Shoot, got a MB but not sure if it's the right one. What to do?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by drmike, May 18, 2006.

  1. drmike macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    After 12 years away from Mac computers, I've returned (yeah!) and bought a MacBook on Tuesday, just after my local Apple store got them in. I love the thing and am already getting involved in all things Mac -- including signing up here at the forum just yesterday. But, like many who buy things after weighing different options, other computer models, and so on, I have some second thoughts and am hoping you can set me on the right path.

    I bought the base model MacBook in white. I thought about getting the $1299 model to have SuperDrive, but then thought I would save some money by just going with the cheaper model. At the moment, I don't do any video editing or make home movies and burn them to DVD. However, I'm beginning to think that going with SuperDrive might have been a better choice, in the very least for making the computer more "future-proof" for me. Here are my concerns/questions:

    1) I've already opened the MB and have begun using it. Would Apple even let me exchange it for the mid-range MB? And, if so, would they absolutely charge a restocking fee?

    2) Having a DVD burner might get me interested in making movies, even though I don't do it right now. So it might be nice to have. But could I just as easily get an external burner and not worry about making an exchange? Are external burners fast and reliable?

    3) So far, from what I can tell, everything on my MB works fine -- no problems with the ports, the keyboard, the ComboDrive, and, best of all, no dead pixels on the screen. If I can exchange it for the other MB, I suppose I run the risk of getting a defective MB or one with screen problems, in which case I've got a whole new headache on my hands. Considering this, should I just keep it, count my lucky stars, and then buy an external DVD burner if I want to make DVDs?

    4) What would you do?

    Thanks in advance for your input. (And I'm so glad to be back using Macs!)
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    If you're only concern is with the possibility of maybe someday wanting to burn DVDs, then I'd suggest you're better off purchasing an external.

    But it wouldn't hurt asking the Apple Store rep what their policy is on this. I imagine it will be the 15% restocking fee, so don't be surprised.

    Welcome back to the Mac, and glad that for the most part things are going well.

    Edit: If it were me, I'd head to the store, ask them about it, and if they say "restocking fee" I'd keep it and buy the external.
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    If you can get an external, fast, compatible dual-layer DVD burner for less than US$200 (I think you probably could) I would stick with what you have. Do you have iDVD? You should, my iBook came with it and I don't have a DVD burner in mine.

    That way you'd have a ripper of a portable machine with the flexibility of maybe even a 16x DVD burner with dual layer support when you need it (surely not that often when you're out and about) - that would give you more burning power than even a 17" MBP. Not a bad option to consider...
     
  4. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #4
    emw -- that's a good idea; I think I will check with my local Apple store and if there's definitely a restocking fee, an external would be a better/cheaper way to go.

    Chundles -- I'm pretty sure the base MB comes with iDVD. I don't have my MB with me at the moment, so I'll have to check when I get home tonight. I did, though, just check the Apple website and they don't specify an exception for the base MB (in terms of not having iDVD).

    Which brings me to another question (forgive me if it sounds dumb -- I'm just not at all familiar yet with the new Macs): can iDVD support third-party external burners, or is it extremely proprietary?

    The thought of a fast, dual-layer external DVD burner is nice -- I wouldn't have to worry about making an exchange and I could end up with a faster burner, as you point out.
     
  5. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #5
    AFAIK iDVD doesn't care what DVD you're using, as long as the OS supports it. I live my Sony, but it's not the most advanced one. A fast DL would be nice to have for sure. It's not often, I imagine, where you'll be on the road and just have to crank out a DVD.
     
  6. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Unless you really think that you will use a dvd burner while out and about, I would go with an external burner. This gives you at least 2 advantages:

    1) Future-proofs your purchase by allowing you to buy the latest and geatest dvd burner at any time.

    2) gives you both a source and destination drive, which is much easier to work with for copies than a single drive.

    Your MB should definitely have iDVD as a part of the base software. It used to only work with Apple-supplied internal burners (superdrives) unless you used an unsupported patch, but I think that has all changed with Tiger (I know my powerbook works just fine). Also, Toast (the software, not the edible kind) is a good investment for your cd/dvd needs, esp. if you can get it at a good price.
     
  7. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I just got off the phone with my local Apple store. The sales rep told me that Apple would most likely charge a restocking fee if I wanted to make an exchange. He said he couldn't make the final call on it and that if I really wanted to pursue the issue further I would have to speak with a manager. In his words, in most cases Apple won't waive the fee once hardware has been opened and used. His response is a little vague (but only because he was being kind and understood where I was coming from) and at least suggests the small possibility of flexibility on the return policy -- but I think I'd only really pursue it with a manager if I was determined that, yes, I must have the MB with SuperDrive ... and from what everyone is saying here, an external would be better.

    emw and danny_w -- thanks for clarifying iDVD compatibility. That helps a lot. And, danny_w, at this point I don't believe I would really need a DVD burner on the road, and your points about the advantages of an external are very good. I also like the idea that an external would give me dual-layer capability.

    I take it that Toast is an editing/burning program? Would you recommend it over iDVD or do the two programs do different things?
     
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    Roxio Toast is burning software, but not really editing/authoring software. I'd compare it to Nero on the PC. It lets you do all kinds of advanced stuff when burning DVDs/CDs. It handles data, video and audio burning. However, it's not for making fancy menus etc (there is rudimentary menu creation support). It's sometimes nice to have, though to be honest, I don't use it too often, as for the most part OS X does everything I need in the way of burning. (Besides that, I'm not at all a fan of Roxio, and have a hard time recommending their products, even when good just because of my bad experience with Roxio sales and support).
     
  9. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    As you mentioned. Roxio Toast software does things that for the most part can be done other ways in OS X, but I just find it more convenient, especially when copying a cd. Ripping it into iTunes and then burning it from a playlist is not my idea of easy, especially if you don't care to have it on your computer. Toast lets me just copy from the source drive to the destination drive, even if they are the same physical drive. I don't think that I would pay full price for it, but Toast 6 (which does not support DL) is available on eBay pretty cheap. And anybody with a Mac qualifies for a $20 rebate on Toast 7 (which I have).
     
  10. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #10
    often times you can get a copy of toast (or maybe a lite version?) with the purchase of a disc burner...

    i'd also recommend going with the external burner at this point, given the likelihood of a restocking fee, as well as the benefits (speed, double layer, etc) of the externals.
     
  11. drmike thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #11
    mduser63 and danny_w -- thanks for explaining what Toast is and does. I think I'll definitely look into it when I'm ready to get a DVD burner for my MB. It sounds as if it might be something that could be very handy (for the PC, I use Nero for CD burning). And, jelloshotsrule, as you say, if Toast comes bundled with some burners, that's even better.

    I think I've decided what to do regarding my original question. I'm going to keep the MB I bought and then get a good, fast, double-layer external burner when I have a chance. You've all convinced me :) Seriously, you've all made a good case for getting an external instead of exchanging the MB, and I think it's a better technological and financial decision when I consider what everyone has said. (However, if anyone has contrary opinions, I'd certainly appreciate hearing them -- though I do think an external is the best way to go).

    Thanks very much for your help.
     

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