Dilemma: MB vs MBP and International issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vanquished, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. vanquished macrumors newbie

    vanquished

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'll be making the trip from London to the US on holiday in a couple of days, and I'm looking to pick up either a MacBook or a MacBook Pro while I'm there and take advantage of the much cheaper prices.

    I currently have an iMac g5 (one of the original models), which is starting to get a bit tired and I've decided I'd like to get something a bit more up-to-date and more portable, as I'll be going off to University in September. Whilst I'm not going to be running any 3D rendering programs/gaming on the laptop, I do quite a bit of web design work in my spare time, and so I use Photoshop frequently. Having said this, the iMac can currently cope ok with the workload, I'd just like a bit of speed in places to make it a bit easier. I also do quite a bit of work in Aperture, but again I doubt much of this will exactly be pushing the limits of the MBP.

    There are a few things which I'd appreciate anyone's advice on:
    - Obviously no-one knows for sure, but are these models relatively 'safe' for purchase for a couple of months, or would it be better to hold off and wait until Leopard and possible LED backlighting/processor changes?
    - From what I gather, my purchase will be covered internationally by Apple, so I can get it repaired back in the UK if anything goes wrong?
    - Would you view a MB as the better buy (looking at the Black MB)?
    - or would the MBP be a better purchase in terms of lasting the full 3 1/2 years to the end of my degree?

    Thanks for any advice or comments anyone might be able to offer.

    UPDATE:
    After calling the Apple HE store, they said that my local store would only give me the standard Education discount, rather than the higher HE discount. With the upgradeable Applecare for £58 when bought from the HE store online, I've pretty much decided to take this route and go for the Black MacBook via the online HE store. Although it's incredibly tempting to go for the laptop at duty free when I pass through, I'll effectively end up paying £90 more, so it makes sense to wait a couple of weeks and just put up with an old windows laptop while I'm away. I'll definitely use the trip to stock up on accessories for the laptop though, and I'll probably end up getting myself an extra battery and a case while I'm out there as there's some pretty decent savings on the UK prices.
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    US prices would end up about 150 pounds cheaper for you including typical state taxes. Unless you're hooked on the packaging, dump it, so the Customs declarations won't hit you.

    Apple should honor the warantee worldwide. The biggest issue (I believe) is the power adaptor. Uurs is for 110-120 VAC, 60 Hz.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    There's no way to tell if you are 'safe' vis-a-vis a new model coming out. Your machine will be superceded by a new model in anywhere from a month to six months... that is true at any time.

    As far as lasting 3.5 years --- the machine will continue to do exactly what you bought it for -- whether that is adequate for you in 3.5 years depends entirely on what the future demands of the new software that you are going to want to install on it in the next 3 years. Its another unanswerable question.

    Welcome to MacRumors BTW - you'll find that you get even better responses if you make your thread title relevant to the question you are asking
     
  4. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

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    #4
    I've bought items in the past and simply shipped them back home - takes a couple of weeks but seems to make the laptop easier to sell on eBay in a few years :D

    I'll have to take a look at that. I assume that buying an adaptor (either generic or one of the apple ones) will still let me charge it ok, or is this likely to give me battery issues later on?

    Thanks, I'll bear that in mind.

    Really my only other concerns are that the MBP might be overkill for what I'm going to be doing, particularly as I'm not planning on working on anything for which blazing speeds are crucial. However, the backlit keyboard, slightly faster processor and bigger screen are definitely tempting. Whilst I'm going to be getting a wireless keyboard and mouse and hooking it up to a 22" screen whilst I'm at home, I doubt I'll be taking the screen away to Uni with me.

    Is the performance difference likely to be noticeable between the top end MB and the cheapest MBP?
     
  5. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #5
    I live in the UK and got a MBP from the US. However if at the time i had had access to the UCAS store i would have bought it for.
    If you are going to Uni at the end of the summer i would buy it there with the Higher Education discount that you can get. or through the UCAS store itself.
    These prices are practically the same as the US prices, and you will have the right power adaptors and cant get stung for VAT.
    hope this helps,
    Hugo
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    Location:
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    #6
    The adaptor is identical worldwide - the only bit that differs is the pull-off plug which is the obviously, the plug for the country it is being sold in.

