Considering first MacBook - Aluminum, White or non-Mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by spin84, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. spin84 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    I'm considering my first MacBook - i can finally justify the cost (kind of) and my Dell is on its last legs. Main requirements are: 1) relatively small/light, 2) fast - I'm sick of getting by with barely enough memory and 3) good looks.

    In reality I will only be using this for surfing + music...but will be playing around with some of the iLife stuff too. Shouldn't be putting much strain on CPU/Memory. Pretty much using around the house - or occasional coffeeshop...but not going to be doing much traveling with this.

    I love the look of the aluminum MB 2.0 - but is the extra couple hundred bucks worth it for my purpose? Would the White do everything I need it to? How about a $999 refurb MacBook Air?

    Also, any Mac-alternatives I should bother looking at (would need to be cheaper for me to consider)?

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #2
    If you can go to an Apple Store or a Bestbuy and pick up each of them, I think you'll really love the Unibody Alu Macbook. Its worth waiting for some to show up on the refurb store as well, the 2.0Ghz Alu refurb is $1,099, only $100 more than the refurb Air. :)

    If you were to look at a PC laptop that would really be as sturdy (something like a Thinkpad) with the same specs (including LED display etc) you'd probably spend just as much money if not more.
     
  3. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #3
    Yep oh woe is you...for this is the dilemma, looks or function..to get a Mac is not in doubt, you must, it's simply that the aluminium body of the recently released macbook is, well...rather sexy t say the least.

    The dilemma comes when you realize that the white macbook on offer with NVidia graphics( and considerably cheaper , I'm talkin maxing out the RAM and a faster HD type of cheaper to buy ) you relalize that this very same white macbook will in fact do everything the aluminum body one will basically as fast.

    Are you function or form , that is the question.

    Me I'm going whitebook, superb value in Macland.


    after re reading your post I'd say if you want portable get the whitebook , don't upgrade the RAM-just yet(until you need it) ... get a nice big hard disc for it and throw the harddrive it ships with into an enclosure for back ups.

    Or
    You could get the Mini which has just been refreshed. Obviously it's not a mobile unit, well almost mobile but you need to plug it in and drag a screen round but ye depends on how much you will want to move the machine around although the Mini will require a screen to be purchased if you don't have one already that is...either of those machines will far surpass your uses as described
     
  4. coronel mustard macrumors member

    coronel mustard

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    Standish, England
    #4
    I would recommend the whitebook as it will easily cope with internet browsing and ilife. You may also of noticed that apple have quietly updated the whitebook with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M card. With the money saved you can always bung in some more ram or a bigger hard drive- the choice is yours.
     
  5. miguellovesjesu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    if you want cheap then go with the white one. I had the white one as my first macbook and loved it. If you want to spend a little more money and can afford it, get the alum one. But honestly, i think can do you quite well. your fine with the white one and you can be even finer with the alum one. Its your choice. I now have the alum MBP and its awesome. especially the back light keyboard. if you can afford the alum one, get it. if not the white one is just as good
     
  6. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #6
    Why push the alu so much? it will serve the OP no purpose other than to have him/her waste money,.....unless they are driven by aesthetics.

    The whitebook is updated with the same NVidia graphics the alu macbook has the only difference(body aside) is the RAM being DDR3 in the alu and DDR2 in the whitebook....the OP will notice no difference with the tasks mentioned...all these peeps who go after form over function
     
  7. wahoo10 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #7
    I'd go UMB 2.0 refurb. For $100 you can have something that is not only fully functional but pretty. I think the $100 is worth it, because it sounds like you don't need to upgrade RAM or HD for quite some time. You'll end up with a nicer build and sometimes that may get you a better resale value in the future. Refurbs are raved about on here, and it seems like an awesome option.
     
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #8
    With the Alu you get the LED backlit screen, DDR3 memory, a more modern looking laptop, and most importantly for me much stronger construction. For $100 it was well worth it, and my refurb unit was absolutely flawless. :)
     
  9. spin84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the responses - really helpful

    If I consider refurbs should I also think about the $850 WhiteBook + RAM upgrade? I guess I'd also miss out on the upgraded graphics - but not sure that really matters for me.

