Order actual product photos
Always ask for real photos – preferably made on time – to prove the authenticity of the product. The strategy is effective for dodging sellers who try to trick consumers using images stolen from other ads. Ask for a guarantee that the photo is recent and check for dents in the casing, cracks in the screen or other physical marks that indicate possible falls (laptops that have already fallen may hide irreversible internal damage, depending on the accident).
5. Battery Cycles
One of the data that best indicates the state of repair of a MacBook is the battery cycle count. The information shows exactly the life expectancy of the component and whether a recently purchased MacBook has been overused, or whether a product purchased longer ago has been underused.
MacBooks manufactured since 2010 have batteries that last 1,000 cycles before needing to be replaced. In the case of MacBook Pro, the measure also applies to 15-inch models from mid-2009 and 17-inch models produced from early 2009 onwards.
6. macOS version
Opt for MacBooks with newer macOS. The more up-to-date your system is, the more likely it is that your computer is new and hasn’t filed bugs during the upgrade process. The most current software is the macOS Catalina, compatible with any 12″ MacBook from early 2015 or newer and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro from mid-2012 or newer. The macOS version can be found in the “About this Mac” menu.
7. Boot the system
Defective MacBooks may have macOS installed, but corrupted. When buying a used product, one of the first tests should be to turn on the computer and boot the system completely until the desktop is displayed. If the software does not start correctly, you can try reinstalling via the Internet or an external hard drive.
8. Testing the screen
In face-to-face negotiations, take the opportunity to test some hardware aspects of MacBook. Start by looking for dead pixels on the screen: open a white image in full screen and check for deleted dots. It’s normal for one pixel or another not to light up after a few years of use, but it’s important to stay alert if there are groups of blind spots, as they may indicate some problem running on the display.
9. Check keyboard and trackpad
A simple locked Shift can cause quite a problem in everyday life. Because of this, it is important to check the keys one by one. Open a document to see if anything is jammed and use the system’s virtual keyboard to see if modifying keys are working.
Also, take the opportunity to see if the trackpad is in good condition and if there are no cracks. The high-quality trackpad is one of the signatures of the MacBook, so be suspicious if the cursor doesn’t move as smoothly as you expect.
10. Is the charger original?
A third-party charger can bring major problems to an Apple device. Make sure the cable bears the company’s inscriptions on the cord and make sure there are no splices or patches that could put the battery and the entire device at risk. If the accessory is not in good condition, it may be more advantageous to look for another computer to buy, as a new charger at Apple costs between $70 and $120, depending on the model.