I have $700 to spend on a new to me mac -- help me out!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pkat, May 25, 2008.

  1. Pkat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #1
    Hey all I am new here (wish I had found this forum a few years back when I was the Teacher Leader for our ibook MLTI program).

    I need some help we have about $700 to spend on a new laptop my ibook g3 has limped along for awhile with the logic board problem and it is time to replace it, which is sad for me because I dearly love this laptop. I would like to get an iBook G4 or a G4 Powerbook and am looking for some general advice as to who can get me the most computer for my money.

    I had been looking on Gainsaver but after seeing some of the reviews here I stopped looking there and moved to mac of all trades.

    A few questions I would really appreciate help on (my DH keeps saying "I don't care" so he is no help):
    1) If you had a choice would go with a larger screen or a faster processor (I use this mostly for internet, some working with photos, downloading information and patterns and doing general family stuff -- minimal games)
    2) Because this will be an older laptop to start with should I purchase an extended warranty or will I be relatively "safe" without one? (I just keep having nightmares of getting a new to me ibook/powerbook owning it for 31 days and the stupid graphics chip going on the logic board -- this ibook the graphics chip whent 3 weeks after it was outside of the recall timeline).
    3)I just need some help --- please :)

    And if you would like I can show you what this ibook looks like now -- we use a woodworking clamp over the graphics card to keep the screen from going wonky.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Do you intend to spend the whole $700? If you shop around, you can probably get a first edition Macbook for that much. That would be a much better buy, I believe, than an iBook G4 or a Powerbook at this time, unless you have specific needs for a G4 processor. As for your specific questions...

    1) I would always go smaller notebook, but it really depends on what you find yourself comfortable with. If possible, play around with some different screen sizes and decide for yourself.

    2) I would tend to recommend against it -- on average it will not be worth your money. On the other hand, you're not buying enough computers to benefit from the average, so certainly if it affects you, it stinks for you. With iBooks or PBs, there are probably a few floating around that still have Applecare, but it won't last much longer (Applecare lasts for three years, and well, as you know, PPC Macs stopped being sold some time ago).

    As far as my suggestion of getting a Macbook, I doubt you can find a Macbook for $700 with Applecare, so something to keep in mind.

    I would not recommend a third party warranty; they usually don't cover everything, have lots of loopholes, etc. Remember, anyone who sells you a warranty is generally intending to make a profit from the sale.

    3) Again, research Macbook prices. The ones that have Core Duo processors (not C2D processors) may be in your reach. Much better idea for someone who keeps computers as long as you seem to.
     
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #3
    1) Generally, a larger screen means a faster processor, but personally, I would go with a smaller screen and faster processor, which means going a generation up usually.

    2)I debated this as well, and decided not to get the warrenty. It's only been about 45 days, but we're still going with no problems. But if you have the extra money, by all means, get it.

    3) I bought my iBook off of eBay, because it is extremely hard to find a good, usable iBook/PowerBook anywhere else. Like you, I considered GianSaver as well, but I've heard of too many bad experiences with them.

    iBook G4's can be had from around $350 to $700. I bought my 12" 1.33 GHz G4 for $485. Powerbooks can be from around $450 to $1000, beleive it or not, but this is because they are still extremely usable machines for today.

    PowerMax is a very reputable reseller, but their prices are absolutely insane. If you can afford them though, I highly reccommend it.
     
  4. Pkat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #4
    DH and I agreed to keep the purchase at or below $700. So I am doing my best to get the best possible machine that will last us for awhile with that money. This g3 owes us NOTHING I bought it for $48 two years ago.

    Any places online you would reccomend in particluar for searching for some good deals but dealing with a reputable company still. I came so close to buying from gainsaver and am so glad I found the reviews here.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I'd actually recommend looking on a forum. But if you want a store, I think lowendmac is another reputable one. I don't actually know about Gainsaver. I've heard varying things about whether they are a safe company to use.
     
  6. Pkat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #6
    Thanks again for your help:

    Here is the one I am looking at presently:
    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_G4_1_25GHz_PowerBook_15_512_60GB_SuperDrive_p/g4125pb153.htm

    I should also mention that when I go back to work (I am staying home raising our kids and running a small work at home business for a few years) we do plan on purchasing an iMac (or whatever the equivalent is in the future) as our workhorse.

    With the $700 I would also like to be able to buy a few programs -- definately quicken and a few others.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Ahhh, okay, if you are planning on spending $700 for new software and a new Mac, Intel is definitely out.

    I'll make one last stab at possible alternate directions... have you perhaps thought about an iMac G5? It would be considerably faster than any notebook you'd get. And it sounds like you want to use it at home right now anyways.

    I don't have any experience with the site you linked, although it does look like a fairly powerful Powerbook for the price.
     
  8. Pkat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #8
    I've been thinking about an iMac as well the only reason I am leaning towards a laptop right now is because we have 2 small children and a small house (2 bedrooms) keeping a desktop out of harms way is difficult it not impossible (especially with a 4yo who is obsessed with apples). With this ibook we only take it out when the kids are sleeping and it gets put up in a closet when they are awake. So the choice to go with an ibook was simply for convience -- we have no desk in our house right now so desktops seem silly :p BUT if I can get a better deal on an iMac G5 I will definately look at them -- what are the known issues with them, if any?
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Mmmm, noisy fans is one. The revision A models had logic board failures that were possibly related to the way that the midplane attached to the hinge? I have a revision B, which actually did have a problem (the SATA controller failed), but my impression is that with revision B and later, the failure rates aren't too bad.
     
  10. Pkat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #10
    Okay now I am totally overwhelmed with my choices. So a few more questions:

    This laptop has a new battery (replaced last year under the recall) and two new AC adapters will those work on a powerbook? One of the reasons I was considering another ibook G4 is to reuse the battery that I KNOW is good and the chargers that I KNOW are new.

    I would love a macbook but don't think it will fit in our price range even if I didn't buy new software now and went with staroffice and other shareware type programs.

    And DH said he really wants a laptop now and we will buy a new iMac in the next 12-18 months.
     
  11. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    #11
    id go with the powerbook with the extra money buy an external display
     
  12. Pkat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #12
    We have a ViewSonic flat screen monitor given to us by my FIL last summer -- so I was also just checking out a brand new mac mini.

    I think I have it narrowed down to either the mac mini with our monitor and keyboard/mouse from our older computers (until we can replace them)

    OR

    The powerbook G4

    So between the two which would you purchase tonight?

    And is Mac of all trades an okay site to buy from?
     
  13. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #13
    It sounds like you really need (and want) an iBook G4. I'd recommend the last revsion, because they had the least amount of logic board problems (basically none) and are the fastest iBooks made. They are the 12" 1.33 GHz, and the 14" 1.42 GHz. One of those would be a very fine computer.
     
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #14
    The mac mini would be extremely faster than the G4 (doesnt matter which one, even a powermac G4 is a snail compared to an intel mini). If you want it to last then get the mini.

    If you want a laptop then its not too hard to find a macbook on ebay for a buy-it-now price of $650-$700 from a reputable powerseller and cheap shipping (always factor in shipping costs with ebay since many sellers will try to hook you in with a low buy price but an absurd shipping price).

    I would avoid any PPC machine these days at all costs, you will end up spending much more money later on than if you just got an intel machine right off the bat. They have a horrible price/performance ratio.
     
  15. StuBeck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #15
    I just bought a santa rosa MB on ebay for $700 with 6 months warranty remaining.
     

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