How can I justify buying a Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by answer348, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. answer348 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    #1
    I've been looking for a notebook computer to act as my only computer in college for several months now and had narrowed my choices down to 2 PC laptops before I began to consider the powerbook. It really looks like a great, well-built machine, and I'm eager to see the advantages of OS X.

    My problem, however, is that I'm not sure I can justify paying $2500 (including education discount) for a machine I'll probably use mostly for the internet and school papers/projects.

    Does the powerbook offer enough to me to make it worth spending $500 more than I would on a comparable PC laptop?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #2
    You could try for an older Powerbook, they are still good. With a Mac it will last you. I just bought a G3 iBook running Panther on eBay.

    Ask yourself this, if you are just going to be doing word, internet, chat, a game here and there, music etc. Do you really need the most current/best laptop out there?

    Would not something a year old be a little better on the budget and serve you just as well?

    With either purchase, a Mac or a PC ask yourself this, what do you need and what do you want? Do you need a 128 meg graphics card for Word? Do you need a 15" screen? or will 12" be fine? Are you going to be burning that many DVD's that you need a superdrive, or could you get a seperate external DVD Burner later if you found you might need it every now and then?

    Also here, try this one too:

    http://www.powermax.com/

    I was tempted to get that one, but decided against it, becuase I really don't need that yet, my iBook will be just fine.

    Mike
     
  3. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #3
    I am presuming you are considering the 17" powerbook? Why do you need that big of a screen? The 15" will suit you just fine. The powerbook is well built. It is worth the extra $300 with the 15" with the same processor speed as the 17". What are you going to use it for? Are you going to do some hardcore graphic design?
     
  4. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #4
    I was looking at the 15'' actually. Nope, I don't do any graphic design.
     
  5. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #5
    Then personally, I would snag up that one on the front of Powermax. its 1500 dollars, and you will get apple care standard for a year and its a new system, not a refurb or a used.

    Mike
     
  6. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #6
    What did you add to it? What are your plans to do with the 15" powerbook. If you are just going to do word, aim, and web browsing the 12" powerbook is more then enough. It is really a powerfull machine for that size.
     
  7. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #7
    Well, my parents will be funding anywhere from $1750-$2000, so I'm looking to spend at least that much. Anything more will be paid out of my pocket.
     
  8. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #8
    Why don't you let us know what kind of PC laptops you're looking at (brands, models) so that we can compare at the hardware level too. Also, what are you planning on using the computer for? Thats the main deciding factor most of the time. I will go over some brief advantages though:

    The main reason to get a Mac is OS X and the iApps. OS X gives you the inherent power of Unix with the simplicity of the Mac. Its infinitely expansive if you like to get into computers or just a simple GUI if you don't like computers. Also, Mac OS X has no real viruses for it. You might have heard about some recent "viruses" for OS X, but they were nothing more than cooked-up workarounds made by a Mac virus protection company out to get money. The iApps are great. PCs don't come with software of this caliber and simplicity. I would go so far to say that there are no apps for the PC that compare to the iApps' power and simplicity.

    Really though, the more specifically you can tell us what you're going to use the computer for, the better we can answer your questions and/or give you a suitable config for a laptop.
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #9
    Take a look at some of the previous generation refurbs on the Apple Store. Can get some sweet deals. You sometimes have to wait, and act quick.
     
  10. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

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    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    You don't have to get a brand new machine. If you were going to buy a brand new machine it would not cost you 2500$ and that having the student discount included. Look at my sig, that setup right there came out to $2209.00 that including a student discount. You don't even need the extra upgrades i got on my machine. It also depends on the size of the notebook. Obviously 17" will run you the most money. If you get a 12" 1ghz, you could definatly get a good deal. Go on www.apple.com and go down the left side to the special deals section. They have lots of good stuff. You could also go for an iBook if you don't want to spend all the money for a PowerBook. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2004
    #11
    Yes, definetly get the PB

    1.) After about 2 weeks with the PB, I can't imagine having a different notebook. When I recently was at best buy, all the other PC notebooks, just did not compare. They looked and felt very cheap. If your going to spend a lot of money, you might as well spend it on a quality product.

    2.) Os X. Enough said.

    3.) http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=65706&goto=newpost

    (maybe this is reason nr 1?)
     
  12. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

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    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal
    #12
    There is no comparable product in a Wintel PC, not for any price. A PB will remain usable long after you can't get use out of the PC. Therefore, it has a lower cost per amount of use you get out of it. :D
    Again, unless you are going to be be doing graphics intensive work, there is no real need for you to spend the premiun for this years model. Go for a refurb w/o a Superdrive.
    Other side of the coin, how can you justify buying a POS PC?
     
  13. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #13
    Hmm. The education discount doesn't seem to work on the special deals. Does anyone know the quality of refurbished apple products? Is there any way to tell what revision they are?
     
  14. psingh01 macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #14
    Do what I did, use the developer discount! Register as a Student Developer. It costs $99. You just have to fax Apple your student ID and a recent course schedule to prove that you are a student. Then purchase the laptop from the developer store. You can buy 1 system at discounted prices.

    I got a PowerBook 15" 1.5GHz, 80GB HD 5400rpm, bluetooth, 128MB Radeon 9700 for like $2100. The money I saved I used to buy an iPod (at discount too) to replace one that I broke a few months ago.

