Help me make the best choice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by deathcab4xtina, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. deathcab4xtina macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2010
    I have about $1500 to spend in the apple store tomorrow, I am going tomorrow to buy a notebook, my dell is dead after 2 years and I need something now and I need it to last. I am really confused about what will be the best option for me.

    Things to consider:
    I am a student (major: art education/graphics/photography)
    I am plan in the future to get creative suite
    Have lots of music and movies
    Need Good portability and wifi capability
    Plan to do photo and video editing
  2. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    its pretty easy actually. just look at the Apple store for education and factor in taxes in your area. or check out the Apple refurbished store online. understand that unfortunately, with $1500 to spend, your limited in the portable Apple world.

    as you probably already know, you can get a powerful PC laptop with a larger screen, 6GB RAM, 640GB HD, good nVidia graphics card, and a 2-4 year warranty, etc, for $1500 or less.

    considering you want a brand new computer, that your going to get an education discount, and that you need a portable computer for graphics and photography related studies/work, and creative suite 5:

    if you could spend about $500+ more, i would get a 15" or 17" Macbook Pro i7.

    if you could spend $300-$400 more, i would get a 15" Macbook Pro i5.

    if you can't spend any more than $1500 on a portable, than you have no choice but to get a 13" Macbook Pro 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo.

    any of these macbook pros will max out your $1500, so you won't be looking at any upgrades.

    don't forget the 3 year Apple Care Protection Plan. factor in $239 for that. i would never buy an Apple product without buying Apple Care too, but thats your choice of course. i've owned enough Macbook Pro's to know that Apple Care is very useful, saved me lots of money.

    if you can only afford a 13" macbook pro, and your already use to having a PC laptop, i would seriously consider another PC. in fact, i would tell you to buy a PC laptop outright. i have never been productive on a 13" macbook pro for graphics and photography related stuff, mostly due to the screen size and resolution. the screen is just too small for long term use.

    right now there are really good deals on the high-end HP laptops with a student discount at HP. call em' and see. there are also great PC laptop deals on Amazon where you don't have to pay tax either. the simple fact is that for $1500, your going to get a more powerful portable, and if your looking at the Adobe Creative Suite, than screen size, RAM, hard drive speed (7200RPM) and space, graphics, and processor performance is going to matter a whole lot.

    just a few weeks ago one of my close friends called me asking the same thing. he had $1500 to spend and realized he could get a more powerful portable if he walked away from apple, even though he has always wanted a macbook pro. on amazon, he ended up finding an HP DV7t or DV8t i5 with 8GB RAM, 640GB HD, blu-ray, wireless n, webcam, 1GB nvidia graphics card, 3 or 4 year square trade warranty, etc. it was a great deal actually. came out to around $1300 and he is super happy.

    hope my opinion helps....take it for what its worth :)
  3. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    At the very least you should get a MBP 15 inch. But I think that itself will exceed your budget.

    Maybe a windows laptop is your best bet.
  4. Aidenkin macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    Mini or imac?

    I'm looking to buy a used mac. I'm a former graphic artist. Quadra 950 was my last mac. Now, I'm retired and looking for a mac to serve my purposes: making short films, music videos; watching TV, netflix, Hulu, etc. Might want to do some simple graphics via Quark. Don't know if I need an Imac or a mini will be enough or maybe something even older. I'm on a budget. Thanks for your input.
  5. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    what's your budget, the max your willing to spend on your new mac? hard to suggest a mac without knowing that.
  6. Aidenkin macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I'm looking to spend no more than $800. I found a MB139LL/A mac mini 2 Ghz for $500.
  7. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    that's a tight budget, and really tight depending on exactly the type of graphics work your doing. that specific Mac Mini maxes out at 3GB of 667MHz memory. if your working in graphics and such, i think you might want more memory.

    there is a refurbished Mac Mini at the Apple Store for $849. its a 2.66GHz and takes a maximum of 4GB of RAM and has dual 500GB hard drives, great nVidia graphics, HDMI, one year apple warranty, etc. since its a refurbished unit, its also eligible for the 3 year apple care warranty ( i would buy this one in a heartbeat over the 2GHz one you mentioned. if you don't have a monitor, you might want to consider a new or refurbished iMac, although that definitely exceeds your budget by at least $300+. the iMac's 27" screen is really something amazing. so is the 21" screen, and even the older iMac's 24" screen. i think iMacs are a great deal, depending on how old it is.

    if your looking to buy for long term, you might want to try and buy a new or refurbished Mac Mini, new 2.4GHz Mac Mini is $699, or increase your budget and buy a new or refurbished core i5 or i7 iMac. if you absolutely cannot spend any more, your choices are extremely limited. i tend to stay away from buying out-of-warranty macs on craig's list or eBay, if the computer is going to be my only computer and money is tight. you just don't know what your getting and when it will fail.
  8. Vilcaed macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I realize this is a mac forum, but the pc laptop's that are around $800 are incredible. In my opinion, they're better than the macs, and have a much better gpu, and it is very easy to upgrade most parts in a pc. I myself have had a macbook with the i5, a mac mini, and the acer aspire 48220TG. out of these, i would still recommend the acer, just because of it's ease of use and MUCH better quality than any mac that you would get under $1000. In general, if you're looking for a new computer and you have a budget under $1000, i would not suggest getting a mac.
  9. Aidenkin macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    Thanks folks. I apprecite your advice. I've been looking at used iMacs. Hoping there will be some good deals after the first of the year. Probably wait until then.
  10. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Refurbished 15.4" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 $1529.
  11. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    What did you get?

    Well it's now the day after the "tomorrow" you mentioned in your first post. How did you make out? Nothing wrong with deciding to wait.

    If you decided to wait, here are some more facts...

    Don't consider the Airs as the tiny SSD footprints aren't suitable for lots of movies and photos ... unless ... like me you move the media off to an external drive. If you are willing to work with most of your data on an external drive, you can get one of the new Macbook Airs within your budget. Go for the smaller storage and add a USB 1TB drive ($99 or so) when you need it.

    Creative Suite should run fine on any Macbook, MBA or MBP. Nothing to worry about there.

    As for considering a PC, it's not the end of the world to do that if it's all you can afford. I've heard 7 is a lot better than XP and Vista. You should factor some time wasted on fixing broken things if you go with a PC. Macs aren't flawless but they require a lot less futzing with to keep them working well. One example. Go in a store and pick the c drive on a 7 notebook, pick disk cleanup and notice how long it freezes scanning the c drive of a brand new machine. There are some gimpy things in OS X but they are fairly rare compared to Windows.

    When budget is an issue, keep in mind your experience on a used 1 or 2 year old Macbook will probably be a lot better than your experience on a brand new Dell or HP.

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