A Sub $2K MacBook Pro (with Applecare)?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by avincent52, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. avincent52 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #1
    Good people
    I need something to replace my G3 ibook, and since I can't deal with a glossy screen that pretty much narrows my search to a Macbook Pro 15.
    However, since I'm using mostly Office aps, a browser, and a bit of Iphoto and Itunes, processor speed isn't a huge need.

    Right now, I can get the lowest end 15 for $1800 at the Apple Store with an educational discount. The cheapest refurb (same configuration, but no edu discount) is currently $1700, which isn't much of a deal IMHO. With Applecare, each one will come in well over $2000.

    A search of Dealmac shows that within the past several months there were any number of refurb MBPs for well under $1500, the cheapest being $1249 for a 1.83 machine. Given the general trend of tech pricing--cheaper/better/faster--it's pretty frustrating to be spending almost $600 more for a machine that won't give me any real world computing benefit (aside from Leopard)

    So is there any near term hope for a price dive on the current 2.2 machines into the $1300-$1400 level?

    Is there somewhere I can find a new or factory refurbed 1.83 or 2.0 at this point? (I'm hard on my machines so I need Applecare.)

    Any advice on when and where to find the best deals on the Apple Store refurbs would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Allen
     
  2. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #2
    Just curious how 1700 + 350(applecare) is 'well over' 2000. Unless you are including tax then everything needs to be thrown out the window.

    Furthermore you can buy applecare elsewhere for half as much! That will help.
     
  3. freewill macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #3
    Yes, Applecare can be found on Ebay for well under $350.
     
  4. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #4
    I think the "on the Amex" price, including sales tax, shipping, whatever, is the meaningful bottom line because the Apple store charges state sales tax whereas some other mail order retailers do not.

    it's not that I've got 20 Benjamins and not a penny more. What I mean is that I'd really like to get a MBP for somewhere around the price of a regular MacBook--it was possible a few months ago--and I'd be willing to sacrifice some horsepower to do it now.

    But thanks for the tip on Applecare. I assumed it was priced by apple and not discounted.
    Where can I get it cheap?
    Can it be bought for something like the $1200 non-factory refurbed 1.83 MBP from techrestore.com or is it strictly for new machines and Apple refurbs?

    best
    Allen
     
  5. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #5
    You can find applecare for $99 - $125 on ebay or so i am told.
     
  6. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #6
    Got my matte screen MBP. Three useful answers.

    Pushed the button on a matte 15" 2.16/120 Mac Book Pro early this morning for $1499.

    Thanks for the advice and counsel here and on other threads.

    Here's what I learned that may be of use to others.

    1) The good stuff goes up on the refurb section of the Apple store overnight, so the early bird catches the worm. I bought mine before 7 am (this from a thread about a 36% discount on a black macbook)

    2) Buy applecare through a third party

    3) A friend suggested another option for my matte screen dilemma. Why not buy a Macbook and a $9 anti glare screen. I looked into it, and it seems like the Power Support $30 anti-glare screen saver is the way to go, considering they've got apple's blessing (it's sold at the apple store) to protect iphone screens.

    I was ready to do this--a santa rosa macbook for around $1300--but to me the better keyboard and bigger screen made the MBP a better deal.


    and a fourth
    Fuggedaboutit. My G4 imac still rocks (I really love the design compared to the new one) and after a leopard upgrade and a new keyboard and mouse, it's ready for the long haul. I wrote four books and part of a fifth on my G3 ibook, and but for the fact that I'm concerned about something dying unexpectedly on an out of warranty machine (based on past experience, not actual problems) I'd keep using it.
    I obsess about things, but I try not to do it about things that become instantly obsolete (if you look at the relative rather than the absolute.) If I had taken the $1500 I paid for the ibook five years ago and bought a vintage Fender Telecaster, that guitar would likely be worth $10,000 or more.
    My ibook? $200 to just the right customer.
    But I'm not recycling. My kids just got a new toy.

    peace out
    Allen
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    Ok if I can give out some random award to the most efficient "newbie" thread out there...this would be the one to get it. Dude comes in, asks questions, isn't hostile towards any answer, buys the computer, comes back and gives very meaningful recommendations, and walks away happy.

