Buying a MBP -- what to check before leaving the store

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by akadmon, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    I want to buy a MBP for my daughter (she's starting college next Fall) and I would like to know the most common flaws I should look for when I do an in-the-store inspection of the machine (I assume most Apple Store managers allow one to do this). Let me know if there are things that can be checked quickly, during a 15-30 min "dry run".

    Another question, what is the likelihood the MBP will get refreshed this January? I don't mind waiting a couple more months for a new MBP (especially if the new version has a user repalceableb hd). On the other hand, the poor girl's PC has been pretty much unusable for the past cpl of months, and she's been spending way too much time using daddy's toy (see sig :(). Nothing new coming along in January would be a pisser:mad:, so I would rather get something now.
  2. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    they dont

    but after you pay for it and leave just check the screen for dead pixels and funky backlighting

    thats about all you can tell from 15-20 minutes of use, other than it not turning on at all, highly unlikely

    macbook pros MIGHT get updated in january, but honestly they just updated them in july, and just added two more build to order options, so april seems more likely at this point, but different people will tell you different things
  3. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    ^^ not entirely true. After you pay for it, it's yours. You can boot it up at the genius bar or any counter you find within the store. That way, if there's a problem, they will replace the computer. You can just say (if there is a problem) "I haven't even left the store yet and there are problems with the machine!" and in that case they pretty much can't say no to you. On the other hand if you take it home and then test it and find something wrong - like a dead pixel - you will have a hard time getting a replacement when you return.

    Do the right thing and check it over before you leave. I've had a high apple-defect rate in my history...except my macbook pro was perfect the first time! :)

    Look for yellow screens, dead pixels, and warped cases (doesn't close properly without leaving a gap on either side). Those are probably the most common, obvious problems.

    Don't forget to use your daughter's education discount when buying the machine.

    I doubt they will be refreshed in January....and if they do it will be nothing spectacular. The current mbp is a dandy machine!

    Good luck!
  4. akadmon thread starter Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    So you don't think they'll let me take the machine out of the box and test it in the store? They did let me do it when I bought ma Mac Pro. Hm.

    April is too long of a wait. Do you know if it's possible to get a larger hard drive installed in a brick & mortar Apple Store? I'd rather not buy it BTO online (Apple charges a 5% MA sales tax); would much prefer to buy it next door in NH (no sales tax).
  5. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Just a note on the education discount. It's pretty likely that apple won't honor it until there's actually proof that's she's going (an acceptance letter will usually do, which if she already has one in November, that's fantastic). Just more of a reason to wait a bit longer if you can!

    And unfortunately, Apple will only do memory upgrades in store.
  6. akadmon thread starter Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Thanks for the tips!

    I too think that the current MBP will do just fine for my kid. Would snap it up tomorrow if I knew I could get it BTO'ed with a larger HD in a B&M Apple Store! I'm thinking of getting her the base MBP which comes with a 120 GB -- not enough to last her 4 years through college. I want to get it fitted with a 250 GB hd.

    As for the edu discount, I talked to a store manager in Salem NH and was told that, unless she is enrolled (or at the the very least unless I can prove I paid my first deposit after acceptance) she would not be eligible. She will probably get her first acceptance letter in a couple of weeks, but I don't think I'll be making any final commitments until April/May. That's OK, though -- I am eligible for an EPP discount, which is only a few dollars less than an edu discount, except for Apple Care, which is significatly less expensive under an edu plan. Then again, I don't have to buy Apple Care until she's in college :)
  7. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Hmmm... I've known of people getting educational discounts and not actually being in school :p
  8. akadmon thread starter Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Yeah, works only online (AFAIK) which is a no-go for me bcs of the sales tax. There is only one Apple Store in NH and that store's manager explicitly told me she must be enrolled.
  9. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    I would just get one of her friends to go...but because you have an EPP, I say it's (obviously) not worth it.

    If I were buying a Mac Pro in store I probably wouldn't boot it up just because the Mac Pro doesn't seem to have as many problems, and when you buy a notebook or an iMac there's an added complexity of the screen, which can very easily have problems. If you wait til back to school time, you can get a free iPod nano and printer, but I guess that's a little long for you to wait...haha.
  10. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    The apple care can be bought on ebay for surprisingly cheap. All it is is a saran-wrapped box holding a code to match with the type of computer you buy (ie. macbookpro, imac, etc.). Once you activate it online with that serial number and the serial number of the computer the box is as good as useless. I was a little skeptical at first and have not actually bought one online but from what I've read as long as you buy from a good seller with a lot of good feedback it is as real as buying it in the apple store or online. Just a thought. Also, a lot of high schools are on the online directory for education discounts at the apple store so I would check that as well.
  11. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    This will sound a bit odd, but check the backup DVDs for Leopard, and the other stuff that comes with all new Macs. Strangely enough, I was given two Disc Ones for my Tiger reinstall DVDs, rather than a Disc 1 and 2. That caused me more than a bit of trouble.

    Check the keyboard, and the quality of the screen as well.
  12. gpeden macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2007
    Heh, I have EPP access, but for my new PB Pro 2.2, here's what I did. I purchased from a store that has a 15 day, no hassle return policy (London Drugs, also Future Shop) because I'm more fussy than allowed by Apple's return policy regarding dead pixels. While I'm sure that LCD's are less likely to have such defects nowadays than the last time I bought a new PB (it was a PB1400c), I just can't stand to stare at a dead pixel or two on an otherwise perfect screen. But that's me, and I was willing to pay the $170 premium for:

    -above mentioned "screen insurance"
    -instant gratification (once I decided, I wanted it NOW)
    -software downgrade (I wanted Tiger + plus Leopard for $10 later on, rather than have pre-installed Leopard immediately after it's released in a PB from the Apple Store). Plus, I wanted to keep using my Photoshop 7.

    Since I live 120 miles away, I fired up the computer in my car right after leaving the store:D I'm normally a bargain hound, but for this purchase I took the "low-stress, no waiting" route.''

    Oh, and of course, the screen was perfect:rolleyes:



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