First time Mac Buyer overwhelm with options!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by prp134, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. prp134 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello Mac Users,

    After buying a mini ipod this last Xmas and struggling with it on my current PC, I knew I had to switch to a Mac. I have talked to a few friends of mine that are also Mac users and they talk wonders bout Macs, but I asked about what system they recommend and what they offer but they cant seem to offer any suggestions.

    That is why I came here, I am seriously looking into buying a Mac but Im not which Mac is right for me. I recently visited the Mac store on Michigan Ave in Chicago and they have AWESOME computers that have VERY reasonable prices, well with my student discount of course. So far I looked into the Powerbook and the iMac (that flat screen is to die for). Not sure which to choose, I want something affordable, FAST, and durable.

    If anyone can offer some serious indept advice wether it be bad or good, I would appreaciate it. Im not a big computer guy, I still have trouble managining my PC so Im not even sure if this new Tiger software that Mac has recently launched is right for me.

    Thanx guys!
     
  2. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

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    #2
    As someone else will surely ask, do you need it to be portable? What do you plan to do with it? What's your budget?

    Basically, we need a better idea of what you'll be doing and using it for before we can give you suggestions.
     
  3. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #3
    This explanation fits perfectly to iMac G5. It's best Apple desktop computer for the money now. But if you want portability, PowerBook is your choice. It's also very fast and will last you a very long time (this however depends on your needs)

    Tell us what will you buy! :)
     
  4. prp134 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Im looking into portable right now, just because Im finally transfering into a Big University and Im big on class presentations and I want to be able to create a slide show and be able to show it at a lecture hall, I also like the idea of carrying my laptop to class to record lectures with these new wadgets I seen online and also being able to access my material right there and then without going home to a desktop, but Mac desktops are good too, the only thing that worries me is my internet. I dont want to buy any new hardware, I already have a brand new modem that I got for free from SBC Yahoo DSL along with the ethernet card.

    As for price range, the most I would be able to afford would be $1,600, as far as what I want it for well itunes for my mini ipod, I have checked out keynote for much better presentations than what I currently use in powerpoint, I guess I can say just basic educational purposes, like I said before Im not much of a new technology type of person.

    The only thing that worries me is that if I buy a new Mac I dont want to be left out in the cold because something new and better has come in the market, I want to able to keep this computer for all that is worth. I hear about a new G5 powerbook coming so I dont??

    Im just sick of windows, viruses, explorer, crashes from my current pc and not to mention blahness of windows, I want something that will run smoothly and efficiently.
     
  5. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #5
    So you can buy a 12-inch PowerBook (if you dont like its pretty small screen, get 15-inch). I personally recomment 15 incher because I find it look superior and has much more screen space, so you should be more productive and it's display is wide-screen (16:10 compared to 4:3 in 12incher)

    All Macs come with Ethernet cards and dial-up modems built-in.

    Yes, I also like Keynote more than PowerPoint and it's really easy to use :)

    If you buy ANY computer, Mac or PC, you will be left behid, because new technology appears all the time. You can't stop technical progress. But Macs can last longer than PCs for sure. And no, G5 PowerBooks will probably never appear, but who knows? With this Intel switch Apple would make a PowerBook with Pentium M processor instead of G5.
     
  6. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #6
    My advice would be a PowerBook. If you can get the 15" with top specs I would. I have just finished uni and Macs have been fantastic for me, even if I have done engineering which is not very Mac orientated.

    Also now when you buy a mac on education discount you get a free iPod!

    Or you could go for the 12" PBook and spend the extra cash on a second display which is what I did. Being able to use two monitors is fantastic if you have a few Applications open at once. It depends what you want from your computer when you are on the road. I doubt that you will notice the difference between the 1.5Ghz 12" and top 1.67GHz 15" PBook's.

    I dont think you will have any problem with Tiger. It is very easy to use and Apple has great Support websites, there is even a site called MacRumours...

    At the end of the day its upto you but you just need to start gettiing rid of each possibility and eventually you will get the system for you.
     
  7. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #7
    Yes, this also a great solution

    Yes, the biggest difference between these 2 models is the screen, also becklit keyboard and ability to have 128 MB video memory on 15-incher
     
  8. prp134 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Hey thanx guys, I was leaning towards the powerbook and I have seen the 12" screen and yeah its pretty small, thats why I then looked into the IMac because of that AMAZING screen.

    Just a few more questions, if thats ok...

    How useful is this superdrive??
    How idiot friendly is the new Tiger?
    Has the rest of the computer world started making more stuff avaliable for Macs?
    Any software MUST haves?

    Also, any newbie advice would be appreciated, concerning anything to do with Macs
     
  9. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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  10. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #10
    How useful is this superdrive??

    I dont have one in my PowerBook and have only used the one on my PowerMac two or three times. Depends what you want it for. If you want to make DVD's then yes. If you want to back up data I would say go for a small pocket size hard drive.

    How idiot friendly is the new Tiger?

