Going in circles on a laptop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chris7777, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. chris7777 macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    I keep going in circles on what to get.

    I am a traditional artist. I however am currently disabled. So my "needs" aren't necessarily any system in particular, since at best I will be experimenting and possibly doing side work with my business partner, who would now be more of my employer in a him throwing me a bone sense.
    In the hope that even at a literal snails pace ,maybe I can somehow earn a living eventually that way.

    Anyway. I want a laptop. I have had hseveral forum members suggest an imac, and While the screen is sweet. When I got my laptop, I totally abandoned my desktop and its 19" screen. Now granted its no 24" imac.
    But I want to be able to draw in the recliner if I feel like it.

    I am currently leaning toward 3 units.
    1 is a used craigslist blacbook
    Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz 120GB Hard Disk Microsoft Office 2008
    for $500
    the biggest drawback is its 2 and a half hours away, to drive. I suppose I could keep waiting on a more local one, to show up, but for comaprisons sake lets go with it (I might consider white but only at 3-400 or less)
    I am a bit unsure is this a fair price. I have unfortunately discovered the premium even used macs seem to command hence my reasoning that 5-600 max is all I would even considered on used given a base aluminum can potentially be had for $900 (used or 11ish refurbish)

    which brings me to my next suitor the base or 2.4 aluminum macbook.
    I really liked this and the 13 incher but after finally visiting the apple store in Atlanta it "shrunk" lol. my current screen is 14.1 so I am hoping if I go this route it wont be too much of a back step.

    and finally the macbook pro, which other than price is what I want.
    I have seen them on craigslist advertising at 1500, ebay and refurbed for 16-1700.

    I also want to throw in the curve ball I got to thinking, and looking at the prices, and I realize thats if I can get one at or near these prices, but I thought about going with the used macbook, or base aluminum, and then if and when money (or my eyes squinting) gets to the point of me affording it, just getting a refurb Imac for 1200. and having both. considering that it is near the price of one pro, at standard pricing.

    Or if I should just bite the bullet and get the pro laptop and be done with it ,and possibly use a hdtv screen as an external monitor at a later date.

    I use my laptop for web surfing. Gaming would be nice, but I am leaning more towards a console as the controls are more comfortable.

    each one seems to be an incremental step so to speak.

    So far I have noticed the main edge the 15 has is when looking at some of our pieces on deviant art the off white tones we missed on pc show up when you look at the monitor at an angle.
    Other than that, weight the pci slot for an sd card reader and I would prefer a larger screen, I am not sure I really "need" the pro.

    The build quality on the alubook is a big seller, I would easily pay the extra 300 if I were paying straight retail just to get it above the 999 whitebook.
    If for nothing else resale alone. Which brings me back to the $500 blacbook.

    how reliable is buying used like this? are their things that I as a should look for and check before shelling out the dough? And ultimately which would end up being the best bang for my buck including potential future resale.

    I don't mind refurbs especially from apple, I also wonder if I could get additional student discount on top of the refurb discount, but I figure not.

    And if these things are reliable used, and that would be my best deal for the long run I might just get the blacbook , and later on upgrade or just add the imac, or an external monitor if screen real estate becomes an issue.
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I'd never buy used because you are buying old stuff. It's like picking a 100 year old mansion over Bill Gate's house.
  3. impakt1 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    i just purchased my girlfriend a refurb unibody alum mb and she loves it. It came out of the box flawless. I couldn't even tell it was refurbished. I'll never pay for the new from apple anymore.

    but noooooo do not buy used.
  4. chris7777 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    well I guess that's three strikes against the blackbook,(my dad was slamming used as well) I also was reading an article on http://techreport.com/discussions.x/15704 where the author was lamenting about with the new macbooks using Nvidia that his blacbook became obsolete, another nail in the coffin especially given the price is still ridiculous.

    I guess now the question becomes macbook,or pro, and which flavor?
  5. wahoo10 macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    Why not get a 2.0 Macbook Uni with a 24" external?
  6. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    FWIW I bought my son a refurbed Blackbook through the Apple Store Online last fall and it's flawless.

    In your situation I'd get a loaded 13.3" unibody MacBook and a good 24" external monitor (Samsung or Dell), that would be about the same cost as buying the entry level MacBook Pro.

    If all you do is websurf and things like that you don't need the horsepower of a MBP, (you are better off gaming via console) the 13" is a great machine and having a nice external monitor will make what you do that much more enjoyable. The 13" is also a great size for using in your recliner, you won't have to squint and it's easy to handle.

    Good luck with whatever you purchase!
  7. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    ^^ same here, bought my Black MacBook refurbished.

    No edu deals on refurbs, but the savings comes in when you buy AppleCare.

    I buy Apple refurbs all the the time - they have been flawless. They come with an Apple warranty. My only problem was back in the day my 3rd Gen 10 Gig iPod Refurb came with a bad power supply. Apple overnighted me a new one.

    Used is a bit tricky. I've bought old/used recycled desktops (my PC Gaming rig is an old HP workstation), as those tend to stay put.

    Used laptops and mobile stuff (phones, cameras, etc.) tend to be a bit tricky, as you don't know how well they've actually been treated and whether or not they've been dropped, etc..

    Go to the Apple refurb store and pick out what you want!

    Good luck! Tell us about your final purchase!

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