Best Mac for living abroad for 2 years?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stickyfingers85, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    Hello All

    I am based in the UK but have just been asked to go to Chennai, India for 2 years from around October/November 2013.

    One of the things I plan to do is upgrade my computer before I go. I currently have a mid-2009 macbook pro with a 750Gb HDD, 8Gb RAM, 2.8GHz CPU.

    I will have a separate work laptop while in India so I don't have to purchase a macbook pro, I could go for an iMac.

    My biggest concerns are really only storage space, as I own a lot of iTunes Movies and have around 100Gb of space left on my current macbook, and service support. I believe that there are no Apple Stores in India, so even if i purchase Applecare, where would I get support from? In this case is it even worth buying Apple?

    Other than the above I would really only use it for watching movies, browsing the internet, general document work, and perhaps the occasional game but nothing heavy.

    The only heavy work the laptop would be doing is Skype and Facetime Calls. This is where my current macbook pro suffers and struggles with the load

    One other thing to note is that normally I would buy the product in the UK, but i have several opportunities this year to travel to HK where Apple products are cheaper, and with 40Kg luggage allowed I could bring something back.

    What would you recommend?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2012
    /home @
    If you're going to get a desktop computer, I would recommend a Mac mini over the iMac, especially if you're planning to bring it home to the UK.

    Oh, and Apple stores do for sure exist in India. I know Chennai has at least one.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    There are no official stores though right? They are just premium resellers? Can you get AppleCare support in those?
  4. macrumors 603


    Hong Kong is indeed the cheapest but is also quit a few hours away from Chennai, you could also look into going to Malaysia, fairly cheap there and not too far away, or Singapore which is just a bit more, inn Singapore you can get the GST back when you fly out, think you get 8% back but then 2% is taken back by customs, stupid actually.
    It's an easy and fast process on changi Airport.
    Both countries do not have Apple Stores but both do have online stores.

    Another thing to consider is, you might have to pay import tax in India since you are going to live there for a while, do your research first.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I think the Mini coupled with a cheap monitor for document work would be your best bet. Or if you really want to go cheap, you could buy that inexpensive monitor and an external USB3 and just use the boss's hardware.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2006
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    [B]the most important thing is to have a reliable OS...that is NOT 10.8,
    I would put 10.7 on what every you buy. Too many issues with 10.8
    I have had to erase and reinstall 3 times in 7 months
  8. macrumors 68020


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    You had to reinstall 3 times. I like most people have had no problems with 10.8 (some slight annoyances yes, but no re-installation).
  9. macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009
    Like many others I have had no issues with 10.8 on any of our 7 Macs. No reinstall needed on any of them. And I don't do clean installs, just install it over the old installation.

    On another note. I have no idea how the power-supply is where you are headed. I travelled a bit in the north eastern parts of India and had to cope with power-cuts. In case there are regular issues with power supply in the area you are going, I would consider a MacAir 13 inch with an external disk. This will run for another 7 hours after the power goes down. That is what I used to use. Get a nice 2 Tb external disk, or two, and you are set for all the files you have AND for backup. Just my thoughts.
  10. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    not me

    in fact, i'd voice the opposite opinion. stay away from 10.7
  11. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    10.7 is Apple's "Vista" to 10.8's "Windows 7". I gladly upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion on every system, even at 10.8.0! Never a reinstall (with any Apple OS for that matter).

    My only fear is that 10.9 will be Apple's "Windows 8" :)
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2012
    Might seem like a dumb suggestion but trust me, its worth it.

    Get SMC fan and get a can of compressed air.

    Whenever i went to Egypt over summer. THe computer would run hotter than usual (when the surround air temp is already at 90 or 100). so to make the Mac bearable, I always left the fans at 4000rpm. Helped alot.

    and the Can of compressed air if for the occasional cleaning of the fans (every month)
  13. macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2009
    MacBook Air. Believe me. The amount of times you'll be carrying it around and working in cafes etc. is incredible
  14. macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2012
    I don't know much about the specifics of India, but the Air is a solid machine and will drive an external monitor of just about any type with the right adapters. And if there's any question about security, it would be very easy to hide away somewhere. Lastly, as others have pointed out, laptops are much better suited to any irregularities in power supply.

    I'd definitely bring at least one external drive to back up to.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    As others suggested, you should go for a MBA and an external HDD. That with a monitor will be a really good setup.

    And I'm pretty sure applecare works in India. I have several family members with a Mac there and the apple resellers always fix them. They're in Delhi area but I'm sure Chennai will have some stores like that.

    I read an article here a while back that said that Apple is increasing it's presence in India and will open more service centers and authorized dealers in the next 2-3 years. So that will help you too!
  16. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd suggest a Mac Mini. You can easily carry the mouse you like best to India if you wish, or buy one locally. You can use any USB3 keyboard with it, and you can pick up a monitor locally.

    The Mini is small enough to go in either checked baggage or in a carry-on.

    I've had no problems with OS 10.8. Runs as good as any other previous Mac OS I've used, and I've used them all since System 3 or 4 (can't remember which, it was 26 years ago).

    Alternative: one of the Mac laptops. But since you'll _have_ a laptop to carry in India, the Mini would make a nice "home machine", and it's less money.
  17. macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    I would jump on the MBA band wagon too, but since your employer is already providing a laptop, I have to go with the Mini.
  18. villageindian, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I am from Chennai now living in bangalore. There are no official Apple stores in India. As you have rightly pointed out, they are premium resellers and they do sell AppleCare in these stores. However, AppleCare is expensive in India with local taxes and premiums (even more than converting from US/UK AppleCare to local currency)

    I have heard that they manage very well if something goes wrong under AppleCare. However, I have no experience in using them for issues (as Apple stuff just works out of the box with no issues atleast for me).

    Having said that, there are a couple of Apple resellers in Chennai (~10) but no repair stores.

    There is a new store called iRepairs ( that claims to service and repair iDevices/Mac. This is based in Bangalore, which is 500 miles from Chennai, and they claim to cater to people across India.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy your time in Chennai. You will be coming around the cooler months, which is a wonderful time.

    Reg. devices, I just bought a MacMini last week after waiting for 3 months (soldout stocks). My MacbookPro and Magic Mouse were purchased in Chennai and work well to this day.

    I wont be able to comment on what you need but if you are bringing your own machine, get a laptop and a big HDD. That should suffice and as others pointed out, you can fly out to SE Asia or Middle East to buy stuff. Alternatively, you can buy a Time Machine here (they dont get sold out for some reason) and configure it.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Get the retina macbook, with the price reduction, its a good time to get one. you have to be portable, since you are probably going back to uk, and perhaps maybe some other place, as your job appears to be full of surprises.

    Get Moutaitn Lion, Lion sucks
  20. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You're going to a foreign country - leave some of the iTunes movies behind and instead get out and enjoy the experience. Buy some movies locally.

    imho, of course.
  21. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    MBA + external HD + monitor for apt; if all movies are bought from apple then get an aTV while you are at it.

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