Need Help Buying my First Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GetGo, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. GetGo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    I am thinking of buying either a 12" ibook or a 12" powerBook. I only need it to surf the internet in the living room and to have a small laptop to travel every now and then. Oh yea watch DVDs some Excel and Word processing for work too. My concern is if I buy the ibook the low end one it will be out dated in a year or so. If I buy the PowerBook it is very expensive for my use. I was wondering when you guys buy Mac Laptops do you get the extended warranty. If you do that adds a couple of hundred dollars to the machine and it could put it out of my price range. I love the PowerBook look with the aluminum case. If I could get away without the extended warranty I could wait a little longer and get the great ooking PowerBook. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    The iBook is perfect for your stated purposes. That's basically what it was designed to do. Don't worry about it becoming outdated in a year. A 5 year old Mac will still do those things quite well. The current G4 iBook should be good for at least that long.

    The PowerBook is nice, but the differences between the 12"PB and 12" iBook are just the looks, minimal power + hard drive space, DVI out (which I don't think you'd need, and DVD burning (iBook doesn't have a Superdrive).

    Buying AppleCare is really a personal choice. Some will tell you to always get it on a laptop and some people will tell you to never get it at all. I didn't get it on my iBook because $250 for warranty on a $1000 computer seemed silly. You do have a year after purchase to buy AppleCare though--so you don't have to decide immediately.
     
  3. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #3
    The iBook should be fine for the uses you stated. If you decide in a year or so that you want to try some more demanding applications such as video editing or 3D games you can buy a new powerbook at that time and sell your iBook on eBay. Macs tend to keep their value for a rather long time for a computer. You should be able to get at least half of your money back. Since an iBook is much cheaper than a Powerbook, you can put that extra money into software or keep saving for a future upgrade.

    Do yourself a favor and get at least 512MB of RAM to start. You can often get RAM much cheaper from a vendor other than Apple. Crucial is known to make high quality memory. Applecare is a good investment but you can usually buy it near the end of your year that is included to extend your warranty period. Remember that Applecare covers all Apple brand software as well, so if you have a problem with Appleworks or anything else you can just call them up and they will do their best to help.
     
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #4
    I book it is. I agree with most everything stated above! Go for it and save some cash. don't get the warrenty though. Yeah, they are expensive to fix, but get a good case, take good care of it and if something will go wrong it will usually go wrong in the first or fourth years on electronics. Not the second and third and that is all the ext. warranty is buying.

    Good luck and welcome to Apple Computing!
     
  5. GetGo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    Can the ibook handle this?

    If I buy the ibook will I be able to play around with imovie or will the machine be too slow? I would also like to play around with my many digital pictures.
     
  6. KBFinFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #6
    From my somewhat limited Mac experience, only using the platform since September, I believe the iLife suite especially iMovie is optimized for the G4 and specifically the Altivec fucntions. So either the iBook (now that it is a G4) or the Powerbook should be sufficient.

    Personally, I would recommend the PB just because of looks, it has a great 'coolness' factor. Second, the solid keyboard on the PB is much more comfortable and sturdy in my opinion. Also, if you plan on making some iMovies you can only get the SuperDrive with the PB. At first I thought the DVD burning function was 'too fancy' but I soon found myself creating iMovies and iDVDs left and right.

    Either way you will be happy with what you choose. Best bet is to go to a retailer and mess around with both and then you'll know for sure.
     
  7. TrojanAvenger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    #7
    I would highly recomend getting Applecare for either the PB or iBook. I had accidently killed my battery in my iBook G3 when I was trying to record the band I was in at the time. The notebook would work when plugged in, but not on battery power. So, I took in my iBook to the Apple store and took care of it, gave me a new battery, and didn't even charge for looking at it. It's just good all-purpose insurance.

    Also, it's really a toss-up on which to choose from, but I'd go for the iBook. It'll last you for quite a while and save a little bit of cash, though the PB is cooler looking. Take the extra money and spend it on ram.
     