    Very. It is so easy to use. Apple have a 101 and one things to learn for Mac OSX website somewhere and you will fly through it if you have a glance at that. As I said earlier "help" is great utility in Mac OSX.

    Has the rest of the computer world started making more stuff avaliable for Macs?

    I have got through uni using the Mac and the majority of stuff you need will be on Mac. The only thing is if you intend to use specialist applications then you may have an issue. But on the whole you will be fine.

    Any software MUST haves?


    That is great think about Macs, you get everything straight out the box, Tiger is top of the range (no need to upgrade to les crap, sorry "Professional" version) iLife will do everything you need and more for tunes, photos and video. The only thing I would suggest is Office for Mac. I think on student edition it is about 100 pounds. Dont know about the other side of the pond...

    It may be a wise investment to get Apple Care 3 year warrenty for your PowerBook. I didn't get it for my first iMac and it cost a lot of money to get it working. I got it for PowerMac and PowerBook and so far, I have not needed it. Sods law!
     
  11. prp134 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Coool thanx, Well now knowing all of this I will get a Powerbook 15" for sure :D
     
  12. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #12
    Enjoy!
     
  13. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #13
    Get it! Great machine! My dad has one and he likes it even more than his PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8!!
     
  14. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #14
    I don't like Office. For typing I prefer Pages and for presentaions I prefer Keynote. If you want a spreadsheet editor, you can get some really good ones for free in the Internet. So go for iWork! By the way it can read/save Office formats!! :)
     
  15. the future macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Go with the PowerBook, I'm on my 5th and they have all been fantastic machines giving me zero problems whatsoever. And maybe sometime in the future you can add a nice, big display for your home setup. Working with 2 displays is awesome.

    And remember to take advantage of the free iPod promo for students buying a Mac!
     

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  16. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #16
    If you don't know yet you can get an edu discount on your Mac of choice so that should make your budget go a bit farther ;)
     
  17. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    The iMac is the best bang for the buck. If you want to be able to bring your computer places then go for a PowerBook if you can afford it.
     
  18. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #18
    You could get by with the 12" PB in your budget and get a 20" display later, but, you said you like the 15" better, so it'll cost you $690 more for the top of line 1.67 GHz model with the BTO optional 128 MB graphics card.
    You CAN NOT upgrade the GPU later, so it's worth the extra $90.00
    It really is a beautiful machine.

    You'll need MS Office for Mac in the professional world, but the iWork suite included with your purchase should hold you until class orientation tells you otherwise.

    You probably should get AppleCare for a PowerBook, but you have 11 months to decide.

    There's a demo version of FileMaker Pro ( project manager) and a 30 day demo of Office for Mac included with Mac OSX.

    Pages and Appleworks has you covered for text, database and drawing
    and both import/export to MS word
    You can also use Open Office

    If you can't open a document then there's always text edit.

    Most of the Applications included with OSX are quite useful.

    You will soon discover that all the crap you went through running Windows was totally unnecessary.

    If you need assistance, the Mac user community is very helpful.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #19
    If you're not much of a computer person, I'd have to suggest going with Microsoft Office rather than iWork. When you have Office, you know your files will be compatible with the PC world, and you don't have to worry about converting file formats.
     
  20. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #20
    I agree, I'm a switcher, too and I just feel much more comfortable with the layout of MS office versus the other apps that are available. I know that at some colleges you can get single user licenses for MS office 2004 for Macs maybe, $50-60. Or you could spring for the Student Teacher edition w/ educational discount (it has 3 licenses) for $149.
     
  21. prp134 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    quick questions, whats this I read?

    I was looking at the buyer's Guide on here, what's this about the end cycle of the powerbook??

    "Recommendation: Buy only if you need it - Approaching the end of a cycle "
     
  22. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #22
    It means that current PowerBook generation is approaching the avarage end of cycle time
     
  23. scarlets knees macrumors member

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    #23
    as a recent a switcher to a 12"pb i can fully reccomend it, I was tempted by the 15" but the extra cost and weight didn't do it for me. The screen is fine and it really is portable, as others say you can put the saving towards a big screen. I went with office for mac and it's far superior to the windows version and it's a good way of getting itno the whole mac environment. I've not yet upgraded to tiger but panther was so easy that I kept asking dumb questions because i couldn't believe it was that easy!

    There are loads of threads on software, tips etc here but this recent one consolidates a lot and I have been using it a lot since it went up.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=132963

    Have fun when you get you new mac and report back when you have.
     
  24. prp134 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    what type of memory upgrade should I get?? oh about this apple warranty, is it really worth it?? I always hear that you shouldnt buy warranties because thats a waste of money and you should be fine without it? whats your views on it?
     
  25. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

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    #25
    1. Buy your memory from a third party like crucial.

    2. You can purchase the Applecare extended warranty all the way up until the last day of the 1 year warranty and new Mac comes with.

    I personally would wait until the end of the original warranty and then decide if you should buy the extended warranty. That way you're not dropping all the money on your new Mac at one time.
     
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