    I hate calling people newbies, it's lame, but in this case I have to hand it to you Allen, you're kind of my favorite "newbie". Oh and you didn't start 10 threads about your new computer. That's always a plus for me as you should see what happens when I get on a roll about new computer threads. ;)

    Good luck with your new computer.
     
  8. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #8
    Jessica
    Thanks for the compliment. While I'm a newbie to this forum, I hang out enough on guitar forums and other online sandboxes to have learned how to sift out the good info, and how to play nicely with others.
    For me a computer is a tool, like a contractor's DeWalt drill, and I'm happy that I got a nice new one at a reasonable price without much fretting or searching.
    Many many thanks to the smart and savvy people here who helped me do that. And save a few bucks to put in my guitar fund.

    best
    Allen
     
  9. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #9
    Glad it worked out for you. That is a FINE FINE FINE deal on a 2.16 MBP! What Timezone are you in or what Timezone were you using when you hit the apple store?

    7AM PST for me is 9AM CST.. I'm guessing I need to be checking by 7 AM PST.. which explains why I never see the deals! Always checking after 9 my time.
     
  10. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #10
    really really early

    Mindflux,
    I bought mine at about 7 am EST, which is 4 am PST, although this config and price was still available after 8 am EST.
    I didn't spend much time looking but around 7 am they did have several Macbooks under $1k, but I imagine they go fast too.
    The poster on the other thread, who got the black book for around $1000, suggested looking before 6 am EST. I'm often up that early but I try to brush my teeth before making a major purchase.
    FWIW, while they said it would take 3-5 business days to ship, the machine was in the pipeline by 11 am, scheduled for delivery tomorrow. Quicker than a trip to the Apple Store, actually.
    Thanks again for the suggestion about shopping for Applecare. That price diff will buy me a portable hard drive.

    best
    Allen
     
  11. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #11
    What did you end up buying apple care for? If you don't want to say it out loud you can PM me. I know I've seen it for considerably less, though.
    :apple:
     
  12. coday182 macrumors regular

    coday182

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jamestown, IN
    #12
    I didn't read through the whole page, but I was in the same boat with my macbook. I found out that you don't have to get applecare until your free 1 year warranty wears out so you can just buy your machine and wait until you have the money saved up to get applecare
     
  13. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #13
    Not yet...

    >>What did you end up buying apple care for? If you don't want to say it out loud you can PM me. I know I've seen it for considerably less, though.

    Mindflux
    I haven't bought Applecare yet because I do have the warranty and if there's a serious problem with the machine that requires a refund obviously I don't want to be stuck with an extended warranty.
    That said, I did cruise e-bay briefly last night and saw several in the $200 range.
    I must say, I don't understand how people can undersell Apple on the warranty, but it should be easy enough to verify the legitimacy of the applecare package.

    BTW, I looked at my checkout and the tax and shipping added $130 to the price. You can almost buy an ipod for that.

    best
    Allen
     
  14. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #14

    Just remember that after 90 days you will have no phone support. While this may not be a big issue the Apple Care does extend that to a total of 3 years (along with hardware warranty).

    My apple care came off ebay, in a sealed box with the registration number required to 'register' it with Apple. All worked fine.

    Most warranties are nearly 100% profit for companies, this is why they push them. There's definitely some play in how much they can be sold for, just not through apple stores.

    I have an amazon prime subscription and they give 50 off MBP applecare (300 instead of 350) and a varying range off everything else. So even official Apple retailers have some sort of leeway there.
     
  15. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    Since you mentioned an education discount in your original post...
    You can still purchase AppleCare using an educ discount, a significant savings. Not sure how the US price compares to what you'll find on eBay though.
     
  16. avincent52 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #16
    Good point

    Great catch.
    I looked and The Apple store has a huge education discount on Applecare. It goes from $350 down to $235 for a MacBook Pro.
    This might be the way to go for me instead of e-bay, as I'd happily pay a few bucks extra so I don't have to worry about a counterfeit warranty.
    FYI, the education discount on hardware is only about 10 percent--around $100 for the Macbook and about $200 on a Macbook Pro.
    Nice that someone is giving teachers their props, and many thanks for the suggestion.

    Allen
     
  17. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #17
    Nice discount, Apple!
    :apple:
     

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