Which notebook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MalcolmJID, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. MalcolmJID macrumors 6502a

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    England
    #1
    I'm starting to now save for a notebook. I'm only going to be using it for mainly surfing/IM/MS Word kind of work for college.

    What would be my best choice?

    I don't mind buying second hand so would take an iBook/PowerBook.

    I need Airport as I have wireless networks in both my homes, and up to around £750.

    I realise that £750 = a new MacBook, and if I used an NUS discount, I could get an upgraded MacBook for the same price, but I want to spend as little as possible.

    Can you help me out?

    Cheers, Karl. :)


    P.S. I just love the 12" Al Powerbooks. :eek:
     
  2. pianoman macrumors 68000

    pianoman

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    May 31, 2006
    #2
    an iBook would probably suit your needs but why not go for the MacBook? it's much faster and will probably last longer than a secondhand iBook. that said, i have a friend who is selling his year-and-a-half old PowerBook G4 and it's in almost perfect condition. so, you might be able to find a good deal on used goods but i prefer the newest and greatest (to the extent that i can afford the newest and greatest).

    good luck! whatever you choose i'm sure you'll enjoy.
     
  3. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I guess to "add" to the requirements, I'm not after the greatest or fastest machine, this will be my first notebook, and first Mac. I mainly want to just get into the swing of Macs and OS X after growing up on Windows all my life.

    So yea, I don't need the fastest computer, just something that will suit my needs and not break the bank.

    I also won't be buying till around December/January time, 'coz that's how long it will take me to save :p
     
  4. brandon6684 Guest

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    Dec 30, 2002
    #4
    I'd go with the MacBook. It seems perfect for you needs, and it'll last you a lot longer than an iBook.
     
  5. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Perhaps, but I want to spend as little as possible ;)
     
  6. mox358 macrumors 6502

    mox358

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    Location:
    Indiana
    #6
    True. But you also don't want to buy a machine thats going to be outdated and useless in a few years. That's not a good investment of your money. Compare your cost over time. If you buy a second hand iBook, and by 10.6 it's not supported, you can't run any new software. Then you're looking at upgrading hardware or buying a new machine. Both of which will negate any money you would have saved buying the second hand laptop.

    On the other hand if you pay a little more $$ (sorry, I'm American, don't know the currency translation off the top of my head) upfront, you'll have a computer that will last you for a long time. You also won't have to worry about something breaking and you being out of luck since you'll have a warranty from Apple.

    I finally decided to get a new Mac about a month ago because my iMac was having a hard time keeping up. Now granted it has been a workhorse for years and ran the newest software that it could. But it sucks to buy a new OS or software and only be able to partially use it. Might as well maximize your investment. This will be my first new Mac Since I bought the G4 iMac @ 800mhz. It sucks to pay more from the start, but if you pay a little more upfront your investment evens out over the long term and you come out ahead. My Mac has served me well over the years because I paid a little more at the start. Which ends up being cheaper over the long run.

    But if you absolutely don't want to spend the money for a Macbook, you could probably find a used G4 iBook or PowerBook for a good price. Just realize you will have to upgrade sooner than if you bought the Macbook. It might work for you if you're planning on upgrading hardware soon anyway. But I would definitely think about getting the Macbook from the start and skipping all the hassle.
     
  7. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    But what about waiting for stuff to become UB? I mean, is OpenOffice or NeoOffice supported on Macs with Intel chips?
     
  8. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #8
    it sounds to me like you've already made up your mind. most here are going to suggest a MB since you'll have the money for it and it would be the best investment in the long run. but if you want to spend less, then go with your own suggestion - a used ppc model. i'd suggest finding a used powerbook over an iBook, just because it'll at least be a bit faster/better, but other than that it's really just up to you to scour the web for a good deal, safe buyer, and a machine you like. 12 in if you want portability, 15 in if you want portability + screen estate, and 17 in if you want more of a desktop replacement that you can sometimes cart around.

    rest assured that for your needs, that PB would be more than enough.. and even the iBook, really, would treat you well.

    NeoOffice is.
     
  9. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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  10. kerpow macrumors 6502

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    London
    #10
    Trouble is, Apple laptops hold their value so well. Which I found to my annoyance when I wanted to buy a 2nd laptop. I couldn't afford the £700 for a new Macbook and wanted to pick up something for about £300. The only thing I could find was old iBook's or Titanium PowerBooks around 867mhz processor which are 3 yrs old. I ended up not buying at all and by chance was given a PC laptop from work.

    To buy something that will be useful for some time you'll want a recent iBook or Powerbook which will be a 1.4ghz processor. They were around £500 which seems so close in cost to the lastest and greatest.

    And, you could end up buying a lemon. The moving parts eg hard drive, power supply etc. aren't much more reliable in a Mac than any other manufacturer.

    If you want to get a Mac now, go for the new MacBook's. You can get them 1 yr. interest free from somewhere like Dixons/Curry's.
     
  11. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If I were to save for a MB, what are the chances of me getting one that gets very discoloured, or very hot?

    Baring in mind I'd be buying at Xmas time/New Year?
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #12
    Macbooks might even be updated by then. The issues with heat and discoloration should be fixed...the discoloration is already on the decline I think.
     
  13. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #13
    You'll be happier in the long run if you save enough to buy the most current machine you can afford.

    Use the Apple refurb page to keep track of what is seeling for what.

    If you just need the basics, but want all the benefits of OSX Tiger, iLife
    wireless BT and the scrolling trackpad, I'd go for a refurbished 1.33 GHz iBook for
    $799.00 US or something faster.

