Is it possible to purchase a MacBook Pro for $1000?

by on November 3, 2008

Q: I want to buy a serious computer for the first time but it is VERY confusing! I am set on getting a MacBook Pro and have about $1000 to spend, so I am searching eBay and Craigslist. I am a professional photographer trying to get the minimum of what I need since I don’t have much money. Much appreciated for your time and response! Thanks!

A: I totally understand how daunting it can be purchase a computer, and I will do my best to make the process a more straightforward one for you. Allow me to warn you in advance that a $1000 MacBook Pro will almost certainly be damaged and/or too old to be a good machine for a professional photographer like you.

Before I edited your question for public viewing, it contained a link to a 15″ MacBook Pro that was being sold on eBay. Yes, the listing contained some good software. But the MacBook Pro in question shipped from Apple with a 2.6 GHz processor and Mac OS 10.4 pre-installed. These specs mean that the laptop in question could be nearly three years old! It may interest you to learn the MacBook Pro in question sold for $1350. If you decide to purchase a laptop from eBay or a similar site, do so with extreme care! A $1000 MacBook Pro should be treated with the highest levels of skepticism.

Apple released a redesigned MacBook in October 2008, which is crafted from aluminum and sells in the United States for $1299. This aluminum MacBook doesn’t have a FireWire port but in every other category, the aluminum MacBook is superior to all previous MacBooks and arguably better than many MacBook Pros. In fact, the aluminum MacBook is almost as powerful & sophisticated as Apple’s redesigned 15″ MacBook Pro (also released October 2008). These redesigned laptops have many features in common, including: up to 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 RAM, integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, LED-backlit display, Mini DisplayPort, and a multi-touch trackpad made of glass.

Please note that I advise you to stay away from the weak & overpriced non-aluminum MacBooks, aging & overpriced 17″ MacBook Pro, and uncertain & overpriced refurbished/used Mac laptops — all still being sold on Apple’s website.

If you can increase your budget by several hundred dollars and don’t need FireWire, you would be wise to purchase an aluminum MacBook. If possible, you might prefer to spend a some additional months saving for one of the redesigned MacBook Pros. You option of last resort would be to buy a Windows-based computer.

Tip: Please preserve our planet by recycling all of your used computers & electronic devices!

3 Responses to “Is it possible to purchase a MacBook Pro for $1000?”

    The refurbished machines on Apple’s website (got to the store and look for the link) are actually good deals, and from what I have heard Apple has a good reputation prepping and supporting those machines.

    They come with a full one-year warranty. And that’s how I’m buying my Macs. I bought a Core Duo Macbook Pro 15″ for $1350 a couple years ago. It has worked flawlessly. And I saved a few hundred bills.



    I completely agree with you Bot. Every computer and/or device I have bought from Apple has been refurbished and I have had great luck. Sometimes laptops might not sit flat on the table, they might be a little warped, but they work great and you save a good amount of money, usually enough to buy the 3 year protection plan and have money left over.

    I should add, when getting a laptop, you should always seriously consider the protection plan.

    I think Robert was saying that a lot of the equipment on Apples site right now, in the refurbished area, is older and because of that he does not suggest buying it.

    I agree with Robert on this. New stuff just came out last month so the refurbished stuff you are seeing today is the last generation stuff. You might want to wait a month or two until the new stuff starts showing up to get something refurbished.


    Bot & Matt,

    Especially taking into account the specs of Apple’s newest laptops, which were released in October of this year, Apple is currently charging too high a price for its refurbished & clearance laptops.

    Consider that a brand new aluminum MacBook from the normal online Apple Store costs only $50 more than a clearance non-aluminum MacBook. Furthermore a non-aluminum MacBook with 2 GB of RAM from the normal online Apple Store can be configured to cost almost $200 LESS than its clearance counterpart!

    Apple’s refurbished & clearance pricing will likely become more equitable once the October 2008 laptops are added to those areas of the Apple Store. We’ll have to wait and see…