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Archive for the ‘Apple Steals & Deals’ Category

by Tom Nelson

The Apple refurb store posted a couple of price drops this week, mostly for the various models in the iPad lineup. But there were a few other price drops scattered around the store as well. So, if you’ve been monitoring a favorite product looking for a price drop, this may be the time to check it.

crucialmx300

Image courtesy of Micron Technology, Inc.

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week are just a little bit different; instead of two Mac models making the deals list, we have a single Mac along with an SSD as our deals this week.

The first deal is for a 2015 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB flash-based storage; overall, a very nice configuration that should work well for most users.

Our second deal is for a Crucial MX300 SSD with 525 GB of storage. This 2.5-inch SSD would make a nice upgrade for a current Mac that only has a standard hard drive. It could be installed internally for those of you with pretty good DIY skills, or if you added an inexpensive enclosure, you could use the SSD as an external drive, with no need to spend a weekend performing Mac surgery to install the SSD.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

The Apple refurb store posted a couple of price drops this week, mostly for the various models in the iPad lineup. But there were a few other price drops scattered around the store as well. So, if you’ve been monitoring a favorite product looking for a price drop, this may be the time to check it.

2014MacMini

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week include two different desktop Macs, and in the Mac Accessories category, USB flash drives.

Our first deal is for a 2014 Mac mini with a 2.8 GHz Dual-Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB Fusion drive. This is a nice configuration for a Mac mini, balancing cost and performance.

Up next is a 27-inch iMac with Retina Display. With a 3.2 GHz Quad-Core i5, 8 GB of user expandable RAM, and a 1 TB flash drive, this iMac is ready to perform for you out of the box, but you can also easily add more RAM to give it an extra performance boost.

Our last deal is for 32 GB USB 3 flash drives. You can never have too many flash drives kicking around, and these USB 3-based models provide a good deal more performance than the older USB 2 variety usually seen at discount prices.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Some stock in the Mac App store is showing signs of running low. This is particularly true of the 2015 MacBook lineup, which is showing only the base model as available in all colors, and no stock at all of the high-end configuration.

Mac minis, as usual, are having stocking problems, and there are holes in the MacBook Air lineup, particularly the larger 13.3-inch models.

We’re expecting some new Mac models to be announced sometime in the fall, most likely a new MacBook Pro, but that rarely causes turmoil in the Mac refurb store. Perhaps we’re just seeing Mac models being pulled from the store to be provisioned with the brand new macOS Sierra, which will be released on the 20th of September.

2015macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Deals this week are for two of the popular portable Mac models, a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro.

Let’s start with the 13.3-inch 2016 MacBook Air. This Mac is equipped with a 1.6 GHz i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB PCIe flash storage. As configurations go, this is pretty run of the mill, but it’s far from shabby and it has a great price associated with it, so scan down to the MacBook Air section for further details.

Up next is a 2015 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. The smaller of the MacBook Pro models still sports a Retina display and a fast 2.7 GHz i5 processor. You will find 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage system, all at a very nice price. You can find more details in the MacBook Pro section, below.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

This week, I’ve added a new feature to our weekly Steals & Deals; a new Mac Accessories section that will replace the old Mac Accessories section. If you’re scratching your head, wondering how this can be a new feature when it was a category that was included in the past, well, that’s understandable.

What makes the new and improved Mac Accessories section different is that we’re leaving behind the Mac refurb store as the only source for Mac accessories (mainly because Apple hasn’t updated its accessories in several years), and broadening our nets to find Mac peripherals from just about anywhere. At the same time, we’re also going to concentrate on new items and not refurbs for this category.

But don’t worry; the rest of the steals & deals will continue to be stock from Apple’s own refurb store.

iMac27Retina2015

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

This week’s deals feature a pair of Retina iMacs, one in the 21.5-inch size, and the second in the 27-inch variety. Both are configured with Fusion drives, and both share the same $1,669.00 price tag.

So, what do you get for $1,669.00? Quite a bit. The smaller iMac comes equipped with a Quad-Core i7 processor, and the larger iMac uses a Quad-Core i5 processor. Both come with 8 GB of RAM, though the larger iMac allows for RAM upgrades, while the smaller iMac does not.