  8. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    The iLife suite is a little slow anyway but performance greatly improves when you add RAM - get a 512MB module from Crucial.com and you'll be sorted.

    Sounds like the iBook will fit your needs but I do agree that the PowerBook is much nicer looking! Faster too. However, you'll not really notice the difference using Word and Excel. Currently the 12" iBook is a very good buy, with excellent value for money.

    I haven't bothered with AppleCare. I figured that if I'm unlucky and my screen (the most expensive thing to go wrong) goes out on me in the 2nd or 3rd year, I'll pay the £500-600 to get it replaced. Since AppleCare is £260, I'm prepared to take that gamble. If it went wrong after 3 years I'd be screwed anyway. And a new battery is less than half of the price of AppleCare. I'd save your money.
     
  9. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #9
    Looking at your requirements I would suggest an iBook and plenty of Ram (don't buy from Apple - www.crucial.com is often recommended). More memory can make a bigger difference to performance to a small difference to processor speed. I would also suggest upgrading the Hard Disk to 60 GB, as this will enable you to have plenty of room for your digital photo's, iMovie and iTunes libraries.
     
  10. GetGo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    Thanks for the suggestion guys. When I'm ready to buy I will get the extra memory at crucial.
     
  11. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Re: Can the ibook handle this?

    The new iBooks are not slow. They're not the fastest computers money can buy but they are very capable. The creative world, doing very very cool things, is still using slower Macs than this!

    Here's my experience with iMovie on various Macs. 333mhz G3 is pretty slow. Beter in OS 9. 700mhz G3 iBook is okay. 400mhz G4 is fantastic. Dual 1ghz G4 is beyond excellent.
     
  12. niter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    #12
    I have the iBook 12" G4. I had mine built to order with bluetooth and the 60 GB HD. Later on, I added 512 MB RAM from crucial. My computer may be the slowest computer offered by Apple, but it is darn zippy for what I use it for.

    I use my iBook for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Keynote. Of course I do only home user stuff on Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I have no problems with speed.

    The iBook is great and well priced.
     
  13. GetGo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 2, 2004
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    New Jersey
  14. jcook793 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #14
    I just got a 12" iBook G4 with bluetooth and 60GB hard drive too (hi niter). It was a suprise birthday gift from my awesome wife.

    I love this little iBook. I had just switched earlier this year with the dual 2GHz G5 and I love that too (what's not to love?). But for day-to-day tasks I use the iBook constantly. And for typical internet use and programming I can't tell the difference in speed between the iBook and the PowerMac.

    Enjoy the iBook! I love mine! The battery lasts forever, the 802.11 connection destroys the Dell laptop that my company provides. And my biggest fear, that the single-button trackpad would drive me crazy, turned out to be unfounded.
     
  15. niter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    #15
    I do have the iBook 800 MHz 12" G4. I would have paid extra for faster speed, but when it came down to the choice between the small size and the faster processor, I decided that I could handle Word opening a smidge slower. So far, I have not noticed any issues with speed. The iBook is a dream to use and it is super fast for all I do. I am adding the airport extreme card as soon as it gets here---I cannot wait!
     
  16. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
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    #16
    The iBook sounds like it will suit your needs, however are you planning on making a lot of movies, and particularly burning movies? If so, you need the PowerBook for the SuperDrive. Otherwise, just get the iBook and bump up the RAM, as that will make the most difference. iLife is optimized for the G4, so iMovie will run fine on the iBook, and your system will last you for a few years, I wouldn't worry - this machine will do everything you need to do for quite a while. Good timiing with the iBook as well, since they were just upgraded to the G4. :)

    The PowerBooks are nice, and obviously the better machine of the two, but cost is always a big factor, along with what you actually need. A nice new dual 2.0 GHz G5 would have been a better machine to buy than my 17" G4 iMac at the time, but I couldn't really justify the added cost, especially when the iMac does everything I need it to just fine. :)
     

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