Buying Macbook Pro for son for college need warranty advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mdworske, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. mdworske macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I will be purchasing a 15" macbook pro for my son. I have read alot of information and am looking for both hardware warranty and accidental protection. I know applecare only covers hardware. I am also looking at Best Buy. Are there any other suggestions? Also, any thoughts on purchasing applecare of ebay? It seems to save about $200 but I am not sure if it is a scam. Thanks!
  2. zed2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2004
    If you are going to buy the warranty then buy it from the source..

    Main advice though is to buy a Kensington lock for it, and make sure he ties it down to the desks.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You may want to check does your insurance cover accidental damage and theft etc. I personally recommend AppleCare as it's universal and Apple's own warranty, 3rd party warranties are always more hassle and may take longer time to get repaired.

    AppleCare on eBay is not really recommended unless you find a seller who actually SENDS the unopened box too, not just email the code. Check out LA Computers, they sell AppleCare with a discount and it legit with unopened box
  5. Kingcodez macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2009
    I can have a friend over here generate a mobile me and a 200 dollar itunes code, probably a warranty thing also if they use a code..
    Would I seriously attempt to use it? No.

    Like the above posters said unless you have a box it's probably fake.

    Anyways if your kid spills soda or drops the laptop, it's not Apple's fault. Maby your insurance can cover it, I'm not sure. Get a speck see-thru satin case also. Their awesome.

    Apple covers any hardware faults that would occur during normal use. If the GFX card overheats and melts, they'll replace your computer. If you jam a screw driver into the CD drive, they'll eventually find out and you will have to foot the bill.

    If I were you I'd get the speck case and a nice backpack with a good padded laptop sleeve. And maby even a neoprene sleeve just for kicks.

    I do remember reading awhile back that bestbuy had some sort of super warranty on this kind of stuff. I'd call them up and see what they offer.
  6. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2003
    #6 could always wait a year and buy yourself more time to do research and see real world risk scenarios play into action. I would wait on Applecare if I were you, as you can always add it on as long as the 1 year factory warranty is in place. Why waste the money? The computer may fail or be damaged in the the first year, or your son could decide he wants something else and sell it. Okay to sum everything up in a nutshell, I would just wait until 11 months after purchase and see where you and your son stand with the said computer at that time. If he still loves it and everything is fine with it then add the warranty at that future date.

    In the mean time search ebay and other sources as there are many reputable resellers from which you can obtain Applecare at sometimes half the cost. Without seeing your source I would say that saving $200 off Applecare seems to be a bit steep so I would exercise caution.
  7. mdworske thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Thanks for all the info and link to the posts!

    I am really trying to do all my research before entering the mac world. I did not know you had a year to buy the applecare. That would really help financially to defer the additional cost a few months.

    Thanks again.
  8. InfoSecmgr Guest


    Dec 31, 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    I've been in various higher education (BS, MS, looking at Ph.D now) and have used Macs the entire time. One thing I would enlighten you on is the fact that most college kids treat their computers like dirt. The girls are often worse than the guys, but unless your kids helps pay for the computer then he'll probably abuse it in some way. I'm not trying to insult you or your son, but I've seen this too many times to pretend it is a happy go lucky world all the time with these machines. That said, buying AppleCare up front is a small investment considering you are going to spend at least $1500 in the first place. However, like others have mentioned, you could defer purchasing AppleCare for up to a year, that is your choice and really makes no difference. What I WOULD spend money on up front is some type of hardshell case, I swear by "incase" brand. It'll help protect the computer from the accidents you are worried about...but of course every form of protection has its limitations. Also, I am a MobileMe user and find it fantastic. Instead of worrying about having my documents on my laptops HD, I save them to my iDisk and have it keep a local copy (option in preferences). I fully understand you could buy an external hard drive and use time machine (I do this as well), but it isn't very practical in a dorm room. It is one more piece of equipment to worry about being stolen or damaged.

    Hope this provides some additional insight.
  9. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Bingo !
    I have 2 kids in college. My daughter helped to kill the hard drive. Dropped the MacBook. My son is on his second. First was an iBook. Still works, but needs a battery and new charger. Since he was paying, he got a 13 MacBook pro last year.
    Are they hard on the computers? you bet. If they didn't have some skin in the game (they paid for about 1/3 the cost), the computers would be in bad shape.
    So, if they haven't invested in the machine, there won't be much preceived value.
    And yes, I recommend Applecare.
  10. teachpro macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    accident protection

    I'd suggest a rider to your homeowners or son's renters insurance colloquially known as "spill and drop" for computers. Mine with State Farm cost $30/year for replacement value with no deductible. when one of my special ed students dropped my computer, I had a check in hand for $1850 within 4 days. They even covered the Applecare and software.
  11. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Yes, get Applecare but buy from a KNOWN entity.
  12. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    If your homeowners wont cover it, you could look into Squaretrade.

    You just missed a 35% off sale, but still 20% aint bad:

    Today only, takes 35% off warranties sitewide via coupon code "TAX2010". (A maximum discount of $40 applies.) That's tied with an expired mention from last week as the best offer we've seen this year from SquareTrade. It offers extended warranties on many new and refurbished items, including Apple iPhones and iPods, Sony VAIO laptops, HD televisions, video game consoles, cell phones, and more purchased via most retailers and on eBay.
    Of note, the same coupon will yield a 20% off discount between tomorrow and April 19.