Both make use of a Retina display, so perhaps the deciding factor will be, which iMac do you have room for on your desk?

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Mac minis are in good supply, and the Mac refurb store has all of its shelves just about fully stocked. That’s a great thing to see with the close of the summer season and most schools about to open, if they haven’t opened already. There’s plenty to choose from, even this late in the summer.

Last week, I mentioned that we would no longer include a Mac Accessories category in the weekly Apple Steals & Deals because Apple hasn’t provided any meaningful updates to the category since 2013. Instead, I’ll be highlighting great deals on Mac accessories from other sources, starting with next week’s deals. Who knows what deals I’ll find, in a wide-open category that could include everything from external drives to wireless routers to, well, just about anything that can work with a Mac. It’s going to be interesting.

2015macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

This week, I was looking for Macs with above-average performance and a reasonable price tag for those who have been procrastinating on picking a Mac for going back to school.

Up first is a small and lightweight 2015 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a Dual-Core i7 processor and a reasonably sized 256 GB PCIe flash storage system. This Mac would be ideal for toting to and from school or work, while still having enough performance for both general and some advanced usage.

If you need a bit more performance, as well as a larger and versatile display, then how about a 2015 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with a Quad-Core i7 processor, a very nice Retina display, 1 TB of extremely fast PCIe flash-based storage, and not one but two graphics subsystems: an Intel Iris Pro for day-to-day use, and an AMD Radeon R9 M370X system for when your graphics need to be kicked up a notch or two.

The last deal this week is for a nicely configured Mac mini that would work well in a dorm or small office space. Configured with a Dual-Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB PCIe-flash based storage, this mini is only small in size; it has plenty of performance for a small desktop Mac.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Stock remains in good supply this week in the Mac refurb store, though I’ve decided to drop the Mac Accessories category from the Steals & Deals weekly posting. Apple hasn’t updated any of the models in this category since 2013. The refurb AirPort Express is a 2012 model with out-of-date Wi-Fi technology. The AirPort Time Capsule is from 2013, and while the Wi-Fi technology is a bit more current, the drive used for the Time Capsule section is highly overpriced, even by Apple standards.

For the time being, I suggest a good USB or Thunderbolt external drive for use as a Time Machine backup device. If you’re looking for a wireless router to use in place of the old Apple AirPort, may I suggest you look at Bradley Mitchell’s “Best 802.11ac Wi-Fi Routers for Home Networks” article.

With that out of the way, on to our deals this week.

MacBookPro15Yosemite

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

The first deal this week is for one of the more popular configurations of the 2015 15.4-inch MacBook Pro. This model includes 16 GB of RAM, a speedy 512 GB PCIe-based flash storage system, and dual graphics, with Intel Iris Pro for when you don’t need advanced graphics capabilities and want to save on battery run time, and an AMD Radeon R9 M270X system for when graphics performance is top priority.

This MacBook Pro would easily work for just about any back-to-school need, or for the pro-am photographer or multimedia specialist.

Our second deal is for a 13.3-inch version of the 2015 MacBook Pro. This deal probably better fits most pocketbooks, with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe flash storage system. It may be a bit less well equipped than the first MacBook Pro offering, but it still has more than enough performance to be a wonderful back-to-school choice.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

This week, we welcome the Mac mini back to the Mac refurb store. We also welcome a newcomer: the iPad Pro, specifically, the 12.9-inch Retina model, which is making its first appearance in the refurb store.

The Mac minis are available in both the base configuration, with just 4 GB of RAM, a model I highly recommend avoiding since the memory in the 2014 Mac mini isn’t user upgradeable, and 4 GB just isn’t sufficient to run your Mac and do anything really productive. Personally, I’d like to see Apple stop selling the 4 GB models. Luckily, the refurb store has Mac minis with 8 GB and 16 GB of RAM available.

MacBookPro15Yosemite

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week are for a pair of iMacs. The first is a 21.5-inch Retina iMac configured with 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB Fusion drive. This iMac would make a pretty nice desktop Mac for general use.

