Buying first Mac, couple questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by steveh552, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. steveh552 macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014
    Hi all,
    I am buying my first Mac, MacBook Pro retina, 15in base model here in the next couple of days hopefully and have some questions.

    First, Im not sure if there is much advantage buying at the apple store over best buy. The apple store did say that it would be all set up and running before I leave the store bad best buy told me that is an additional charge. Having never had a Mac I would hope during the setup an apple rep would be able to answer some questions while I wait but I'm sure there time is valuable as there are plenty of other customers. If buying direct from apple would I need an appointment or can I just walk in? Currently both best buy and apple are the same price and the stores are a couple blocks from one another.

    Now having said that is the office programs and iPhoto, ivideo, garage band apps installed or do they require a download?

    Is it worth buying ms office or is the free office app that comes with the Mac sufficient for average use. I'm not in college and not writing papers but may write the occasional letter.

    Looking at maybe buying photoshop elements but not having a drive on it I assume buying in store is useless since it comes on a disk.

    I'm not going to be doing a lot of heavy stuff and for me the i7 is overkill but I do want the extra real estate on the screen, otherwise I'd get a 13in.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I cannot answer that, as I never bought at an Apple Store and did not need help setting it up. Someone else might chime in for that.

    iPhoto, iMovie and Garage Band are already installed, Pages, Numbers and Keynote are free and can be individually downloaded via the Mac App Store (MAS).

    Pages will more than suffice for those stated needs. No need to buy MS Office.

    While the MacBook Pro with Retina Display does not have an internal optical disk drive (ODD), one could use an external one, but PS Elements is offered as download from the Adobe website.

    The 13" offers screen real estate of a display with 1680 x 1050 pixel, the 15" offers up to 1920 x 1200 pixel.
    While the 13" might be a bit crammed with such screen real estate, maybe have a look at one of the store model first and see, if you can live with that.
    For that, go to System Preferences > Displays > MORE SPACE.

    To learn more about Mac OS X: Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
  3. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. Iv looked at them side by side and think the 15 would be better. As I get older my eyes get weaker lol.
  4. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    You will be happy. It's a nice machine. You do not need an appointment. I would buy at apple if only for the experience. I think all those apps came installed on mine. if not it's a easy download from the mac store. You can use libre free alternative to ms office. I would buy PS CS6 as there is no monthly fee. Basically no differnce between it and the CC version. I would do the i7 chip. Easy upgrade.
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Big price difference between PS Elements the OP was looking at compared to PS CS 6.

    To the OP, enjoy your new mac. It will take a little getting used to, but once you have your computer will be a much nicer place to be than any windows machine.
  6. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    oh I missed the elements part. thought he was just talking about photoshop.
  7. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014
    Surely elements. I do not need the power of the full version. Elements could be overkill for what I am doing. Subject to change my iPhone 5s is my primary camera.

    I'm hoping to enjoy the machine. Iv grown to hate my windows machine which freezes quite often plus I hate windows 8. Having said that I am also buying a windows machine for my sons birthday, I don't trust him with a machine as expensive as a Mac
  8. PatrickCocoa macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2008
    Focused Customer Service

    The times I've bought from the Apple store, or even had questions, I've had absolutely no problem with the rep trying to hurry through the transaction, even when the store is busy.

    I will say I've had to wait to get someone to talk to - make sure to get with the greeter at the door and get on a list if need be.

    But once you've hooked up, my experience has been that they focus on you until you give them the all clear.
  9. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014

    Great to hear. I'm leaning towards the apple store for the free set up. I seen they offer free seminars which I may take as well. I have 2 stores less than 30 miles from me
  10. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark

    Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, known as iWork, is in my opinion a 100 times better than Microsoft Office. It's more stylish, offer the same feature set, and is better integrated with the Mac, and they are 100% compatible, with iWork allowing imports and exports into many file formats, like MS Office formats.
  11. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014

    Thank you, may have saved me some money since office I was told is a must have by a salesman.
  12. kelon111, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    So , are you saying that Apple has a notetaking/organizing program that's better than Microsoft OneNote as well?

    You should realize that the Microsoft Office suite includes many programs.


    Did the salesman mention Microsoft OneNote? I've used that program quite a lot as an undergrad college student.

    BTW , this was all done on a Windows based computer using OneNote.

    Here is a basic tutorial as well.

    Edit: I see that you aren't a college student. You probably wouldn't appreciate the extra functionality that the Microsoft Office suite provides.
  13. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014

    No iv passed my college years bad now just deal cards at a casino. No real note taking going on. I have used one note when I was in college though and it is a powerful program
  14. casperes1996, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark

    OS X comes free with the application Notes. Although Notes is not nearly what OneNote is, it gets the job done nicely. If you need more features and functions in terms of note taking, Evernote is free on the App store, and is made very nicely. It syncs trough all devices, and is pretty good for notes. Besides, you can always use Pages documents for notes, which I realize isn't the optimal way, but still. i Myself use Notes for note taking, and it has never really been a problem for me, but I understand if people wish to use something more comprehensive like Evernote or OneNote, but to be honest, I find paying for OneNote, at least for most people, since Evernote does an awesome job for free. (Yes, for some people OneNote is the best, and I respect that)

    In terms of the graphics you can add to OneNote, Notes allow for image importing, and I believe Evernote has minor graphical features, if not in the free version, maybe in the paid version (free is more than enough for most), but this (graphics) are definitely a strong point for OneNote.
  15. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Unless you have a preference for Photoshop Elements, you might consider iPhoto or Aperture for photo management and editing. Aperture costs more but adds many editing features. Both programs make managing your photos a lot easier.
  16. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014
    Update: bought a 13in with the 512gb ssd. Still working on learning it and setting it up.
  17. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd wait a while on getting applications.

    I strongly disagree about the iWorks applications being as good as the Office applications. Perhaps they will be for you, perhaps not. Meanwhile there are free alternatives. One area where Apple particularly stinks is Numbers. It's miles from Excel. I'd try Libre Office or Open Office instead, both free.

    And for notes consider something that pairs up with what you already like on your phone. Again, Apple's offering is rather lame, but there are so many excellent free alternatives out there to choose from.

    And I'd hold off on Aperture or Elements until you try iPhoto. It is free, and preinstalled, and may meet your needs. Again, there are probably good alternatives that you can use on your phone for editing that you may actually prefer over desktop stuff. And the phone apps are generally cheaper.
  18. helloimryan9 macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2014
    Upstate NY
    I'm fairly certain that the various iLife programs you mentioned (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand) came pre-installed on my MBP, but if they don't, then your computer should ask you if you want to download them during setup. Also, Pages is more than sufficient if you need a basic word processor.
    Congrats on the new computer! :)
  19. steveh552 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2014
    I went to the public library today and downloaded a few apps like Dropbox cad updated those pre installed, I only have a wireless hotspot and data is not cheap. Running migration assistant now. Seems rather slow process.
  20. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    If you need a word processor, why not use Google Docs? That gives you a word processor, spreadsheet, "powerpoint", and simple drawing app for free.

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