Might have to buy a DELL, need help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by student_trap, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #1
    Hi there,

    hope i didn't scare you with that title! Basically, my folks need a computer to last a couple of months untill they buy a 20in intel iMac. The machine will be almost exclusively used for internet (wireless broadband), word processing, and maybe the storage of...but not manipulation of...photos, the ability to sync it with an ipod would be handy too. They only want to spend about £200 as they will be buying the imac soon anyway.

    What do you think that I should do?

    I'm thinking:

    Some sort of Dell box (I know NOTHING about what specs it would need)

    Second hand Mac, i.e. id love to get a cheap G4 imac but i dont know how much they are, otherwise a G3 imac or some sort of old mac laptop. I'm am lost as to what would be worthwhile and where i could get one.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Hmmm... a tricky one, It basically depends on how many files you have. A £200 Dell will have a bigger hard drive than a second hand Mac, if you were to get one I'd try Dell Outlet.

    As a minimum you need 512MB RAM for Windows, all the other specs even on a £200 Dell will be fine with XP, though its best to get a 1 year warrenty (as you only want it for two months).

    Remember though as its a PC you will also need to get Antivirus/Firewall/Anti Spy software on the computer, this could increase the price considerably.

    You can get second hand Mac's on ebay pretty cheap
    for example
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Imac-Bl...8780268423QQcategoryZ4603QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    It only has 9.1 currently installed and would need a RAM upgrade for 10.4 but is £95.

    Check out
    http://computers.listings.ebay.co.u...QQfromZR11QQsacatZ4599QQsocmdZListingItemList
    for a list of all Apple Computers for sale on ebay.

    The advantage of getting a second hand mac is that although it will have a smaller (10-20GB) hard drive than a dell (80GB) is that after 1-2 months it's resale value on ebay will be close to what you paid (minus the delivery charge).

    If possible look for a model with 10.4 installed.
     
  3. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #3
    thanks for the reply.
    Personally i think it would be better to get a cheaper mac, any recommendations on particular models? if i was to go for a laptop, would i get decent battery life and airport reception?

    Also, i'm wary of buying computers off of ebay, are their any second hand stores that may have some second hand macs?
     
  4. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #4
    Wireless ISP?

    I know this is a little off topic, but when you say that your folks will be using this with wireless broadband, do you mean a wireless ISP? Like not using cable or dsl?
    I've been looking at an option like that for my parents, but it's a small little company that does it out there way, and I didn't know how fast and reliable it really is. How is it? Do they have it yet, or aren't getting it until they get the mac?
    Sorry for going off topic, but that really interests me.
     
  5. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #5
    sorry to disapoint, but I actually meant that ive got an adsl line with a wireless router:eek:
     
  6. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    If you do find a second hand store, you will pay much more than the computer is worth. I have bought and sold many computers on eBay and I haven't had a single problem. In fact, I have no reservations about buying older macs on eBay. I do however cringe to sell Macs on eBay.
     
  7. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #7
    if it is sure, that you would get a mac within 8 weeks. why wait?

    if i interpret your post correctly, it is not a matter of life or death.

    if you are really planning to get an iMac, why not get it now? pay it through a credit card and (i think) your card would be charged after 6 weeks and not before...
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    If your biggest issue is having to buy a computer then I want your life.
    But if you are some major fanboy and wish not to ever have some sort of windows box in your house then don't buy a dell, do what you said about a second hand mac and be done with it. The value of the second hand mac will be more than the value of some second hand dell. It's just how things go.
     
  9. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #9
    I'm confused...

    Is it a money issue? Having trouble finding the imac? Just waiting to see if something better comes out?

    If you/they have the extra money for a dell, why not just buy the imac now? :confused:
     
  10. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #10
    well, here's the situation...

    For financial (and practical) reasons, my folks aren't going to buy for another couple of months. However, we recently got broadband which only works on my mac. My kid sister is coming to the end of sixth form and still needs the computer for internet and word processing, and i (and my mac) are often not around, so they just asked me to pick something up to fill the gap. The point is that even after they get the imac they could still use what they buy now in some way or another. Also when you consider that when they do go for the imac, it will be the 20inch version with wireless kb/mouse etc etc, it will be a lot more than 200 quid.

    Jessica: I have no qualms about buying a dell, I just wanted to know my options, specifically, i'd like to know what models to avoid etc for the uses I detailed in my original post.
     
  11. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    With the Apple Credit option, don't you get no payments for 90 days?
     
  12. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #12
    I usually try to avoid using credit, cash is how I will usually pay, however, its not purely financial, so does anyone have any suggestions on particular 'puters?
     
  13. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    I have bought a couple of the Dell cheapo specials for work. You get the computer, keyboard, mouse and 17" LCD for $399 + tax. Pretty good deal in my mind and they work alright. I haven't had any problems with them.
     
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #14
    Get an old iBook. That will be useful even after you get the iMac.

    A quick search on ebay.co.uk indicates that you can get a 600-800MHz iBook G3 for £200.
     
  15. student_trap thread starter macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #15
    yeah that sounds like a good idea. I have looked on ebay (uk) and the don't seem to be all that cheap. Also, what models should i look out for? i know that some had logic board issues...which ones? and finally, do both the clamshell and newer style ibooks have airport?
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Thats because Mac traditionally have great build quality, I have had Mac's 10-12 years old that work fine (and with Mac OS 7.5 aren't too slow either), and all the ones on ebay generally run Tiger and iLife fine, they are probably faster than a £300 dell with XP too and come with more software as many come with Office/Photoshop too. Though I agree they do seem overpriced, I guess this is why.
     
  17. Play Ultimate macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #17
    try an old iMac...

    My daughters both use old iMacs, tangerine 233 MHz & Lime 266 MHz. Add a little cheap ram to get them to 256+. They run great. The Lime uses OS 10.3 with no problem. The hard disk size is a limitation 6GB. But if it is only for word processing and some internet stuff (not big downloads) then it should work fine. For the wireless router you can buy a USB WiFi card.

    Don't try to install an Airport Card. It only works with the original and will cost you too much.
     
  18. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    It doesn't hurt to have both a windows PC and a Mac around. There's occasionally the piece of software or a website that needs a PC/Internet Explorer to function. I think it would come in more handy in the long run than a used Mac - unless you were to get a portable, but that's not terribly cost-effective.

    You'll get a lot more computer for your money if you buy a cheap PC over an old iMac or something.
     

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