Advice desperately needed on Macbook Pro purchase!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by powerchord, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. powerchord macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    Hello everyone, after a few months of visiting/reading this wonderful site, this is my very first post. I am a grad student and lifelong PC user who will be finally making the leap to-what I hope is-the glorious world of Apple. I humbly ask for your input and advice regarding my imminent Mac laptop purchase. I was planning on getting a low-end Macbook Pro with a 160 GB hard drive, and then these latest updates led me to reevaluate things (like 250 GB hard drive). I still like the fact the MBP has a larger screen than the MB (and that the MBP has a matte screen option).

    I must admit that I wondered why Apple hadn't introduced updates to the MBPs (other than the option for a 250 GB hard drive, and 2.6 processor option for the higher-end models) either concurrently with the MB updates or even preceding the MB updates. Many of you are saying that the updates to the MBs have made them comparable to the low-end MBPs. Now the gap has been narrowed between the two, and I wonder if MB sales will cannibalize low-end MBP sales? Anyhoo...

    1) I read that Apple does indeed consider the "changes" to the MBP to be an official update. Does that mean that there won't be any other minor updates (like a speed bump) prior to Macworld in January?

    2) I am planning on leaving the country to do research in Eastern Europe sometime in the spring (around April). Because I will be there for over 1 year, and because there are no Apple stores in the country (or anywhere neighboring ones for that matter), I am a little hesitant about making a purchase right before my departure. Being that I was primarily considering a Macbook Pro, I am unsure about waiting for the impending updates in January... would they ship out in January? will the updates be that significant to justify the wait? in light of my circumstances, would that be a wise thing to do?

    3) If I buy on Black Friday, could I use my education discount in addition to the sale?

    In addition to the basic usage (email, net surfing, Word and Excel documents, watching movies) I will need it for audio, video, and photo editing, creating presentations (Powerpoint or the superior Mac version), dvd/cd burning & writing. I am in need of getting a laptop soon (but could wait a litttle bit if it makes the utmost sense to).

    Sorry for the lengthy post. I wanted to provide you with as much info/context as possible. I would really appreciate any feedback, comments, and advice you have to offer.

    Thanks for listening/reading!:)

    I'm eagerly awaiting the chance to cross over to the other side!
  2. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    LOL I always find it funny to see how many people have the same questions as I do....

    I am in a similar situation as you...I am hesitant to buy now as macworld is 2 months away...

    1.) nobody knows for sure what is comming in 2008... For all we know the next mb pro update will be in the spring...

    2.) i dont understand your question... You are afraid that you will need support and because there are no apple stores in your area you will be screwed?? If you want to order it through they do ship worldwide for the most part.

  3. tsmaka macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    I wrestled with many of your concerns until a wise person pointed out it is not possible to future-proof technology, so unless you're really prepared to wait 2-1/2 months for MacWorld, you might as well get the computer now and learn how to use it when you still have a few months left in this country full of knowledgeable Mac users.

    Since you'll be doing video editing, you really need the video processing capability of the MBP. The MB and the eventual ultrathin one won't do. The faster processors will be better of course, but the low end MBP should be more than capable for occasional use.

    The 160 vs 250 HD question is tough. While it would be nice to have a larger HD, you'll absolutely want to have an external HD to back up all your information (especially since you'll be far from home using strange power outlets in areas where a shiny new MBP makes for a nice target for thieves) so the extra 90 GB may be unnecessary.
  4. Sannekita macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2007
    i'm in the same situation as you. I'm waiting until january... you just never know! If you won't really need it until april, i'd wait...
  5. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    Sorry I was typing my above post from iphone and it kept on crashing....

    The point I am trying to make is that it really is crazy to obsess like people do here (me included) about future updates. The longer you put off this purchase the longer you have to wait until your next computer......also remember in 12 months your mb pro you buy today will still have a pretty good resale value if you need to be on top of the new processors.

    The way i look at it is that apple is not going to change the mb pro line up in any significant way until mid/late 2008.....sales of them are through the roof currently and arent slowing in the least. People keep on speculating all these far fetched dreams for the mb pro that are simply not going to be there for a long time if ever.

