$600 laptop for college.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by silversyren, May 3, 2007.

  1. silversyren macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    My baby sister goes off to college next semester and she'll need a laptop. Is $600 reasonable for a good ibook or powerbook? We'll be buying in a month or two so I expect prices to come down a bit..

    As for specs, it'll need an airport card, and probably applecare since it'll be a dormroom laptop. She'll be writing papers, doing her pictures, surfing the internet.. college-type stuff. She's not an art student so there's probably no need for any type of power to run photoshop and the like.

    I've played with a 12 inch powerbook in person and I think it's a wonderful little machine but I'm not sure how great it is for everyday use..

    Any advice/suggestions/specifics on models?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    Prices are not going down unless Apple Inc. releases new hardware.

    I strongly suggest getting at least a MacBook (Core Duo or Core 2 Duo does not really matter). That will hold for quite some time.
     
  3. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #3
    They're also a teeny bit cheaper with the education discount your sister can get...Apple also has summer specials for students (last year was a 2gb iPod nano for free with a computer).
     
  4. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #4
    Used prices on Apple products don't normally change. Especially in the laptop area. The big swings are for the desktops since they are upgraded more and have more power. As for a used powerbook/ibook, You'll find a couple year old Powerbook 12" 500mhz or so in your price range. Best bet is to look on EBAY, problem is anything in your price range will be too old for Applecare. If anything bump your budget up to $1000 and you can get a new Macbook with a year of applecare with the student discount she will receive.
     
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #5
    This would be the best course of action if she can save up some extra money. Otherwise, check out eBay and hope for a good deal. :)
     
  6. kwood macrumors 6502a

    kwood

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    In the Great White North.
    #6
    However if you look at the Refurbished Apple store online, when the Core Duo Macbooks are there they are as cheap as $700. Thats about as cheap as you will get it from Apple.
     
  7. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #7
    Uhhh...can you say...ripoff?!

    By chipping in an extra couple hundred bucks, the OP can get a clearly better machine that won't be force-obsoleted like the PPC machines. Anyone who pays $600 for a couple year old PowerBook is out of their minds when a refurb or last gen MacBook is just slightly more expensive.
     
  8. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    Yes, I totally recommend looking into a MacBook model, any MacBook model at that. The power will outrun an iBook and last for probably her whole college experience. Good luck!
     
  9. silversyren thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    #9
    go straight for a MacBook, really?

    I have the last rev. g4 15" powerbook that I bought about a year ago -- I'm a soon-to-be-graduated design student. It's dropped about $300 in that year's time but it's a nice machine and handles whatever design work I throw at it -- I'm running adobe's cs2 not cs3 so it's slightly faster on my powerbook than a macbook pro.

    since my powerbook is fine, I thought an ibook would be a nice college laptop. we've both got ipods so that isn't that much of an incentive. if apple is selling macbook refurbs for $700, we would consider that.

    thanks for your input, guys!
     
  10. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #10
    It's one thing to have an older powerbook that you bought a couple years ago, but it's another to blow $600 on one now. They're still nice machines for the most part, but because of the way that Apple machines hold their value, they're not priced where they should be (considering that for just a little more than you'd pay for an iBook, you could get a CD Macbook).

    Although your sister doesn't particularly sound like she needs all the power of a MB, I still think it's a better buy because it'll last her much longer. Two years from now the MB will still be great for word processing/etc college stuff.. but the iBook is already a bit long in the tooth.. two years from now it'll only be worse. She'll probably need a replacement, which would end up being more expensive in the long run than just buying the MB now.
     
  11. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #11
    An iBook or Powerbook would be sufficient for her needs, but like others have said, I don't know if that's the best way to go. Usually, I would say go for it, the older machine will get you by, but I've seen a huge decrease in PPC support. My iBook G3 is still my main machine, but tons of software is completely dropping G3 support, and I'm sure the G4 is not too far behind. It may seem like a good idea for now to get an iBook or Powerbook, but for the future it will probably cost you. An iBook would be an awesome college machine, but considering the technology that is currently out, I don't think it would pay. Same with the Powerbook, either way you look at it, you're still running a PPC chip. Unless, you come across an iBook or Powerbook for a price that is just too good to pass up, I would watch the Apple refurb store. If the Core Duo Macbook pops up, jump on it! They don't last long at all, and that solves your Apple Care problem. The few hundred dollars above your budget will definitely be worth it in the long run. The G4 is not an old machine, but with the way technology changes so fast, it wouldn't be worth the money to get a PPC. Unless like I said, you find a deal that's way too good to pass up.
     
  12. eldino macrumors member

    eldino

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #12
    Buy a nice and new (and biodegradable) Acer or Fujitsu Siemens or Packard Bell laptop for 599$. Joking (not about the biodegradable) ;-)

    With 600€ you can easily get the last iBook G4 (the 1,33 one) that works quite well for every use (i have the 12' one, a lovely machine), it's easily trasportable (just 2 Kg, like a book) and the battery runs for 5 hours of real work.. and if your sister needs to burn dvds, you can easily get a nice usb 2.0 dvd burner for 50-60 € or a great LaCie Porsche Design one for 79€.

