Anyone have to "switch back" due to $$?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Schtibbie, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Schtibbie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    #1
    Please understand that I'm not posting this to start a which-is-better Mac-or-PC thread. We have a Macbook and that's our ONLY computer. We have no desktop system and no PCs. And I love OSX. I prefer it to the XP I have to use at work.

    BUT -- this computer won't last forever. On its 3rd battery. First one wore out, second one warped and broke the trackpad. It's on it's 2nd topcase and keyboard due to cracking. At some point it'll need replacing just due to normal wear&tear.

    The wife assumes we'll get another Mac but she doesn't understand the price difference for what we're looking at. She'd prefer a bigger screen, for one, since this is our only computer at home. And WAY more disk space.

    So how do I NOT just go get a $529 HP with *4* gigs of RAM and a 17" screen? 320 gig HD. Or maybe a Toshiba for $649? See, I don't *have* $1700-$2500 and I won't within the next year. How do folks on truly limited budget justify it? I'd LOVE to give Apple and extra $100 premium for similar hardware to get OSX, but they don't offer the same hardware within $100.
     
  2. greentree_uk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    #2
    well. personally I just get frustrated using windows, so it's not an option for me.
     
  3. UngratefulNinja macrumors 68000

    UngratefulNinja

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #3
    I'm in the same boat. My ibook g4 is on it's very last legs and unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to buy a windows based laptop by the end of the year, completely due to $$ reasons :( Hopefully then within the next few years I'll be able to save up some $$ to buy a mac again :)
     
  4. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    the general rule when buying a computer is to buy the absolute best you can afford. so if you can afford $1000, you are going to have to decide which is more important to you;
    1) a 13" plastic macbook with 2 GB RAM and 160 GB HDD

    or

    2) a 15" or 17" windows machine with 4GB RAM and 320GB HDD

    it's all about which is most important to you. Talk to your wife and find out which is really the most important to her.
     
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #5
    ...here's an idea... try reducing the number of deductions you have on your W-2 at work... they withhold more and you get a larger refund at the end of the year...that's your computer $$ next tax time if you need it, if not, then put it into a short term CD or savings account until your current mac breaks and apple isn't covering it under warranty anymore...
     
  6. Schtibbie thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 13, 2007
    #6
    Huh? I'm not having a problem saving money. I'm just saying - if I have $1000 or LESS (which is likely where I'll be) to spend legitimately on a computer, how can I justify getting WAY less in terms of specs on a macbook? Or conversely, how can I justify spending pretty much *double*?

    Look, I'll probably stay with Apple - but only if their specs-per-dollar gets to be even within spitting distance of these windoze machines I see out there. I'll always be willing to pay a premium, but not DOUBLE.
     
  7. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    I don't blame people but applaud them for buying 'within their means' (Mac, PC, or otherwise).

    My wife's white'book is cracking (again) and we'll be taking it in soon for another repair.
     
  8. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #8
    Do you really need a laptop? Doesn't sound like it.

    Here are some options:

    1. Get a Mac Mini and a $100 monitor from BestBuy. That's like ~$750 for a great OS X machine

    2. Build your own PC and make it a hackintosh.

    3. Assuming iMacs are updated soon, find a good deal in the Apple refurb store or craigslist. Right now in the marketplace here there is a great 24" aluminum iMac for $900, cheaper than the cheapest whitebook yet 2x more powerful, and virtually double the screen space.
     
  9. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #9
    If I was in that boat and needed a bigger screen I would try to get a refurbished Macbook Pro 15 inch:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB470LL/A?mco=MTA4MzQ4MjQ

    1299.00 is a good price I think and I've seen gread deals on Mac Minis too since Abyssgh0st suggested that.
    Or this iMac 24inch and this has great hardware:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB418LL/A?mco=MTExOTk3ODE

    I am not a person who would go buy a used Mac on eBay or something, but I have heard of people getting deals on new Macs on Amazon and eBay. Just some ideas.
     
  10. Schtibbie thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 13, 2007
    #10

    $1299 is a good price? That still has half as much ram as the PCs I mentioned and a smaller HD. And a smaller screen. And it's refurb. Hey, I'm all about not having to buy everything brand-spankin-new, but I'm trying to find the point (in price) at which at becomes affordable to stick with Apple while not stepping down several levels in specs. And I won't have $1299 to spend.
     
  11. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #11
    I switch every which way depending on the purchase. :D

    For years, I've had both a desktop and notebook computer. At times, I've had $2000 for either purchase, other times I've had $1,000 and less.

