First Mac Purchase: Is the Macbook right for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by addictive, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. addictive macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    I'm a long time (30 months) reader of Macrumours and have been considering buying a Mac for the last two years. I am a switcher and plan to buy a Mac on 22 October (today) or within the next few days. I have just bought a new ipod nano (product red - 16GB) as my almost four year old ipod has a battery life of barely four hours now.

    I know the usual answers people give about buying computers and Macs but as I'm going to be making a considerable investment I wanted to make a post to ask for some advice. I believe my best option is a new Macbook (2.4 Ghz) but I'll consider other options if there is a persuasive argument.

    I had thought for a long time that my first mac purchase would be MacMini but over the past 10 months i was holding out for a refresh that never seems to arrive and today's reports suggest the product may now be officially discontinued. I liked the idea of the MacMini as an cheap introduction to Apple and OSX but the price was never competitive for the technology inside it. Especially as i would also have to buy a screen and a keyboard.

    I have read numerous reviews of the aluminium macbook and think overall it has received positive feedback. I am not concerned by the lack of firewire. I like the design and how durable it should be and think it would last me several years if not more.

    I have wanted backlit keys and LED screen and waiting this long for a product now means i can have these in a macbook.

    My usage would consist of the usual type of office docs. email, blogging, surfing the web, itunes, light photoshop and using it to store back ups of my dvds.

    I like the idea of having a laptop for its portability - i have been without any type of personal computer for two years now and rely on the one i use at the office. My last pc i owned had Windows XP and a celeron processor so i'm expecting to see a major difference. Money isn't really a factor as i have been saving for such a longtime for this purchase although i don't want to spend unnecssary funds as I'm certain i don't need the pro model.

    I think i have thought my potential purchase through thoroughly but any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. esphil macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    I'd say get a previous gen macbook pro refurb for the price of the 2.4ghz macbook. Can't beat the value!
  3. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    Sounds like you're right on in going for the new MB. It's got everything you want, especially if you're not concerned about no firewire. I bet you'll love the new trackpad, too.
  4. tbae12 macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2008
    If you want the new macbook you should go for it. Seems like you've already convinced yourself to buy one.
  5. goobimama macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2008
    Here's a guide that might help you make your decision. I'd say the MacBook $1300 is the best value right now.
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Based on your usage, you're basically paying a $300 premium to get a backlit keyboard. The speed bump and HD upgrade will likely barely register to you...

    That said, if you've got the cash, go for it. Either model of MacBook will do what you want easily.
  7. the mac geek macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2008
    You can get the top end Macbook for a low as $1279. PM me if you want details, or check for threads on Live Cashbook.
  8. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    Go for the MacBook, I absolutely love it! I also have an iMac but I have been finding myself to use the MacBook more because of the portability.
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Welcome to the world of Mac and to the forum. My advice would be to go for the new MB, or the refurb MBP. Whichever you choose, you'll love it. The MBP offers a bit more power, and a bigger and better quality screen. The MB is a bit more portable, and the new model is a genuine improvement on its predecessors. I'd also suggest that you visit an Apple store and check them both out for yourself; only by looking/touching/asking about them can you make an informed decision.
    Good luck, and cheers
  10. Catonow macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2007
    I agree: If you have the opportunity, visit an Apple Store or Best Buy and hold the different models in your hands. The MB is an absolutely beautiful machine. The only drawback is the relatively small screen. I have a feeling, though, that you will love it.

    The only other decision, it seems, is whether to buy the lower or higher end model. As others have noted, you probably won't notice the processor speed difference. You might want to buy the Apple Care warranty which extends the warranty an additional two years. So if you truly only want to spend about $1600 (before tax), then you might consider getting the lower end MB plus Apple Care. Then again, I think you can wait to get the Apple Care later, before your initial one-year warranty is up. (They won't let you buy it after the first year is over.)

    You also want to consider maxing out the RAM. But that's something you could do later, too, after you've saved up some more (and RAM prices are bound to go down).
  11. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    What are your actual needs?

    Why do you want a backlit keyboard? Can you type without looking, or do you need to look at the keyboard to type?

    Why do you want LED backlighting? Are you looking for the small power savings, the environmental aspect, or do you just expect better performance?

    Do you really need the portability of a macbook, or would an iMac do?

    Separate the need from the want and you may find an iMac would be just fine.
  12. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    I say go all out on the Macbook 2.4GHz, you might as well get the faster processor now if this is a replacement to NO computer in the past 2 years. You've pretty much sold it to yourself. I just got it and love every inch of it, its amazing what the team at Cupertino can come up with.
  13. Catonow macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2007
    Easy to say. But most of us aren't Spock. We have emotional as well as rational responses to things. Jobs built an entire company based on that premise.

    My advice: Buy the computer you want. Within reason.
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Hey, I agree. The thread starter said they WANT backlit keyboard. I bought the new MB 2.4 to replace an older MBP. I absolutely LOVE the new MB. And the extra $300 IS worth it for a 20% faster processor, a larger HD, BACKLIT keyboard, and future proofing it (like when SL comes out next year 20% faster may be really beneficial).

    Best wishes with the new MB 2.4.
  15. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    new one

    i would buy the new al mb. i have the last gen white and i have replaced the top cover twice. since feb. everyone i know has had to replaced the top cover. if you dont actually need the backlit keyboard i would get the cheaper one
  16. Ice Man macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    D-Town MN

    hey "the mac geek" I can't PM you yet so I was wondering if you could PM with the lowdown on that cheap 2.4GHz MB...thanks:apple:
  17. 1rottenapple macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2004
    Get the upgrade new MB. Treat yourself to what Macs are about, and that is beauty and quality. The led displays are gorgeous, and the backlight keyboards are features you learn to appreciate especially when it is gone. As an introductory mac, if you can afford it, why not enjoy the new technology the new alluminum macbooks offer.
  18. addictive thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Well I went down to the Apple store last night and had a look at the Macbook and was very impressed. I went to make my first Mac purchase and when i got to the counter I was told they were all sold out. Disappointing.

    I plan to go back tomorrow morning and try and get one then as they said it they get deliveries overnight and tend to sell out of new stock by the afternoon.

    I have been waiting a long time and think the time is right for me to get it now. There is no news on a revamped Macmini which they would now have to totally redisgn for Nvidia and Display port. While it seems they are moving out from this type of product even if they do create a successor to it they won't release it until MWSF09. And I see little point in waiting for Nehalem to be released by Intel because it is unlikely to be in Mac laptops until this time next year.

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