    If you've got an old iPod charger around, you'll have a UK pull-off plug already that will fit as snug as a bug. Otherwise, if you're less bothered about the 'look', you can use almost any '8' power cable to plug into it.

    Bear in mind that if you buy from the UK HE store that you'll get your Apple Care for free.
     
  7. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

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    #7
    I'm assuming that the HE store gives a 15% reduction in prices? I'd ideally like to get my hands on the thing a bit sooner than that though - I might try calling my local store and seeing if my UCAS code and offers will get me the HE discount early, though this seems a bit unclear from what I've found on here.

    I've been looking at prices for MB/MBP in terms of duty free at the airport, which definitely seems like a far better option than buying in the US (no problems with getting caught on import, delivers to home, don't have to buy adaptors, will be no hassles if anything goes wrong etc).

    However, the fact that you can get three years worth of AppleCare free if you buy it from HE is quite a bit bonus. Assuming I bought this in the US, it would cost £135 for MB coverage and £190 for MBP coverage)
     
  8. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #8
    the HE/UCAS discount is significantly more than the normal education store discount (about par with the states) there is a link on the UCAS track page but i'm not sure if it works anymore.

    rather than paying for applecare try an independent insurance company like www.cusc.co.uk who will cover accidents and all of the stuff that normal applecare will.
    I bought my machine in the states and they had no problem insuring it, if it breaks and they need to replace it they will do so with a UK one too.
     
  9. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #9
    I'd already tried the link via UCAS, which is broken, as you mentioned. I'm assuming that having the relevant UCAS code would get me the same benefits in a physical Apple store if I dropped by.

    Buying insurance (which I had originally planned to do), is actually a fantastic idea, as I'd effectively be killing 2 birds with one stone. There seems to be some strange clause on the cusc site you mentioned which states that they don't insure laptops over 1 year old though, which I might have to look into.
     
  10. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #10
    yeh you should be able to go into an apple store or over the phone and get a discount (just bring a UCAS letter or something) they seem to be fairly lax about enforcing it.

    for the insurance - i have this insurance on my macbook pro at the moment and they are a really personable company. Either phone them up or send them an email and the'll give you a good reply. As you mentioned they don't insure laptops which are over 1 year old, but this should not be a problem if you are buying a macbook/macbook pro (i would reccomend a macbook pro if you are going to be doing aperture and stuff, you just never know how you are going to be using the extra power)
     
  11. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

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    Apr 1, 2007
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    London
    #11
    Yeah, tempted to go for the MBP for the extra 2" and the other little benefits. Can't you take out a 3 year policy with this company or something though, they look good but I'd be unsure what you're supposed to do once your laptop gets 12 months old? I'll have to look into this more, but I'm going to call up the store tomorrow I think and go for the 3 year HE cover as well if they'll let me. Buying it this way will only be £80 more than the VAT free price for the base MBP (£60 more than US prices) and it'll simplify things massively.
     
  12. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #12
    yeh i'd definatley try and buy in the UK if you can. email CUSC to see if you can renew the policy after the year is up, i would expect you can as they will most likely know if anything had gone wrong in the year, but older machines are more likely to break so they would not be willing to take them on so 'late' in their lifetime as it were. I would be supprised if they only offered care for 1 year.

    out of interest what uni do you want to go to?
    my firm is Reading and my insurance is Swansea
     
  13. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Yeah I'll definitely do that in the morning. All I have to do now is decide whether to get the MB or MBP - think it's going to take a while to go through all the threads on here before I decide to splash some cash.

    I've offers from Manchester, LSE, UCL, Warwick and Newcastle to do Law. Still undecided, but I think it's going to be between UCL and Warwick.
     
  14. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #14
    I'd definatley go for the MBP, just can't beat it.
    I was at UCL the other week for a History lecture - very good.
    warwick is also quality my mum did a postgrad MBA from there a few years ago and the resources she was given were excellent. Good luck.
     
  15. vanquished thread starter macrumors newbie

    vanquished

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
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    #15
    You too! Thanks for all your help as well, it's definitely cleared things up a bit.
     
  16. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #16
    No problem, enjoy whatever mac you get!
    All the best,
    Hugo
     

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