    I needed a new desktop a few months ago. I wanted a tower so I could add additional hard drives, keep using my Dell 24" monitor and enjoy the speed of the faster optical drives.

    However, I didn't have $2499 to blow on a Mac Pro. So, I picked up a $899 Core i7 920 Dell XPS Studio that came with its own 24" LCD monitor. Love it. It's fantastic with Windows 7 and runs Snow Leopard :)eek:) great.

    There's no denying that you can get a better spec'd Windows notebook (and especially desktop) for lower cost. It won't come in an aluminum shell, the build quality probably won't be as good (Apple has its own problems with this too, see MacBook cracking) and it won't have bundled multimedia applications that are anything like iLife, but for raw performance vs. cost there's no comparison. So, buy what you can afford.

    If you only have $1,000 to spend and your wife wants a huge 17" screen notebook, get it. Go to Best Buy or another retailer and try them out.

    Windows 7 is a great operating system. It's their best offering this decade. It's not Mac OS X, but you'll be able to live with it. In fact, there are parts of it I like better than the Mac way. For example, Media Center is a much better program than even Front Row. The library system is neat. The built-in DLNA sharing is fantastic. Small thing, but I like the theme support including the ability to download additional themes directly from clicking a link in the personalization control panel.
     
  12. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Considering a new one is much more, yes I do. So what if it's a refurb, a co-worker buys nothing but refurbs and had great luck with them. Sometimes I wish I went that route and saved a few $100.00 on mine.
    You were looking for ways to save money and I was just looking for ways to help.
     
  13. brendu macrumors 68020

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    Apr 23, 2009
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    USA
    #13
    if you are computer savvy, and really love osx, i would do some research on hackintoshing one of those pc laptops you were looking at. I agree it sucks that apple does not offer affordable hardware but i also understand why they dont. do you need a laptop? if not, the mini isnt a bad idea with a cheap monitor and you can upgrade the HDD whenever you please.

    all the same, if you decide to get a PC, windows 7 isnt too bad. I've been using the release candidate for months and I've had NO issues whatsoever, unlike vista where i had issues from week 1. (still like osx much more)

    EDIT: youtube can teach you alot about hackintoshing alot of PC's FYI
     
  14. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #14
    I look at it a different way.

    Price vs cost

    The initial price may be less, but what is the cost in the long run?

    You need to remember to add the price of antivirus software every year. What other software do you need when you switch?

    What is the warranty period of the $700 Best Buy computer? How much does it cost?

    Consider the intangibles:

    What is the turnaround time on the repair of the Best Buy computer? It's not unusual for people to be without their computer for weeks at a time when they take it into Best Buy to be repaired. If the problem is not fixed, you have to send it back 3 times before they will consider replacing it. Read the horror stories about Best Buy service before you even think about it.

    Finally, time is money. What is your time worth? This may seem irrelevant cost to some people, but it is very real to me. I look at the hours I spent on a PC removing crapware, finding drivers, backing up and re-formatting and reinstalling software. Waiting on hold for 30 minutes, only to get an idiot half a world away, who can't understand my problem.

    No thanks. I will pay a little more for a Mac initially to avoid the high cost of a PC down the road.
     
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    I've never had to switch to windows due to financial reasons, (I've actually never bought a new windows computer at all. I've acquired a few slightly older ones, but they always run Linux and are never my main computer. Anyways, I digress.) and that's not to say that I'm rich, but rather that I save until I am financially able to purchase the computer that I want. Typically I sell the old computer and immediately buy a new one with the proceeds from the sale and saved liquid assets.

    If need be I'll use a computer for several years before upgrading, like I'm doing with my Rev D non-Unibody MacBook Pro. I don't have the capital to purchase a new one yet and the resale value of the computer is just atrocious right now, so I'll probably be using it for another year or two until I can afford to purchase a new one.
     
  16. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #16
    By the way, I forgot to mention how I DID NOT like the 17" MacBook Pro. It was just too big to carry around. It didn't fit on the tray table in the airplane, it was a hassle to use in the car.

    In less than a year, I sold the 17" and bought a 15". Much better for me. If I ever need a bigger screen at home, I will buy an external monitor.

    YMMV
     
  17. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #17
    LOL! This is how our "youth" saves money today - they let the government budget it for them. :D

    Dude, you've got it backwards. Keep all you can in your own wallet. If you can't save without the government's help then you've got bigger problems :eek:

    OP: I agree, if you can't swing a mac then you have no choice. And I applaud your budgetary skills. Maybe next time a mac to reward your frugalness.
     