    Now this is coming from someone who is about 80/20 for getting myself a new mbpro today....I know when the next update comes around I will be annoyed but that would have happened anyways no matter when I buy.....just get it now and enjoy it.....if you find yourself wanting a new on in a year when you return to america, sell it for a 40-60% loss and get a new model.
  6. powerchord thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    I meant that if indeed there is an update to the MBP in January, would it be wise to buy one then especially when, from what I've heard, new models are prone to bugs/kinks that need to be worked out? Assuming I purchase a new model in the states and have some of these issues, it would be absolutely inconvenient (if not impossible) for me to get to an Apple store for help. Shipping back and forth in this case would prove to be very expensive and not very practical.

    Thanks everyone for the responses! In light of the collective feedback, I guess it does make sense to just get a MBP now. I'm sure it will be more than adequate for my purposes. I just get nervous even thinking about investing $2000 and I want to make the most informed choice.

    However, I noticed no one replied to my query about the Black Friday sales and education discounts? Is it possible to get both? if not, I will take the plunge now!

    Thanks again everybody. Cheers!
  7. msevild macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2007
    1) I highly doubt there will be any changes to the Macbook Pro line until sometime early 2008.

    2) As for glitches in new systems when they are released-I guess it depends on when the MBP's are due out. If they come out in January, 3 months will definitely be enough time to get any hardware glitches out of the way(hopefully none since Apple only wants happy customers back at retail and not screaming at them for faulty hardware) and Apple is pretty good at getting most major software glitches(again should hopefully be none) out of the way early in their new computer's lifespan via the software update application on every Apple computer.

    3) As for the Black Friday sale...where do you intend to buy. Apple generally never offers sales in its retail stores, but if it does they WILL NOT let you use both discounts. I mean, the education discount gives you at least $200 off of the computer and all computer sales get a $100 mail in rebate if you purchase a printer with it(can get a decent Canon for $30 or a free HP if you really want to go the HP route).

    For the actual choice of which computer to get, it is hard to say. If you have the money, the High resolution 17" display is amazing, but I myself don't like such large computers. A 15" is the perfect traveling companion and I would recommend upgrading it to the 2.6Ghz if you plan to get the computer early and plan to constantly use it for movie, photo, and music editing. Also might want to look into getting it fully loaded with the total of 4GB of ram that it can hold(would be better buying this from third party sources-it is much cheaper). But the memory all depends on the programs you will be using to do all that editing with. Applecare(Apple's extended warranty) might also be something to look into getting. Applecare for portables(laptops for example) is the only type of applecare that gets INTERNATIONAL coverage- depending on how long you plan to be away from the states.

    I wish you luck on your computer purchase and if you have any questions I would be glad to help out. Contact me at my e-mail below.
  8. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007

    You bring up a good point with the kinks.bugs in new revisions which was true with the last update....which i could see as a major annoyance if you were in America, let alone a remote foreign country...

    Here is a statement i found about the education sales:
    Who is Eligible To Purchase
    The following education individuals are eligible to purchase through the Apple Store for Education individuals:

    Faculty or staff member of a public or private Higher Education Institution in the United States
    Student currently attending or accepted into a public or private Higher Education Institution in the United States
    Parent purchasing on behalf of their child who is a student currently attending or accepted into public or private Higher Education Institution in the United States
    Purchase Quantity
    Faculty, Staff and Students purchasing from the Apple Store for Education Individuals will be allowed to purchase the following quantities of product per academic school year:

    Desktop: One (1) may be purchased per academic year
    Mac mini: One (1) may be purchased per academic year
    Notebook: One (1) may be purchased per academic year
    Display: A maximum of two (2) may be purchased per academic year
    Software: A maximum of two (2) per software title may be purchased per academic year
    Apple TV: There is no limit on the quantity of Apple TV purchases per academic year
    iPod: There is no limit on the quantity of iPod purchases per academic year
    The above purchases can be made either online, through an Apple Retail Store, or through your Apple Authorized Campus Store. Total product quantities remain the same regardless of where your purchase is made. The Apple Software purchases above are only available through the online Apple Store for Education or through your Apple Authorized Campus Store.