    I think I'm almost 100% sold on mac (had been considering a ThinkPad) - just need to figure out which model now
     
  10. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #10
    Well what other reasons are you wanting a mac for besides iLife? If we're talking about saving this guy some money, then a cheaper PC laptop with speed will do the trick. OP never mentions having any issues w/ his old Dell besides it being slow. With Win7 looking pretty good, why not go even further and save a few more hundred bucks and go for a PC laptop? I had an HP that suited me well before I dropped it lol and I got my first black Macbook.

    Now if the OP gives more info, maybe you only want OSX or something, then I suggest the Whitebook, as it seems very competent now vs the alu macbook and it's cheaper and will do everything he wants it to do.. but if you want to get the newest piece of tech/machinery, I suggest paying the $100 more for a refurb alu. MB.

    I have the aluminum macbook b/c well I love the looks and the minor upgrades such as DDR3 and LED, lighter weight and well I got a great deal. Plus the aluminum is much more sturdier in feel than my old plastic blackbook.
     
  11. Old Mac Geezer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    #11
    I really like the white Macbook. It has slower memory, but you can load it up to 4 gigs and 320gig hard drive without breaking into the price range of the newer aluminum models. One advantage is that the white model still retains a firewire port for legacy hardware. The Unibody has no Firewire unless you go for the Macbook Pro, which costs a lot more. The white is an incredible value for the money no matter how you option it.

    I was considering an older Pro with the X1600 video, but I think this may be a better deal with Open CL and Snow Leopard coming. I really missed the old 12" G4 Powerbook and this finally seems a worthy successor.
     
  12. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #12
    I'll be honest with you - you should go for the Whitebook and you'll save yourself a lot of money for the same spec.

    With the savings, you can set that aside if you want to buy accessories or upgrading the RAM or hard drive at a later stage.

    Don't forget to get Applecare ;)
     
  13. spin84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #13
    Well...reasons I want a MacBook:

    1. I'm in the web/tech industry and they're pretty ubiquitous, want to learn OSX
    2. "Cool" factor + reputation for quality
    3. I can afford to pay for the Mac name

    I'm tempted by cheaper PCs that would probably meet all of my needs...but I'm afraid I won't be happy with anything but a Mac.

    Currently leaning towards the $1099 refurbished aluminum MB - but will keep an eye out for a new refurb White (with the added RAM + graphics)
     
  14. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #14
    If you absolutely need firewire, then get the $1000 dollar entry level, non-unibody, regular plastic version of the Macbook.

    The more expensive aluminum Macbook unibody models are sleeker and more environmentally friendly thought they lack firewire. After more than a decade of use with many computers, I am yet to use firewire, or in the PC world, what is called the IEEE 1394 standard (same as firewire).

    I have USB 2.0 and firewire on my Mac, and depending on what you do with it and who you want to believe, tend to say USB 2.0 is faster.

    Firewire 400, which I have, is not as fast as USB 2.0.

    However, many claim that firewire 800 is faster than USB 2.0 but in most circumstances, you may not notice a major difference.
     
  15. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #15
    No, don't get the refurb whitebook , most of them are the older style with he intel GMA950 graphics,....go for the current whitebook which has the NVidia graphics.
    If you get the current whitebook you get basically everything the alu book offers 'cept the aluminium body.

    This seems sensible to me :
    Nope , not the gma950 graphics please,...new whitebook with the NVIdia graphics is what's needed here imo

    Trouble with USB is it isn't constant...like say for decent multi channel audio firwire is a must ...but lets not get this thread off track..

    Really, I couldn't have said it better.

    It's all down to you now....read this thread slowly 3 times before buying and make sure you watch absolutely NO Apple commercials before purchase :D.......or you'll end up with a MacbookPro :cool:
     
  16. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #16
    @marbles

    thats what I was suggesting. Nothing less than the current whitebook. I would have gone for it, had they of been updated at the time of the alu macbooks.

