As an Apple Specialist Mac Outpost sells and supports the majority of great New Apple products that our customers love. Many of our clients are also aware that pre-owned Macs, iPads and iPhones are an important part of our business too. As people trade in their well-loved units for something newer, others benefit from what tends to be a very good deal.
We use it!
Before I launch into my advice on pre-owned, let me point out that we not only sell a wide variety of pre-owned Apple product, we are also great users of it too! The iMacs we use around the office range from 2013 to 2017 units, all pre-owned. The laptop Peter uses is from 2013 and still does a great job for him. I have a 12” MacBook from 2015 and my wife uses a 2016 MacBook Pro. I also have a big old 2010 Mac Pro by my desk! The rest of the staff tend toward the pre-owned too. They recognize the great value and they also know that we take care of the units personally here at Mac Outpost! We always strive to sell the best.
Upgrading your old Apple tech
When it comes to iPad and iPhone, there is unfortunately no way to take them apart and improve their processors or memory. So your only and best choice is to trade them in for a newer unit! But keep in mind, you do not necessarily need to buy brand new — many of our clients trade in an older iPad or iPhone and get a much newer but still pre-owned replacement. It’s a great value.
The same thinking can apply to Mac. You can just as easily trade in your older unit and buy a newer pre-owned and of course there is always the option to buy a brand new one too. But with the older Macs, there can also be options to UPGRADE your existing unit. You’d be shocked at how much performance can be added to a 2012 MacBook or iMac by replacing the spinning-style hard drive with a solid state (SSD) drive. Along with a RAM upgrade, you can add a lot of life to these older units. Not every older Mac can accommodate these upgrades for various reasons, so let us know if this is of interest to you and we can help you decide the best course of action. Depending on your use, you will also want to consider the operating system limitations on some older Macs. They will not always run the newest of the new software. But again, depending on your use, that might be just fine! We are lead to believe in this world that every user needs everything as new as possible. But that is not always the case!
A question we are often asked is: which pre-owned item should I buy?
When it comes to iPad and iPhone, the features to look for are:
Age: are you a gamer that needs power in your iPad / iPhone? If so, get as new a unit as you can afford to take advantage of the newer processors.
Camera: have you done away with your other home cameras and use the iPhone or iPad exclusively for photos? Again, buy the newest you can afford because they keep improving the cameras with each generation.
Screen Size: do you prefer the biggest screen possible on your iPhone because your eyes are getting old like mine?! The plus size models of iPhone are great for us! But some people find they are too large for the pocket and if that is the case, aim for the normal size iPhone. For iPad, large screens are great for TV watching and artistic endeavors but they might seem unwieldy to hold in front of you to simply read the latest news on CBC. iPad sizes range from 7” mini to 12.9” Pro so there are lots of choices there too. The approximate 10” model is the most popular compromise and readily available as a new or pre-owned unit.
Memory: older iPads and iPhones start at 16GB which for basic use is okay. But if you like to carry your entire music / podcast library with you, or if you like lots of room for photos, think about larger units like 64GB or 128GB — you can never have too much room! But the cost does increase for that added memory.
Here are some questions to ponder when trying to decide on the right pre-owned Mac to purchase:
Laptop vs. Desktop: The same old reasoning on this question applies now as it did 15 years ago! If you don’t need to move your computer around, get a desktop (typically an iMac). You will get more power and a bigger screen for your money. With laptops, you are paying for that miniaturization of the technology.
Age: what are you using the Mac for? Is it for high end gaming or video editing? If so, power is important so look for the newest pre-owned affordable. But if you are like a lot of people and you use the Mac to surf the web, catch up with friends on Facebook, check email and work on the occasional spreadsheet or document, you don’t necessarily need the newest of the new. Something in the 2015 to 2017 range could work very well. If your budget is even more constrained, we still sell pre-owned units from 2010 to 2013 that do the trick nicely for many users.
Screen Size: for laptops, you can find screens from 12” to 15” and for iMacs from 21” to 27” — more screen real estate is always appreciated when you are trying to work on photos, video or even if you want multiple documents open at the same time. But a big iMac takes up a lot of space on the desk and a big laptop is larger to carry in your bag. Sounds pretty obvious, but that’s what it comes down to: the bigger screen the better but only until it starts to become cumbersome for your office or travel.
Memory and Storage: 4GB or 8GB of RAM and a modest HD or SSD will suffice for modest users. 16GB and above is what we recommend for video editing and gamers. And the more photo or video work you do (or even music storage for some) means looking at 1TB and above for storage. External storage is always readily available for Macs too so that can be a good supplement to internal capacity.
And one more refrain which we NEVER stop talking about:
BACKUP! Whether you buy new or pre-owned, iPad or Mac — you should be backing up your data! Do not rely on the cloud for everything — sometimes you will discover too late that your cloud storage account was only backing up SOME of your data. We have many backup solutions from home users to business users, from local backup to solutions that backup right to our own remote servers here in London. Talk to us today if you feel your backup might not be up to scratch and we will assist!
Thanks for reading today and call us anytime with questions.