  18. Schtibbie thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 13, 2007
    #18
    I thought about that for half a second. The whole reason I originally switched *to* Apple was that I didn't need a computer hobby (I already work in computers) and didn't have time for hacking something into working. I wrote off Linux for that reason. Hackintosh would not only be license-violating but I'd have to think too much about keeping it updated, drivers, etc..

    Apple - if you're listening.. I know your business model involves selling sleek hardware that folks replace every 1.5 years. However, some of us REALLY love your OS more than anything. Think on that.
     
  19. akbc macrumors 6502

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #19
    Do you really need your computer to be portable though?
    If not, refurb iMac's or Mac Mini's are fine choices too.

    Specially refurb Mac Mini's would have same (current generation) performance over the white macbook and such.

    And I actually PREFER refurb products since they're just like brand new, cheaper and sometimes have higher end-user quality experience due to their double and triple checking of the refurb products. And since I'm a student, it really works well with my budget, too (not to mention that it comes with the exact same warranty policy as the new ones :)). I cannot trust a Windows portable machine. Since when I'm on-the-go, I need the reliability. So my portable machines are NEVER windows products. But my main powerhouse at home always has been (and probably will be if iMac doesn't go quad core) a windows machine.

    I've had zero problems with Apple's official refurb items (My Rev B MBA, uMBP15, MBP15 and such..) But my "Spanking" New uMBP has been a bag of hurt with mainboard going out once and speaker going out, wobbly on the desk and stuff... Good thing I live near an Apple Service Dealer... ugh =_=
     
  20. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #20
    A PC doesn't have to run windows. I never understood people writing "vista" as a con for a thinkpad or something, they can use any OS you choose to install on it.

    99% of the people who come to me with viruses get linux mint or ubuntu put on their machine. Instead of searching like crazy for drivers, everything just works out of the box, has better fonts, and no viruses.

    Whoever thought the reason to choose linux would be ease of use and drivers??
     
  21. JTA60288 macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Henderson, Nevada
    #21
    I haven't owned a Mac for a real long time, and I want to get another one (my old 1st gen iMac died on me). I am really tight for money too, and I can't afford to get a brand new Mac. I'm just going to buy a second-hand Mac from eBay that has good specs. (Macbooks are $500-$600)
     
  22. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    Apr 13, 2008
    #22
    ^^I have the same experience with old hardware. I have an old laptop that still functions great, but windows drivers are impossible to find. I threw OpenSuse in just for lolz and all the hardware worked ootb. I was impressed.


    OP:
    I have had several hacintoshs in the past (im on my 4th) and the installation is really the only hard part. Not much can be said for SL so far because it only has had one update so far, but the update installed via Software Update with no effort from me. If you are going to buy a PC it wouldnt hurt to try one that is known to be compatible with OSX. If you find its too much hassle you still have a pc that can run Win7 well and you are just back to where you would have been anyway.
     
  23. chris7777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #23
    I personally am hoping the rumored poly macbook will see at least a $200 price drop. If apple would drop it to $700 I think they could grab a huge gain in market share.

    that being said, if they don't drop the price (much) I am thinking of getting the 13 inch refurb pro.

    I returned my 15 inch pro because it was just not portable enough for me.
    I basically decided that for the money I would rather have a 24" imac.

    I am also trying to keep my aging compaq alive to see the tablet but it is looking more and more like it will be an ipod chub.

    I have been looking at windows laptops because my hard drive died, but after replacing it I think I may be able to get a little more life from it.

    After having tried the 15" route, I suggest an imac from what has been said, unless a laptop is a requirement over a desktop.

    I know that I don't want a laptop with over a 14 inch screen, or else whats the point? Might as well get a desktop.

    I know after reinstalling xp and the hassle that it has been OSX is looking sweeter and sweeter.
    I got malware on my laptop with literally less than 20 minutes after getting online after reinstallation. I literally got online to download firefox, and start hunting antivirus/spyware/malware, and got infected in the process.
     
  24. Schtibbie thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 13, 2007
    #24
    It'd be nice! But it would still be low on RAM and small on screen size (although to your point elsewhere in your post - small screen is better for folks on the go). The reason I'm hung up about screen size is that this laptop is intended to be our only home machine. It isn't for running around town, but rather for carrying into bed, onto the couch, in the yard on the bench, at the kitchen table, etc.
     
  25. three macrumors 6502a

    three

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    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Washington State
    #25
    As mentioned before, I'd actually pick up a refurbished Mac mini. No batteries to mess with, and amazing reliability. Small too.
     

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