Buying a new mac should not be this complicated

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fulooped, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. fulooped macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2006
    Ok, I'm looking into buy a new mac for the school year, and I'm stuck between a low end MBP and the 2.0GHz White MB with 80GB HD. I'm probably going to use it for college-y stuff, maybe some photoshopping, watching movies, editing videos [rarely], playing one or two games.

    So, my first question is, should I pay about $500 [w/o tax] more for the MBP, or would the MB be enough? Either mac I get, I plan on upgrading to 2GB RAM.

    My next question is about tax. Not being from USA myself, but planning to order my mac online when I arrive, how would I go about minimizing the tax? Someone told me that if you ship from out of state, you wont have to pay tax. Is that about right? I'll be going to LA if that helps.

    How long is the wait now for online purchases?

    I'm currently using an iBook, which my mom is making me leave behind [the HORROR! An 16hour flight + airport waiting time w/o my laptop :eek:] as she doesn't want me coming back with 2 laptops. I really dont want to, cause that means I would be laptop-less for the couple of weeks it takes for my new mac to arrive. But she says with the new airport security, it would be easier if I just brought a HD.

    So, I'm planning on transferring everything I have onto a external HD, as soon as I get one. It shouldnt be too hard to move my music, docs, movies, pictures, etc onto the HD, but is there any way to move my bookmarks? Or is this way stupid, and I should bring my laptop over?

    If my mac arrives with some defects *fingers crossed*, how long would it take for a new one to arrive?

    Last question, I promise. A couple of weeks ago I saw this thumb-drive looking thing on an ad that says it allows you to watch tv on your mac. Like it streams it directly or something. Sorry if I'm not making sense, but I dont really know what it is or what it does exactly. Haha. Anyone have any idea what I'm taking about?

    Thanks for any help you can give me. :) Sorry for the long post.

    I'm tempted to ask about the meron after seeing so many posts on it. But seeing as how I have no idea what it is, or what exactly it does, I guess it's not going to affect me much, right?
  2. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Do you want the bigger screen? Do you want to play a few games? Play with each at a store and see what you like. If the MB meets your needs, get it, if not, get the MBP.

    If you buy from Apple, or any other retailer with a physical presence in the state of California, you will pay California sales tax on an online purchase. You have to buy from a dealer that does not have a physical presence in the state in order to avoid sales tax. For example, if you buy from you pay $1299 with a $100 rebate and you can get it with free shipping (5-9 days) and no sales tax.

    There is no simple answer. It depends is the answer.

    Yes, it seems like a fairly bad plan because you will likely want it until you get a new 'puter. Just bring the iBook and sell it after transferring your info to an external drive or the new computer (easiest way is to use SuperDuper to copy either your whole drive, or just your user folder, whichever you prefer. I wouldn't copy the iBook's entire drive to the new computer however. I don't remember where the bookmarks are stored, but if you choose the whole drive option, they will be there. There is of course a way to simply copy the bookmark file, perhaps someone will answer this question.)

    A few days to a few weeks I imagine.

    Nope, but Eye TV has Mac products for watching TV, check them out.

    The merom chip is the next generation of Intel chip about to come out in various notebooks (the chip is also called the Core 2 Duo). It will be in Mac products very soon. As such, I would wait until it is to buy your notebook. It will offer a 20% jump in performance from what I have read. Read up, Johnny:
  3. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I say for the things you do you could safely buy either one now but I think the MB would suit your needs more. But if you want more screenage and better video card then the MBP is for you. You could wait for merom which is due to be around soon but its ultimately up to you :)
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It's not going to give you a 20% jump in Microsoft Word's performance, nor in watching movies or playing the majority of games. Photoshop performance won't improve until a Universal Binary version is released. Editing video might go a little faster, but if you'll be doing it rarely then what's the point?

    If you don't need the latest and greatest, I would recommend waiting until the new MBP line comes out and then buy one of the Core Duo (Read: NOT Core Duo 2) machines. Prices will drop probably $200-400 on factory-new units, and you'll still have a great machine.

    Honestly, people need to stop touting Merom for the low-end user. Performance gains are there, but it will only make a difference in high-end applications in the professional environment.

    If you can make it to an Apple store to test out both the Macbook and the Macbook Pro, I would recommend that as well.
  5. debrey macrumors regular

    May 4, 2006
    Assuming you are going to college (and not just coming to do college-y stuff), you should try to buy at your local college store. They often have the best deals. For example, right now at the UCLA store you can buy old 1.83 processor Macbook Pro's for $1500 and 2.13 MBP for $2000 -- 500 less than the normal price.

    You have to pay tax if you order from Apple in California. Perhaps you could find a reseller where you didn't have to pay tax. But then you wouldn't get the education discount, which is greater than tax.

    -- David
  6. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Its quite easy to choose when you know what you need! :rolleyes:

    From the sounds of it though Vid editing and games would benefit from a MBP.
  7. fulooped thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2006
    Thanks for helping a girl out you guys, I'm probably going to get the MB, instead of the MBP or waiting for merom. Now all I have to do it to decide where to get my computer. Haha.

    Ok, from what I understand here, if I buy from Apple, I would have to pay an 8.25% [7.75%/7.25%?] (I tried looking it up, but different sites wrote differently. :confused: Haha.) tax, but I will have an edu discount + "free" nano deal. However, if I get it from like Amazon/reseller, I wont have to pay tax, but I will have to increase the HD myself, no edu discount and no "free" nano. Since I'm gonna get an external HD, increasing the internal HD isnt that crucial I guess.

    I just have too many choices. Haha. But thanks for all your help. :)

  8. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    We enjoy sending people shopping, armed to the teeth with information. :D
  9. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I think a MB would be a fine choice and suit you great :) And I agree with the comment about telling low end users to wait for merom. They don't really need it.
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Just remember what "no sale tax" means: It means Amazon won't take your money and give it to the state as tax, but _you_ are still legally required to pay the tax when you make your income statement. Of course you may work under the assumption that nobody knows and nobody cares and nobody will notice if you don't pay, but then you might be wrong.

    (As an example, UK customs has just asked eBay about details of their "PowerSellers" because they are most likely doing auctions as a business and are liable to paying VAT on everything and income tax for their profits, and many don't).

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