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.
John has to buy a new laptop since his 11-year-old laptop is stuck on Windows 7. Suggestions? Leo likes Dell. What about the ThinkPad T430 refurbished? Leo says that for $200, it's a pretty good deal. They're pretty rugged. John should check out the ThinkPad subreddit on Reddit. That's a great place to learn how to upgrade an older ThinkPad to keep it up to date. It's really easy to do with that particular model.
James wants to know if Gazelle offers reliable refurbished Apple devices and if it's worth it to buy from them. Leo says that he's used Gazelle, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. So it's worth buying from them as an alternative to the factory refurbished items from Apple itself. He should remember that he's still buying a used device, but it's certainly better than buying from eBay. If he buys from them, he should stress it for those 30 days. He should charge it, run it down to zero, and charge it again. He should do that several times to test the battery life.
Steve is looking to buy a refurbished Yamaha receiver. Leo says that refurbished devices are best bought from the original manufacturer. That way he can still get a warranty to go with it. All too often, they are brand new devices that were returned, and as such, can't be resold as new. So they're sold as refurbished instead. If he's looking for a great deal, refurbished is the way to go. He should just make sure to get it from the original manufacturer.
Alex would like to make a video of his daughter growing up using video and pictures. He was thinking about getting a Mac for it. Leo says Macs have a great video editing program called iMovie that comes with all models for free. Leo expects new desktops to come within the next month or so, but even if he didn't wait, he wouldn't be losing out on performance. Apple's iMac would be ideal, but it would cost him more. He could save some money and get a 21", but Leo recommends spending more and getting the 27" iMac. The larger screen really helps.
Justin wants to get a high end laptop that will run Linux. Leo says that Linux always works best with older hardware, but Lenovo's laptops seem to be very popular with Linux users. Another option is Dell. They sell native Linux laptops called Project Sputnik.
Should he buy a used laptop? Leo says that nowadays he can buy a brand new Lenovo for $500. If he's on a budget, he should look at Lenovo's refurbished site. He'll save some money there. He shouldn't buy refurbs from anyone but the manufacturer, though. That way he can at least get a warranty.
Michelle's daughter is going to college, and will be majoring in science. What computer should she buy? Leo says if she can afford it, she should get a Mac -- specifically the upper level Pro models. If she prefers Windows, Leo advises going with a pro business line. In other words, she shouldn't get any of the cheap laptops.
Lou has to buy a new laptop. He's looking at Dell and HP, and he hears that they are second and third best. Leo says that stats can be deceiving. On paper a laptop can look great, but in reality, his experience could be different. Usability is more than specs. He'll have to dig deeper. HP looks great on paper, but some features can be annoying. Another frustration of HP is that they traditionally have been loaded up with trial or bloatware. They've gotten better, but still nowhere near for Leo to recommend. They're also about to spin off the PC division. So its future is uncertain.
Eric's daughter has a Mac Mini and she's thinking of bringing it to school, but the monitor is so huge. So she's thinking of going with a Windows laptop. Leo says that the base model MacBook Air is $899 and that's a good choice, And the educational discount saves another 10%. Eric could also go to the Apple Refurbished site to save a few hundred dollars more.