Next up is the larger 27-inch Retina iMac, also configured with 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB Fusion drive. Although the two iMacs are configured similarly, the larger iMac is better suited for more demanding work. This is due to two primary reasons: the graphics engine is quite a bit more powerful than the one in the smaller iMac, and the RAM in the big iMac is user upgradable, letting you add RAM as needed.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Mac minis continue to be out of stock, but that’s OK; the rest of the store is full up, with tons of choices for back to school.

With the start of the school year quickly rolling our way, I decided to look for two MacBook models that would meet the needs of most students, educators, and parents. Actually, I wouldn’t overlook either of our deals this week for personal or office use as well.

MacBookPro15Yosemite

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our first deal is for a 2016 model of the 13.3-inch MacBook Air. It comes equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB PCIe flash drive. While some may question the small flash storage space, you probably won’t question the small price this Mac is being offered for.

The second deal is also for a portable Mac, in the form of a 2015 15.4-inch MacBook Pro. This i7-equipped Mac includes 16 GB of RAM, a super-fast 512 GB PCIe flash storage system, and not one, but two graphics processors. The first is an Intel Iris Pro that can take care of most of your Mac’s graphics needs while conserving power and extending battery life. When you need some graphics horsepower to get your work done, the AMD Radeon R9 M270X can kick in and take the graphics to a new level.

That makes this MacBook Pro a versatile workhorse for just about any use.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

Most of the Mac models remain well stocked; the exception is the Mac mini, which is once again out of stock, at least for the time being. This still leaves plenty of other Mac models from which to choose this week’s deals.

But before we move on to the deals, a word about how I make the choices. The first thing I look for is value, which is one reason you rarely see Macs dressed up with every possible option. The other important criteria are that RAM and storage are adequate for the types of tasks the Macs will likely be put through. For RAM, I generally like to see a minimum of 8 GB; this is especially important on Mac models that don’t allow you to upgrade the RAM.

As for storage, I try to avoid Macs equipped with slow 5400 RPM hard drives, as these will always be a bottleneck in performance, not to mention day-to-day use. Fusion drives and solid-state flash drives are preferred, as they will help a Mac’s performance in routine activities. One of the things I don’t like is waiting for a routine task to be performed, so storage selection is important to me.

iMac27Retina2015

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Up first is a 2015 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM and a fast 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage system. This Mac should work for anyone who needs to run a large number of apps at the same time, or one or two critical apps that can make use of the Mac’s fast storage or ample RAM.

Next up is a desktop Mac, for those who like to work from a comfortable spot, with a nicely worn chair and a desk that can accommodate a 27-inch 2015 Retina iMac. Equipped with 8 GB of RAM, this one just meets my minimum requirements. But the 27-inch iMac is one of the few Macs that still support user installable RAM, so you can upgrade this Mac at any time, and for considerably less than what Apple would have charged for the additional RAM up front. For storage, this iMac uses a 2 TB Fusion drive, which provides a nice amount of storage space.

Read more on About: Macs.

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by Tom Nelson

In a bit of a surprise, the Mac refurb store has run out of stock of the Mac mini. I was beginning to think this summer was going to be a bit unusual, and that the store would remain well stocked through the back-to-school rush. Although the Mac minis are bound to be back in stock soon, it’s always a shame to see them gone; they’re a very popular option for students, small businesses, and home offices, as well as anyone who wants to build a home entertainment system.

iMac27Retina2015

Image courtesy of Apple

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week start with a 2016 model of the 13.3-inch MacBook Air. The 2016 models were refreshed last April, so this MacBook Air is about as current as you can get in the refurb store. Equipped with 8 GB RAM and a 128 GB PCIe flash storage system, this portable Mac provides a nice bit of performance in a small package.

Our second deal is for something a bit larger: a 2015 27-inch Retina iMac. Sporting a Quad-Core i5, 8 GB RAM, and a 1 TB Fusion drive, this iMac is nicely configured, and can be a great choice for those who need a desktop Mac and its large Retina display for working on photos and videos.

Read more on About: Macs.

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