New vs. Refurbished

Should you buy new or refurbished? This is the conundrum that many people face. First, though, the following information will help explain the differences between the two, and make you an informed shopper.

Refurbished computers are machines that have been returned for any number of reasons including software incompatibility, failure of a component, or physical imperfection. Some refurbished computers have never been used or sold to the public, because of inventory overstocks. These store returns can not be resold as new machines so they are returned to the manufacturer and put through a rigorous testing and repair program to be brought back to “as new” condition, repackaged and sent to authorized resellers like Small Dog Electronics, where they are sold as refurbished products.

Some companies rework used systems and sell them as refurbs. While these may be fine machines, usually they do not carry the manufacturer’s warranty. At Small Dog, we indicate the source and conditions of the product using condition codes.

Classes of Computers

There are six general classes of computer products that we carry to help you distinguish between the different conditions, which are defined here:

Glossary of Terms


Refurbished computers come with all the support products that new products come with, such as a mouse, keyboard, adapters, documentations, system software, blank media and warranty information. The technology used on refurbished computers is typically less than a year old, so you get the processing power and memory speed equivalent to brand new models. Most refurbished computers are still upgradeable so you can add a larger hard drive or more memory.

Warranty and Protection

Apple provides the same protection for refurbished products as they do for new products: a one-year warranty and 90 days of free technical support. AppleCare Protection Plan (an extended warranty) is also available for all Apple refurbished computers.

You will save money when purchasing a refurbished computer instead of a new one, but the real value comes when you use your savings to pay for an AppleCare Protection Plan. This Plan extends your hardware warranty protection from one year to three and also extends your free technical support from 90 days to three years - instant peace of mind. Apple Care is a great value any way you cut it, but when you combine it with the savings from a factory-refurbished Mac, you get the most bang for your buck!