refurbished

Should I Buy a Refurbished iMac?

 21.5" iMac

Episode 1602

Jody from Los Angeles, CA

Jody has a ten-year-old iMac. He saw an ad for a 21.5" iMac for $375 refurbished. Leo says that it's always best to buy refurbished directly from Apple. It may cost a little more, but the peace of mind is better. This sounds like a big corporation dumped a bunch of older machines onto Amazon Renewed for sale. Sounds like a good price, though. It really comes down to what year it is, what OS version it's using, and if it can be updated. A Snow Leopard Mac, for instance, can't be updated to Lion. So it's likely a 2010 machine. 

What's a good first smartphone?

Smartphones

Episode 1587

Irwin from The Bronx, NY

Irwin has been using a flip phone for most of his life, but now he is starting to text and texting is a royal hassle on a flip phone. Leo says yes it is! What is the simplest option for him? He doesn't need the latest and greatest. A few apps. Maybe the occasional photo. Leo says that the iPhone is a great first smartphone. Android phones tend to be cheaper, but you want to get a phone that is constantly updated, so you want to be sure your carrier will update regularly. For Android, the Motorola Moto G6 or G7 is a great affordable option. $200-400.

How can I save money buying a new MacBook Pro?

Apple MacBook

Episode 1522

Scott from Whitby Island, WA

Scott would like to update his MacBook Pro, but he can't afford a high priced Mac. What are his options to save some money? Leo says that the MacBook Air is the least expensive at $999, but it hasn't been updated in years, and it has the lowest quality screen Apple sells. So Leo would recommend going to the Apple Store and see if he can live with it. His other choice would be the MacBook "escape," a 13" model without the Touch Bar. It wasn't updated from the most recent update, but it's very portable. The new MacBook Pros are only about $500 more than the escape.

Should I buy a refurbished iPad?

Apple iPad

Episode 1513

Don from Rhode Island

Don wants to know if buying a refurbished iPad is OK. Leo says if it's from the manufacturer, then yes. Especially with Apple, who won't sell something unless it's perfect. And odds are, the refurbished item is simply a model that has been returned. It'll also have a new warranty as well. But Leo says he may want to wait a few weeks because Apple is about to announce new iPads and iPhones for the fall holiday shopping season. That will mean the current models will drop in price. And 64GB is plenty for internal storage.

Why do I have hundreds of strange contacts on my phone?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Episode 1490

Bob from San Jose, CA

Bob bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 and he thinks it's too large for his hand. Leo says that larger phones are the future, as people prefer a larger screen to hand comfort. Bob also has hundreds of contacts on his phone that aren't his after he synced it. Leo says it's possible that AT&T or Samsung sold Bob a phone that was returned and hadn't wiped it before doing so. But if they sealed it up to make it look new, that's against the law.

Why does Dell use used parts for repair?

amazon.com

Episode 1479

David from Hollywood, CA

David is a filmmaker and uses an Alienware computer for editing. But after six months it's having issues, and he's had to replace the motherboard, battery, and now he's having other issues and Alienware wants to replace it with a refurbished laptop. He also found out they've been replacing his parts with used parts. Leo says that's a common practice since they get computers back for return and can't sell them as new. So they use the computers as parts to repairs. The parts are still perfectly good. But they should tell you that is what they are doing.

Is a used Windows 7 laptop a good deal?

Windows 10

Episode 1462

Lionel from Los Angeles, CA

Lionel is looking for a used laptop, but all the ones he finds are using Windows 10. He wants to go back to Windows 7. Leo says that buying someone's used laptop is buying someone's problems. There's a reason someone is selling it. Leo recommends a refurbished computer from the original manufacturer like a Dell refurbished laptop. If he does that, there's a good chance he'll get a Windows 7 machine.

Will he find one with a CD drive? Leo says that will be a challenge. HP also sells end of lease laptops will a full warranty. That's a good way to save money too.

Should I let Windows repair itself after a hard drive crash?

Hard drives

Episode 1458

David from San Antonio, TX

David bought a refurbished computer from Best Buy. It turned off when the battery died, and when he turned it back on, Windows wanted to do a repair. When it did that, it started wiping out his entire Windows 10 operating system. Now he's stuck on the blue screen of death and he's worried that his version of Windows 10 won't activate if he reinstalls it. Leo says it will, but before he installs anything, he should get the data from it. If it crashed once, the drive could be ready to fail.

Should I buy a refurbished MacBook Pro?

MacBook Pro

Episode 1446

Eric from Long Beach, CA

Eric is looking to get a Best Buy refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro for $600. Is that a good deal? Leo says he usually recommends getting a refurb model from the manufacturer. He'll get a warranty that way. Best Buy probably wiped the hard drive and checked a few things, but it's not strictly refurbished. 4GB RAM is also a little light, but it will support High Sierra MacOS. Warranty wise, a good refurb should include a 1-year warranty. 3 months won't really help him. Leo would also recommend spending a little more money and getting a 2015 model.