    My 2 cents :)
     
  13. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #13
    yes!

    Two of my friends had iBook G4s freshman year (I'm a senior now) and they both DIED! One died last year (logic board defect). Apple replaced it but it was a signal to get a new computer. Replaced by a blackbook.

    Another friend had a iBook G4, which died but not from the same logicboard defect. So my friend has stolen her grandmother's G4 iMac lamp.

    I think iBooks are good, but in general they're nearing the end of their time. And there's nothing worse than having to replace a computer during a semester. There's a lot of anxiety not just about losing photos, music, etc, but also school work and that sucks.

    So spend the extra $400 and go buy a macbook!
     
  14. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #14
    Macs are known for their longevity so I think if you go for the latest rev iBook, e.g. the 1,33 ghz one, you should be fine. I'm running one now, 19 months old, and am expecting to run it for a least the same duration again. As far as applications go, I have not been disappointed, except for the slow introduction of Joost for ppcs. Just don't expect to run many games on it, but as a student, you shouldn't anyway.

    Of course, if refurb macbooks come out for 700, I would go for that and look for iBooks in the range of 4-600. I don't know how the powerbooks go, but I hear the 12" is still holding it's value quite well, due the lack of an intel equivalent.
     
  15. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    I have yet another vote for a macbook. if you get a good MB now, it will probably last through 4 years of college. If you get an old PB now, in about 2 years it will be less compatible with the programs out and pretty old, which will run the risk of something breaking and needing to buy a new computer. so try for the MB now so you dont have to get a second computer part way through college!
     
  16. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #16
    Well technically, if you are going with a refurb, you won't get more than 1 year warrantee on it. So if it breaks a few years down the line, you're still screwed.

    I forgot to mention that if your get a PPC, get a G4 and at least 1 gig of ram. I do think the G3's are going to be unsupported soon and less than 1 gig make OSX pretty unworkable.
     
  17. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #17
    That was my point. Pony up a little more money and you'll get something much better.
     
  18. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #18
    I disagree with those saying it's bad to buy a used apple laptop. My first mac computer was an iBook G3 that was well used and I bought it for a good price at the time. It served me well for a year, when I upgraded and sold it for the same price I bought it.

    For simple e-mail, surfing, word processing, an iBook G4 or 12" Powerbook is perfect. Wasn't there someone on here that was contemplating buying a 12" iBook 1.33GHZ for $350?! Now that's a deal. I think you can find something good for $600. Or possibly consider going the mac mini route if you don't want to spend more but want a new machine.
     
  19. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #19
    wrong. All Apple Refurbs (buy from the online store) come with a 1 year apple warranty and are eligible for Apple Care (2 yr. extension of warranty to 3 years).
     
  20. Vinnie_vw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #20
    Oh, I didn't know that, sorry. :eek: That's pretty cool, I suppose.
     
  21. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #21
    It's very cool...:cool:

    No, but really; with Applecare being such a big concern for the OP, I think it would be wise to watch the refurb store, or buy new. Don't forget to check the retail stores, they sell the "open box" items or whatever they call at a cheaper price.
     
  22. bsolomonny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Taiwan
    #22
    second that, Macbooks rock definitely worth the extra cash. Don't get one of those cheap $500-600 PC notebooks. I got a core duo toshiba for $550. Worst computer ever. many pc manufacturers are flooding the US market with cheap notebooks. They are garbage and you will regret getting one. I did. Lucky for me that was the last PC i will ever own.
     
  23. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #23
    Powerbook G4s price are going to plumit to nothing soon. Once second and third and fourth gen Macbooks are released the first and/or second gen will be dirty cheap and at that point who would ever buy a G4? It is just a short matter of time.
     
  24. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #24
    Just avoid a cheapo PC laptop, I paid big time over $1200 buying two laptops that ended up breaking apart after 6 months (or less) of really using it only on a desk.

    I bought an iBook G3, and it's a good little machine for $280. I really can't complain about it. I do the web surfing, email, iTunes, MS Office, the standard stuff easily.

    You aren't as tight of a budget as I was. If I had around $600 i'd try to get a refurb MB.
     
  25. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #25
    refurb macbooks are not sold for $700. the cheapest one is the 1.83 ghz core duo, and that model sells for $799. with tax (let's say california), the total comes to about $867. still, i think it's a worthwhile investment over an ibook and powerbook. a used $600 ibook/powerbook might not have good battery life, which is essential for college life, and a core duo laptop would better prepare her for unexpected needs that an ibook/powerbook couldn't handle. an example could be a need for windows (you never know). as an ibook and a macbook owner, i strongly urge you to invest the extra money to throw into the macbook.
     

Share This Page