    Its more than enough for my needs, and yours.
     
  17. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #17
    Just FYI, only the first generation of MacBooks had GMA950s in them. The refurbished Early-2008 MacBooks all have X3100s which perform much, much better than the GMA950s. (For example: I could play Portal at 1440x900 on the X3100 in DX8 mode at low-medium settings. I couldn't get Portal working acceptably with any amount of tweaking at that resolution with the GMA950.)

    If you don't game much (or if the games you play are mostly from before 2004 or so) then get a refurb poly MacBook. It's the cheapest option, and they're still very, very useful machines. You won't notice any difference in the performance (since your taskset isn't dependent on memory bandwidth), and you'll be able to put the extra cash you saved towards a 320GB drive, 4GB of RAM, and still have some left over.
     
  18. fourtyoneantz macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2009
    #18
    Being a PC user most of my life, buying my first MacBook was the best thing I've done. I was fed up with terrible build quality on PCs, tired of how buggy Vista is, and just needed something new. I have no doubts that my MacBook will last me at least 4 years, if not more.

    Buy the new NVIDIA White MacBook and get a refurb if you can. You'll save about $200-300 that you could use towards any kind of upgrade you want to add.
     
  19. stabile007 macrumors regular

    stabile007

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #19
    Well I love my MacBook so much as my first Mac (unless you count the Performa 550 my family had years ago but I digress) as for Aluminum or the White one? It depends I love the Aluminum one it just feels so solid and nice to use. Plus I found that the extra money is worth all my friends going "OOOOoooo I hate you and your sexy mac so much"
     
  20. NSK123 macrumors regular

    NSK123

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #20
    can't be bothered to read the entire post but I think you should get the Alu Macbook for sure.

    I just got mine yesterday and I love it, it's almost perfect. And this comes from someone who has owned two blackbooks and a whitebook.
    The new MB seems alot more sturdy and neat than the blackbook/whitebook
    specially like the rounded look instead of the older "square" look the old one had.
    personally I def think the extra cost was worth it and the overall satisfaction is better than what I felt with the old MB.

    It also feels quit a bit more sturdy and whole, personally I also think that the Alu MB is more discreet compaired to the older black/white ones.

    it blends, feels neat, comfortable and sturdy to use.
     
  21. aaquib macrumors 65816

    aaquib

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #21
    I'd go with a refurb MBA. It's powerful enough to run all the apps that you'll be using. But, it's thinness and lightness will be appreciated when taking it around with you. And, it is one sexy machine. Plus, it has a better display than any MacBook(white or unibody).

    If you think the extra power boost will help, or you don't really need such a thin/light notebook, then go for the refurb unibody 2.0.

    The white MacBook just feels cheap in comparison to any of Apple's new unibody line. Aluminum is much, much more durable and looks much better. Plus, the LED screen is just gorgeous.
     
  22. spin84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #22
    Thanks - I'm leaning towards the Refurb MB Aluminum (2.0). Will be making a stop at an Apple Store this weekend to check them out in person before buying.

    At the refurb price of $1100 it seems like a great deal...an upgrade over the current WhiteBook (new) and only an extra $100. Everyone seems to be happy with the refurbs, so I'm sold
     
  23. stabile007 macrumors regular

    stabile007

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    Feb 21, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
  24. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #24
    Have any of you ordered the refurb aluminum macbooks in Canada? Is it the same process, or do they ship it from the US? I'm worried about having to pay duty and boarder fees.

    Also do you think that all of the refurb ones are the ones with junk screens and slanted keys and all of those defects that people don't want and send back?
     
  25. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #25
    Yes, probably- it's the nature of a refurb BUT don't forget that any problems will (or should) have been rectified-if you get a refurb that is not as good as a new machine, you can send it back for replacement just the same....refurbs are great because 9/10 times they are absolutely perfect 1/10 may have evidence of light use but remember that folks only usually have 14 days to send them back so generally they've only been used for up to 14 days.....Oh, they come in a generic box if I remember correctly.
     

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