Back when I was studying at college and money was tight, I spent a year using an iPad 2 with the classic keyboard dock as my 'laptop'. However, there came a point where I simply had to upgrade to a proper laptop in order to be able to work effectively.
What I really wanted was a MacBook, but I couldn't afford even the cheapest new model – and there was no such thing as a Prime Day deal at the time. I ended up buying one from Apple's refurbished store, and I wasn't disappointed – and if you're a hard-pressed student like I was, or you just want an Apple laptop without stumping up the full price, I'd urge you to go the same route.
Good as new
When some people see the word 'refurbished laptop' they imagine a second-hand machine with a few scratches on the lid, maybe some dead pixels on the screen, and keys that badly need a clean. But this couldn't be further from the reality if you buy an Apple Certified Refurbished product.
Apple has a page that explains in detail how every refurbished product is cleaned, tested, and given a new battery. Certified Refurbished devices also come with a one-year warranty.
It does explain that the product may be running an older version of macOS, iOS or iPadOS, as was the case with the MacBook I bought, but you only need to go to System Preferences > Software Update to download the latest version.
I remember that back in 2011 my refurbed MacBook Pro 13-inch arrived in a white box with the cables supplied, and it looked like new – it was difficult for me to tell the difference between it and a brand-new model. It was loaded up with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and was £300 cheaper than the latest MacBook at the time; and while it had an older Intel processor, I was just happy that I was back on macOS again, having owned an iMac when I was younger.
The MacBook served me well for three years until I was able to afford a new MacBook Air, and I had no issues with it during that time. It was a zippy machine that did everything I needed it to – and it helped me get a degree.
So don't be put off by the 'refurbished' label – it's not a taboo, and you're likely to end up with a good-as-new device while pocketing a considerable saving.
If you can't find anything to suit in Apple's Refurbished store – or if I haven't convinced you, and you simply have to have a brand-new MacBook – we've found a couple of deals for you below.
Prime Day deals
- Alexa devices: Fire TV Sticks from $12 and more
- Apple: Apple Watch 7 at cheapest price yet
- Apple: AirPods Pro drop to under $170
- Cell phones: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra - save $360
- Headphones: up to $125 off Sony headphones and earbuds
- Laptops: $200 off 14-inch MacBook Pro
- Portable Power: 30% off 10,000mAh power bank
- PS5: register for the next PS5 restock
- Smart home: Echo Show 5 smart display for $34.99
- Smart speaker: Save 60% on 4th gen Echo Dot
- Smartwatch: Amazon Halo View up to 55% off
- Speakers: JBL portable speakers from $29.95
- Storage: up to 39% off Samsung SSDs
- Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 - save up to $120
- TVs: Smart TVs from $89
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Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.