    You might also look into a "speck" type case. Its a plastic snap on housing that protects the laptop from daily wear and tear. The satin model is kinda "grippy" as well, maybe less prone to dropping.

    And he could slap stickers all over it of his favorite whatever and not ruin the MBP, but at the same time making it unique and easier to spot -- and maybe less of a target for thieves since it looks like some crap laptop...

    maybe not better than a "sleeve" but theres never a "I forgot" with the Speck case, its always on.
  13. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    Why does he need a MBP?

    Chances are your kid will be ahead of the curve already with a bare bones MacBook.

    I know a few college kids whose parents bought them MBP's and they could EASILY get by with a $300 Netbook.

    You don't need a MBP for MS Word, Facebook, Excel, and Youtube.

    Unless he is going into Video Production or something, but you did not mention any specifics, so I am going to assume he is doing some sort of liberal art.

    My advice: Don't waste the money. Get the bare bones Macbook so he can enjoy the ease of use and reliability without paying out the ears for a metal laptop that will go to waste :)
  14. KevKaos macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland USA
    Do as others have suggested, and check your homeowners insurance to see if the laptop is covered for damage or theft.

    Buy Applecare from Apple, but be sure to check and see if you qualify for a discount like the Educational discount. I work for the government, and I got a nice discount on my Applecare for my iMac.
  15. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Most major credit cards will double the manufacturer's warranty. Check which one of yours does. Then make sure you save the receipt and the statement someplace safe. And what the others said. You might be able to get 'stupid' insurance. That's the kind if you drop or lose the laptop (much different than if it stops working or it's stolen).

    You may not want to bother with Apple Care -- especially if there is an Apple Store nearby. Within the first year, you can always take the computer there for warranty repairs and questions.
  16. mdworske thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Thanks again for all the info. My homeowners does not have the rider that State Farm does. I will get applecare before the year is up and get a separate rider for accidents through one of the companies mentioned. he will be living at home, so don't have to worry about damage in a dorm.

    As for why I am getting him a macbook pro, some of his classes will require music composition, and in researching it said the pro was best to run those programs.
  17. InfoSecmgr Guest


    Dec 31, 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Again, not to insult you or second guess your judgement, but this is what they have computer labs for. They will have Mac Pro's or iMacs in the labs fully capable of "heavy lifting". Also consider that a vast majority of college kids change their major several times, especially after the first semester. And, heaven forbid your kid decides college isn't for him (I have seen this so many times, very sad) then you have a very expensive item that will only get used for facebooking, etc. Well...come to think of it, a vast majority of the work will be facebooking and the like :). Just some additional things to factor in.
  18. MikeyJ57 macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2009
    I'm one of those parents! You're right!
    Both my daughters in college now have 15" MBPs. I am looking to buy myself one. My oldest daughter said that most of the students she sees with Apple laptops have regular 'ol Macbooks, not Pros, and that she doesn't even need the Pro (now she tells me!). I'll get the Pro myself because I like the aluminum enclosure better than the plastic, but if you're looking to save a little money, you (they) might be just as well off with a regular Macbook.
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I would recommend buying Apple Care with the laptop. This way there is no worries about whether or not it is legit.
  20. Agnel macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    From what I heard on wednesday, with no applecare, you get a 1 time tech call free and after that, each support call would cost $ 50. I was also informed that the support would be void if you leave the country.

    Btw, having Applecare on the same receipt as the MBP/mac would get your son a student discount. If you buy it separately, it is higher. I got $ 66 off on my apple care for 3 years. This support is around the world and for 3 years.

    Btw, if possible you might want to contact apple and check if you could get the student discount. I'm sure you'll save $100 bucks there.

    Overall, you'll end up saving about $ 160 if he's already a student.

    Hope this helps, good luck! :)
  21. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Regarding spills, it would not hurt to get one of those soft plastic keyboard covers that keep the liquid out of the machine in the event of a spill.
  22. Crouchback macrumors newbie


    Jun 15, 2010
    AppleCare and Other Issues

    My college junior got the basic MacBook, and it has been all he needed. But I did upgrade the memory to 4 gb to make sure it would easily last him for the whole four years. We bought AppleCare up front primarily because college students use the battery so vigorously; if needs a single battery replacement and one other issue, the plan pays for itself. And if he is not a long-time Mac user, having access to phone support can be very useful.

    Finally, don't assume that you can't fix things yourself if there is a problem. Certain things (i.e. logic board, video card, etc.) you simply can't fix yourself. But a bad hard drive, broken cooling fans, etc. can be user-serviced using guides available at MacFixIt and other sites. My son broke the screen on his MacBook halfway through his second semester, and he just ordered a new one and replaced it himself. That capability may or may not be in your child's skill set, but it is just something to think about.

    Don't forget the software and other equipment he might need before school starts. Someone suggested a lock, and I concur with that. He should probably also have an external drive (also locked) to keep his data backed up (or an online back-up service). Add-ons shouldn't be terribly expensive, but some are really necessary. I found some good information on this kind of thing at the links below:
  23. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    They also keep crumbs, hair, skin and all of the other wonderful things that find ways under keyboards.

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