    Edit: It is only worth it if you are going to buy the high end systems because the discounts are higher for the more expensive computers. If you are going for an ibook it's probably better to use the education discount.
     
  15. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #15
    From what I see at the apple website, the developer membership that saves you $500 costs $500 per year, in fact, saving me nothing.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    And more to the question in the header of your post. Mac's IMO are more stable, and hold value hardware wise over the Wintel arena.
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #17
    Not saying to go with it, but the developer program being discussed is this one. $99.
     
  18. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #18
    I don't think it's necessary to say that PC laptops are pieces of crap. They aren't. And Windows doesn't suck. A PC laptop running Xp will serve you just fine.

    However, as someone who works on Wintel laptops all day long doing Java and applications development, and as someone who plays evenings on a G5 and carries a crappy old 1999 G3 PowerBook around on weekends to sue with my Bluetooth phone to surf while my wife runs errands, I can tell you that the crappy old 1999 G3 PB is much more fun than the 2003 Dell Inspiron with the 15" 1920x1200 screen. The Dell's screen is superior to any Apple laptop screen. Period. The Dell is faster.

    OS X makes all the difference in the world. By itself, it makes the "crappy" 1999 PB better than the newish 2003 XP Dell.

    Plus, no viruses.

    Plus, a better community.

    Plus, for new PBs, excellent bundled software.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    From a users standpoint, there is a big difference. I find that the hardware side holds better value after the purchase. I also find that the Mac is less open to viruses and spyware than with Mac. Then add that I find that I don't have to think about DLL's and such crap; you get the picture.

    The Mac and OS X allow for the computer to be what it was meant to be for most of us, a tool that gets the job done. unlike Wintel that forces us to make the the tool work to get the job done.
     
  20. echeck macrumors 68000

    echeck

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    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    #20
    You should go Mac, as a lifelong PC guy *shudder* until recently, you should go Mac.

    PC's are pieces of crap...well, I should say Windows is a piece of crap and a worthless excuse for an OS. Why would you want something that's going to crash every other day (or more), get infected by swarms of viruses...etc..? Granted, a PC can be a great machine, I have one that's very stable and virus-free and crunches out video/3d animation renders on almost a daily basis...but still...go Mac

    You can get a PC laptop if you want, but as has been said already, if you're going to spend the money then you may as well spend the money on something good...something that will serve you for many years.

    How about this? Taken straight from the Apple Store website:

    1.33 G4
    Combo Drive
    15.2-inch TFT Display
    1280x854 resolution
    1.33GHz PowerPC G4
    512K L2 cache
    256MB DDR333 SDRAM
    60GB Ultra ATA/100
    ATI Mobility Radeon
    9700 (64MB DDR)
    Full size keyboard
    Gigabit Ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    DVI & S-Video out

    $1,799.00 education discount

    Or if a 12" screen would better suite your needs you can save anywhere from 2-500 dollars.

    This is right smack dab in your price range, actually the bottom end of your price range. If you take advantage of the Cram and Jam offer, you could even get an iPod out of the deal! Now that would be sweet. :D
     
  21. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #21
    Get an iBook. It sounds like that is all you need. Or you should be able to get a stripped PB at the educational discount for about $1800. Upgrade the memory later. I wish the iBooks were $799 though.
     
  22. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #22
    I asked a friend about this and he said he thinks there's a lot of paperwork involved. Is there any truth to that? Cause it could save me an extra $200 over the education discount, and put a fully loaded 15in pbook in my price range.
     
  23. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #23
    I don't think there's much paperwork; it just takes a while to get the discount (Apple needs to get the fax of your ID and coursework, and they take a little while to give you your discount credit). Ask others what "a little while" is, but it probably isn't too long. Note that you can't combine it with the edu discount; don't know if you knew that already or not.
     
  24. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #24
    Very little paperwork!!

    You sign up for the Apple Developer Connection, this is the free online membership. Then you pruchase the ADC Student Membership for $99.

    Then you fax them the information they need: http://developer.apple.com/helpfiles/verification.html

    And in a few days you can purchase your computer. All I did was scan my student ID card and my spring semester course schedule and faxed it :D

    I believe that when you register for the free online membership there is an option to say that you are a student. You might have to do that in order to allow your membership work with this deal.

    Also the best part of this deal, other than the discount, is you get free dvd's every month with developer tools and documentation. When ever a new version of Mac OS comes out, you get that free too :D

    Edit: I would say the length of time to wait for the verification is up to a week, but maybe less. I was out of town right after I applied for this and didn't have access to a pc. So I don't know exactly how long it took. THough if you get a custom powerbook like I did, you'll have to wait anyway after you purchase it cause they take longer to ship.

    I'm not sure if I can purchase another one of these memberships, while my current one is still active. It is safe to say that if I'm still in school, I'll use my next discount on a Dual 3Ghz PMac :D

    Also, I've had my eye on those HD displays......maybe for xmas, I believe I can still purchase one of those with my current membership.....;)
     
  25. answer348 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    #25
    Hmm. I don't have a schedule yet because I don't register until mid September. I wonder what else I could use to very my enrollment. They won't charge me the $99 until they accept my membership, right?
     

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