First apple purchase (macbook/macbook pro)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by olly666, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. olly666 macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'm looking into purchasing an Apple laptop to coincide with my current setup (PC). I've done a fair amount of research and I'm looking for "the best computer for my buck". I have narrowed the choices down to either a MacBook (most probably) or a MacBook Pro.

    First of all, I'm fairly sure this is pointless asking, but is there any speculation of when a new range of Apple laptops will be coming out?

    What do you think is the best deal for $1000-1300? I realize that Macs do not come cheap, but this is my absolute limit. Understandably, I am heavily considering the refurbs from Apple. For example, I recently saw a older generation MacBook for sale on for $1049 ( Seems like a good deal but not sure what the difference between older MacBooks and newer ones (assuming specs are the same).

    Anyways that's about it for my question. Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  2. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    Check the refurb every couple hours and wait for the Aluminum Macbook, the base one is 1099 and the high end one is 1399 but they sell out fast.

    Also, just post what you will do with it because you might just need a white one and not the aluminum one.

  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The new MacBook has significantly better graphics processing. That's about it. Technically it's got a faster bus and faster RAM, but in the real world the observed differences are minimal. Obviously it also has that fancy, unibody, aluminum shell. :)

    A previous-gen MacBook Pro should squeeze in at the high end of your budget. On the Canadian store they've been starting at $1399 for the lowest-end previous gen - not a bad deal at all! That would be my suggested course of action.

    A lightly-used previous gen would also be a good deal, I should think.
  4. Solemony macrumors 6502


    Nov 26, 2008
    I think the newer one runs much more smoothly and better graphics. It also runs pretty cool duel to it's aluminum. The Alu. MB just came out like 2 months ago and we probably won't be seeing newer one coming up anytime soon. Maybe an upgrade to Snow Leopard when Macworld comes in January..Other than that there won't be new laptops coming far as I've known of..
  5. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    The Apple refurb page often has a Macbook pro for $1349. If I remember correctly it is a 2.2 Ghz with 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD and 128 or 256 MB on the video card.

    With the larger, better screen, a discrete graphics card and an expresscard/34 slot, it is well worth going $49 beyond your upper limit. If you are in the states, the same machine is likely even cheaper.

    As another poster put it, these low priced units go quickly so you have to check often. They are usually refreshed on business days after 7pm EST in Canada.
  6. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    The new range just came out! (unibody) and there wont be any new ones for about 18 months / 2 years

    However the new 17" Macbook pro will be refreshed most likely at Macworld 2009 in a week but thats going to be mega bucks ($2500 up).

    I Would recommend a refurbished Macbook Pro from the Apple Website
    Enjoy :)
  7. olly666 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I will be checking the refurb page religiously as advised... ;)

    As for what I plan on doing, I'm not planning on using any high-end video/audio editing or modeling software (which is what I've been hearing is the main concern for getting the most powerful machine possible). I'll be doing some webdesign, using photoshop... Definitely not using it for gaming as I've always turned to consoles for that. [That said, I want to be happy with what I buy for at least 2 years]

    What kind of condition do refurbs from come in? Meaning do they look new or are the screens dead giveaways?

  8. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    In your price range the best bang for the buck would be a 2.0GHz current Gen,either in the refurb store or new, you will NOT regret it.
    The next Macbook to be updated will probably be the 17"MBP, in a month or two. Macbooks usually get updated every 6Months, and Macbook Pros every 8 months, but strangely enough the first ones to get the updates are the Pros, given that the last updates in October were pretty serious and regarded both Portables, the next update should be around May/April for the Pros, being just a simple CPU bump of about .1GHz, the same would happen to the Macbooks in a month or two, afterwards. NOW is the right moment to buy, especially after Macworld,in a week or two, given Apple is probably about to update iLife to 09.
    EDIT: Refurbs are as close to new as you can get, there is no evident difference, I believe they change the battery and anything that is wrong with the original machine that is probably a return.
  9. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    No one has thrown this in so I will. My experiences with purchasing several iMacs and Macbook Pros from the refurb store for our business has been very good. There has only been one machine, an iMac, that let us down and we had to replace. Of course it was under the traditional one-year warranty so no biggie.
    The machines look and act brand new.
  10. The SpinDoctor macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2008
    More like every 6 months from when the last ones were launched
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I'd recommend going for the refurb MBP. It is an excellent machine, very good power and performance, and that excellent screen; besides, it will have been individualy tested and tried and comes with Apple's warranty. Besides, the price as a refurb is very attractive and the machine essentially, is more or less brand new.

    Cheers and good luck
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I would try one of the refurb MBPs. It's not that far off from a refurb MacBook of any kind (polycarbonate or aluminum) in terms of price. Hardware wise beats both.

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