    The dual core processing in the MacBooks makes a tremendous difference
    in performance.

    It's amazing how much difference a few $100.00 dollars can make finding the right machine.

    Try to be patient, keep researching and by the time you're ready, your choices
    will also improve.
     
  14. briantology macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2006
    #14
    Actually both are. I am currently using Open Office on my Mac Pro. You have to put in your Tiger installation disc and install "X11" utility though. But Open Office works just like MS, but isn't MS.
     
  15. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    Another question though; Rosetta. Does it come with Tiger, or does it come with the program, or what?

    Say I did buy Office, but the UB version hadn't been released yet, what would I do regarding installation?
     
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #16
    Rosetta is an emulation program that is part of OSX on the Intel based Macs.
    If you buy MS Office for Mac which is still a PPC application, Rosetta will allow you
    to use it on you Intel based machine.

    If you buy a G4 PowerBook or iBook, you won't need Rosetta's emulation.
    PPC applications will run natively.
     
  17. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I just thought of a couple of other questions...

    I would like to upgrade the hardware, just a little bit though... I was planning to upgrade to 2Gb of RAM, and an 80Gb HDD with a MiniDVI-VGA adapter.

    Would it be worth buying a stock MacBook then upgrading everything myself (minus the adapter of course), or could I upgrade the HDD with Apple, but then buy myself the 2Gb of Apple-compatible RAM, 'coz we all know that the RAM is expensive from Apple!




    Also, AppleCare.....could anyone just give me a basic run down to it? I've seen things like you don't have to get it straight-away, so what would be the cover if the MacBook was to break before I bought AppleCare etc.....

    Cheers, Karl!
     
  18. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #18
    Any time you have Apple add BTO options to your order it delays the shipping.

    If you're only upgrading 20 GB on the HD, Apple isn't charging all that much for that option, but definitely buy your extra RAM through a well established Apple compatible dealer.
    Obviously if you're adding a 120 GB HD, do that yourself.

    If you buy a refurb, there's a 50/50 chance you may end up with free upgrades anyway.

    I usually just get the machine and worry about upgrading it later, but
    these new dual cores really need at least 1 GB to perform properly.

    At least time is on your side in this situation.
    The longer it takes you to save, the better your chances of seeing an upgrade.

    If you can survive a long cold winter and wait till Santa Rosa/Leopard machines
    make their debut this spring, that would be my best advice.

    Try to save enough so you can buy the machine and your primary software and any accessories you need to have a complete system.

    If you want something affordable now, go for the 12"iBook 1.33 GHz refurb and sell it in 2 years.
    Or save for the Santa Rosa and keep it for 4 years.

    Isn't technology wonderful! :rolleyes:
     
  19. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I'm guessing it would be around January '07 by the time I'd saved enough anyway, but would the updates to Santa Rosa/Leopard only come around March/April/May '07 time?

    I'm quite an impatient person and was hoping to get my first Mac sooner rather than later. But you've convinced me to save the money and get myself a MacBook. Now knowing that it will be Jan '07 before I could buy, that's quite painful for me ;).

    Would the extra couple of months waiting really be worth the pain (I'm really impatient) for Santa Rose/Leopard?
     
  20. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Also, could someone give me a quick run-down of AppleCare? As mentioned in my previous post.

    Cheers, Karl
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    Macs hold their value so well that it doesn't make sense to pay 300 quid for a 3 year old iBook if you can pay $750 for a new MacBook. WinPC laptops would never hold their value like that, and may be worth buying used since they're dirt cheap after 3 years, but not Macs. I don't think they're a good investment after all those years.


    And I wouldn't even bother waiting for a new processor. Your needs are quite basic, and even though you say you would probably be fine with an iBook or PowerBook, your needs will likely change once you get a Mac. I was like you, and now I do a lot more photography, and oh boy do I love having a Mac. :)
     
  22. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #22
    Even the best notebook can have issues from being carried around.

    As long as you buy Apple Care before the original 1 year warranty expires, you're fine.

    Waiting REALLY sucks, but this is no easy expense for you, so it has to count.
    Especially with you paying top dollar over there. That's mostly why I'm telling you
    to tough it out.

    The problems people are having in ALL notebooks right now have to do with heat.

    The new Santa Rosa processors will run much cooler.

    If Apple doesn't upgrade their notebooks before January, then they are probably
    going to hold out until they can get the Santa Rosa's

    You could go for a Merom model if that happens, but I still
    say the Santa Rosa is the sweet spot.

    It will also be a true Rev "B" or " "C" depending on your perspective.

    If $1,200.00 were no big deal for you, it would be another story.

    Try to hang in there.
     
  23. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Minitrue
    #23
    Santa Rosa is a very long wait into the future.. like almost 7-8 months. That's almost... 2 semesters for a student.

    I'd recommend a refurbished Macbook, the one I got actually came with a free upgraded 80GB hard drive, so you can actually score some if you are lucky.
     
  24. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I feel a bit daft asking this...but isn't there the possibility that the refurbs could have the discolouration/heat issues....i.e., an older model that was just cleaned up etc?

    Wouldn't it be better to go for a later on, like FFTT said, a Rev.B model?
     
  25. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #25
    It does sound like you need a computer sooner for school, but you said you were just beginning to save, so it wasn't clear how ready you would be to buy something
    now.

    If you really need something NOW, then I have to agree with generik.

    MacBook refurb waiting just one more week to see if anything happens in Paris.
     

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