    Statement of Eligibility
    I represent that I am a member of one of the defined groups above, eligible to purchase and that the products being purchased direct from Apple Inc. are for the personal, education, and/or research use of a student, faculty, or staff member.

    that is from so from that I don't see any restrictions but I really have never tried to do this so I cant give you any definitive advice.....
  9. Maclomaniac macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2004
    You definitely can't combine the education discount with the Black Friday sales. They never let you combine an education discount with any other discount or sale. Also, I don't remember what was on sale last year, but usually the Black Friday sales aren't on laptops anyway. In the past, they've been on iMacs, .Mac and sometimes iPods, so it's possible the MBP won't have any discount. I think the education discount is usually better or equivalent of the Black Friday sale, so I'd go ahead and buy it now from a discount perspective.
  10. powerchord thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am

    So, I see it makes no sense then to wait for Black Friday... now if *only* I knew when/what the updates would be for MBP, I could be at peace with myself! To buy now or not to buy now, that is the question!!!!!!
  11. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    #11 is ALWAYS going to have new updates months away!!!! I dont think any of us would like Apple to keep its product line for long... The whole business is based on frequent updates creating buzz....unless u plan on updating twice per year there will always be something new "about to" come out.

    I finally broke today and am ordering my mb pro...:apple:
  12. powerchord thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    Here, Here! Hurrah, Hurrah!

    Congrats and good luck! You have effectively stayed the hand of indecision! If I may ask, what specs did you settle for? Being that I am leaning against waiting myself, I am wondering if it is worth paying for the higher processor speed (2.4) and/or the higher 7200 RPM speed on the hard drive - it's all going on credit anyway :eek::mad:

  13. ps49556n macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007

    Thanks... I ordered a 15" mp pro with the 2.6 c2d and 7200 rpm drive and I plan to upgrade the memory to 4 gb on my own
  14. theGrindle macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    Check out the ADC Membership Benefits

    I am in a similar situation as you and have been surfing these boards for a while. One tip I picked up, as a student, you should check out the ADC (apple developer connection) discount. The fee is $99 to sign up and that comes with perks that make it worth it (free copy of OS X, t-shirt), but the main advantage is the Hardware discount. The discount is not really worth it for an iMac or Macbook but if you are considering a "professional level" computer (MacBook Pro or MacPro) it offers a considerably greater discount than just the student discount offered through the education store.

    For example I built a 17in MBP with the 2.6 Ghz processor, the 250 GB hard drive and the upgraded 1920 x 1200 screen and here are the prices:

    Regular Apple Store: 3299.00
    Apple Education Store: 3049.00
    ADC Store: 2639.00

    That's $410 less than the Education store! If you subtract the $99 membership fee it's still $311 cheaper. You could get a better computer for the same price or save money and get the computer you would have ordered with your regular student discount.

    Also one more tip, don't purchase the Apple Care program with the ADC Purchase, you can buy it afterwards (You have a year) for about 100 dollars cheaper with your student discount.

    The requirement is that you have to be a student and have to go through a verification process. The verification entails faxing a copy of your ID (student or driver's) and a copy of a current or upcoming schedule. The system says that the membership/discount is only for developers, but really it works for any student.

    Here is a link to the FAQ.

    Scroll to the bottom, the question about the Hardware discount and follow the links to the store to configure your own system.

    Hope this helps.
  15. Noesis macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    There are Apple stores where you can fix your laptop in Eastern Europe. Don't know what country you're going to, but I know for sure about Romania and Bulgaria.
  16. powerchord thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    Oh yeah, it does help.
    Right on! I forgot about that! It will save me a bit.
    Thanks. But now you have presented me with a Pandora's Box - do I get the 2.6 or stick with the 2.2? is it worth the extra $400 bucks? :eek:
  17. powerchord thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    right where I am
    Really?????? I had no idea. I couldn't find a list of Apple stores in Eastern Europe and so I assumed there weren't any. Do you know where I may find a listing?

  18. theGrindle macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    Tough Call

    That's something you'll have to figure out.

    The way I see it, you can upgrade the RAM later and maybe even the hard drive, but you won't be able to upgrade the processor. If you can handle the extra cost now, it's probably worth it, especially if you are going to be doing some video/audio/photo editing. You definitely won't regret it, and it will most certainly help your resale value down the road (if you take that route).

    The one downside is it looks like the ship date will be a couple weeks longer than if you stick with the default processor, well and of course the added cost.

    If you can swing it, then do it. It will help that "man I wish I waited to buy the next iteration" effect too, I'd say.

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